Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Explaining Surah Al-Fatihah to a 4 year old.

Ever since Khairaldin was a baby, we made sure that before we put him to sleep we read Surah Al-Fatihah, Al-Ikhlas, Al-Falaq and An-Nas. Alhamdulillah when he turned 3 years old he was able to read it together with us. Now at 4 years old, his reading is fluent, Masha'Allah. Sometimes we feel that it is too early to teach them these surah because no doubt it is difficult. But we'll never know if we don't try. I have to say it wasn't a smooth journey teaching him Surah Fatihah but it was worth the time.

Other than teaching him the Arabic saying, we also tried to teach him the meaning. It is such a waste to read and yet not know the beautiful story behind what we are reading. We also do bedtime stories when he was younger, we let him choose whatever books he wants us to read. Normally he'll choose a picture dictionary or football tactics book. Yes I had to teach him all those penalty kicks why it happens and bla bla bla. Definitely not my cuppa tea. Hehe Then we bought him some Islamic books, like stories about Surah Baqarah, Kahf and a few others. To be honest, I learnt about these surah from his books as well. Sometimes I find it so hard to open the translation and read through it, Alhamdulillah, with the help of these books I learn more about these Surah. I would recommend every parents to own this book and make it an attempt to read to them before bedtime. Khairaldin thoroughly enjoyed these books because he could use his imagination more.

There are gradual steps that need to be done though. Kids are just like us. When it come to Islamic books he was rather reluctant at first. But we didn't give up. We started off with showing him pictures in the book. Making up stories about why Noah built his ark. We didn't read it word to word as how it is in the book because it was too many words and he gets bored easily. Once he's interested in knowing more about the book rather than the pictures, we then read to him from cover to cover. Alhamdulillah it built his interest from then on.

Truthfully, I haven't read to him for quite a while because there wasn't any books that is suitable for his age in this house for now. We are still waiting for our shipping to arrive (which hasn't been shipped yet hehe). Yesterday, Khairaldin caught me off guard after we read Surah Fatihah. He said to me, "Mommy can you tell me the story about Surah Fatihah?" The thing is, Iskandar is so much better at Qur'an translation than I am. So when he asked me that, I had to convey it in confidence just in case he knows I don't really know and yet I am "preaching" to him to be a good boy.

So I took a breather and begin to explain. We started off with Bismillahirahmannirahim. Then I explained each and every Surah at his level of understanding and in this case, it's my level of understanding too since I only just learnt it. I explained to him the need to read this surah every night and every solat. We need to be thankful for everything that we've done throughout the day. No matter how boring our day was we need to still be thankful that we get to at least go up and down the stairs (their favourite routine). If you know Khairaldin, he is such a thinker and a chatterbox. The story of Surah Fatihah wasn't like "it's about this this and this. Ok done letss sleep". For every word that I uttered he had questions to it. I was so scared if I don't manage to answer his questionSSS. Alhamdulillah I managed to make him get excited about Jannah and how amazing it is. Since he's into Power Rangers, I told him how easily he can get it from there. He doesn't even need d work for it over there but all his has to do is Solat and be good in this world. Then he went "oh noo, but I didn't solat yesterday." I had to explain to him it is ok now but not when he is bigger. He got the idea and was happy with himself. But it didn't stop there.

He then told me, "but Mommy, Allah is not real! We've never met him." THIS was difficult. I didn't wanna make it sound that we should believe regardless of anything and yet I didn't want to make it sound vague as if I'm trying to cover myself up. So then I told him "Of course Allah is real. We don't see him because he is busy preparing the things that we ask from him every time we solat and du'a. There are so many people in this world and everyone is asking for things. If Allah comes and see us, who's gonna get the things ready? Allah doesn't need help, he can do it himself. Like when you ask for Power Rangers, Allah might not give it to you now. But when you die and you have been a good boy, solat etc, you will go to Jannah and it's already there." I also said "It is like when Uncle Ha (my brother) wants to come over and we have to vacuum the house and we are so busy. Uncle Ha cannot see us because we are preparing for his arrival AND we are real right?" Then he understood and said "is Jannah like a really really long house that everyone will stay in there and Allah has to prepare the house?" Alhamdulillah I thought at least he gets the point! I replied "Jannah is so huge we can't even imagine how big it is, people Solat and do good things because they want to live in Jannah." He said "but there are so many people?" I answered "yes, but not everyone is doing good things. Sometimes you'll see those who doesn't solat. That's why we cannot copy them because they don't know how beautiful and amazing Jannah is. Remember solat and do good things Insha'Allah you'll have a place there." 

