Monday, April 25, 2011

<3 La familia <3

"Family is not a name for a group of people, but the QUALITY of relationships between them. Relationships grounder in MUTUAL LOVE, TRUST, CARING and FORGIVENESS."

Ahhhhh, I just love quotes on Facebook when it comes at the right time. Allah is definitely watching over us.
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Change for good? Errrr........

As we grow 'older', we tend to evaluate on our life more seriously than ever. Like, what is the purpose of life? Everything we do seems to be repetitive and mundane. We then decide, it's time to change our lifestyle or behaviour or etc etc... How big or how small it is, something needs to be done in order for our life to be "normal". By the way, what is "normal"? To be honest, even psychologists couldn't come up with a definition of normal. This is because not everyone view normality the same way. You might think it is normal to go out every Saturday nights but some might think that it's a rather abnormal thing to do because Saturday is for family. Hence, the word normal has its very own meaning to different people.

Anyway, when we do things that we 'normally' do, we feel comfortable and acceptable when others react the same way as we do. However, after a certain point in life we start to change our behaviour slightly. We think about the consequences on the things that we've been doing and say"why in the world did I behave this way??". Alright, take for instance smoking. During the teenage years, smoking was like the 'in' thing. Everyone was doing it, so, why can't you right? But as the years go by you "learn" that it is hazardous to your health. You then decide to quit....for good! It's like, that's it! No more cigarettes EVER! When you have fully accomplished your mission of quitting, you feel good about yourself. You say, Alhamdulillah, I am becoming a better person!! Of course there's noone else you could thank but Allah for helping you through your difficult journey. Without HIM, who else would understand why you took that big step to change.

Picture has nothing to do with entry ;)
Now, you are a new person! Your circle of friends are still the same though- the type that still smokes and think that there's nothing wrong about smoking. Since you are a changed person, you become rather restless and uncomfortable amongst your own circle of friends. THE friends that you have been hanging out since yonks. THE friends that have been there for you through thick and thin. But somehow, THE friends aren't the ones that make you feel..YOU. Everytime you are with them, you feel "out of place". So, what are you to do? They are still your friends and they have been THE ONE ever since you can remember.You then take the step to advise them. Wow!! Big huge step here. Are you prepared? You thought, let's just try, what harm can I do, right? So you begin "preaching". "Dudes, you know smoking is not good for you right? But why are you guys still doing it? Are you like trying to kill yourself or something?" Of course in your mind this statement wasn't judgemental and could still sound rather "friendly". Your friends' reply, "yeah, we know it's not good but it's so difficult to quit bro!" And you thought, cool, they are thinking about quitting, here's my chance! "Well, I managed to do it. Look at me, I've been cigarette-less for 7 months! Easy peasy lemon squeezy (LOL! I clearly don't know how to be a dude right?)!!" Your friends then continued "yeah, easy for you to say!" You then carry on telling them how you managed and all the positive things you could think of just to make them sway towards your view. But somehow, it didn't end up the way you wanted it to be. They are still that smoking buddies.

Change! Big or small it's still such a huge step to take. People find it hard to change their behaviour because of so many reasons. Below might apply to you:

Why I won't change?
- It's difficult (sometimes this happen because we don't seek guidance from Allah swt)
- No definite reason to change since I'm comfortable the way I am
- I've still got few years to live, why now?

- I haven't been approached properly

The reasons/excuses just keep coming!

Of course a changed person could counterback and give answers to all the doubtful questions. The real question is, do they really want to change? Are they prepared to change their lifestyle even though they know it is a better lifestyle? We are sometimes too comfortable in this skin that we've been in for years. We see no necessity to change because the lifestyle we've been in is somewhat perfect in our eyes. So we choose NOT to change.

