Sunday, May 30, 2010


Do you believe that whenever you tell your plans out loud, it will somehow not happen? Well, I used to believe if you have good news, share it with everyone so that people will pray for it to come true. The more people you tell, the more prayers you'll get and Insha'Allah it will come true. That is when I was still naïve thinking everyone has good intentions in this world.

Recently, surprisingly when I had Khairaldin, I can really see people's true colour. Like, not everyone will or can understand your excitement. For instance, if I tell 'A' that Khairaldin is a good sleeper or such a good baby, Alhamdulillah, 'A' has the guts to turn to me and say "normally if they are a good baby, they'll grow up to be a very difficult/troublesome adult." Waheyy, thanks! But seriously?! Couldn't you just say "Alhamdulillah and hope he'll stay the same throughout."? Why do they need to have such thoughts, I seriously wonder.

That aside, now whenever I have good news I tend to keep it between direct family. Hoping that my family could feel my excitement and only pray for my wishes and dreams to come true. I've had enough of people telling me otherwise. Happy bubbles are not meant to be popped, thank you very much!

Sometimes I think I'm being too nice and people take it for granted that I don't have any feeling and would just smile to any statement being passed to me. Now that I have my own family, all I care about is my family's happy-ness. Call me selfish or whatever but in the end of the day, it's them who I will fall back to..where ever or when ever. :)

So, here's to many more secret posts and countdowns as sometimes I do need to vent out. Sadly, I can only do this via secret codes. If only the world have more kind people around, isn't it such a great place to live in? But I guess, this troubles are created so that we will turn back to Allah and pray for a better place hereafter.
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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Choices in life...


Everyday in our life we ought to make a choice. From the moment we wake up we've already made a choice by choosing to wake up. Then it comes to whether we should shower, what clothes to wear etc etc. It's impossible to not choose at all in a day. Making a choice in our everyday life give us the feeling of ownership. After all, the word in itself means 'power, right and liberty'. Before making a decision one should have a plan in order to make it work. Prophet (peace be upon him) once said "there is no intelligence like planning." Of course when you have made a decision and feel the ownership, you would feel that you've accomplished something without having to listen to anyone else.

Ever since I gave birth to Khairaldin I have been the decision maker on how to bring him up. I was the one who chose to cloth diped him, babywear him and last but obviously not least, breastfeed him till he's 2 years old, Insha'Allah. Obviously, I consult Iskandar first to make sure he's okay with the decisions I make. Before I consult him, I prefer to list the pros and cons to him so that he can see my point of view. This has worked well for us. We make the choices and feel great when it's all accomplished. If we make a decision and feel rather unhappy about it, that's maybe because we don't own the choice. So we abandoned it.

Anyway, I chose to blog fairly recently only because I wanted to share my experience as a newly Mom and Wife. As you can see my entries are mostly about parenting and relationship. So when I write, it's all from my personal experiences and thoughts. Viewers could either like it or hate it, for all I care. However, when I write my entries, never have I had the intention to sound cocky, high up and everything negative. I always write with a POSITIVE energy and mindset. Like all my entries, I would like it to relate to Islam in such a way because it is difficult to get info on Islamic parenting and relationship on the web. Since internet is THE form of communication nowadays, I thought I might as well write something so that people can read up on it. There is also a Hadith from Al-Bukhari: Prophet (peace be upon him) stated "Convey from me, even if it be one ayah." and also another from At-Tirmidhi: "Whoever points in the direction of goodness shall be (in reward) like those who act upon it." Speaking of which, I was really grateful to know that some people looked up a few keywords on google about Islamic parenting and they ended up on my blog. Alhamdulillah. I'm really glad to know that and it only makes me wanna read more and blog about it. Insha'Allah, I will continue to do just that :)

Back to my point, my entries are all meant to be positive, unless it's a personal rant which I go through once in a blue moon. And obviously I won't relate anything Islamic to my rants! Haha It's ok, you'll know when I'm ranting because I'll let you know before hand to not waste your time reading it. Of course being a writer or blogger you can't expect everyone to like your entry. You'd be incredibly great writer if you can win everyone's heart. I have always been ready for criticism, because I'm not a qualified writer. However, when people have the rare idea about me trying to show off about my life, that's just ridiculous! I think when you read a blog, you have to set a mindset to it since you can't hear how it's being delivered. Even if the writer writes it in a positive way and you seem to have a negative mindset, that's just you not the writer. Some people might think that I am bragging about getting the chance to breastfeed my child till he's 11 months and counting. Personally, it's a choice! If you feel a negative energy from my writing all I can say is that, you had a choice and you definitely did not own up to your choice. That is why you feel everything everyone else do is wrong!