Ya Allah thank you so much for giving me the knowledge to answer all of his questions. I was scared that I will only push him away and show him difficulty but SubhanAllah with your help I managed to build his interest in Islam. Alhamdulillah!! I also told him, if you want Mommy and Abah and everyone in Jannah with you, you have to help us be good too. If mommy do something wrong you have to say, Mommy do u wanna go Jannah? Of course in his eyes Mommy can't do wrong so I wanted to teach that I am also human and sometimes make mistakes. I told him,"like if you hear the Azan and see Mommy still not done my Solat, you should say "Mommy go solat, u wanna join me in Jannah?" "

And he continued "Oh, like the other day when I heard the Azan and said, go solat, you said you were tired and wanted to rest first. if you wanna go Jannah you have to solat straight away Mommy." Yes boy, that's exactly what I mean! Hehehe So I gave hin the upper hand to advise me when I do wrong so that it will be fair when he does something silly, he gets told off as well. He can then see that we are not just scolding him but are actually advising one another for JANNAH!

May Allah continue to help me bring my children up the right way. And may my readers benefit from this post in case they get asked the same question. I didn't mind writing it out because I'm sure there are a few of us struggling in this field. May Allah make it easy on us. Amin ya Rabbalalamin!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday Blues....

Continuation from THIS

So, other than the question on why we left UK, I also had people asking me "when are you going to start work?" "such a waste you didn't do your masters first before you leave." etc etc. Truthfully, when we decided to leave, nothing in the plan had anything about me having to have a job. In Malaysia, it is almost impossible to find one breadwinner in a household. Almost both parents have to work to support the family. However, Iskandar and I have sat down and discussed that even if I were to work, the money that I get would most probably be spent on childcare and transportation. Which doesn't make sense, really. For now, whilst the kids are still young it is sensible enough for me to be their full time carer. Getting a job is out of the question, at least for now.

Getting back to the Tazkirah, the title was about "work". Do you know how much our life revolves around our work? Maybe half or more of our life is revolve around our workplace. Try questioning yourself, aren't we sent in this world to worship Allah? Why do we spend most of our lifetime in work when it is by worshipping HIM that we get to enter Jannah. Well, if Allah wanted us to just pray and pray and pray, we would have done just that. But instead, Allah wants to make it more interesting for us. He wants us to have a choice in this life. He wants us to feel that we can be better by not only doing one thing. Therefore work is a neccesity for us to live comfortably now and Hereafter. Without money, our life would be chaotic and stressful.

Some of us might already know that work is an Ibadah. However, not every job is an Ibadah. There are certain criterias that make a job an Ibadah on its own. One of this is to have a Halal job and this means a job that that doesn't go against the country's law, religion and our moral. So, if you have this type of job, rest assured you are in a Halal job. Having a Halal job on its own doesn't make it an Ibadah. We need to do our job in order for it to be as good and as Halal as it may be. For instance, people might think those working at PLUS Highway giving out tickets have a rather pointless job. How could that job be an Ibadah if you might ask? Well, that job could be an ibadah on its own. Without these people you might not get to work on time. Without them, you won't be where you are today because your lecturers might not make it for classes therefore you'll miss a lot of lectures. So, can you see where I'm getting at? Such an "easy" job but yet they managed to change a lot of people's life. Without those 'ticket people' we ourselves couldn't get to our work to start on our own Ibadah.

The next time you go to work, set your mind positively. Don't count the number of hours you have left at work rather count the number of hours you have left to change people's life. Then you will realise how much time is running out. Remember without you and of course Allah, your colleagues won't be where they are today. If you didn't finish your job, imagine how much suffering you are putting on other people. So, love your job and do it with lots of passion. Don't think about how much money you will get at the end of the month. Think about how much work you have done and with that work how much money has been generated and change others' life. With the work that you are doing, you could be the source of help to a family who's been suffering from marriage problem. By you doing your job with your heart and soul it only means that you are changing the life of others.

