Friday, December 27, 2013

Yaby's two cents ~ No. 1

Ayat / hadith on exam...

"When Allah desires good for someone, He tries him with hardships." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî] 

"No fatigue, illness, anxiety, sorrow, harm or sadness afflicts any Muslim, even to the extent of a thorn pricking him, without Allah wiping out his sins by it." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]

“Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods, lives and the fruits (of your toil) but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. Those who, when misfortune strikes them, say: ‘Indeed we belong to Allah and to Him is our return. Those are the ones upon whom are blessings and mercy from their Lord and it is those who are rightly guided.” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 155] 

“Every soul shall taste of death. And We will test you with evil and with good by way of trial. And to Us is your return.” [Sûrah al-Anbiyâ’: 35]. 

“And as for man, whenever his Lord tries him by honoring him and makes him lead an easy life, he says: ‘My Lord honors me’. But when He tries him by straitening his means of subsistence, he says: ‘My Lord has disgraced me’.” [Sûrah al-Fajr: 15-16]

“It is He who created death and life that He may try you as to which of you is best in deeds.” [Sûrah al-Mulk: 2] 

** IIUM studens, all the best for your end of semester exam.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The PURPOSE of LIFE!~

Please watch.. and if you are already a Muslim, hope this reset your mind and instill greater faith in you.

 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

13 again~

Happy Birthday to me. 

Promise you this is going to be a short one. Thank you all for all the sweet wishes!!! *They are yummy!!!* I love you all!

Being 13 means that I’ll be in a new kind of ‘school’ starting this very moment. No more ‘primary school’. I heard from many, ‘secondary school’ can be more challenging. To begin with, the number of ‘subject’ that we are going to learn is increasing. The difficulties in understanding the 'subjects' will take more effort too. Then there are the ‘PMR’ followed by ‘SPM’. Uuu~ scary 'moments'. May Allah continue to guide me.. I mean us!

Thank you Allah everything.

"Ya Allah, cukupkanlah bagi kami dan janganlah Engkau mengurangi nikmat yang telah Engkau kurniakan." ameen...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bahim turns 3!

Dear Bahim,

Happy 3rd Birthday!! May you grow up to have as much good characters as the Prophet Ibrahim as. Ameen ameen ameen ya Rabb. 

Latest story on your development was you had your first haircut at the barber just two days before your birthday. Don’t worry, you still look cute. As I watched the video recorded by ya-yah, it makes me smiling in laughter knowing that although you are crying cats and dogs, you still listen to what ya-yah told you to do – “hold still, don’t move” as the barber move his electric razor up and down. Ok.. I admit. It was a little heartbreaking. But I know if you ever get to watch the video when you are older, you’ll do the same as I did. :D

Photo taken right after the haircut.. yes, we had to 'bribe' you with ice cream so that you would stop crying.. :P
Hmm.. there were so many funny things that you did in the past one year. There won't be enough time for me to write everything down. One example though, the tune that you made up on our trip back from Padang Besar. Up to this day, you still sing your made-up tune without a beat out of tune! 


Then, there is the 'wrong'. Your Cheche had once pronounced wrong as 'yong'. Guess what? Yesterday, you on the other hand pronounced it as 'wong'. "Mi-mi you are wong (wrong)" which I believe you are not wrong at all. LOL..  

One thing hasn’t changed though that is your love for cars. This year, you get early presents from Mak Long and Pak Uda and Mak Uda (yes Nina.. you have to accept this sooner than later :P). All have to do with wheels!!!

We want you to know that we love you every bits and pieces. Happy birthday sayang~ May Allah bless you more on this special day. :)

Cheche made you this card for your 3rd Birthday :).. yup, it's McQueen ka-chiow

p/s: it so happen to be that today is also the 10th Dzulhijjah.. a very special day related to Prophet Ibrahim a.s. ;-) 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Parallel lines :)

Bismillahirrahman nirrahim..

Alhamdulillah I am into my 14 weeks of pregnancy. :-)

When I got the double lines on the pregnancy test stick, I was (and still am) super glad. All thanks and praises are to Allah alone.

