Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Second baby's dating scan :)

Yesterday (21st Dec '10) was our second baby's "dating scan". I love the word 'dating scan' because it sounds like a date with the baby. I think in actual fact it means measuring baby for its estimated due date (EDD)..? As you already know, I found out that I was pregnant on 11th Nov '10. Since we get FREE medical in the UK, it's only fair for us to wait for our turn to be seen by the doctors/midwife etc. So, 2 weeks after I found out my positive results I had an appointment with my midwife. Normally, they'd be able to predict baby's due date by last period calculation but because I have 'weird' period cycle, they couldn't find out my EDD. They then told me to wait for my dating scan so they can measure baby to know how far along I am.

My dating scan was scheduled one month after my visit with the midwife, which was yesterday. Truth be told, I was so nervous for this scan! I was not nervous of the scanning procedure, no no. There were 2 things that I was nervous of... 1) if there was no baby in my womb and 2) if I was too far along and I can't go back to Malaysia. Reason I was scared of 1 was because I don't feel pregnant at all! I mean, at all! When I was pregnant to Khairaldin, I could tell that I was pregnant as early as 3 weeks. I had some signs that I was pregnant such as, my boobs hurt sooo bad! But not with this one. I don't feel anything. The reason I took the pregnancy test was only because whenever I brushed my tongue, I felt like vomitting/nauseous (which is very unusual). I also had the same feeling when I was pregnant the first time. This nauseous whilst brushing my tongue didn't last for long though, only a few days. After that, I was back to my normal self.

So, imagine having to wait 1 month+ to find out whether I am really pregnant or not, it was torturous! Iskandar and I just tawakkal, if the baby was meant for us, it'll be there otherwise, there's no question to it.
 
Alhamdulillah yesterday, as the sonographer scanned my tummy, we could see our baby!  Both Iskandar and I were shocked at the size of our baby. He/she was bigger than what we expected. The sonographer asked if we knew how many weeks I was yesterday. We said we have no idea. So she measured everything and told me I was about 13 weeks pregnant (but in her notes, she wrote 14 weeks 5 days). Technically, when I did my first pregnancy test, I was about 8 weeks pregnant!! That is how clueless we were about this second pregnancy. Alhamdulillah first trimester went by without any fuss or even without us realising it.


As we went to the sonographer's desk, she then told us that my due date is on the 16th June 2011!!! That caught us by surprise because Khairaldin was born on 16th June 2009!!!!! If the EDD do happen for real, we are beyond excited! Then again, Khairaldin was delivered 5 days earlier than his EDD. Allah knows what's best for us, so we'll do our best by carrying this baby to the world and let Allah plan the rest that is beyond our control. After all, HE IS THE BEST OF ALL PLANNER!

In any way, we are just thankful that we are given the chance to be a parent all over again. We pray that everything will be fine for the whole family and we pray for a Soleh(ah) baby. Amin!





Oh by the way, looking at the scan today we kinda know whether it's a baby boy or girl. :D But hey, we'll leave it as a surprise since noone knows what is in the womb except for Allah swt. Do pray for our health! JazakAllah Khair!
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Life's precious manuals

Many of times I've heard people say "If only there's a manual on how we should live this life, everything will be great!". I used to be one of those people too whenever I was lost in my little clueless world. Yes, it is scary when we have nowhere to turn to. But time and again we forget that life DO come with its manual. It's called Al-Quran and Hadiths. Try looking for anything at all that you want to know about this life, or even the 'world' after! You will definitely find your answer.

Sometimes I feel like someone's watching over my shoulder and knows everything about what I am doing or going through. The signs that are shown to me is straight forward but its effect is almost like a slap in the face (it hurts so much). However, it doesn't leave a scar on my face but it does deep in my heart! 'The words' that I read hurts deep inside me and yet I take it as an eye opener rather than feeling angry over it.


I'm sure you are all saying "what is Iva going on about??". Right, so, I have a few examples on how my life has changed ever since I turned towards Al-Quran or Hadiths but I'll just stick to this one example. I used to be the type of person who says whatever I feel like saying whenever I'm upset (I still do, occasionally). There is this one time, I was so furious with one of my relative and I felt the best option was just to ignore him and break whatever relationship we have (as if it's that easy when you're really blood related! Haha). But yeah, I was furious beyond words. Then the next day, I was lazing in my Mom's room and felt like reading one of her books. As I was flipping through one of the pages, this Hadith was on the page "The one guilty of severing ties of kinship will not be admitted to Paradise." (I will check on the source soon, Insha'Allah) At that moment, I was gobsmacked and felt, 'O Allah, I am so sorry for my behaviour!!' I know Allah was upset with me at that time and HE wanted to show me the 'right' way to deal with my anger. Although I felt disgusted with myself, I know Allah is All-Merciful and the only thing was to ask for forgiveness for what I intended to do or had done. The feeling after doing the right thing is just....right. Even though at that very moment I was still angry but after reading the Hadith it got me thinking, "why would I want to do such a thing??" It felt wrong in so many ways after that!

And lately, whenever Iskandar and I are faced with difficulty in life, somehow there is just a sign to lead us back to the *happy* life rather than the miserable/Satanic life. Be it from people's status, the books we read or even the tv shows that we watch, the sign is always there. It is just how we take notice of it or do we even want to take notice of it. I'm glad I have such positive minded family and friends and also friends that are like ourselves whom are striving for goodness in this life and most importantly the greatness in Hereafter. I appreciate every single messages, e-mails or even indirect status msges that people have been posting on their Facebook. It is just refreshing to go to sleep or wake up in the morning getting those 'words of advice' from people you know personally or not. To me, Allah is just looking after me by letting me read and take note of HIS words!! No doubt random people use Ayat Quran or Hadith as their status but I know it's Allah's plan on wanting me to read it and take it into account.

By the way, I found this quote a few days back on Hadith of The Day Fanpage and all I could think of is..... SPOT ON! I've had this entry in my draft for awhile but yesterday I felt it's time to publish it and there you go, this quote sufficed my whole entry. Masha'Allah!! 
"If you want to speak to Allah, then pray solat. If you want Allah to speak to you, then read the Quran."  
How can you argue with that? :)

So yes, in order to live a spiritually healthy life, it's best to read Words of Allah as HE can never go wrong in whatever he is conveying to us! SubhanAllah!! Also remember that we are never alone, Allah is there with us when we are happy or even sad. HE will never leave our side for a blink of an eye. So, turn to HIM whenever, wherever or for whatever reason. HE is the only one we can depend on, ALWAYS! Alhamdulillah, I am glad to have known this and I hope one day when Khairaldin is feeling the blues, HE will stumble upon my blog and read all these (that's if we're not around to constantly remind him)! Insha'Allah.

"O Allah I beg you to guide my family, children and grandchildren to your path as there is no other path that could make them see how true and Almighty you are". Amin Ya Rabbal'alamin!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Working Mom VS Stay At Home Mom (SAHM)

Richness is not the abundance of wealth, rather it is self sufficiency. (Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Isn't this the most famous debate amongst our mates, Mommies? If you tell a working Mom that you're a SAHM, they'd be so envious of you. It's like "oh I wish I have your life!". As for SAHM, we have the same reaction towards Working Moms (because all we want is their monthely wages!!!!). You see, we human beings can never be satisfied with what we have, we are made this way. Period. So, instead of getting envious with our family or friend's life, try and be happy with our life first. There are pros and cons to everything that we have in this life, it's just how we make full use of it.

Here's a view from a SAHM. If you think our life is oh-so-perfect, think again! When you are a SAHM (without any maids, bare in mind) life is tough! Here's why, in my point of view:

• Most importantly, you can never take 5 mins just to go to the toilet. It's either you have to hold it in until his next nap time or just drag him to the toilet together with you (if desperate measure calls)!
- unlike working Mom's, they can just drop their work and just have that toilet time that they need.
• SAHM don't get 1 hour lunch break, it's always gobble,gobble, done!
- Working Mom's have 10mins tea break or 1 hour lunch. They still have time off for a peace of mind.
• SAHM don't get that pleasure of monthly incomes.
- Working Mom's have the pleasure to spoil themselves every month (if they chose to).

Yes, I am being kind of negative about SAHM here. Let's look at it in a better view....

• SAHM don't get paid but they get loads of cuddles and kisses every minute!
• SAHM don't get that extra long break or toilet breaks, but they do have a few hours extra just for a li'l lay in (or afternoon naps) as compared to having to wake up very early in the morning.
• SAHM 'works' as much as Working Mom's physically and mentally, trust me!