If you ever get Monday Blues, sit down quietly and think why you are doing this job. Don't let money be the reason why you're doing it because in the end, the money will finish after the first week of pay day. Let your job be the place where you can fulfill your ibadah. If you really do wanna work, do it not only for this life but mostly for the hereafter. Remember, your job doesn't end as soon as you finish it up. It is only just the beginning because what you have just finish doing is a start for other people and it carries on and on. You've not only helped ease yourself from your workload, but you've also helped others to do their job smoothly.

Yes, not everyone would do things your way and up to your standard. In the end of the day, you have to start and let others take you as a role model. Insha'Allah, that in itself had scored you some good behaviour points in Allah's eyes, which is the only eye that matters and not your Managers or CEOS etc. Do it for the sake of Allah.

Allah has also promised us in Surah Al-Kahf ayat 7: Surely We have made all that is on the earth and embellishment for it in order to test people as to who of them is BETTER in conduct. Allah did not ask us to do MORE WORK in this world in order for us to attain Jannah. HE wants us to do things good and with all our heart so that we can live happily in the Hereafter. Even though if you are not recognised by your superiors, don't despair. Do your best and Allah has also promised us in ayat 8: In the ultimate, We shall reduce all that is on the earth to a barren plain. Again, it is all for the Hereafter as the world means nothing without our ultimate goal!

I bid you all good night and pray that you can change other's life by just being there at your workplace and finishing your workload. Insha'Allah.

"Why did you leave UK??"


Alhamdulillah we got the chance to "meet" again. As most of you might already know, my family and I have decided to come back to Malaysia for GOOD. I have been in the UK for 11 years and Iskandar joined me aftter marriage which makes it about 6years. Our decision to come back home was rather spontaneous and yet partly planned. Everyone has been asking us, why would we choose to stay in Malaysia since UK is more advanced in many ways, especially their education. Yes, I could not agree more, UK is one of the best place to bring up the children seeing that their education is FREE and more 'relaxed'. As for Malaysia, good education means expensive and more stress. Regardless of all that, our decision remains.

The reason we came back to Malaysia wasn't because of the education, food or anything along that line. Our main reason for moving back was to gain more knowledge in Islam. I had been envious of my friends who always post reviews on Islamic seminars that they go to during the weekends. It's amazing how easy they can access such knowledge. You see, in the UK we do have Islamic talks too. However, the talks are normally held in London which is quite a distance from us. Even if they do, it's almost impossible for us to go as a family. This is because most of the Masjid in UK would not allow ladies to enter therefore it would always be Iskandar going for the talks and updating me on it. I wouldn't mind getting infos from him in that sense, however, I have always been brought up to join my parents for Islamic talks at Masjid. We definitely want the same for our kids and want them to be exposed to Islam in various ways.

When Iskandar and I was contemplating on coming back for good we came across this hadith; The messenger of Allah salla Allah u alihi wa sallam say : "Actions are but by intention and every man shall have but that which he intended. Thus he whose migration was for Allah and His messenger, his migration was for Allah and His messenger, and he whose migration was to achieve some worldly benefit or to take some woman in marriage, his migration was for that for which he migrated." Alhamdulillah I have managed to attend a Tazkirah and Qiamullail last weekend with my parents. My dad's company hosts the Qiamullail once every 2 months and Alhamdulillah, last weekend was one of them and Insha'Allah the next one will be on the 27th Ramadhan or earlier. I am very happy that Allah had answered our prayers and have granted us what we need in this world and hereafter.

The day before the Qiamullail, I attended a cousin's wedding in Nilai. We drove up and came home in the evening. I was so tired and didn't think I could attend the Tazkirah that night. Little did I know, Allah was the one who gave me strength and 'made' me attend the talk regardless of my physical state. AllahuAkbar. I managed to get myself ready for the Tazkirah and definitely enjoyed the talk given by the Ustaz. SubhanAllah, the ustaz gave such a simple tazkirah but it meant so much to me, especially. I shall share the Tazkirah in another post which I will continue writing straight away just because I don't want this post to look too-much-info that you will leave the page and lose the insights. So, if you do wanna read up on the Tazkirah, please click on the next link.

Tazkirah :)