I for one do not follow the norm. So, that might even get some people's panties twisted because I chose to be different. My point is, you have a choice in this life you live in, if you choose to do something, make sure you own up to it! You can know that you are not owning up to your choices when you have a defensive attitude about people who do things differently to you. Don't ever judge someone for the choices they make but in fact, try to know why they make the choices in the first place. If you really can't grasp their idea, don't comment on it!

So, keep reading if you want to but do it with a positive mind and heart. :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Reason 100000001

Here's another reason why I'm still in the UK. The chocs here are superbly yummy and cheap! My parents just got back from Malaysia and got a shock of their life when they found out that this M&Ms were sold at RM120 a bag! The price for the same sized bag here in the UK is approx RM12 for 2 bags! When my Mom told me the price I felt as if I've been eating such luxurious food. M&Ms peanuts is my all time fav! Hahah That price of chocs (RM120) could actually get us a very pretty and presentable chocs. Not necessarily tasty though. Hehehe

The one thing I miss about Malaysia is their food. But thinking about it now I might get bigger portion and tastier dish if I were to cook it myself over here. Everything in Malaysia is so pricey! Oh well. I guess this is one of the money reasons why Allah still wants me to be here in the UK! :)

I can see myself owning credit cards in Malaysia only because I need it to live our daily life! But over here, Alhamdulillah I don't need credit cards to live our daily life. Yes I live with my parents yadi yada but still, I can still survive without one. :) Alhamdulillah.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Part 3: Wedding Customs & Non-Islamic traditions

** Part 3 of Wedding Customs & Non-Islamic traditions

"This whole world is an enjoyment, and its best enjoyment is a righteous wife."[Hadith Muslim]

Weddings are meant to be an occasion of real rejoicing and joy for the couple themselves and the whole community. I say meant because, somewhere along the way it had become a rather stressful and nerve wrecking event. So what makes wedding so stressful? The stress and nerve wrecking situation happens because of the extravagance and the violation of the Islamic code of conduct. The terrible competitiveness between the hosts and guests to have an extravagant wedding makes it impossible to plan a rather perfect wedding for the "people's eye". We want everything to seem perfect in dunyaa that we have forgotten to realise the purpose of Shari'ah being revealed. Shari'ah is always revealed with a purpose and its main purposes are to preserve religion, life and health, family and lineage, intellect and property. Within the Shari'ah it is possible for people to have genuine joy and fulfilment. The rejection of Shari'ah would lead to misery, ill-health, bankcruptcy, being forgotten and despised in old age and desperate death, if not in this world then it would be in the hereafter. The punishment we'll get hereafter is beyond one's imagination.

I don't know if I've mentioned this in my previous posts but there may be people who will say "Well, we do not place importance on these rites nor do we think they are significant. We only carry them out to please either the wife/husband, father/mother, relatives, children". If there are people who would say such a thing then it's up to the wise and intelligent members of the family to educate the rest on the violation of the Shari'ah. Some may accept straight away to dismiss the rites and traditions but some might put a fight and insist on having them on the wedding day. The question is, isn't this rebellious attitude an indication of how important such rites are to them? Many of us would think that omission of any of the rites mentioned simply would NOT be a wedding.

Below are some of the Indian rituals that have been famously incorporated in Malay Muslim's weddings.

Wedding party (reception)

The Vivaha (a book of Hindus on marriage customs) explains that on the wedding day, the groom with his friends and relatives goes to the house of the bride on a conveyance suited to his status. In the past, the elephants were recommended for Princes and the rich, nowadays they are replaced by Rolls Royce or Merc etc. On arrival, the groom stands outside the gate of the house facing east and is welcomed by a company of women (the bride's family/relatives).