So that's the few list from me. It is what you want in life that matters most. Doesn't mean if your friend is a SAHM, they get it easy and vice versa. If you appreciate everything that is given your way, you will feel happier in life. Take control of your life as noone else could (other than Allah). If we start to count our blessings, we might feel like there's not much to it. But instead, try and make everything in our life as a blessing! Let's view life in a different way from now on, Insha'Allah, there is more things that we can appreciate than depreciate.
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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pregnancy and Finance

"Verily, Allah, with Him (Alone) is the knowledge of the hour, He sends down the rain, and Knows what is in the wombs. No person knows what he will earn tomorrow and no person knows in what land he will die. Verily, Allah is All-Knower, All-Aware (of all things)." [Surah Luqman, 34]

This pregnancy is different from my first one in terms of financial status. When I planned to have Khairaldin, both Iskandar and I had a "stable" job. So we thought it was the 'right' time to have a baby. However, 5 months down the line, I got made redundant. Iskandar continued his studies which made him reduced his working hours until today.

Then, almost a week ago, I found out I was pregnant with my second child. We were both shocked and didn't know what to expect. Iskandar works for about 4 hours a week, which is really not enough for us to actually get thru the month. Alhamdulillah, my parents willingly invited us to stay with them. Otherwise we'd be so broke and on debts by now. No one in the right state of mind would dream to get pregnant when they do not have financial stability, right? Same goes with us. But Allah works in mysterious ways. We can plan all we want but HE has the last say. It took Iskandar and I quite a while to digest the news that I am pregnant. But we had to face the fact that if I'm not having my period means, I am pregnant. So we were thankful to Allah that we are yet again blessed with another child. Insha'Allah.

About 3 weeks ago, Iskandar asked for an increase in his contract hours since he's finished his Masters. The company been pushing the matter aside and kept telling him to meet with this that and the other. Which never got settled. I found out about my pregnancy last Thursday. So we were already 'scared' of what to happen with our financial. But we shukur, tawakkal and redha with what we already have. We always believe that Allah will never burden us with what we can not handle Surah Baqarah verse 286: "Allah does not lay a responsibility on anyone beyond his capacity. In his favour shall be whatever good each one does, and against him whatever evil does.". After all we've got 9 months to really push ourselves out there. Insha'Allah.

Iskandar planned to meet his HR yesterday to sort out the contract but surprise surprise, the Manager came and spoke to him instead. They told him that they approved the increase of his hours and that he shall start next week!!! What are the odds, exactly 1 week after I find out I was pregnant he managed to change his contract??! We waited for so long for their reply but they kept turning is away.

So, as the Ayat above confirms, only Allah knows everything and anything. HE can give what HE feel is right to be given at that time. Never lose faith!!!! He is just testing us to see if we would give up. If Allah doesn't answer our prayer as when we want HIM to, believe that he has much better plans for us. Doesn't mean HE is not listening to our prayers but instead HE knows whether we really need it or not. I mean, if Iskandar were to get the job earlier, I might become spendthrift. So when the pregnancy news arrive, I might not be able to control my expenditure. But now, I know which is my priority and how to spend wisely because I have managed to live with lesser income than we are expecting soon. Alhamdulillah shukur!!!!!

Here's a reminder for myself and everyone that's reading, we should not question what is given to us even when we feel the time is not right. Who are we to determine when is the right time? When I came across this Ayat, it definitely was a wake up call to me. Now I realise that I can only plan to a certain extent and the rest, it is all up to HIM!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

How to wean Khairaldin off breastfeed?

In 2 days time, my calendar would have marked 1 year and 5 months on my breastfeeding journey with Khairaldin. Before Khairaldin was born, I always prayed to Allah on wanting to breastfeed him for exactly 2 years. It's always been my plan because my Mom breastfed me for 4 years and I wanted to know how much hardship she had to go through to feed me. Since I've just found out about my pregnancy, I decided to wean him off as soon as possible for his health and mine.

His last feed was 24 hours ago. I didn't plan to stop him straight away as I thought it would be unfair for him. However, even before I found out about my pregnancy, I have slowly decreased his feeds to twice a day. I don't know why I did that but it just felt right at that moment. He could understand slowly that he can only get his feeds at certain hours. Alhamdulillah. It was easier than I expected!

Today, I have had less than 4 hours of sleep and I've been so tired. Again, all thanks to Allah, Khairaldin understood my situation and didn't demand as much. Whenever he wants his feeds he will say "Aminn, Aminn!", so now I am teaching him "Amin" is for food and also drinks/Milo. He's getting the hang of it. Alhamdulillah!

It's emotional for me because it feels as if I'm depriving him from his rights. I know Allah has plans for us. I believe strongly that HE will guide us through as long as we worship and please him. I am a true believer of that. However, being a mother you will still feel a tinge upset for not giving your child that easiest rights he/she deserves. All thanks to Allah swt, Khairaldin is learning to accept the fact and is rather happy drinking from his bottle. Alhamdulillah.

In case some of you do not know, Khairaldin was a true anti-bottlefeed. He refuses bottle to an extent that people think I was abusing him! :| So it took me a while to get him used to bottles. I tried sippy cups but couldn't find the perfect one for him. If any of you have the time to browse sippy cups, try and have a look at the designs. Most sippy cups are designed in such a way that is difficult for you to wash them. I bought a few and ended up throwing them as the straw and some other part just couldn't be washed. In the end, we settled with Tommee Tippee sippy cup from 6months+. The "nipple" is soft enough for breastfed baby and it's easy to open and wash every bit of it. I highly recommend it to mothers who have babies as fussy as Khairaldin. Insha'Allah, it might be a smooth transition for baby and you too!! :)

So, here's to the end of our breastfeeding journey! Insha'Allah many more to come....with other of Khairaldin's siblings that is. :D

Friday, November 12, 2010

Of SECOND pregnancy!!!

Ever since I got my first period (around 12 years young), I never had a consistent every-month-on-the-dot type of period like how many girls do. When I told my Mom about how 'abnormal' I am, she always advised me that "Allah will give you a break when HE feels you deserved it". As years gone by, I got used to my possibly twice a year period cycle. I thought, what's the big deal? at least I get to worship HIM more. Alhamdulillah.
 
Then, I decided to get married. So this period thing became rather a big deal to me because I thought "How am I to conceive if my period is twice a year- once every 6 months?". Mom and I then decided to see a gynae for further check up. The gynae confirmed that I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). She said with this 'cyst' I might get pregnant easily or I could wait for years to get pregnant (infertility). She also said there is a pill that could make me get my period and from there I have to count the days when I'm fertile. At that time I wasn't married yet, so I didn't bother taking it.

After 6 months into our marriage, we decided to have a baby. We tried and tried but to no avail. Again, I went to see a doctor to get this pill. Even so, nothing happened. About 3 months later, I got pregnant, Alhamdulillah. This time it was our determination to pray to Allah to shower us with a child. I remember it was during Ramadhan at that time. Alhamdulillah, during Eid, I was confirmed pregnant. We were so pleased and was confident that it was all Allah's doing.

Alhamdulillah, we got Raja Khalid Khairaldin. Such an easy going child and Masha'Allah very intelligent and gifted in his own ways. After we had Khairaldin we planned to not have any just yet since Iskandar was studying and have no permanent job. Again, my period was haywire and I didn't care much because we weren't trying for a baby. It would be difficult for us to plan if I had my period since I don't take pills etc. So, not getting period was a good sign. I also read that because of breastfeeding one's period is just not right. But I also read that those 'suffering' from PCOS won't have the milk to breastfeed. So read what you want as the final decision is up to Allah.

I haven't been getting 'proper' heavy flow period for 4 months now. My last stained was during Ramadhan and it lasted for 2-3 days. So I didn't take that as period. Lately, I have been feeling rather nauseous and I thought it was because of consuming too much food! So I decided to go on a "diet". Somehow I felt more nauseous without food. Duh! I randomly told Iskandar, "I wanna buy pregnancy tests just for the fun of it". Then he said "ok, that's what it is there for".

On 11.11.10 (yesterday) we bought the 'pee stick', I tried it straight away and it said to wait for 3 minutes. Within 1 minute, we could see that it was already 2 lines. So yeah, POSITIVE! We were in disbelief because we thought it's impossible to get pregnant without getting period. Since there were 2 sticks, I tried again today with my morning pee as apparently it will give different reading in the morning. Alhamdulillah, it was still instant POSITIVE. We then accepted the fact that I'm pregnant.... Again.
 

