Thursday, April 26, 2012

Unusual, say...

Dear Diary,

Today was not one of my best.

After cutting 5 minutes short of my last class today, I went back to my office only to find another student waiting for me. He was there to see me for other reason. He seeks to see my tutor. While I was browsing the directory, little did I know, I've let out my frustration unintentionally. I was saying, "People always said that becoming a 'lecturer' is an easy job...". And this student of mine.. not that I want to hear an answer from him, replied saying, "Yes Mam, it is easy.". I told him, "That's wrong brother."

I recall back the talk given by Dr Abdi on Murabbi. As he said, it is always easy to become Mualim but never the same way to become Murabbi.

Dear Diary,

I kept asking myself, "have I done enough for the students?", "do they understand what I was teaching?", "what can I do to help them improve?", "how do I make them participate in class?", "why are they coming to my class with negative energy?"... I guess, I don't have the answers to all these questions... Some might say why bother to care for all that. My answer is, because I not only want to teach but hopefully insyaAllah, to inspire too...

Dear Diary,

It's 2:15am now.. the laundry is ready. Until then.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Teen idol?

Last weekend, I was watching Yalla Shabab (Come on Youth) on the tele where they were discussing on idol among the youth. At the start of the talk show, they show footage of the host asking some random people on the street. The first question that was put forward is on the latest movie by one particular director. The second question was about a song. For these two questions, all of the people interviewed answered correctly. Then came the third question - who is the first woman who turned to Islam? Only two of them got it right. The right answer is Siti Khadeeja, the wife of the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.
Honestly speaking, the first thing that came to me was, 'is this for real'. I would not be too surprised if Malaysians got it wrong. Then it came to me. Duhh... I must still have the wrong impression that all Arabs have better understanding. I forgot the fact that we are all the same whether one is Arab or the other is a Malay in the Eyes of Allah. What differentiate us is Taqwa (God-Consciousness). In order for one to gain Taqwa, one must look for knowledge ('ilm). With knowledge ('ilm) then only one is able to do righteous deeds (amal) which insyaAllah lead to to Taqwa. 

Speaking of teen idols.. I remember I had had one discussion with one Brother. We had the discussion about 4-5 weeks after his last cigarettes. I was so happy when I learned that he decided to stop smoking. When I asked him how did he do it. Did he just woke up one morning and decided "enough is enough". He told me that he had thought of it for quite sometimes. After doing some research to prepare himself mentally, with strong will, he quit without the need to use any sort of nicotine patch. Allahu Akbar! 
You see, this Brother, he loves music. During our conversation, he actually mentioned one very strong point. He told me that most of the singers or bands that he listened to are those people who are mostly in the 'dark'. In a way he said that he might have been influenced by their characters. 

I was reading an article the other day on parenting written by one famous figure. One of the points that she made was - parents should make a lot of Doa for their children. Ask Allah to 'teach' our children the Quran. Ask Allah to protect our children from bad influences. Ask Allah to make our children befriend those who are like the perfume seller and not the black smith. Who they make friends with is super duper important especially since we are not with them all the time. 

I am going to sidetrack a bit (can't help it :P). There were times when Ibrahim or Insyirah would cry their heart out when I sent them to childcare center. Those were heart breaking moments. Seriously. Although it was not that often, but should it happen and I don't have the choice to let them literally roam my office, the Doa that came across my mind is Hasbunallahu Wa Ni’mal Wakil - Allah (Alone) is sufficient for us.. hoping that Allah would look out for my kids.