This pregnancy experience is different in sooooo many different levels starting from having the two lines. Then there’s the paranoia that lingers in my head to the extent that I dare not share the news with my friends. Huhuhu~ You could say that the miscarriage had left some.. I would not say ‘scar’ because that sounded too negative. Rather, I would say that the incidence has left an impression on me (I should have not used the word paranoia in the beginning too :-p). With Jia and Bahim, Alhamdulillah, things have been smooth sailing. I had the first check up in the 12 weeks and saw them both for the first time on separate black and white screens. For my little Ismail, I believe Allah has a greater plan for me and Yaby.

Next, came the morning sickness. I had morning sickness when I had Jia. But this time around it is (yes.. ‘is’) different. Earlier into the pregnancy, I literally was sick. I was always hungry but when I do eat, 30-40% (now the percentage has reduced to less than 5%) of the food would always find their way climbing back the esophagus, through the throat and out from where it had come from. Adeh~ and the after taste.. yucky gooey~ My abdomen and back hurt due to the purging. I had to avoid any funny smell including what used to be nice cooking aroma as they are the main catalyst to induce the vomiting process. Although this might sound like me complaining, trust me, I am not. Just wanting to share especially to my dear students on what might have been the same experience your Mother had experienced when having you. This is one of the many reasons why you must always love your Mother. :-)  
"And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination." - Surah Luqman, verse 14
So there you go.. my formal shout out on my pregnancy to all my dear friends and readers :-). May Allah continue to reward us all with what is best for us. And may "our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring qurrota a'yun and make us an example for the righteous."!

Before ending this entry, I leave you peeps with Nouman Ali Khan in which he explains on the last Du'a. To my students, the first few minutes into the lecture will benefit you most. ;-)



Thursday, September 19, 2013

For Education~

Image imported from here
 Using the money he earned from peddling trishaw, Mr. Bai Fang Li has contributed to finance more than 300 poor students in their tuition fees and living expenses, helping them to complete their studies.
His daughter recalls “He suffers throughout his life, saving on food and drinks, stitching his torn pants over and over again. When you throw away his old pants and buy new ones for him, not only that he does not want to wear them but he also gets angry.”
When the elder peddles trishaw, his clothes, shoes and hates all do not match, as if he is a beggar.
“I had never bought any clothes before. You see, the clothes that I wear are all picked up from the clothes people threw away. Look at my shoes, they are different, even the socks inside are different! The same applies to my hat; it was also collected from dumpsites.” he said.
His family members who could not resist looking him like that have advised him but to no avail.
In response to that, he simply picked up a bun and said to his children
“What is so hard about this? This bun is the product of the farmers’ hard work. People throw it away; I pick it up and eat it; isn’t this a way to reduce wastage?”
Image imported from here

It has been calculated that, over years, Mr. Bai Fang Li has peddled equivalent to going round the Earth’s equator for 18 (times?). Mr. Bai has never thought to be rewarded.
Somebody attempted to find the list of students sponsored by Mr. Bai but he only found a photograph of him with a few children, and that is the only photograph ever taken. When asked about what he expected of the children, his humble reply was “I only want them to study hard, get a good job, be a good person and to give back to the country.”

Image imported from here

In 2001, Mr. Bai Fang Li donated the last sum of money. Nearly 90 years old, he was unable to peddle trishaws anymore.
Instead, he looked after people’s car at the station and saved up to 500 yuan before he donated the money.
After giving out his last sum of money, he said “I cannot work anymore, I can no longer donate money to others!” and that was the first time in her life his daughter Bai Jin Feng had ever heard her father saying that.
Mr. Bai passed away on September 23, 2005, in a hospital. Hundreds turned up at his funeral.

******

My say after reading all this is, ask yourself this question -  "have I spread a little kindness today?" - Mode insaf~


Friday, September 13, 2013

Cotton candy heart..

I am sweet
Kids love me
Some adults hated me
I'm just a cotton candy

I am white
They do make me pink
Other times I'm blue or green
I'm just a cotton candy

I am soft
When care given to me
A squeeze always harden me
I'm just a cotton candy

Love me or hate me
Make me pink, blue or green
Care for me or squeeze me
In the end I'm just a cotton candy
Shall be done with the last bite
Everything will melt
An after taste that won't last
The same left for a cotton candy heart

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

PhD Again?! :P

Received an email from a silent reader (as she said it in her second email). After getting her consent, this entry is especially to reply to her email. ;-)


*******
Salam Sis Amelia,

I am D**** and reading your blog. Actually I was browsing through the internet to get as much info about studying PhD in Australia before I came across your blog. So you studied in Queensland before, and I have few questions to ask if you don’t mind (related to PhD work, PhD admission, etc). I heard from others that it is quite difficult to finish PhD in 3 yrs time, is it true? If I am not mistaken, you obtained PhD on time (after 3 yrs). I better list down what puzzles me in my mind. I hope you do not mind to answer Kak Amelia.