There are those who go to certain extent by either hiring cars or even buying new cars just for the reception. The better the car, apparently, the better your status is. However, if we follow the Quran and Shari'ah, this only means exhibitionism and gross extravagance. The Quran carries a terrible warning for such behaviour. Here's an excerpt I researched that suits the said situation; "Believer! Do not nullify your acts of charity by stressing your benevolence and causing hurt as does he who spends his wealth only to be seen by people and does not believe in Allah and the Last Day. The example of his spending is that of a rock with a thin coating of earth upon it: when a heavy rain smites it, the earth is washed away, leaving the rock bare; such people derive no gain from their acts of charity. Allah does not set the deniers of the Truth on the Right Way." (Al-Baqarah:264)

Obviously those who have adopted 'non-Islamic' rites in marriage, indulge in extravagant expenses up to the point where financial loans are necessary. We know how detestable it is to loan with interest etc. So it's best if we could spend according to what we could afford. Insha'Allah.

Offering gifts (Hantaran/wedding presents)

'Hantaran' on it's own is already known as a form of exhibitionism. I remember about 15 years ago when my brother got married, his hantaran was mostly food (for the families) and clothing. But now, the more 'hantaran' you give, the superior you'll appear. People would stand closely and thoroughly examine each and every gift given on that day way before the bride/groom gets a chance to. And expressions such as "WOW!! That LV (or insert any designer names) handbag must've cost him a bomb!!" "She gave him an iPad for his hantaran???? Ohh, I must get that for mine too." Everyone will compare and wanting the same or more for their day just because others have done it.

Iskandar and I had hantaran too. My Mom didn't like the idea of hantaran as it's such a waste of money and just annoying to decorate it etc etc. During my sis' wedding, she didn't have any hantaran. So on mine, we just bought nice boxes and put the 'gifts' in the box and not let anyone see it but the groom's family when they have brought it home. We didn't know there was a session whereby you had to say what was being presented. Since my Uncle was the spokesperson, he didn't have any idea what was in the boxes either. So he just settled by saying "I'm sure you will like and appreciate what ever is presented to you in these boxes, Insha'Allah". It is good to give presents, no doubt, as Aishah (Radhi Allahu Anha) said, the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alaihi Wassalam) is reported to have said, "Give presents to one another, for a present removes hatred." (Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud)

However, the concept is wrong when people give the present in a great show to an extent of wrapping it in transparent paper (or not wrapping it). The recipient will also make a note of who gave what so that in future they know what to give in return (depending how much it costs). Instead of an honest and wholehearted gift, people are exchanging presents either because they received something from the past or expects something in the future. The barakah and love one may hope to get is lost because either the receiver finds it a burden to 'reply' in future or even the giver will silently suffer until he receives a gift similar to the one he gave.

There are also in some communities whereby the presents (usually money) are being kept by the parents because to them, the bride has only received them because the parents had given them in the past. So these people treat their daughters as if they are their financial assets. Like in my case, I willingly let my parents have all the money because I didn't fork out anything for the reception. So, it's only fair since they paid for all of it. It's best to ask if the bride/groom need the money as they might need it for their journey to start a family soon.

Blessing the couple

The Hindu tradition orders that the assembled guests and relatives bless the bride/couple: the women stroke their fingers over the heands and faces of the couple, reciting some verses over them and then cracking their fingers against their own heads. Alright, we Malays don't really do this kind of things but the idea of merenjis is definitely from this tradition, right? The Paraskara Grhya Sutra also guides that after having blessed the couple the guest must go back to their seats/home. So, that's so much like the merenjis event in our culture.

Most of the Hindu ceremonies are symbolic. Some of the classes symbolises union and others in desire to promote fertility or to assure abundance of food for the household. Some ceremonies are also to ward off danger and evil spirited. Sadly, MOST of the Indians rituals are adopted in Muslim weddings. I'm sure you'd think, what's wrong with promoting, fertility etc etc, the point here is, a prayer/do'a for the couple is sufficient enough. One doesn't have to go such extremes to give well wishes to the couple or family members. We must constantly compare and contrast our practices with those ordained by the Glorious Quran and the Sunnah. Follow what is right and reject what is outside the bounds of Islam. Allah says in the Quran: Verily, this is My Way, Leading straight: follow it: Follow not (other) paths: They will scatter you about From His great Path: Thus He commands you, That you may be righteous. (Al An'am:153)