Let's discuss the point made about not wanting to change because we've not been approached the proper way. You see, those who have changed to become a better person somehow accidentally have a 'halo' on their head. They sometimes feel that they are "Holier than Thou" therefore they can advise people on their lifestyle. After all, they have been there and done that so they feel they can talk through experience. It is this type of approach or people that put others off changing their behaviour to a better one. It is vital to know how to advise others as mentioned in the Hadith that I have used before:
Narrated Abu Musa that when Allah's Messenger salallahualaihiwasalam sent him and Mu'adh bin Jabal to Yemen, he said to them, "Make things easy for the people(treat the people in the most agreeable easy way), and do not make things difficult for them, and give them glad tidings, and do not repel them(i.e TO MAKE THE PEOPLE HATE GOOD DEEDS AND TO RUN AWAY FROM ISLAM), and you should both work in cooperation and mutual understanding, obey each other." [Sahih Bukhari]

Another Hadith that I think is beneficial during advicing a person is this:
Narrated Abu Mas'ud: A man came to the Prophet SalAllahualaiWassalam and said, "I keep away from the morning prayer only because so-and-so person prolongs the Salat (prayer) when he leads us in it." The narrator added: I have never seen Allah's messenger SalAllahualaihiWassalam more furious in giving advice then he was on that day. He (SalAllahualaihiWassalam) said "O people! There are some among you who make people dislike good deeds [Salat, etc]. Beware! Whoever among you leads the people in the Salat should not prolong it, because among them are the sick, the old, and the one who is in a state that requires urgent relief." [Sahih Bukhari]

From above we see that one should not make things hard on others. If we want to advise, keep it short and simple. Never go on and on about it until it could create dislikes onto that person.  

People would also get irritated when they are being advised over and over again about their 'negative' traits. It's not like they do not know or realise that they are at fault but sometimes they just prefer not to look at the positive side of it. So, when they are constantly advised of the same mistake, I guess they are just applying the double jeopardy. There are ways to attract people to become a better person. If you have tried telling or "inviting" them to become a better person and they still don't, then leave them be for a while. You can still continue doing the things you are doing and you could slowly attract them by example. Doesn't mean that you can't befriend them because of their negative traits. Sometimes your positive attitudes are needed more towards the negative people so that they can watch and learn, Insha'Allah.

Yes, it is irritating when you've advised and people do not listen or take action. As an "advisor" you need to have an open mind. You have to believe that Allah is the only one that can change someone's behaviour for good (ie, Hidayah). If Allah permits, the person could not argue any further. So if you have approached with the right way, then leave it all to Allah. The only thing you can do after advising is to pray to Allah swt that "your friend" will be given the strong will and Hidayah to be a better person. At the same time, you should also be thankful that HE has chosen you to follow the right path. Don't ever take it as a failure that you haven't opened the person's eyes to a better way of life. The key thing is you've tried and tawakkal to Allah swt.

I shall end this entry with a Hadith for you to ponder upon, Insha'Allah:
Narrated 'Abdullah: I visited Allah's messenger SalAllahualaihiWassalam while he was suffering from a high fever. I said. "O Allah's Messenger! You have a high fever." He said, "Yes, I have as much fever as two men of you." I said, "Is it because you will have a double reward?" He said, "Yes, it is so. No Muslim is afflicted with any harm, even if it were the prick of a thorn, but that Allah expiates his sins because of that, as a tree sheds its leaves."

So, when we feel that it is such a trial trying to change a person, always believe that people who are most prone to trials are Prophets, then the most pious and then the less pious and so on. Take the trial as a recognition and be patient! :) 

Ps: YOU in this entry is not finger-pointing at YOU! LOL! But I just feel like I'm talking to someone when really it's mostly MY point of view. ;)

Saturday, April 09, 2011

MP Ibrahim Ali: "Men have extramarital sex as wives neglect duty"

Normally, I will read the Malaysian tabloids with a pinch of salt. But on Friday, I tried so many other 'seasoning' yet the news still came to me in a rather disgusting, annoying and furious way!! Click on the picture above to read the full article for yourself. Basically, the interview was with a fellow MP who claimed that "Malaysian men have extramarital sex because of 'wives who neglect their responsibilities to their husbands' " That quote in itself could make you upset, yes? Well, when I first read it I didn't expect it to be in a sexual way. I thought what he meant was wives were not fulfilling their husband's needs in so many other ways. As soon as I read further on the article, I got upset and couldn't believe what I was reading.