So, here's my thought. I feel so "small" and powerless! Who are we to plan and have the final say? When we were really trying for a baby, it took us soooo long to actually get one. Now that we are not, Allah just shower us with this li'l one out of nowhere. Allah has plans for all of us. HE knows when is the right time to give and take from us. HE is the one and only that knows what our future will be like. HE is fair and will not burden us with anything we can't bare. To say that we are not ready because Iskandar hasn't got a job is an understatement. But, when is the right time? HE knows! HE is the best of all planner and HIS plans will just fall into place. We are so thankful to HIM for this new bundle of joy!

All I need now is lots of prayers that the pregnancy will go well and that Khairaldin will slowly wean off breastfeed and will sleep on his own bed. Alhamdulillah I've got 9 months to make all this happen Insha'Allah. Thank you all for your prayers and well wishes, May Allah SWT shower you with goodness in this life and hereafter. Amin!

Friday, October 15, 2010

How TLC came about....... :)

Dear loyal readers, (ehem, if there's any at all)
I am sorry for my lack of updates for the last few weeks/month! I have noone else to blame but myself. As you know, my blog is more of "educational" stuff rather than mindless jots. So, since I have been so tide up with my new business venture, I haven't had time to do some decent reading. I managed to glance through a chapter about Islamic Parenting and how to teach kids to learn about Islam, but haven't sat/lay down properly to read it. Insha'Allah, I hope I have some educational time to slot in.

So, what's this new business venture?
Well well, if you've been my Facebook friend, I am sure you didn't miss out on this news. But who knows you might have since I update at random time! Here's the *big* news. Ever since Ramadhan 1431, I have been into baking. I'm not so much into cooking but will cook when given the chance to. I've been baking cookies, cakes and some other Malaysian food. Alhamdulillah, with that new talent acquired, I have now managed to bake yummy cakes, as claimed by many tasters out there. Heheh I thought it was just a one off hobby but Alhamdulillah it's been going on for long now.


Since my cakes are approved yummy-licious, I have asked Allah through Solat Istikharah that I would like to carry on this hobby as a business venture. I have prayed and asked him for guidance if this is the right thing to do (as advised by Hubby dearest) and Alhamdulillah, I did have a good dream. It took a few prayers before the 'sign' was given to me but it finally came in good. Without hesitation, both Iskandar and I jumped onto the bandwagon and started brainstorming!!! (Ok this somehow reminds me of one of Khairaldin's cartoon song. Gah!) We brainstormed the name and Iskandar creatively came out with the idea The Licious Cake. I only told him that I want the abbreviation to be TLC since that's how passionate I am about it. So that's how the name came about. All the technical website stuff is fully created and maintained by him. It looks good! Do check out www.theliciouscake.com. I've nothing to complain (after millions of changes) for now. Heheh Alhamdulillah I've such great husband! Ok let's not get too mushy and get side tracked!! Typical Iva.

Anyway, I am so glad I asked Allah for guidance before making my own decision. Since our intention was to cater for the Muslims and to make sure everything was Halal, Allah swt even guided us in choosing the products!! We were too blinded with all these brand names that we forgot to read the ingredients but since Allah knows our intention, he "showed" us right in the face that one of the product was not Halal as it contained alcohol! SubhanAllah. I was truly amazed as to how we could miss such an important thing like that and at the same time very grateful, Alhamdulillah that Allah guided us back to the right path!

I am now a true believer that without Allah's/ our Creator's permission, we are easily being misgudied from the right path. No matter how small or silly our needs are, ask Him for guidance. HE created us so, HE definitely knows what's best for us. The knowledge that we have is such miniscule compared to HIS so there is noone better to ask for guidance other than our own Creator. HE didn't send us down here to burden us, so if we believe in him, no doubt everything is made super easy for us if he Wills! Always remember to ask HIM for anything at all as he is the only ONE that would understand us and could help us, without a doubt.

At first, I had hesitation wanting to do Solat Istikharah because I thought to myself, I'm not contemplating on whether I want to do this cake business or not. I'm sure I want to do it, so why ask HIM? But Iskandar kept telling me to ask HIM first. Now I know why. It's not only when you're in need of guidance to seek for him. It's also a "one-to-one" session we could have with our Creator just to ask whether it's beneficial to do it or not. It is also about asking HIS permission to start the business. We might feel that it is a great idea, but Allah has plans for us. In certain cases, if we want to use a person's stuff without permission they will be angry and feel like we've stolen the stuff from them. It is just the same case here, Allah has given us this life (which doesn't belong to us) so it's only fair to constantly seek his permission and not steal what is HIS. HE knows when, what, where we should start or stop certain things. Like I said, I felt that it was the right thing to do but I was only seeing MY point of view. Allah however, HE is looking at every other views, my husband, my child, parents, siblings or even my enemies! HE knows what's best and HE only wants the best for his creation. Alhamdulillah! I'm so glad I took that extra effort to "talk" to him.

As I'm writing this, I still haven't received a single cake order but I still feel the determination and am not regretting any of my decisions. Because I know I have seek HIS guidance. Now it's just the time for Iskandar and I to work harder to promote and finally tawakkal and redha to everything that's been planned for us. Insha'Allah.

My advice to all of you is, don't take HIM for granted. HE is always there to listen to us and grants us whatever is best for us and all. So speak to HIM often, be thankful for every single thing he's given to us. Insha'Allah, our life will be so much happier and merrier. :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Happy 26th Birthday, Iva! :)


Alhamdulillah! I've just turned 26 years old on the 12th of October. After being a Mom for 1 year and 4 months, I have come to realise that birthdays aren't such a big of deal. I used to always want to celebrate with my friends and have parties. But now, I feel like it's not something for me to celebrate. It's more for my Mommy. After all the hard work she's gone through during pregnancy, labour, bringing me up, I feel that she should get the recognition rather than me. Not to say I'm not glad, but I'd rather not make it a big deal for myself.

Anyway, Iskandar's family is so used to NOT celebrating birthdays. He's all 4 boys in the family and yeah, boys being boys, they couldn't care less. So they are used to only getting birthday cards and I thought that's cool. So we're starting the trend too. We'll only get birthday cards and no presents. We've started with Khairaldin at least :D. We feel that we don't need that one day to buy something and be spoiled. Alhamdulillah, with the money that we've got, we have managed to spoil each other every month, at least. Not anything big, but just spend if we feel the need to.

However, since I'm the only 'Queen' in the house. Iskandar felt the need to spoil me, none the less. So he surprised me with 2 cards! One from Khairaldin and one from him. I was putting Khairaldin to sleep and he tried to sneak the card in Khairldin's hand to pass to me. Of course I went all teary eyed!!! Hehehe The wordings, spot on! Loved every bit of it. Even though it was just a card, I really felt good receiving it!! The gesture of him giving it to means so much more than buying expensive presents.

Well it didn't end there! He also suprised me with a bouquet of flowers and lilies had to be part of it! :) We also went out for lunch and later had an evening family nap! 'Twas bliss!!! Later for dinner, I cooked for Mom and Dad! My day ended well, Alhamdulillah. I want nothing more in life except for great health and knowledge to bring up my family the Islamic way so we can live happily in here and the hereafter! Amin!!



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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Little project

I miss my blog! But I'm so tied up with a li'l project I'm working. Hoping to finalise by end of October. Insha'Allah. Do wait up for some seriously juicy updates! ;)
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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Why go FB hiatus?

Do you remember the time when Facebook had the word 'is' in its status update? Do you remember the time when 'giving drinks, poking,slapping etc etc' your friends on Facebook seems to be interesting? Do you remember the time when whatever you say on Facebook isn't being 'published' to all? Well I do and I miss those times.

I first joined FB when I was still in Uni, year 2008. That time it wasn't a big hit at all. Myspace was still the famous social networking site. Somewhere along the way everyone I know or used to know is on FB. I remember I had to explain to Iskandar what FB is all about. Since he's not into social networking websites, we decided to just share an account to add our family and friends. Until today, we are still sharing the same account. We don't find it a necessity to have separate accounts because I know his family and friends and he knows mine. Instead of adding on separate accounts we might as well do it on one. Sometimes people get confused as to who updates the status. Truth be told, Iskandar's only updated the status about once or twice, no joke!!

I'm so pleased that my husband doesn't care about this social networking because to me it's such a girl's thing. No doubt he still checks his friend's profile for updates which most of the time remains the same for monthss! Typical guys I tell ya! So he does go on FB once in awhile. I say FB is a girl's thing because majority of people who updates status on 'our' FB are girls. Almost 90% of the statuses are pure vanity and emotional outburst, I am definitely not kidding! Seeing these statuses made me look back at mine and think, is there really a necessity to share every single thing that I do?? I somehow felt embarrassed with most of my status updates and picture updates. It somehow just doesn't seem right to do it anymore. So that's why I took a break from FB, to reflect on myself and what I 'share' to the 'world'. 