1- Why did you choose University of Queensland instead of other university in Australia?
2- My research field is embedded system (which I believe same as yours), it is a very broad area and I really do not know where to start. But my passion is to do research that is related to reconfigurable architecture of FPGA.  There are so many researchers working on FPGA related project, do you think FPGA field has a good future?
3- What is the basic criteria for ones to involve in embedded systems project? What kind of algorithm or other knowledge they should know?
4- Any advice/tips for those want to pursue study in Australia especially in PhD?
5- How did you find supervisor that suits your research interest? 
..

I think that’s all for now. Hope to hear from you.

Regards,
D****
*******
Wa’alaikummusalam wrt wbrt,

Bismillahirrahmannirrahim…

Dear Sr D****,

First and foremost, thank you for reading my blog. I am very happy to know that someone whom I never really met is reading my blog. I hope you have not been wasting your precious time. ;-)

Yes.. I did my PhD in the University of Queensland. I am not trying to scare you.. but to me it feels like 100 years for me to complete my PhD. If someone would come in front of my door today or in the future, offering me a million Ringgit in exchange for me to do another PhD, I would chase him away with my smelly broomstick telling him never ever ever to return. 

But before you go pulling your hair or having sweaty palm and regret sending me this email, rilek.. sabar.. *breath in.. breath out* :-) 

Of course, as an academician, we need to go through this. Why? Absolutely it is not for the degree. The degree is just a bonus. My former Dean once told me in which I totally agree with him - PhD is all about learning ways to do research.. to be able to work independently. Trust me on the latter. During your PhD years, you will stack a lot of techniques of survival especially when you have kids and your husband is also doing his PhD. :-D

Now let’s answer your questions. 

1. To be honest, I didn’t actually know that I could straight do a PhD in Australia with only a bachelor’s degree. I knew a couple of my friends are doing so in the UK. And so, my initial plan was to find a University in Australia that offers MPhil and later during my studies, to convert it to PhD. After some search, The University of Queensland is one of the University in Australia that offers MPhil programme. We are fortunate though that we met one Brother at the Musolla who informed us that we are qualified to do PhD. After some paper work, we were enrolled as PhD candidate. If you want to ask why Australia.. that, I have to answer in a different entry. :D   

2. Indeed, embedded system is hugeeeeeee!~ Good thing you have realized that. ;-) And for you to select a platform i.e. the FPGA means you have further minimized your research scope in embedded system. Based on this, I would say that you have made an excellent start. While there have not been many off-the-shelves household products that utilizes the FPGA as the main platform, FPGA is still one of the best prototyping platforms due to its low cost and reconfigurable nature.

3. When you defined a ‘platform’ in your research work, be it an FPGA or any other platforms, from my experience, you would expect to do some hardware development. With that the level of difficulty in the research work has somewhat increased. If you have no experience with any of the platforms, the learning curve could be steep. There’s the required language to learn and development software to play around with. In my case, I had to experiment with Handel-C and SystemC before resorting to VHDL which I’ve prior knowledge of. Why? Again this is another different story to tell. But of course, you will have to learn something new along the way. I take those as one of it. Your selection of supervisor and having great colleagues that allow you to bother them during the weekend or late at night will be super-duper crucial.

4. Allow me to combine question 4 and 5. As for tips… hmmmmmm… hmm… I guess, anywhere you go, you bound to hear scary PhD stories. And so my advice, focus more on the good side of the story. Having said that, there’s nothing to lose if you prepare a little extra. In general, this is what you should do. Do some search on any prospective supervisor. Look into his/her publication list. Read some. From there you can tell in which area he/she is expert in. Find out also if he/she has failed any student before. If yes, you need to know the reasons why. If the supervisor has huge grant, this would be a plus since they might provide you with a top-up allowances. ;-) One thing about studying in Australia, the renting can be an issue for us Malaysian. Unfortunately, in Australia the rent is per week. Thus, make sure you save some of your monthly allowances for the extra 4 weeks! ;-) Don’t spend too much at the factory outlet! :-P

I guess that’s about it Sis D****!

