Weekly reflections

I was searching for a photo to capture my emotions now, but then as I scrolled down my google photos, I saw a lot of my thoughts, tidbit thoughts about life I had jotted down on my old phone. I’m learning to live life without the things I’ve attached to throughout my entire existence: football, for one.

What if watching football is not a part of my life?

What if I detach myself from my favourite football team, who had just lost 5-0 to Manchester blue? (it sounds cheesier saying blue rather than city lol)

What if I detach myself from people and things?

Will I be okay?

Will I die from this detachment?

Because too many times when we’ve attached ourselves to things and people, our emotions flare up, and down and, up…

It has come to my realisation then, that life happens when you attach yourself to the right things.

Attachment. A matter of the heart.

 

 

{Say, “Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds.} [6:162]

 

Learn about who Allah is, and you’ll find peace in your heart. If you have been given the hidayah to learn about Allah, then that is the biggest blessing you can ever ask for in life.

All praise and thanks are for Allah alone, Lord of Worlds…

 

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Episode 02: The 8-hour plane ride to Saudi Arabia

The plane ride was something else. Saudi Airlines was, by my definition, Mumtaz. I’ve never felt so privileged before, taking a plane even though my seat was under economy class, and placed at the back of the airplane. Before take off, they reminded us of the dua’ when travelling,

اللهُ أَكْبَرُ ، اللهُ أَكْبَرُ ، اللهُ أَكْبَرُ سُبْحَانَ الَّذِيْ سَخَّرَ لَناَ هَذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لَهُ مُقرِنِيْنَ وإِنَّا إِلَى رَبِّناَ لمُنْقَلِبُوْنَ ، اَلَّلهُمَّ إنَّا نَسْألُكَ فِيْ سَفَرِناَ هَذَا البِرَّ وَالتَّقْوَى ومِنَ العَمَلِ ماَ تَرْضَى اَلَّلهُمَّ هَوِّنْ عَلَيْناَ سَفَرَناَ هَذَا وَاطْوِ عَنَّا بُعْدَهُ. الَلَّهُمَّ أَنتَ الصَّاحِبُ فِيْ السَّفَرِ والخَلِيفَةُ في الأَهْلِ الّلهُمَّ إنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ وَعْثاءِ السَّفَرِ وكَآبَةِ المَنْظَرِ وسُوْءِ المُنْقَلَبِ في المَالِ والأَهْلِ .

Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest, How perfect He is, The One Who has placed this (transport) at our service, and we ourselves would not have been capable of that, and to our Lord is our final destiny. O Allah, we ask You for birr and taqwaa in this journey of ours, and we ask You for deeds which please You. O Allah, facilitate our journey and let us cover its distance quickly. O Allah, You are The Companion on the journey and The Successor over the family, O Allah, I take refuge with You from the difficulties of travel, from having a change of hearts and being in a bad predicament, and I take refuge in You from an ill fated outcome with wealth and family.

 

and I thought that is a great way to remind us of who we should rely upon in everything we do, including travelling.  There is musolla in Saudi Airlines, something which I was told is the only airline that provides that. But I think Emirates or any of the middle east airlines do provide it too. I’m just assuming. The conundrum that every pilgrims faced then was, which way was the Qiblah?

Our ustadh told us that when you pray in the plane, just follow the plane’s direction of the destination the pilot’s heading to, which was to Makkah. Come prayer time I confirmed with him again just to ensure that I was doing it right, but even if there wasn’t any musolla, you can still pray sitting without the need to follow the Qiblah. There was a pilgrim who was not satisfied with the fact that we should just follow the direction where the plane was headed to, but my ustadh was calm in dealing with the man. He reasoned through his understanding and after a while the man calmed down and the exchange of knowledge continued while I went on and pray.

The meal times was surprisingly good; I will attest to the fact that the briyani they served on board is much better than any briyani I’ve tasted on land in Singapore! So next time if you want a good briyani, take a trip to the North West and you’ll be served with a good plate of briyani 🙂

Anyway, I love the fact how the small screen in front of us are filled with many educational videos to watch. There were a few apps of the Qur’an, and that is something I was excited about. Nothing soothes your heart more than the Words of your Maker, Allah  The Almighty. Of course, there was entertainment too, but I didn’t fancy the movies much, nor the dramas. Since I wasn’t on my ihram yet, that paranoia comes kicking in as to when I should wear it. For those doing ‘Umrah, we should be in our ihram and we should intend to do ‘Umrah before entering into the meeqat, or else there would be repercussions to it. Our entrance was through the Yalamlam meeqat, and the good thing is the pilot will always announce to get into your ihram and prepare to be in the state of Ihram.

I put mine 1 or 2 hours before, and after wearing it, the next concern came in: fearing it would become loose and I’d become bare naked in front of other pilgrims. I still think it’s the funniest thing that could happen, but I ask Allah to protect us from any humiliation. Usually during this time the pilgrims would start to rush to the toilet and change their clothes into just two white cloths, of which its thickness is like a bath robe, preparing to humble themselves before Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala.

The Talbiyah. We were told to recite the talbiyah as often as possible until we reach masjidil haram. To concentrate and do it every moment might be a rare occurence, because honestly, the mind sways easily. But to recite and embrace the meaning is of a humbling experience, because it reminds you of the fact that one, you are going to become an honoured guest to the most beloved place of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala. Two, it rectifies your intention, that you’re going to Makkah to perform the ‘Umrah, and that all the sightseeing and other activities are secondary. Three, you are reminding yourself of how weak you are as a human being, and that you are coming to Allah to get your sins erased.