The other thing that gets to me is how some status updates are pure lies! I say this because I know these people very much! Too much that when I read their status it will make me cringe and think, "why do you have to put on a fa├žade on your status update/wall?!". It surely is saddening because people don't realise that what they write will one day be transcribed back to us. These words will be read back when we die. So, why pretend? The world that we are living in is temporary. Don't try to embarrass ourselves in the hereafter when everything is read back to us.

Facebook is evil to some point. No doubt it has its benefits and good points too! Sometimes, there are things that you are just not supposed to say out loud but you do. You don't know who you're hurting even if your intention was to just 'share'. I have decided that if I have nothing Islamic or family related to say, I will not share anything on my status updates. I don't share anything and everything about Islam, the things that I have never attempted to do in myself I will never share. Whenever I write these status updates I'm not bothered of how many 'likes' or 'comments' I get. I would rather people think about what is said on my status rather than just liking the status. I always have hopes that if people like my Islamic status they might act upon it. But Iskandar's told me to not put high hopes on that, because if Allah wants to give them 'hidayah' He will do no matter how obvious I have conveyed the message.

I always pray that Allah swt will always open our heart and mind to the right path. There's nothing worth talking about other than Allah and Islam. I have come to a point I can't speak to some people because of our differences in practising Islam. It's a shame, a true shame. But I never stopped praying that these people will get the hidayah from Allah swt.
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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Of being a Muslimah in Malaysia and the UK

A few weeks ago, I received a Facebook msg from one of my readers (Sister Naz). In her PM, she asked "how did u overcome living in a non muslim country from a muslim country? i would like to know more." Having read her PM only then I realised I have never spoken about my migration to the UK. So, sister Naz, if you don't mind, I'm sharing this response in my blog.

Normally, when I come across new people in the UK they will always ask me "how long have you been in the UK?" And of course, my answer changes every day, so for today the answer will be "8 years, 9 months and .... days" Yup, I can get it that precise because the date I first entered the UK is a memorable date and whenever I have to fill in documents in the UK, they will ask me that question. Want it or not, I have to know the exact period I've been here! Some might feel that 8 years is such a long time but to me, I've still not had enough of the UK. I have to say that my day in and out routine in the UK is monotonous and somewhat boring to some. It's always, wake up, get Khairaldin ready, bla bla bla bla (u don't really wanna know) and so on, it's the same everyday! But I never get bored of it. I feel the day seems quicker if I have the same routine because I can do it like a pro. :D When I have new things to accomplish, I feel like it's a drag coz I don't know when it's going to end. I'm sure some of you might have an opposite view altogether.

UK, as compared to Malaysia is a peaceful and quiet place to live in. They don't have those 24 hours 7 days a week shops to waste your precious time at. I feel rather tired everytime I go back to Malaysia because life begins after 11pm, unlike in the UK, I'm in bed by 11. So I have better things to do in the morning and not feel lethargic and lazy instead. I have always been an introvert person that's why I can live in the UK.

As for the question about living in a non-muslim country, truthfully, I've never taken that question into consideration... maybe because I have never came across it before. Personally to me, I don't think Malaysia as an Islamic country so there's no difference in that aspect. No doubt I learnt more about Islam in Malaysia but education in Malaysia is all about theory rather than practice. We learn and learn things but hardly ever put them into practise. We were asked to memorise this and that du'as which we will do it for the exams and once it's done, it's being forgotten.

In the UK however, I mix around with a lot of non-muslims. My passion for Islam grew even more when I came to the UK. Reason is because people are rather intrigued with the things we Muslims do hence they ask loads of questions. Sometimes I just don't have the answers in hand to give them. When I started college, my mates bombarded me with questions about hijab, Halal food, muslim women etc etc. Sometimes I just could not answer them. This then made me want to learn more about why I do the things I do. Of course most of the time I answer "because my religion tells me to/because it's in our Holy book (Al-Quran)" but this isn't the answer they want to hear. Heck, even I find that answer rather inappropriate and as if I'm bashing my religion! So I had to re-learn about Islam to make myself satisfied. Thankfully my parents packed me some easy-to-understand books on Islam, prayers and so forth. I started reading slowly and Alhamdulillah, now I managed to give them answers that made them satisfied and not leave them blank.

Even though I am able to answer their questions, I did not stop learning about Islam. When I got married, my life changed even more. Having a husband makes u think about the religion even more. Some famous wedding vows almost always ends with "till death do us apart!" but I always think, how can that be? We are married for years and what will happen to us after we die?? Does our relationship ends there and then? No, in Islam, husband and wife will carry on living together even in the 'after life'. So I became more passionate about Islam and wanting to know how I can maintain this love and relationship. I suppose you can now guess why I became more "Islamic" ever since I gave birth to Khairaldin? My heart not only grew for the people I love but mostly for my beautiful religion- Islam! I don't want my love and hardwork ends in this world but I would rather bring it over to the hereafter. That is why I'm working extra hard to learn about Islam so that I will live happily in the hereafter, Insha'Allah.

The knowledge about Islam doesn't end because of where you live or planning to live. In fact, if you plan to migrate with the intention of getting closer to Allah swt, Insha'Allah, your heart will tend to open and accept HIM. It is good to go from one place to the other to broaden our knowledge. The only thing is to always make sure that our intention is to do it for Allah swt. Here's a hadith that I came across: `Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "The reward of deeds depends upon intentions, and every person will get his reward according to what he has intended. So, [for] whoever emigrated for Allah and His Messenger, his emigration was for Allah and His Messenger. And [as for] whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he had emigrated for" (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

No matter where you are, Insha'Allah, HE will always be there to guide you to the right path. Remember to seek HIS guidance when in doubt as HE loves those who seeks HIM! Never will the Jews or the Christians be satisfied with thee unless thou follow their form of religion. Say: "The Guidance of Allah,-that is the (only) Guidance." Wert thou to follow their desires after the knowledge which hath reached thee, then wouldst thou find neither Protector nor helper against Allah (Surah Al-baqarah verse 120). So, don't be afraid to move to a non muslim country, make sure your intention is to be closer to Allah swt always. Who knows with you being the minority could lead to the place being a better one. Insha'Allah!
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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

AllahuAkbar!!

Whenever I watch this video it'll bring tears to my eyes. Seeing how a 1 year old toddler prostrate whenever he hears the word 'Allahuakbar' is just surreal. No doubt Khairaldin's first step means a lot to us, but this, was beyond our imagination! We never thought that he would learn this fast but Alhamdulillah, he knows why he's sent to this world.

Khairaldin, Mommy and Abah will always make do'a for you that you'll be guided to the right path. Please don't make the dunya your priority as it will only make you miserable. Insha'Allah, we will try and be there to teach you as much as we can. If we are not here when you grow up, the only thing we ask from you is to make du'a for us so that we'll meet each other again. AMIN!!

As for my Mommy, Daddy, Abah and Mama, we will always make du'a for you! You have always been in our prayers. We am really sorry if we have ever disobeyed you but we know now that nothing matters to you other than our du'a and to be a good Ummah. And we promise, Insha'Allah, we will try our best to always worship the Almighty Allah!

Final day of Ramadhan 1431 :'(

Alhamdulillah! We've still got one day of Ramadhan left to continue worshipping our creator without any distraction from the devils! This Ramadhan has been a different one compared to my previous years. I used to countdown the days to Syawal and getting excited about Syawal but this year, I am really sad to see it leave us behind.

Ramadhan, the month of the Quran first being revealed and the ending of its revelation to our Prophet Muhammad Salallahu Alaihi Wassalam. It's such a peaceful and sacred month to every one of us Muslims. I used to fast for the sake of fasting and not knowing the background story. However, since I know what Ramadhan is all about it just brings tears to my eyes. I always think 'Ya Allah! After all that the Prophet's gone through for us, how could we take this month so lightly?!" It's a shame to know people who would fast for hoursssss but still do not worship Allah. It saddens me EVERY single time! But hey, if Allah wants to open their heart, in an instant he would do it. So, I can only pray every day and night that Allah will open those people's heart to the right path. Insha'Allah!!!

I have to say, restraining myself from eating and drinking was the easiest part of Ramadhan. I also managed to khatam the Quran and do as much Solat Sunat, Alhamdulillah! However, I can't deny that I am still working towards being a better person by not talking about others behind their back. That's the hardest part of all!! Ya Allah, please help me through this stage as I really do not want to be backbiting anyone, ever again!! Amin!