Suffice to say, the event mentioned above have now became a highly exhibitionist one wherein family members try to out-perform one another in expectation on applause from the other guests. Nauzubillahi Minzalik. Since now we know that most of the traditions came from other religions, wouldn't it be nice if we were to dismiss them and follow our Prophet's teachings? Why not we start to invite people to join us in the sane and noble way of Islam rather than we trade our Islam for their disastrous way of life? That's a thought for us all. :)

I'll end this entry here by saying, Allah knows best!!! I also pray that we will all assist each other and take heed of the great counsel from the ayah of Quran and the Sunnah so that in the life hereafter we join and stand with the people of the Ummah of the Prophet Muhammad (Salallahu Alaihi Wassalam). Amin!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Patience is about trusting and believing in Allah's plan :)

~Alhamdulillah Iskandar managed to get scholarship for his tuition fees!~

Before he enrolled for the course we're living on a month to month basis. We had some savings but were saving up for our trip back to Malaysia, supposedly in June 2010. When my Dad told him about this Masters course, it's like he couldn't resist it and had to enrol for it. So reluctantly, I said ok for him to use the savings as we had enough money for the down payment. However, his total fees is £6200 we didn't think about how to get the rest of the money but insisted that he has to enrol for this intake. Along the way, we managed to ask people on how to get scholarships.

Since he's doing Masters in Islamic Banking, Finance and Management it's easier to get funds because it is considered as an Islamic studies course.
The thing about Islamic studies, there are always organisations that would willingly pay for Islamic related courses. So basically, we could get money from Zakat or other organisations that get donations from people for this type of situation (low-income). Alhamdulillah, we contacted an organisation and waited for agesss for them to reply. His determination was still there to finish up this course even though we haven't paid full fees. Also thanks to Markfield Institute for being rather laid back about students paying tuition fees to them. They're not pushy or wanting the money ASAP. From one term to another they'll wait for us to send the money. Alhamdulillah, after Iskandar's 2nd term, we got a reply from the organisation willing to pay the FULL fees. This happened just few weeks back and in time for Iskandar to concentrate for his final exams!!! Alhamdulillah.

The wait was well worth it! Even though it was a long time. Like I said, patience is all about trusting and believing in Allah's plan. We have worked hard and the least we could do was tawakal and yes, HE listens to our prayer and answers it when HE thinks the time is right. Alhamdulillah!!!

Since we've got extra money to spend now, seeing we don't have to pay any further fees, we have decided to go back to Malaysia from Sept - Oct!!!!! Insha'Allah. Khairaldin will be 1 year 4 months by then and we think it's about time we bring him back to visit the relatives and his long list of cousins! We're very excited coz it's been 1 year+ since our last trip. I was 6 weeks pregnant when we're last in Malaysia. So, we deserved this holiday.

I'm starting my long list of places to go and visit. I don't really wanna be in KL for the whole 1 month coz it's just too boring. So at the moment, we have Kelantan and Pangkor on our list of places. Would love some recommendations from all of you. Since it's the Monsoon season, I don't think we can do much. But we really can't wait any longer and think it's time we visit Malaysia! :) After all, I think this is gonna be our final visit for a very long long time because I'm planning to go for holiday else where next year. Kinda had enough of Malaysia but because my in laws are still there, we have to go back and visit once in a while :). With the money we have to spend to go to Malaysia, we can actually go to Morocco or somewhere we've never visited. Whilst Khairaldin is still small, I think it's best we bring him travel around (the world? Hehe) Insha'Allah. :)

So friends, you know who you are, you girls are definitely on my list of people I MUST visit! I'm excited to meet all of you again and this time with my baby tagging along. Please pray that everything goes smoothly from today onwards. Amin!!
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Monday, May 10, 2010

Facebook is evil! (At least to me)

I am taking steps to control my addiction to Facebook! Never thought I would be saying this about a social networking website! Personally, I think it's too much. I'm on there almost everyday and very frequent!

