Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Oh, August


With fifteen minutes left till I have to head out of the house to start another day in the busiest month I have ever had, I wanted to share an ayat that I recently took a closer look at. Would love to share the things I've learnt about it and the beauty that goes beyond these words, but I'll have to save that for September when I have more time on my side for the blog inshaAllah.

'When my servants ask you (O Prophet) concerning Me, (answer them), 'I am indeed near. I respond (immediately and completely) to those who call on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them respond to Me, and believe in Me, so that they may be guided.'

Always, always have faith and truly believe that God is listening and answering all of our prayers and supplications. It's just a matter of believing in His wisdom in how it will be answered to what is best for us. Have a beautiful day ahead all of you!


Was so thrilled to be able to make my first proper naked cake with a glorious flower crown on it, and I don't think this will be my last. :)

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Happenings


Salam everybody!

Hope you are in the best of health and iman. Gosh I miss my blog and have so much to share with you here, but work has just been so overwhelming right after Eid, time hasn't permitted me to have some down time here. So this is just a quick share in case you haven't already come across this. Every Saturday, Ustaz Nouman will be at Masjid Wilayah from Asar to Maghrib to share with all of us the tafseer and further explanation of the meaning of Surah An-Nur (The Light). Literally everyone is welcome to join! So do bring along your family and friends. And the cool thing is, it's every Saturday this month inshaAllah, so if you can't come to today's session, just register so you can attend the following weeks yeah.



Saturday, 18 July 2015

Peonies On Eid




Salam everyone!

Eid Mubarak and Selamat Hari Raya to all of you! Taqqabalallahu Minna wa Minkum (May Allah swt accept[the fast and worship] from us and you).

I hope you guys had a beautiful first day of raya yesterday spent with your family and closest of friends, as I did. And for some of you overseas, today will be your Eid day, so have a lovely lovely one full of His blessing and barakah!

Ending Ramadan and welcoming this day is always a bitter sweet feeling, but our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said this was a day of victory and celebration, and so we should praise Allah and enjoy the day as much as we can (or in Malaysia, enjoy the next month ahead, hehee). I just hope that the tranquil and serene past month that was given to us to self reflect and rediscover our true purpose doesn't get lost again till we meet the next Ramadan inshaAllah. Let's ask Allah to make it easy for us to continue to carry on the deeds we got into the habit of doing, and bring it into our every day routine for the next year ahead. And to continue to work on working on our relationship with our parents, friends, colleagues and neighbours.

Let's try our best to have a special relationship in our own way with Allah swt, by always staying as close as possible to Him as we can. With Him is where peace, content and true victory lies. :)

Much love from me,

Asma'.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

The Pinnacles


dUCk scarf / French Connection jumpsuit (similar here)

Woke up today feeling super excited for my next travel date with my Kimmy in a few months inshaAllah! We decided to make it an annual thing if God permits because we both realized we are both MFEO when it comes to traveling (Made-for-each-other, in case you didn't grow up in the same era as I did and aren't familiar with this cheesy abbreviation, hehee). My mind always flies off first to the destination before I actually get there. But before I board my next imaginary flight, I'm going to pick up from where I last left from my last trip a few months ago.

My close friend and I decided a road trip was just what we needed to do that Saturday in Perth, and off we went, two oldies (my mum and her friend) and two young ones (us), hehe. Two and a half hours later, we made it to the Pinnacles. See I didn't realize this was one of the most popular tourist attraction in Western Australia till I got there. I'm usually not the kind to do much of the touristy things when I travel, but this was an exception because this natural landscape scattered with these amazing limestone structures was something I had to walk through myself, to see and touch. Some stand as high as five metres (I think subconsciously I didn't want to look too shrot so all my snaps here are beside the not so tall ones huh) and were formed approximately 25,000 to 30,000 years ago after the sea receded and left deposits of sea shells. Over time, the coastal winds removed the surrounding sand, only to leave these pillars exposed. And there you have this natural attraction that also provides a natural habitat for an extensive array of native animals and bird life. Truly is amazing how God puts everything in place as means of a beauty and home for all of His creations.