Anyway, as Ramadhan is slowly creeping away and the devils are slowly creeping out, let me just take this moment to ask for forgiveness from every single one of you who are reading. I am sorry for any wrong things I have said and done. I am a normal human being with mistakes. If there are any wrongdoings of mine that you would like to point out, please do so as I would love to work on becoming a better person. Insha'Allah! Ya Allah, I am really begging for your forgiveness!!!!! Amin Yarabbal Alamin.

I hope I will be around next Ramadhan to worship HIM and keep on doing good deeds in this life. If not, I pray that I will continue doing what I have been doing and be placed amongst the righteous people. AMIN!
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Monday, September 06, 2010

Camel hump or beehive Hijab? You choose.

Recently there has been an issue about wearing those "volumised" type of hijabs. I heard about this issue in Malaysia and I guess in the UK we are just about to catch up with the 'trend'. Before I start, let me just say that I have no intention on interpreting the Hadiths, as I am in no place to do so. However, I am just intrigued as to how people think about the said topic.

Ok, so let's talk about the "volumised hijab". People are getting conscious about this style because there is a Hadith that states: Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) said. "I will not be a witness for two types of people who are destined for the Fire: people with whips, like the tails of cows, who beat the people (ie, tyrannical rulers who are the enmies of their own people), and women who, although clothed, are yet naked, seducing and being seduced, their hair styled like the tilted humps of camels. These will not enter the Garden nor will its fragrance even reach them, although its fragrance reaches a very great distance. (Reported by Muslim). There have been a few questions being raised regarding this hadith.

The famous question is, how big of the hump is considered too big/unacceptable??!

I have to say that internet has been the best source for getting information. We can get merely anything and everything from the internet. However, when it comes to Islamic topic that we are unsure of it's always BEST to seek the knowledge from a reputable scholar, if possible face-to-face or directly as we do not know who is behind those Usernames. Facebook can also be beneficial sometimes, but most of the time, it is rather evil. We could get infos that we need to know from some of the groups we've joined BUT are they infos we are sure to be valid or are they infos we have been WANTING to hear regardless of it being right or wrong? The info we get might not be true but since that is what we want to hear, we will take it all in and claim it to be very sufficient and precise explanation.

So back to the hijab question, personally to me, people should not raise question about the size of the hump. It states in the hadith as "humps of camel" but why make ourselves confused as to the size of the hump? Why not go further down the line and find out how wrong it is to adorn such style? The real question is, WHY risk it???! Why would one go to an extent of beautifying themselves but at the same time is not sure of what is the proper Islamic/Halal way to do it?

When it comes to Hadiths, we cannot just pick and choose what suits us. We have to read other Hadiths to be sure of what is being said. There are Hadiths about doubtfulness. Why not seek those type of Hadith while we are at it. For instance, in this discussed topic, the people who were discussing the topic have not consulted any scholars opinion as to the size of it hence, they are still in doubt about the size of the hump. Here are a few Hadiths about being in doubt:

On the authority of Al-Hasan bin Ali, the grandson of the messenger of Allah, who said : I memorized from the messenger of Allah his saying :"Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt."At-Tirmidhi

On the authority of Abu Hurairah, who said : The messenger of Allah said :"Part of someone's being a good Muslim is his leaving alone that which does not concern him."At-Tirmidhi

On the authority of Abu Hurairah, who said : the messenger of Allah said :"Allah the Almighty is good and accepts only that which is good. Allah has commanded the faithful to do that which he commanded the messengers, and the Almighty has said: "O ye messengers ! Eat of the good things and do right". And Allah the Almighty has said : "O ye who believe! Eat of the good things where with We have provided you" Then he mentioned [the case of] a man who, having journeyed far, is dishevelled and dusty and who spreads out his hands to the sky [saying] : "O Lord! O Lord!" - while his food is unlawful, his drink unlawful, his clothing unlawful, and he is nourished unlawfully, so how can he be answered !" related by Muslim.


This topic was raised in one of the "fashion" hijab Facebook group. What annoyed me most is not that this topic was being discussed, but instead, people are promoting a video to make this "hump" not so camel-like, apparently small enough to be acceptable. How sure are they that this is the "perfect size"? I don't get annoyed easily but when people use Islam as a shield to make everything possible, then I get annoyed and furious. The thing that was really annoying is not about the question of the "hump" itself, I don't mind the question. It's good to know that people are asking questions before commiting to do something. I don't mind if it was their natural hair that created this "acceptable hump" either but..... The worse part of it was that, there are people who is making Youtube videos teaching people to use fake flower clips to make this volumised look!!! What is the necessity to this if I may ask?

Sometimes there are a few people who would come out with such discussions because they want to know what the fatwaa says about so and so. But to me, in the end of the day, it is your TAQWA (self-restraint) that should be taken into consirderation. If you feel the doubt and don't feel confident, then ask yourself.....

Why do you NEED to commit into such a thing?
How do u FEEL when you do it?
How do you feel when you know forbidden things have been stated in the Quran and Hadith and yet you're still doing it?
Also, since many of us are not sure how big this hump is supposed to be, why not just do a normal Hijab style?
Why do things that are of a grey area and jeopradise ourselves in the Hereafter?

Sorry for the bit of rant but I think Fashion and Islam just do not go along together. No doubt we are meant to look great and presentable but to an extent of risking ones good deeds? There was an interpretation about the hadith that I find rather clear and would like to share it here. Ru’oosahunna ka asnimat il-bukht (translated here as “with something on their heads that looks like the humps of camels”), this may mean that they make their heads look bigger with veils and turbans, which are wrapped around the head, so that they look like the humps of camels. This is the well-known interpretation. Al-Maaziri said: it may be that what is meant is that they will not lower their gaze in the presence of men, rather they will look directly at them. Allah knows best. Iskandar pointed out to me that with those big huge hijab/hair, it would be difficult to carry the weight forward therefore the head would be tilted too far back (see picture above) and it's difficult and doesn't feel natural to tilt the head downwards to lower the gaze. So, this brings us to an ayah "Allah does not love any proud boaster". (57:23) Also a hadith agreed upon by Bukhari and Muslim, The Prophet (peace be on him) said: "On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will not look at the person who trails his robe behind him out of pride."

If you have extra time, do read up Iskandar's blog about dressing moderately. Insha'Allah it will be beneficial info.

May we guide each other to the righteous path, Insha'Allah. Choose wisely not randomly, as ALLAH knows what's best for us.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

You're not very hijabi, are you? OUCH!!!

I have been joining a few Facebook groups to do with "fashion hijabs" lately. Some of the groups are truly inspiring as to how their styles are Islamic and 'Halal'. Yes, you'd presume when it's Islamic it has to be Halal too, right? However, nowadays people claim so many things to be 'Halal' and yet when we do thorough research, it's not as Halal as it is claimed to be. I'm not talking about food but more to "fashion" and clothing. The word Halal has been thrown around aimlessly in the beauty world just to attract Muslim women. There is also 'Halal' make-ups being introduced. Question is, how is there such a thing as Halal make ups? Could they only mean the ingredients? As far as my knowledge goes, I am sure it is not permissible for Muslim women to wear make ups in public. So when the word 'halal' is being used, I would instantly think "OH! It's Halal to wear make ups!" That is where the confusion begins which will accumulate our sins.

I haven't been a true hijabi myself. No doubt I used to wear skinny jeans, almost tight fitting tops and etc etc. Until one point when I was in town an 'Alim' brother stopped me and said "Salaam Sister, could I just give you some advice?" That instant, I knew what it was going to be about but hesitantly I said "yes, go on then." The Alim brother started telling me hijab is not only about covering your hair, it's about dressing modestly etc etc. You know the typical statements you hear even after years of being a hijabi! I just nodded and thanked him for the advice. I walked away feeling so furious and thought, "how dare he stopped me and started preaching all those stuff?! Isn't there an ayah in the Quran that he should be lowering his gaze or something like that??!" And yes, there is. "(O Prophet), Enjoin believing men to cast down their looks and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Surely Allah is well aware of all what they do." Surah al-Nur verse 30.