For starter, this person being interviewed is a Member of Parliament (MP). One would expect MPs to come out with logical and rational statements, right? Personally, I felt his statements were rubbish and definitely uncalled for. In the interview he mentioned husbands driving home from work see things that are sexually arousing and go to their wives to ease their urges. However, wives being wives would prefer to cook rather than fulfill husband's sexual needs. Hence, husband find other people to satisfy their sexual urges. One word: SERIOUSLY?? I would love to know who he has been talking to or whose point of view is he speaking out loud from. Is it his own??? Well, he shouldn't be generalising this situation if his 'audience' is one of his own kind! I am sure there are many other reasons out there on why men have extramarital sex.

Furthermore, he had the cheek to ask the government's religious department to 'educate wives on their responsibilities.' Wow, shocking! I am all out for this 'education' because for argument's sake, those wives that were cooking definitely do not know of their rights and responsibilities in Islam. No where in Islam it states that women should be cooking for their husbands. So, since she was cooking, let's all blame it on her! Blegh.

These type of people make Islam sound like an alienated religion. They are the people who will make people think of negative things about Islam. What was he trying to prove? That Islam is a religion of SEX? If he really do want this 'educating' wives to go on, I think he's just being sexist. Shouldn't the husband get some educating as well?  For instance, couldn't the so called sexually aroused husband wait till the time is right to have sex with the wife? Isn't it obvious in the Quran that one should learn how to be patience? Here's an excerpt that I've managed to look up on patience/sabar in the Quran:

"And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not quarrel with one another lest you should lose courage and your power depart. Be STEADFAST; surely Allah is with those who remain steadfast." Surah Al-Anfal ayat 46
Just wondering though, what will happen during Ramadhan? Or even when the wives are having their monthly period? What will happen then?? Aren't we Mulims taught every once a year to be patience and one of it to resist ourselves from having sexual intercourse during the fasting period? Isn't this something we should try to apply regardless it being a month of Ramadhan or not?

I find it interesting also that he pointed out about man getting sexually aroused on their way back home. What is it that they saw on the roadside for them to have that 'sexual urges'? Let's take it from a more logical point, maybe he meant that there are 'pretty' workmates at the office and that is why they become somewhat aroused. Fair enough. But, instead of educating the wives, shouldn't they be educating the Husbands to lower their gaze?? Or if he really wants the ladies to learn something, shouldn't they be teaching the beauty of Hijab/covering themselves? I'm sure if one cover themselves up this 'sort of urges' won't happen, Insha'Allah.

Last but not least, since he mentioned about men going to 'private places' to fulfill their needs, then, they should really take action on closing these private places. Maybe this way it will teach the Husband to be patient? Husbands should know that their wives are not sex slaves! No doubt that wives duty is to obey the Husband but come on, is it everyday that the Husband comes home with this sexual urges? If that being the case, the Husband should seriously seek some help and no, I don't mean from private places but serious help!

Alright, even though I am quite annoyed with this particular MP, I think I should cut him some slacks and think that the media had quoted him wrongly. If that is the case, I think he should come out clean and apologise to the female society. His statement not only made him sound sexist but also made Islam sound like a very odd religion to be in. The beauty of Islam has definitely loss its face by the statements that he gave! Na'uzubillahiminzalik!
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Monday, April 04, 2011

To hijab or Not to hijab? That's the question....

Alhamdulillah! I love looking at pictures of my friends that are finally hijabi-fied! Heheh Somehow, I have always befriend girls that don't wear hijab. You see, I have been wearing the headscarf since I was probably 9 or 10 years old. Reason I say headscarf is because at that time I wasn't covering myself up as a true hijabi, if that makes any sense. I was the girl who wears headscarf with short sleeved top/skin tight attire. When I was in high school, I tried to loosen and lengthen my clothing. I started wearing headscarf because my Mom had trained me to do so. Even when I was in primary school she made sure I wore kurung and headscarf. After school, I was reminded to donned the headscarf when I want to go out and play with my friends even if it was in front of our house. Alhamdulillah, I am lucky to have my Mom to protect me since I was small. Even though I wasn't sure of why I was wearing it, I felt comfortable wearing it amongst my friends. They didn't judge me for my headscarf nor did I judge them for their 'free hair'.