This is simply what I love most about wondering off to different cities and lands. You'll realize that everything that Allah created in the heavens and the earth has a purpose to it and beauty too. I couldn't help but to leave feeling inspired. If you feel like jumping on that imaginary flight right now to see some breathtaking views, have a look at my Kimmy's recent New Zealand travel journal here and here. The beautiful vast landscape and views she captured are simply flawless and truly reflective of this beautiful ayat:

'Do they not see the sky above them, how We have made it and adorned it, with no rifts in it. How we spread out the earth, and put solid mountains in it, and caused every joyous plant to grow in it. As a lesson and a Reminder for every servant who turns to God in repentance (the one who believes in the Oneness of Allah, performs good deeds and always begs for His Pardon).'

Al-Qaf : 6-8

Photos by Nurul Fariza

Saturday, 11 July 2015

So I Got My Period


One of my duas at the start of Ramadan was to please not let me get my period during the last ten days of Ramadan pretty pleaseeee Allah! We all know just how precious the last stretch of Ramadan is. But things like this really is just beyond our control and so I got mine. And so did one of my sisters. For a second I felt a tad bit down, but then everything happens for a reason and just because we're on our period, inshaAllah it does not mean we will miss out on Laylatul Qadr. Anyway, today I just thought I'd share some things we can focus on doing so we don't feel like we're missing out. :)

First things first, don't feel sad - Allah would never intentionally want to inflict sadness on us or deprive us of the closeness with Him that we would usually feel when we are in solat. There are many blessings in itself of us getting our period. I listened to a detailed explanation of an ayat awhile back, and one of the examples of Allah's fairness and mercy on us women lies in this ayat.

 'Never will I allow to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female.'
(Al-Imran:195)
Just the act of us refraining from all the things we aren't allowed to do (i.e unable to perform solat and fasting) in itself is an ibadah. I think it's super cool that we're basically still earning His pleasure and reward because we're just following Allah's command.

Make loads of dua - Just because we can't solat, doesn't mean our communication to Allah gets cut off. The most common question I hear being asked during the Q&A session at talks lately have been, What can women do that is most benefitial during her period in Ramadan? And making dua has been the one consistent advice given. What was said was for us to teach ourselves to always be in conversation with Allah so that when our period comes we don't feel that detachment. So constantly make dua during the day and especially at night. Allah's just waiting to answer whatever it is we want to ask Him for and speak to Him about. We can wake up too during the last third of the night and have that nice quiet time just speaking to Allah and enjoying the tranquility that usually comes with that time of the night.




Quran time - Perhaps we aren't able to recite it, as most of us hold the opinion that we aren't able to recite the Quran during our period. So that just means we have more time to learn the meaning (which to me is the interesting part actually). Listen to the tafseer of a surah or an ayat that you were reading. I personally really enjoy the short videos from Quran Weekly Or you can try signing up at Bayyinah.tv.

Have a listen to one of these videos to kick start the day in the morning, and I promise you the day will be a beautiful one inshaAllah.

Be of service to others - For some reason I find that I have more time on my hands when it's that time of the month. Is it just me? Anyway, I've heard this on repeat that we should try our best to do things that will be of benefit to others than just yourself. So we can try to use that extra time you have to be of help to those closest to you. There's always something we can help our family member or friends with. If you're creative, come up with random acts of kindness. Or, you can surprise someone with a gift, like my sweet friend did when she dropped off a box of delicious cupcakes to my house while I was out. Definitely put a smile on my face and tummy!

I hope you guys have a lovely evening tonight with your family or friends, and may Allah swt multiply in reward every little deed that we do and be of those who receive the blessings of Laylatul Qadr. :)

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Strolling In Amanee


dUCk scarf / Love To Dress dress

It was a lovely day, about an hour before it was time to break our fast. My nephew kept tugging on me to take him out with his scooter for a stroll around the neighbourhood. And so we did, but little did he know his aunt was also planning for a quick ootd in front of the neighbours house, hehee.

Two weeks ago, I kickstarted my Ramadan at my sister's place in Brisbane with her kids (because it was winter there and I really wanted to fast shorter hours, kidding, hehee). I was there because even though my sister is one of those supermums, (heavily pregnant with her fourth child and still cooking and cleaning) we decided she could definitely use a little help with the house and her other three kids that keep dropping food and leaving toys around at every corner of the house. I remember trying to instagram a shot of her house and there is literally only one area in the living room where if I placed my phone just right, it looks like the cleanest house, but had I taken a step back, the frame would've included so much of the real mess of toys and such, hahaa.