I got home and told Iskandar about it, of course he felt uncomfortable but not towards what the Alim has advised but instead for letting me go out in that attire. Time and again Iskandar has told me to dress loosely but I take it very lightly. Iskandar doesn't wanna repeat himself over and over again since if I don't commit to it, I'm just committing sins. So, in a way he was glad someone else stopped me and told me off, because sometimes it just take another to make me realise. Alhamdulillah, that person has made me realise how wrong I have been dressing all along. About the ayah I mentioned above, well, apparently we ladies we just want to read and know what we want to know! True enough. If we read further that ayah, there's another advice for us ladies.. “And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear therof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands' fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers, or their brothers' sons or their sisters' sons, or their women or the servants whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex, and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O you Believers, turn you all together towards Allah, that you may attain Bliss.” Surah Al-Nur verse 31

After reading that, I questioned myself "should I be angry with that person for advising me?" Indeed he has to lower his gaze but have I done my part and dressed modestly? He might have lowered his gaze but the way I was dressing was rather appealing and made him want to say or do things to me. So, it is partly my fault for inviting him to look at me. Ever since then, I have tried my very best to wear loose skirts and if I do wear jeans, to make sure my top covers most of my revealing parts. It was hard at first, but Alhamdulillah. I have managed to do it.

I will write another entry about our common practice/mistakes where we pick and choose our "knowledge" just to suit our lifestyle, Insha'Allah.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Keropok Lekor; Made in Leicester

The Husband's been having some very 'extravagant' cravings lately. As you all might already know, I don't really cook. I only cook when I feel like it and it's mostly easy peasy lemon squeezy dishes. But somehow, on Ramadhan I love to cook and try new things. I think it's because I have all day to do it, so I don't have to rush. Also, I believe that people will be famished from fasting so, no matter how bad my cooking is they will still think it's the best food ever! :D

Right, so what are his cravings..... so far?
1) Kuih Cara
2) Cucur Ikan Bilis

3) KEROPOK LEKOR!!!!
(Apparently it's mackerel crackers on google)
I didn't mind the first 2 cravings as it was a bit straight forward.Even though, I had an accident whilst frying cucur ikan bilis; that's a different story altogether.

Let's talk about his craving for keropok lekor. One day when my Mommy was cooking dinner, he said "it smells like keropok lekor downstairs". Suddenly he felt like having keropok lekor :| So, he started google-ing for keropok lekor recipes. Thankfully we found one that was easy to make!! Without further delay, well, actually the next day we went out to buy the ingredients and started making keropok lekor! Never in my life have I ever imagined myself making keropok lekor from scratch. But wow, yesterday marked history on Iva's cooking book. Hehehe

Below are the pics of my accomplishment. I don't normally take pics of the things I cook but this time I just had to take pics! For a first timer, I think I did quite good. SubhanAllah! Personally, my idea of successful cooking is when the food appears good in pictures! Let the picture do justice, but seriously, how good is that?! As for the taste, well, everyone was fasting so obviously it's goooooooodddd! Also, we didn't have any other choices so they had to settle with my cooking. Hehehe

Alhamdulillah, I'm so thankful for being blessed with such luxury in life.

Again, if any of you want any of the recipe, don't hesitate to message me yeah.

Have a blessed Ramadhan.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tommee tippee

Alhamdulillah, finally found the perfect bottle for him!!! Although, it's only Cadbury Chocolate drink for him allowed in that bottle. No such thing as fresh milk. Begh. Will try again some other time. As for now, I'm happy he's drinking other drinks than just "Nenenenen"!
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Sunday, August 22, 2010

The hidden meaning of cake cutting during wedding receptions

Here I am again, talking about wedding customs :) I forgot to add this section in my previous entries. Anyway, as we all know, cake cutting is normally an event on it's own. Bride and grooms would buy a different outfit just for the cake cutting event which is a mere 5 minutes event! So, what is the big hoohaa about cake cutting? Why do we Muslims follow this foreign tradition just because the Westerns are doing it? Let us decipher the true meaning of cake cutting from the Westerns point of view.

(100% Copied from the Wedding Customs & Non Islamic Traditions book)

1) The idea that it is the first joint action on the part of the newly weds.
2) Sharing richness with friends and family. The wedding cake is traditionally shared amongst guests so that blessing and happiness can be shared 10.
3) Cutting the cake, wrote one correspondent, was the couple 'takig the plunge' into their new life. It suggested that the cutting severed the couples links with the past and prepared them for their future together.
4) A psychologist who researched the social behaviour and significance of cake cutting suggested that the cutting of the cake meant the bride losing her virginity; the way the groom puts his hand on the bride's, so it's not just her, it's him too.

It is the cutting however which is given the most striking new significance if the cake is identified with the bride. Plunging the knife into the centre of the cake breaks through the 'virginal white' outer shell. It is something the couple do together.

Some might not take this symbolic interpretation seriously. However, if there are amongst the guests that take it seriously, it could only be an embarrassment of doing such a thing publicly. As a Muslim, we should give this a thought for concern. Insha'Allah.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

When I cook, I cook real good! ( I WISH!!!!!)

Looksie what I cooked today!!!!

Kuih cara berlauk and kuih cara manis. Thank you Allah for giving me the chance to cook all the yummy food!

I was just browsing the net whilst still fasting and saw these cutie pies. So, showed it to Mr Hubby and he was drooling over it. What more could a wife do to make a hubby happy? Find a way to satisfy his cravings! LOL!

Thankfully my sis in law's got the container for it. So that's how I managed to do these delicacy. :) if you want the recipe, don't be shy to msg me and ask for it. (I wanted to do a 'picture recipe' on it but it was my first try so I needed a bit more concentration. But it's super easy to make it.)

Anyway, I've 3 hours to fast. So I better shoot off and do something more beneficial.
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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Breastfeeding Dad!

Whenever a group of ladies sit down and talk about breastfeeding, the men will feel as if it's an obscene topic and start to excuse themselves. Most of them feel that 'breastfeeding' topic should only be discussed strictly amongst ladies. PERIOD. In reality, the key to successful breastfeeding begins with the Husband. Truthfully, without the husband's support it could end up in failure.

So, how could you be a breastfeeding Dad instead of formula-feed Dad?


  • As soon as you've got confirmation on your wife's pregnancy, discuss with her about breastfeeding. Ask her whether she wants to breastfeed and if so, how long does she want to do it for? After getting the consent from your partner, pray to Allah to make it an easy journey for your wife and you during the pregnancy, labour and also breastfeeding stage. Let Allah know of your intention wanting your wife to breastfeed your child, tell HIM how many days/months/years you would like your wife to breastfeed for. Try to make du'a after each and every prayer, Insha'Allah your prayers will be answered by HIM. Within that 9 long months (trust me, it's not long enough), research as much as you could about breastfeeding with your wife's presence, don't expect her do the research on her own. The only reason is because researching could be long and daunting process for her to grasp it all by herself! To make it easier, try and research within these topics, what food to eat, how many litres of drink a day she should consume, when should she be feeding the baby, WHY she should breastfeed! These will make it easier once the baby arrives.
  • Once the baby is out, you're an official Breastfeeding Dad!!! Your duty to make sure both your wife and child gets enough nourishment begins straight after the birth. By this time, your wife would be too frail and tired. The research both of you did beforehand will come in handy by now. Make sure your wife gets enough rest whilst you do the running about (get the baby/breast pump, water/drink ready by her side, and whatever in betweens).
  • Give breastfeeding a try for a month or two before you think about giving up. If you can handle nicely by this time, Insha'Allah it'll only be easier from then on. Nowadays, parents give up straight after the baby is born. No doubt, I was almost one of them. I wasn't being advised much on breastfeeding by my midwife and nurses. Khairaldin had to drink formula milk on his third day and at that time I thought, that's it, I haven't got any milk! Tried pumping and there was only a few drops coming out. Little did I know, most breasts will produce milk on the third or fourth day!! So, try not to give up before one week if your wife still haven't enough milk in them.
  • Here's a fact, at one day old, baby's stomach is only about a size of a marble. It's impossible for baby to drink a lot of milk for the first few days. When the baby reaches 10 days, the stomach should increase in size and by now it should be about the size of a ping-pong ball. That is why it is normal for the milk to produce later after the birth.
Mommies, normally, babies who doesn't get enough milk could suffer from jaundice. If your doctor advices you to give them formula milk, carry on, don't resist. Think of it as a medicine to make your baby well. The doctor would also need to monitor the baby's milk intake so that is why it's easier to give formula milk from bottle. In the mean time, keep pumping your breasts for milk. Since baby doesn't suckle from your breast, it will only make the milk production slower. By pumping your breasts you are sending signals to the brain that "baby" needs milk therefore produce. In no time, Insha'Allah your milk will produce normally.

All the best newly Dads and Moms!!! Let's make this journey an interesting one for your little new family. :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Trembling.....

Somethings are better left unsaid. I'm not going to elaborate but today I made the worst parenting mistake anyone could ever imagine! I'm not very happy with myself but hey, let's move on and learn from it.