Along the years, my Mom started educating me more about hijab. She taught me why girls have to cover themselves. Finally I understood the meaning of hijab for definite. I always thought to myself, why is it that girls do not wear hijab if it is 'wajib' upon us to wear it? I dare not ask any of my friends why they do not wear the hijab. I had friends who tried to wear the hijab but every now and then they'll go back to their 'free hair' days. Never did I have the guts to question their actions. To be honest, my close friends are mostly non hijabis however, our friendship still remained regardless of our appearances.

Recently when I was in Malaysia, my best friend asked me, "Iva, you have been wearing headscarf ever since I could remember. Why is it that you never forced/asked me to wear the headscarf too?" My answer to her was "Tasha, I believe that one fine day Allah will open your mind and heart when HE thinks you are ready to wear hijab. Maybe the reason you are my bestfriend is because HE wants you to see how my life as a hijabi has been so far and to learn from it. Personally, I don't even know how to advise you on wearing the hijab because I don't want to advise you the wrong way and put you off hijab straight away." As per the hadith narrated Abu Musa that when Allah's Messenger salallahualaihiwasalam sent him and Mu'adh bin Jabal to Yemen, he said to them, "Make things easy for the people(treat the people in the most agreeable easy way), and do not make things difficult for them, and give them glad tidings, and do not repel them(i.e TO MAKE THE PEOPLE HATE GOOD DEEDS AND TO RUN AWAY FROM ISLAM), and you should both work in cooperation and mutual understanding, obey each other." [Sahih Bukhari] She understood my point and agreed that she was not ready to wear the hijab yet. No doubt she's been thinking about it but she just doesn't feel fully ready to wear the hijab.

I've never looked or acted differently with people who don't wear the hijab. Personally, I know how hard it is to be a hijabi. Realise how I used headscarf at the beginning? This was because at that time I wasn't dressed as how we are asked to in the Al-Quran:
  • "And enjoin believing women to cast down their looks and guard their private oarts and not reveal their adronment except that which is revealed of itself, and to draw their viels over their bosoms................"(Al-Nur:31) 
  • O Prophet! Say to your wives and your daughters and the women of the faithful to draw their outergarments (jilbabs) close around themselves; that is better that they will be recognized and not molested. Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Al-Ahzab:59)

Like I said, I was still wearing inappropriate clothing for a while even though I was already wearing a headscarf. So for a non hijabi who wants to become a hijabi, they really need to change a lot. For starters, they need to see if their wardrobe are fully hijab friendly ie; modest clothing. If not, they would have to revamp and start from scratch and this of course incurs money. But hey, if there's a will there's always a way, Insha'Allah.

The reason I have never asked my friends about hijab is because I don't feel I am ready to reason out with them at that time. I wouldn't want them to question me and they won't get the answer that they need. Alhamdulillah now that I know why and how important it is for us to wear the hijab, I welcome questions from anyone regarding hijab. I have had people asking me how I could possibly wear a hijab in Sunny Malaysia, but of course the most famous question is, why do I even have to wear hijab (this of course came from my friends in the UK). Since I have searched and been bombarded with these questions, I can finally answer them with confidence and not give the 'because my Mom asked me to and it states in the Quran'. I have also had experience on wearing it and befriend people who don't, I know what's the difference of being a hijabi and non hijabi have towards the society.

So, if any of you are thinking of wearing the hijab, first ask yourself, why are you wanting to wear it? How important it is to wear it? How would it affect your lifestyle if you were to wear it? Ask yourself or discuss with others if you are having doubts, Insha'Allah, HE will guide you through it once you have set your mind for it. I am sure most of us girls' are scared that we won't look pretty if we were to wear the hijab, again, keep asking yourself, would Allah-our own creator make us look like a fool/unpretty? If you yourself were to do anything, wouldn't you give the best output to it? Of course you would want people to be impressed with your good work, right? So again, would Allah, our creator want us to look ugly when HE has planned everything way carefully and perfectly?? The answer is, ABSOLUTELY NOT! Don't hesitate to ask questions. Talking and sharing your thoughts with others will Insha'Allah broaden your mind more. Don't just leave your thoughts to the side. In the end of the day, Allah swt will help you through it, regardless!