Now, where was I. Oh yes.. finding the right friends is as important as finding a the best teen idol i.e. someone you could look up to as a role model. Of course the best of role model is none other than our beloved Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. Hands down to that. No living human could surpass him. But because some might say, he was a Prophet i.e. maksum (infallible) whereas we human are not. Then, why not we make the Sahabah (companions) as our role model. There are Khadeeja, Fatima and Aisyah among many others for the ladies and Abu Bakar, Zubair Al-Awaam and Said bin Zaid and many more for the boys. I guess what we parents should also do besides making lots and lots of Doa is to read to our kids stories of the prophets AND also of the companions. May Allah bless our children with good character. Amiiiinnnn ya Rabb! 
On the authority of Abu Musa al-Ash'ari, the Prophet saw said:
A good friend and a bad friend are like a perfume-seller and a blacksmith: The perfume-seller might give you some perfume as a gift, or you might buy some from him, or at least you might smell its fragrance. As for the blacksmith, he might singe your clothes, and at the very least you will breathe in the fumes of the furnace. [sahih al-Bukhari, vol 3, #314 and Muslim]

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Understanding the Call~

*Breath in... Breath out* Fuhh! I'm feeling super much better now. 

March was simply crazy! Alhamdulillah, with the marking over, I can start focusing on other things like research (and blogging :P).

Besides missing blogging hours in March, I have been missing the great hours of usrah too. It was not my choice. May Allah bless me with the time to be in Majlis ilmu again.

Anyway, I actually wanted to share this one thing right after I heard it on the radio. But as I mentioned before, there were so much to do and I had to skip it. Until now.. :)

If you are a native listener of IKIM, you might have heard what I am about to say. Every weekdays if I am not mistaken, there is this one hour slot between 5pm to 6pm where there will be one scholar answering to questions raised by callers. The topic is different everyday varying from Fiqh to Muamalat. 

And so what has fascinated me? Here goes...

When the DJ gave salam, a tiny voice was at the other end of the line. When asked how old she is, she said she is 10. Hearing her voice was the first thing that fascinated me. And later knowing that she's only 10 and listen to IKIM when she could have chosen other radio station.. fascinating! I would definitely be proud if Insyirah did the same. 

Then the DJ asked, "so what is your question?". It was all in Malay but since I am writing in English, I hope I gave her question a fair translations. The little girl then answered, "Ustaz, may I know what do I do should I have advised someone but he/she did nothing?".

How could I not felt astonished?! I was ten but when I have problems I never have thought of calling an Ustaz over the radio to get a solution! But she did. 

Since the little girl didn't really explain as to what the problem was, the Ustaz's replied was fairly general. But he did mention one very strong point - the closer the relationship you have with the person you are approaching, the harder it becomes. 

Who did not agree with this? If you are, then you must have some special power or something. I know I agree with the Ustaz. 

Usually, when involving people close and dear to you, when they did something wrong and you want to approach them, these are examples of the normal outcomes:
Outcome 1: You simply close an eye to the matter i.e. not advising them since you are afraid that you might hurt their feelings. 
Outcome 2: You advised them, they listened but they did nothing. 
Outcome 3: You advised them but they made fun of the suggestions and did not care to listen.  
Outcome 4: You advised them and they have more to say to justify their actions i.e. you fail to make them understand and they stick to their old habits 
Outcome 5: You advised them and they are more than happy to change

So those of you who have special powers, I'm pretty sure you always have outcome number 5. 

I've lived for *clear throat* years but still I have not mastered the art of tegur-menegur ni. My say, when dealing with human, all we need to remember is that we have to treat everyone differently because there are simply no two that are the same. Even the very identical twins have something that is not in common. One approach might work for another but not the other. And we must always bear in mind that we can do so little. Seek help from Him then do what you must do. 

I remembered one fact which K Tuty shared with us. We usually do some things first before we do the Sunat prayers. For example, it's exams week. One studied until late night. And after the exams, he/she performs extra Sunat prayers hoping that Allah would ease his/her way of getting good grades. It is interesting to realize that it should be the other way round i.e. you need to do Solat Sunat before you begin your study. Then after the exam, you pray and Tawakkal. This is actually obvious from the 5 times Azan everyday "Hayya 'ala salah, hayya 'ala al-falah" i.e. "Come to Solat", "Come to Success".  To my students, may success always come your way. To the little girl who made the call, I hope whoever you are trying to tegur would soon realize it and change to the better. InsyaAllah. :)