Khairaldin, Mommy and Abah love you muchoooo! Sorry for what happened to you tonight. I hope you'll never have a memory of what happened tonight. Just know that we love you and that we're normal human being that tend to make mistakes!!

Love you always, Khairaldin! Mwah!!
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Second day of Ramadhan 1431

Alhamdulillah, we are now in our third day of Ramadhan, Insha'Allah. A few minutes to go before Iftar(break fast). Anyway, second day was rather painful! Khairaldin and I was both down with diarrohea in the morning. I was still determined to fast, regardless. At about 6pm I had a really bad tummy ache, gastric like. I guess all the food I had during Sehri has been emptied. I kept telling myself it was only couple of hours to go so let's try and ignore it. Put some ointment to let the air out and Alhamdulillah within minutes I was OK.

It was hard but both of us managed it. I guess that happened because Khairaldin was also demanding for more milk since he emptied all of it in the morning, twice! Gah! But Alhamdulillah, I am still grateful that I managed to finish it up with everyone else. I dread having to make it up again when everyone else doesn't have to.

Third day, today, is also OK. Weather has been pretty cool so it could be a plus point during day time. But after 7pm we feel like it's already time for Iftar when actually we still have approx 2 hours left!! So that's why I'm on here rambling about. :)

Insha'Allah tomorrow I am planning to get on with some rather serious entries. I have a few lined up and I can't delay it any longer. Gotta get it out of my chest and share it with all of you. That's a huge Insha'Allah though as Iskandar works on weekend so I have the baby all to myself.

That's it from me for now. To all my UK readers, have a great Iftar and May Allah accept all your deeds today and beyond. As for my Malaysian readers, happy Sehri! May Allah give you the strength to do loads of good deeds today. Amin. As for the rest of the world, Ramadhan Mubarak wherever you are. :)
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

First day of Ramadhan 1431

Time is like a river,
You can never touch the same water in a flowing river twice,
The flow that has passed will never pass again,
Therefore make the best of the time that Allah has given us during this Blessed month, Insha'Allah
(Mom received this forwarded SMS and I think it's a real good one)

Alhamdulillah!!
First day of Ramadhan went smooth sailing. Managed to do tadarus Al-Quran with Mom, Dad, Hubby and Nephew in spite of Khairaldin roaming around the room and bumping into things to distract all of us. But Alhamdulillah, he's such an understanding baby.

I planned to do as much good deeds this Ramadhan as I feel it's a waste not to take this opportunity given to us once a year. There are many ways one can choose to change and maximise oneself. First and foremost, try not to go beyond what our Imaan could handle. For example, if we hardly sit down and read the Quran regularly, try not to go to an extreme of wanting to khatam this Ramadhan. Not that you can't, but if you have family to care for, they will also need your attention, yes? So it could be rather stressful trying to entertain the family and at the same time trying to read the Quran. If you can, by all means go ahead. I for one read really slowly so it could take longer than a month for me to khatam.

So, here are a few things I would like to share with all of you that I have chosen to do this Ramadhan, Insha'Allah. May it be beneficial to everyone of you too, Insha'Allah.

1) To read the Al-Quran starting with the short surah
2) Read du'as in everything I do
3) Abstain from Facebook as much as I can
  • "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should say [something] good, or he should keep silent." [Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah](will write an entry on this, Insha'Allah)
4) Eat sahur
5) Pray terawikh, at least 8 + 3 witir daily
6) Pray tahajud & hajat after Sahur
7) Eat reasonably during break fast
8) Try very very hard not to gossip
  • "O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, for some suspicions are a sin. Do not spy on one another, nor backbite one another. Would one of you love to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, you would abhor it, [so similarly, avoid backbiting]. And fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful." Qur'an, [49:12]
9) Spend as much time with beloved family
10) Enjoy Ramadhan as much as I can

Insha'Allah, Ramadhan is just a starting point for me. If I am able to do all this during the month of Ramadhan, Insha'Allah it's possible to carry on even after that.

So, how was your Ramadhan? Do share on what you have planned this Ramadhan as Insha'Allah it would be beneficial for every one of us too. May we gain knowledge everyday of our life. Insha'Allah.

Ramadhan Mubarak.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ramadhan Kareem! Insha'Allah.

Ramadhan Mubarak my dear brothers and sisters in Islam!! ALHAMDULILLAH, I am thankful that Allah has given me another chance to experience Ramadhan. Last year was easier for me as Khairaldin was only 3 months old so most of the time he only sleeps, sleeps and sleeps. I'm sure it'll be harder this year as he's more aware and active. So, I will try and take the opportunity to do more whilst he is sleeping. Please remember me in you du'as. Insha'Allah I will do the same for all of you out there. :)

My only advise to myself and all, please do not only fast and miss out on prayers. There is no point of fasting if we still do not pray as the whole point of fasting is to get closer to our Creator, Allah subhanahu wa taala. It saddens me everytime I see those who doesn't pray as I think "what will happen to us when we leave this world??!" But Alhamdulillah, Allah swt have given us this chance to start over and Insha'Allah be a better Ummah. Let us all not waste time and take this opportunity to do more!! If not this Ramadhan, when else? Are we sure we will witness another Ramadhan? Let's assume this will be the last Ramadhan for us all. Ramadhan Kareem!!!!!

On a slightly different note, I received a note from my niece yesterday about fasting. It's just too cute what she wrote that I have to share it on here. After all, she said not to lose the note and I guess this is the best way to keep it, yes? :D

"Hi Aunti Iva. Thank you for the note. I hope you will handle fast. I'm sure you will. By the way, I really love that note. I hope you keep this note. Anyway are you sure you can handle it bress feeding a baby? I hope you do :) Anyway back to fasting. I can't wait until tomorrow because we are all fasting. Love from Ainur <3 lots of love :) XXX"

**I find it amusing how she actually asked me about if I can handle breastfeeding and fasting. I'm glad she's aware of this at such a young age :)

Friday, August 06, 2010

Sleep time is me time!!

It's Khairaldin's afternoon nap time now. It's been a while since he looked for me whenever he wants to sleep. When he was a baby, he'd only fall asleep with me whilst breastfeeding. But now, to him, I am his play and fun time "friend". He refuses to go to sleep with me.

:'( I miss being his only one!!

I'm glad he's so much closer to Iskandar now though. He'd watch Sesame Street or Football clips with Iskandar, then he'll fall asleep after about 5 clips. Even though they didn't have a father-son bonding before, I'm glad that they have finally found something they can enjoy together.

Sleeping on Abah's chest is much comfier than Mommy's now eh boy? Whatever it is, we will always pray that you'll be this dependent regardless of your age. We will try our best to be there for you like how Nana and DaddyTok has helped us through, until today. We'll be here for you love. As for now, sleep tight! :* mwahhhh!
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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Part 2: Ramadhan and breastfeeding (or pregnant) Mommies

Alright, since we now know that different scholars and circumstances have different views about fasting while breastfeeding (or pregnant), let's continue reading if you have made your choice to fast this year regardless of your situation.

Here are my personal reasons as to why I chose to fast last Ramadhan even though it was a long day (16 hours) and also the fact I was a newly nursing Mommy:

1) I think Ramadhan is such a spiritual and blessed month that everything is just possible to be achieved in that month.
2) I definitely won't be able to pay back my 29/30 days within a year because I was planning to breastfeed Khairaldin till he's 2 years old.
3) Since Iskandar is working part time and I am not working, it'll be a struggle for us to pay Fidyah as we have enough income just for the family.
4) I was only nursing one baby, so I was convinced it's doable.
5) If I don't fast, I would then have to get my meal ready all by myself and at the same time take care of a 3 months old baby, that's tough!

Seeing my pros outweighs my cons, I then decided to fast! Here are the tips that got me through fasting the whole month (except for 7 days period):

Mental preparation.
I live my life with this quote from a Hadith: "Acts are valued in accodance with their undelying intention" (Sahih Bukhari and Muslim). Basically, this means that whatever your intention is, Insha'Allah you will be able to do the things you have intended to do. Furthermore, believing in it is the key to success!

1) I kept reminding myself my intention (Niat) on wanting to fast. Which was to be closer to Him and to grab as much reward (pahala) as possible in the Holy month.
2) I believed that Allah would not put burden on me if I could not bear it. As mentioned in Surah Baqarah verse 286: "Allah does not lay a responsibility on anyone beyond his capacity. In his favour shall be whatever good each one does, and against him whatever evil does." In the Surah there is also a prayer "Our Lord! Take us not to task if we forget or commit mistakes. Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden such as You laid on those gone before us. Our Lord! Lay not on us burdens which we do not have the power to bear. And overlook our faults, and forgive us, and have mercy upon us. You are our Guardian; so grant us victory against the unbelieving folk." Amin. It's best to read this after each prayer. Insha'Allah, He will help us through it all.
3)Believe, believe and keep beleiving that He is there to help us. Ask for guidance from Him as that is the only ONE that would undestand us and really, that could help us!