8 hours of sitting and pondering upon the beauty outside. By the time we reached Riyadh, it was already close to 12 AM…

 

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To the person who searched for life, but…

It occurs to me that as I’m writing this, I’m writing from a matured perspective, I feel. Writing from a third person perspective is giving me more clarity on the outlook of life.

“To the person who searched for life, but found a man instead…”

I wrote those words in my yellow notebook. It was 2015. It was my routine of spilling my thoughts on paper, of needing to fill up my notebook with words. But it was more of an exercise of the mind, of seeking clarity in my thinking. I wrote them because I had conceived the notion that the person I had feelings for back in school had been seeking clarity in life. I must admit, I admired the way she looked at life, and I like people who enjoy deep conversations about life. Fast forward to 2017, looking at it again, maybe I’ve written it out of ignorance, oblivious to the fact that maybe she was already leading a good life. Maybe I wrote out of hastiness,  a desperate plea, hoping that one day we could meet up and I could finally tell her everything she needs to know. But, life has its own ways of revealing truths.

Perhaps I saw in her what she couldn’t see in herself, that she had the potential to grow to be a better person. Everybody has the ability to grow and become a better version of themselves. Perhaps at that time I wanted to be beside her, to guide her and show her the other side of life. But, having the reserved personality meant that I kept those feelings inside, perhaps hoping she’d realise someday through my cues and silences in the classes and in our small talks that she’d understand that I was…wanting to be with her. But I was a little too late. She had already found a man.

I can vividly remember the moments during those days, how stupid I felt inside for not saying the things I should have said. Always learn to say the things you want and need to say before it’s too late. My only wish now? That if I could get to meet her again, I would want to pass her the letter I had written for her on her birthday. But things have changed. Perhaps she is enjoying life right now, chasing her dreams and living life to the fullest.

I’m deriving a lot of lessons from this experience. You don’t always get what you want, and that could actually be good for you. It takes time to understand, and it takes time for things to fall into place. Everything is measured. Be patient with the decree Allah has for you. Carry on living life to the best of your ability. Learn how to cope with setbacks in life. Throughout the years I have found that the best investment one can make is to master your emotions. I hope she is doing well and fine.

Love. What is love?

To the person who searched for life, you are in my prayers, whenever and wherever I remember you.

I have episode 02 and 03 of my ‘Umrah trip to write.

A purifier.

5 AM, and my body was already giving away. For the next hour, an endless bout of vomiting occured, the ones that I felt a few years back when suddenly, my body had the urge to go to the kitchen and then I puked my way like the waterfalls of Indonesia. The funny thing was, I almost came to a black out after exerting all the energy I had to buy coconut water to lessen the heat in my body.  I thought that was funny; you, being sick, and still had the chills to walk a few metres to the shop and get yourself a drink to alleviate the matter. I almost knocked out! Walking like a drunkard; I was in a stupor. But I came back home just in time to rest, and then laugh about it. You’re just weird, Hazrul.

I haven’t experienced such painful moments for a long time. We were supposed to make our way back to Singapore, but because of my situation, and of my father’s (apparently he got the fever too, must be something we ate) we spent the next few hours of the day sleeping, resting.

As much as I had little control over what was going on, by the grace of Allah, I managed to monitor my thoughts, and my eeman, how I’m reacting to this episode of fever. All the things that I didn’t want to think of, they came out and kept replaying in my mind. I then realised, how, what we see, hear and think about everyday will be exposed with clarity when you are down with a fever. I saw how my eeman was weak, not being able to utter words of remembrance of Allah most of the time, and then I began to rue the moments not remembering Allah, not doing enough to get closer to Him. I saw myself needing my mother most of the time to help me clean up the mess, because I was too weak to even wash those stains on the toilet floor (I couldn’t control as to where I would want to vomit. It was too painful, and I couldn’t think straight even at that point of time.) I did try to clean them, but the smell was too strong, and to avoid another bout of vomiting just by smelling it, I walked out from the bathroom and straightaway landed on my bed.

Health and free time. We’ve been told by our Prophet (peace be upon him) about it. We’ve also been told about how sickness is an expiation of sins, so I have good thoughts of my Rabb. More so to get this on the first day of Dhulhijjah, I am more optimistic of the fact that He wants to erase my sins and start afresh.

Why am I telling you this? Some of you may find it repulsive, the fact that I am telling you about my vomiting experience. But there are lessons we can all learn from this.

For me, many ahadith (prophetic sayings) come to mind. Of them being the prophetic saying of health and free time; how, on the day of judgment, the two feet of the son of Adam will not move until he is asked of 4/5 questions; how the affairs of the believer is good in all circumstances, and many more that I cannot recall.

It also made me realise how short life is, how we should say the things we want to say to our closed ones, doing good to parents; it is when we are sick that we reveal our true colours. It’s scary.

I am still unwell. My back still hurts, and I feel lethargic, but thankfully I have enough energy to muster and type away this episode in my life. I ask of those who read this to keep me in your dua’.

 

A quote from Haruki Murakami’s book,

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“La ba’sa, thohurun In sha Allah.” – Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)