Allow me to add two more points. You are about to embark into a journey in which will mark another great milestone in your life. For some, the road has been clear until the end. For many, it has not been an easy road. For that, be prepared mentally. Have your love ones understand what you are about to take on. You will need their full encouragement and support. On top of this effort of yours, don’t forget to do Istikarah. HE will answer to all your needs especially the spiritual aspects. I wish you all the best D****. May Allah guide us all the way. Ameen…

Wassalam
Amelia

Monday, August 12, 2013

Raya 2013!

I was hanging the clothes this morning when all this Raya thing came to me. The thought of it sure left me smiling – alone.

What is it with Raya that most of us are looking forward to every year? New apparels? Perhaps. Kuih raya? Could be. Ketupat and Rendang? My favourite. But I guess all of those could not surpass the true spirit behind Raya celebration. Yup.. it is all about bonding the social ties. I guess this answer is always true given any celebrations. 

Eh jap~ Maybe it is not always the case. 

*Pause*

I remember the days when I dreaded for Ramadhan.. those were the days when I fast to get 1 ringgit for each day I fasted and Hari Raya was all about getting duit raya. I wonder what was Raya really for me back then? Hmmm…

*Two minutes later*

Come to think of it, Raya back then was also the times when I got to play with my cousins until late night. Which means… I TAKE BACK MY SECOND STATEMENT THEN! Indeed Raya is all about bridging ties. :D

Growing up in a loud family, our squabbles could easily reach the maximum of a normal human’s tolerance limit. Ngah ngah ngah..  Adeh.. lawak nya. But Alhamdulillah.. most of the time, we manage to reconcile sooner than later. If not, bila raya, boleh laa bermaaf-maafan. Hehehe…

Several times when I said to Ummi, “sorry laa, masa kecil-kecil dulu selalu bagi Ummi pening. Ummi mesti pening layan karenah kitaorg yang macam-macam?” Ummi will answer, “macam-macam laa bagus. Macam jari kita, ada yg panjang ada yang pendek. Semua tak sama. Baru cantik.” We sure gave Ummi a very-very-very hard time. Hehehe…

Whether between friends or spouses or siblings, we bound to hurt each other’s feelings. It just happens. Sedangkan lidah lagi tergigit. Given our differences, I have always believe that if we set aside our differences and find a common ground, we would be happier and there would be less conflict. Betul~ And If we focused more of the good times, insyaAllah we would waste no more time hating and fighting one another. :-D

Watching Jia and Bahim playing together one moment and fighting over toys in the next, makes me wonder how they are going to be like in the next five years to come. At times, when they both were lovingly cuddling each other, I have always thought of like recording those moments. In the case if they ever caught in a big argument, I would come in like a Superhero-ine with the video at hand as their kryptonite to remind them of their happy moments together. If gaduh jugak, Ummi tarik telinga. Ngah ngah nagh :-P

Make full use of the Raya spirit. Make amends and stay HAPPY everyone! With that, Selamat Hari Raya Maaf Zahir Batin! Please forgive me ye kawan-kawan
Jia and Bahim with their cousins - 12/8/2013

 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Turmoil inside...



….

It is sad to watch any 5 or 6 year-old kid crying telling his or her story of how a pet cat died. But in this short video, it is even more heart breaking to watch a 5 or 6 year-old crying for reasons which just hard for me to comprehend.

Right now, my heart is shouting – “What should we do?!! What can we do?!! What do we do?!!!!” I’m guessing you do too since I believe most of us are humane enough to feel and share the pain. This is not the first kind of this video. We’ve seen footage and images of how kids, young and old were brutally murdered, killed, humiliated.. images that would make your eyes teary, hands and lips trembled… O Allah, accept them as martyrs.  

At the same time, right now I am angry, furious and frustrated with the controlled media. Shame on you! I know my voice will not be heard just as the thousands of Muslims being oppressed all around the world. Why do you do this to Islam? You associated Islam with terror, extremism, violence and all other negative attributes that you can think of. Now I would like to ask you the same question as the little boy in the video – WHAT DO WE DO TO YOU? .........