Physical preparation
Of course we can't only leave it in God's hand (tawakkal) to let everything fall into place. That is just unfair. We also have to find a way (ikthiar) to get through the day. So, what did I do?

1) During Sahur, I made sure that I snack on lots and lots of dates (kurma) as it gives lot of energy which will be needed during the day.
2) Drank lots and lots of water! I try to have at least 1 litre during Sahur and 1litre during break fast and keep drinking in between break fast and Sahur.
3) I'm not a rice (or anything heavy) person for Sahur, I just can't consume rice at such early hours. So, I choose to eat cereals instead. Be it Weetabix, Quaker Oats, Nestum etc etc.
4) Make sure you don't over eat to "stock up" for the baby as this in turn will only make you feel lethargic.

Spiritual preparation
To be honest, I wanted to do Tadarus Al-Quran with my family but that was highly impossible because Khairaldin's routine was still haywire.
1) Do not miss any prayers!! Prayers are like your "food" during Ramadhan. If you don't pray, there's no point making yourself hungry.

These are the only steps I took during last Ramadhan and also during this year's puasa ganti. There will be a change with the baby's drinking routine, no doubt. Like Khairaldin, before fasting month he drank every 4 hourly but during fasting month, he drank 3 hourly. However, since now he's on solids, he only drinks about 3 times a day. Insha'Allah it'll be easier for me this year than last.

Having said all that, every baby and Mommy is different!! Khairaldin might not be a fussy eater so he might be easier to please. Give it a try for a few days and see how your baby's routine change. If you can't handle it, try to at least fast every other day so that the baby have a break as well. But Insha'Allah, the milk production will not stop even when you are fasting. Allah is fair! There's a reason why he wants us to fast. Since I am a SAHM, it's also easier for me to attend to Khairaldin whenever he wants his milk. It's definitely tougher for working Moms as I know EBM can be tiring mentally and physically. But hey, if your intention is good then INSHA'ALLAH! :)

That's it from me for now. Do not hesitate to ask correct me or ask me questions if I have not covered your query. If any Mommies have any other tips that have helped them through Ramadhan, again, please do share with us!

All the best Mommies!! Hope you will all have a blessed and easy Ramadhan even with the Li'l One, ameen!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Part 1: Ramadhan and breastfeeding (or pregnant) Mommies

This is a continuation of Part 1 but it is not Part 2. As I've set my mind what Part 2 is going to be about, so I can't change it. ;)

Anyway, as I've mentioned in Part 1, there are Surah and Hadith that explained why breastfeeding Mommies are allowed to not fast if they are breastfeeding. Of course this has to include a few details why they are allowed not to fast. For instance in Adriana case, she was pregnant with her first child, then breastfeeding, then pregnant with second child, post-partum after that and again this year breastfeeding. She's also referred her situation with an Ustaz to know where she stands. That's why I said it is best to ask an Ustaz or qualified scholars, as I have no stand at all to say what you are supposed to be doing. I can give some proof from the Quran but my interpretation may not be right as I am not of an Islamic scholar. So, to know whether your circumstances do apply in the 'list' of people who are allowed to skip Ramadhan please do ask an Islamic scholar.

In my previous entry, I did say that it is ok to just pay Fidyah. But..... My personal opinion doesn't apply when talking about the deen. There's so much more than what meets the eye. Hence, we need qualified scholars to teach and explain to us what so and so means. After all, in my house, we only just refer to the Quran and Hadith Bukhari (most of the time). If it's way too complicated then my Dad will refer to his 'Tuan Guru'. There are many more books of Hadith and each and every one of it has a different explanation about anything on Islam.

In Islam, there can be many interpretation about a single issue. This is only because Allah not only ground us to one rule, He wants us to have an easier life and not burden ourselves. So, it's best to read and find out further what suits our own situation. Insha'Allah, He will guide us through.

My cousin messaged me to say that certain Fatwa explains Ramadhan and breastfeeding/pregnant etc in so many ways. He's also given me a website to refer to which I think is best for you Mommies to read and grasp more knowledge on this (btw, it's in Malay language).

Here's a link which is in English Language for our own knowledge, Insha'Allah.

Fasting and breastfeeding/pregnant

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Part 1: Ramadhan and breastfeeding (or pregnant) Mommies

Adriana's request: Babe, special request! Can u do a writeup on ur blog about breastfeeding & fasting this Ramadhan? Hukum-hakam, related surah & Hadith? So many view, kinda confusing..

FYI, this will be my first time fasting in 3yrs. Been paying fidyah for 3yrs coz preg, BF, & post-preg. Will u be fasting?

The greatest thing about being a Muslim is, you always have someone to turn to when you need light and guidance when planning to better your personal life. If it's not from your family and friends, it comes from noone else but your creator, Allah SWT. Insha'Allah.

When I was choosing on whether or not to fast last Ramadhan (due to breastfeeding), I had to look for the Islamic facts with Iskandar because we didn't have anyone to turn to. So, what did we do as our research? We turned to the Quran and Hadith, the book of every single thing one needs to know in life. Before I begin explaining my intentions of choosing what I chose, let me just remind you Mommies that our research was solely done by ourselves. It was through our own readings and understandings, that was it. We didn't consult any scholars regarding it so please do double or triple check before you want to decide on how to get through Ramadhan whilst pregnant and/or breastfeeding. I am only here to share my personal experience and how I got through the month.

Firstly, from the Quran it states:

"Believers! Fasting is enjoined upon you, as it was enjoined upon those before you, that you become God-fearing." Surah Al-Baqarah verse 183

"Fasting is for a fixed number of days, and if one of you be sick, or if one of you be on a journey, you will fast the same number of other days later on. For those who are capable of fasting (but still do not fast) there is a redemption: feeding a needy man for each day missed. Whoever voluntarily does more good than is required will find it better for him, and that you should fast is better for you, if you only know." Surah Al-Baqarah verse 184

In the second Surah, what it means is that one may choose to pay Fidyah if they are able to fast but chose not to fast instead. The fidyah is to feed a poor person for each day of fasting missed. The scholars have said it is sufficient to provide a single poor person with two meals for every day missed, or to feed lots of people a meal on a single day. (However, I'm not too sure of the amount so please do check with your local Masjid/Ustaz)

Having said that, the particular Surah Al-Baqarah verse 184 was abrogated (treated as nonexistent)!! due to another Verse being revealed later which is Surah Al-Baqarah verse 185.

How is it possible to abrogate a Verse?

Like most injunctions of Islam those relating to fasting were revealed gradually. In the beginning the Prophet Salallahu Alaihi Wassalam had instructed the Muslims to fast three days in every month, though this was not obligatory. When in the injunction in the present verse was later revealed in 2A.H, a degree of relaxation was introduced: it was stipulated that those who did not fast despite their capacity to endure fasting were obliged to feed one poor person as an expiation for each day of obligatory fasting missed.

"During th month of Ramadhan the Quran was sent down as guidance to the people with Clear Signs of the true guidance as the Criterion (between right and wrong). So those of you who live to see that month should fast the same number of other days instead (paying back later on). Allah wants ease and not hardship for you so that you may complete the number of days required, magnify Allah for what He has guided to, and give thanks to Him." Surah Al-Baqarah verse 185

The abrogated Surah was also futher mentioned in Sahih Al-Bukhari, book of Saum (fast): Narrated Nafi: Ibn Umar (ra) recited the Verse: "They had a choice either to observe Saum (fast 0r to feed a poor person for every day, and said that the order of this Verse was cancelled.

The Verse is interpreted in two ways by different scholars. Ibn Umar's verdict was: "Those who are able to observe Saum (fast) but do not wish to fast should give Fidya". However, Ibn Abbas thinks that "Those who are able to observe fast only with great difficulty like very old people or a woman who has to nurse her newly born child, etc are permitted not to observe fast and give the Fidya in recompensation".

**Edited
Because we researched on our own (no Ulama's or Scholar's Point of View), I decided to still fast to be on the safest side even though I was breastfeeding Khairaldin at that time.

This is how I perceived it........... to be continued in my next post. Insha'Allah.

If there is any of you reading this have more knowledge about Ramadhan and Breastfeeding, please do not hesitate to share your views in the comment box. Really appreciate if you could share your views with us. :) JazakAllah Khair (May Allah Grant you Goodness).