So, what am I gonna do? I'll blog rather than checkout people's profile. It's just bad coz some of the profiles, I just hate to see! Instead of backbiting people, I'll just blog about something beneficial. Which I have loads! Instead of reaching for my blackberry to check Facebook, I'll grab a book instead. Instead of sitting at the PC, I'll sit on the floor with Khairaldin and play with his toys.

After 10 months of physically being with him day and night, I still feel like I'm missing something from his life. I don't know what but for sure I'm gonna redeem the time wasted.

Btw, I will still check BUT not as often :) I still have to update pics for my in laws. So, you'll still see pics of us every now and then. I'll just do it monthly rather than having an album for every single occassion.

Sounds fair enough? Definitely!

Khairaldin, I'm sorry for constantly being on Facebook and sometimes let you play on your own. I will definitely play with you a lot more time than I've been on FB. You'll know what it is one day, and when that day comes, I hope you will not ignore me whenever I call you. The addiction is just ridiculous. But I will let you experiment and find it out for yourself. As for now, I'm gonna spend time with you. I love you and I would change my life to suit yours, Insha'Allah.

Ps: blogging is different coz I do it when you're sleeping and very late at night ;)
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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

How to lose weight?

A friend of mine PMed me saying that I look slimmer (judging from my latest FB profile pic) and wanted to know how I lost the weight. Thank you Elina :) Truth be told, I haven't lost a tremendous amount of weight. At least not the amount that I've been wanting to lose.

Some people think it's weird that I actually opt to join gym to lose my weight seeing that I have a 10 months old baby. Seriously, when I joined gym I wasn't looking to lose a lot of weight. After all I just need to lose about 4-5kg pre pregs weight. But I have accepted that with "extra fats" at certain areas, it's impossible to get back to pre-pregs weight. However, my intention on joining gym was to keep up with my ever so active baby boy! I used to babysit my niece before and I can tell you that it's so much easier to look after her. When I sit and hug her, she'll not retaliate. Unlike Khairaldin, he's a boy, a very active one! Alhamdulillah now, I have a great amount of stamina compared to before I joined gym. Also, Alhamdulillah with joining gym I managed to lose some of my pregnancy fats. I kinda killed two birds in one nest. hehehe

I used to not care about joining gym because everyone, I mean, EVERYONE, kept telling me that you'll lose the weight eventually from breastfeeding and chasing after your son. Sadly after 10 months, that didn't happen :( I did lose some for the first few months, but after 6th month my weight was rather stagnant. I think reason one is: houses in the UK are not that big to actually make me run around the house to chase after him. Khairaldin can get from one end of the living room to the other in a mere 2 mins crawl. Now, imagine me walking to him, obviously it'll take about ermmm roughly 20 steps? That's how confined the spaces are. Hence, 20 steps won't make me any lighter! :) Reason two: I only go out on weekends so I don't have much exercise. I can really count how many steps I do in a week. Yes, it's that bad! Iskandar was also complaining how I looked lethargic and as if I haven't got much energy. So that's another reason why I signed up for gym.

I have joined gym for 2 months now. The first month was just about getting my stamina back. I haven't done any workout ever since I got married! So, it took me a while to get my stamina back. So my regime for the first month was 15 mins jog on the treadmill for 2-3times a week. On my 2nd month, I managed to increase my running time to 30 mins. That is when I felt really healthy after every workout. The sweat was rather refreshing. I go to sleep early and also wake up earlier than usual. Iskandar also saw some 'decreased fats' especially around my thighs. So, we are both happy :)

If you are one of those unlucky Mommies like me (don't do much move abouts), then I would say, SIGN UP to a gym! You'll lose the weight in no time and will feel refreshed. Unless you've got a big house to do your run abouts, then by all means, do it at home. Yes, the first month on getting back on track is hard! Super hard! But once you've got used to the running, you'll feel like you can't miss a session.

Go on Mommies, if I can lose some weight by working out, I'm sure all of you can! Choose your best workout and you'll never look back.

Oh yeah, as for eating habits. I still eat EVERYTHING! Even chocolates and biscuits. But I've to work extra hard if I have those food though. :D Since I'm still breastfeeding, I have not started on any diet.

Ps: Joining gym with someone you're close with is also a plus point to make you workout better. In my case, I've got hubby, my eldest brother and sister-in-law in the same gym. So it's FUN!