To all my Muslim Brothers and Sisters, it IS hard for us to change the media. We have no controlled over them. But we cannot do nothing. I am not perfect myself. But I urge my Brothers and Sisters… please.. please continue to show the best of Islam. Spread words of Islam (I know this is also an outstanding task which I myself have not fully fulfilled). And please.. please unite and practice Islam according to the Qur’an and the sunnah. Seek true knowledge of Islam. As our beloved Prophet Muhammad S.A.W said,  
I leave behind me two things, the Qur'an and my example, the Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray.” – Narrated by Imam Malik
In the matter of Syi’ah, I am not going to argue whether the Syi’ah is Kufar or not. I am leaving that to Allah. But I can say this. Islam is about peace. Islam does not agree with destroying plants and animal, let alone killing of the innocent human being. In Islam, marriage is sacred to the extent that it is urge to care for the Nasab (lineage) and more importantly to not oppress the women. How is marriage according to the Syi’ah’s Mut’ah law does not oppress the women? Who will be the 'protector' of those women and children born under the Mut'ah law? .......... 

Allahu'alam

O Allah, please don't let these hearts deviate from the truth. May Allah keep us in the straight path. Amin ya Rabb…



Friday, July 5, 2013

Friends~

Recently, I had this discussion. Since I have been asked with this kind of questions several times now, I thought it might be useful to share it here. Bear in mind though that there is never one way ticket out of every problem. ;)

***

"But Madam.. I think my friend.. they are not happy for me…”.

When it comes to matter involving feelings, it always goes down to - either your instinct is giving you the alert sign OR it is just you over thinking things. :P

Firstly, remind yourself that you need to husnuzon. It is important that we neither suspect nor assume. Yup.. the over thinking.. NOT good. Until you can be sure that your friend is really really really aren’t happy for you, then you must keep on bersangka baik.

I know it’s hard. I guess that’s the price of Jannah that we have to pay. But a good Muslim would try as hard as possible to always think positive. Basically, the idea is to avoid confrontation which might lead to unnecessary argument which could end up one breaking ties with another. You see, Islam is all about peace. 

However, if you knew for sure they are not happy for you, then here is my word for you - apologized but continue to do good towards them.”

“Can I avoid them, Madam?” 

Honestly speaking (err.. I mean typing), I have problem answering this question. I usually gave my answers based on my own experience i.e. on how I think would work best (that is after series of trial and error.. HOhohoHOHOHoho :P). In the past, there were times when I too was kept far away from the loop. How do I know? Ke Madam buruk sangka? I can tell you that I was not making this up. Why they do that you asked me? I don’t know. It would be nice if one day, they would let me know so that I would not repeat those things that might have caused the aversion. Then again.. maybe it's better for me not to know. Oh I don't know~ Anyway, where was I… 

Aaaa.. yes.. and so, to answer the second question, let me remind you this – among the faces of the people in Jannah belongs to those who join ties. 

Avoiding them == severing the ties. 
Severing the ties == not people in Jannah. 
Not people in Jannah == Go to Hell! 
NooOOooOOoOOOOOoooo.. 

Scary isn’t it! Yes, avoiding them would be the easiest escape route. I know. I too had once thought of doing so. But then, that would not solve anything and would make your path to enter Jannah harder!  On your part, you might feel, ‘Adeh, sakitnya hati. Why must I do the talking first? It’s not like they are going to appreciate it anyway’. If you think you can continue to withhold them, with the intention to seek Allah's blessings. Then please, by all means, do not avoid them. But if you think by having them around would only make you talk bad about them behind their back or lead you to do worse, then please avoid them. Look for better companions. But should you crossed each others path, give them a sincere smile. :)

“Madam, are you saying that we should not befriend the bad people?” (Adeh~~~ susahnya~)

Let’s make it clear though. It is not our job at all to judge people. Everyone is good but the only thing is, there are people who are having greater level of Iman. That’s it. Maka dengan itu, if you think you can lead the less good to do good, please please please continue becoming their friends. Don’t leave them alone. Show good values and examples. Be kind and patient towards them. Who knows, they might be better too. BUT, there is of course the ‘but’. But if you think by becoming their friends causes you to drift away from the right path, then you need to start building a gap from them. Takut you go from better to just good. Ada paham ke?~

Whatever you do, always seeks His guidance. ;) Wallahualam…