 Anyway, that week of just staying at home really opened my eyes at just how amazing stay at home mums are. I mean I always knew they were a special breed, but being there again in my sister's home reopened my eyes, and made me internalize it even further (not that I don't think working mums are amazing too). Literally the minute they open their eyes, their thoughts and actions go straight to the needs of their family. Change the nappy, prepare breakfast (and my nephews eat A LOT), a quick vacuum of all the food that's fallen on the floor from breakfast, hang out the laundry, drive out to get more groceries, play with the baby, put the baby down for a nap, then cook lunch, and oh my God it just goes on. And of course every few minutes, someone bursts out in tears because either they tripped or knocked their head, or someone snatched someones toy. This is when a 'mute' button would come in handy. But there's no such thing is there.

I realized a mother's patience is basically tested every other minute, and always the needs of her family before hers. It's no wonder the status of a mother is just so high up there in Islam, right after that of our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). So whenever my sister says to me she doesn't think she's done much in life (because she doesn't have a career), I just tell her to shoosh it because what she does everyday counts for way way more than what I can ever do with my job. She's mashaAllah raising amazing, beautiful children that will go out to the world and hopefully be people who will do good and give back to the community. She is giving the best kind of charity, building her own little community in her home. 

After a long exhausting day, we were both knackered on the couch, and I asked her if she was happy. She made faces, but she actually really really is. She said it helps that she has an understanding and helpful husband. And I have to say, my brother in law really is. He too, makes breakfast for the kids when my sister is too tired, he vacuums, changes the babies nappy, gets the dinner sometimes, and takes the kids out so my sister can sleep in sometimes, in between still makes time to pray his prayers at the nearby mosque, and comes home to give my sister a foot massage. 

I make dua that Allah swt will preserve the beautiful life and home that both my sister and her hubby has built after seven years of marriage. And I truly truly hope that my nephews and niece will grow up to appreciate all that their parents have done for them, if only they knew. When the day comes that they grow up into teenagers and come to me complaining about their parents (cause I'm the cool aunt), inshaAllah I'll remind them (and myself too) of this beautiful ayat:

'And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young.'

(Al-Isra : 23-24)

 May we always keep this beautiful ayat and prayer in our hearts for our parents who love us beyond what we'll ever know and always treat them in the best way we can. They really are amazing, we just forget sometimes.

Photos by Nabihah A. Razak



Some of my favourite snaps during that trip. :)

Thursday, 2 July 2015

A Special Ramadan



Salam everyone!

How's your Ramadan going? Can you believe we're already almost half way through. I'm really hoping all of you are in the best of health and iman. Speaking of health, I was really unwell for almost five days straight, which felt like a month because I rarely fall sick. But I did, as all of us do. I was mostly in bed because the awesome combination of a fever, cough and the flu just didn't allow me to get much done at all. Alhamdulillah, it has passed and I couldn't be happier to get right back into the Ramadan groove. :)

While I was stuck in bed, I randomly texted my friends and family asking them what their favourite thing about this month was because I needed some positive reminders. Thought I'd share with you what some of their favourite things are..

I love this month because it brings families closer together at the dinner table where everyone gathers. And everyone is in a good mood cause they wanna eat, hahhaa.

That we're given Laylatul qadr. For me that's the game changer.

Why you suddenly asking me such deep questions. Ask someone else. -______- 

Everything. Can I say everything?

The mosques. I love seeing the mosques full and all the blessings like how Allah's even closer to you and its so much easier to get closer to Allah and how Allah gives us the last ten nights and how He'll forgive us if we approach this month with sincerity and stuff. (haha, and stuff)

Qiyam during the last ten days.

Repentance. Even the most preferred dua during this month if about repentance. I love that in this month especially, my first and last dua when I wake up and before I sleep, is all for Allah to forgive me.

Ramadan is a super super special month for me for many personal reasons too. It was in this month that I first decided to cover up, it was in this month that I chose to start praying, it was in this month that I first heard an explanation of one of the surahs in the Quran, and have fallen in love with it ever since. They didn't all happen in the same year, but it did all happen in this blessed month of Ramadan. And so I hope this is the year that you and I inshaAllah experience something new or renew our relationship with our Creator and His Book of Guidance, in our own special way. :)