Never a coincidence – it was always Allah’s plan

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When Pakcik *Nawi decided to give me his copy of The Mathurat many years ago, it was never just a random gift. It was Allah’s mega plan. Allah was at his Most Merciful and Kind to arrange that Pakcik Nawi, should he ever died of his disease – he will get a supply of pahala through his amal jariah even without him being aware of it. Because InsyaAllah I will read it.

Pakcik Nawi was one of those patients who likes to frequent the emergency unit of my previous district hospital for minor ailments. Yes, he has hypertension and all that but above all, he was a ‘regular customer’. The kind that medical assistants can’t seem to turn away because ’emergency’ was the only place he knows where to get his supply of foot cream and fever meds.

One day he came and I greeted him happily. He was a man of little words but a smile is always plastered to his face. He was illiterate but gentle in manner as he nodded respectively while pointing at the hyperpigmented area on his foot. He was never able to describe properly what was wrong with the foot – he just wanted to apply something on it. Hence, we have to make an educated guess of what the problem could be. one day, after handing him the prescription slip, he took something out from his shirts breast pocket.

It was a brand new Mathurat. Probably given by someone else too and he said

“tak pandai baca”

I thanked him for it, kept the Ma’thurat away and never thought about it until recently.

The last time I read the Ma’thurat religiously was probably in high school. I could even memorize the Du’a and Zikr by heart. The words would just come out from my mouth smoothly like running fluid. After graduating from school, perhaps distracted in the race to pursue a medical degree and so called ‘life’ – I have quite forgotten about it. Not only the Ma’thurat but also my weekly Yasin recitals, the extra solat sunat and sadly Tarawikh even. Sangat lompong my Tarawikh. Not consistent.

Which is why I was grateful when Ayesha came to town with her Quran Tagging programme. It was an opportunity to reconnect with the Quran and Islam. It also made me reflect on why Allah is SO kind and Most Merciful and Thoughtful to have bestowed me an insyaAllah blessed marriage and these children – especially NOW with a daughter. * A different post about daughters later*. The usrah with Ayesha reminded me of the Ma’thurat again – my forgotten amal ibadat.

I have a few copies of The Ma’thurat at home but somehow I was drawn to the one given my Pakcik Nawi. It was still there on my shelf in its packaging. I’m not quite sure what has happened to Pakcik Nawi now but I hope that the pahala I got from reciting the mathurat will in a way fill up his pahala weighing scale as well and that it will help him on his journey to Jannah. InsyaAllah. For Allah The Most Compassionate, The Knower of All has planned for it that way.

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Quran Notes Marking Gathering (QNMG) – Melaka Edition 2018

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Before I stumbled upon Ayesha’s IG account – I was already doing some sort of marking in my mini Quran. It was not that organized but it was meant for me to find back the good dua’s and also reminders from the Quran. Naturally, the spark died but I was still hopeful to reconnect with the Quran and I began searching for hashtags of #quranjournalling #quranstudy for inspiration. One day I decided to try my luck and see if there was something as simple as #qurantagging and Pom! another interesting hashtag appear. It was #ayeshashares and that was how I got to know about these gatherings. Where girls get together and learn how to build a relationship with the Quran.

I remembered telling myself if ever QNMG is held in Melaka, I will sign up without hesitancy, without doubt. And since I believe that Allah akan mempermudahkan urusan kita apabila niat dan hasilnya baik, Ayesha did came to town. I paid the fees of RM300 online, cleared my schedule for the day and informed my husband not to have any locum and what not. If he still wants to go locum – he’d better figure out where to put the kids. I forwarded the event flyers to my other friends who I think would like to go too and alhamdulilah.. Kak Hasma (a former colleague) joined in. Senanglah skit nak yakinkan husband that its not an MLM thing I’m going because the venue was in a building that has ‘enterprise’ to its name.

“Eyy.. Im going with Kak Hasma ok”. macam tuhlah dialognya.

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The gathering started at 9AM and lasted the whole day. I was pretty sure I saw someone who looked like Felixia Yeap in my class that day but I was wrong. I still think its her. HA ha. The tagging part was just a minor part of the event, which was OK. We get to continue doing the tagging back home which was so fun and meaningful. The tazkirahs were just as lovely. It was like a big study circle. There were so many points to learn and muhasabah balik. Eventhough Ayesha was only 28 years old, the things she has learnt about our Deen speaks volumes through the stories she narrated and the materials in the Quran Kit.

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She elaborated her favourite hadith, talked about solah, emphasized on akhlak and taught us about Surah AlBaqarah. She gave us tips on how to construct a doa. She joked about the bawangs. She shared with us her dreams and her inspirational figures. It has to be one of my best Saturdays ever. Not a minute of my time being there was a complete loss. I loved it most when she said TAK RUGI BUAT BAIK. And that we should not let Syaitan plant the idea in our head that doing good deeds will lead to us being manipulated and taken for granted. Just do good, be good. Allah will be by our side. I personally like to do good things (most of the time), you know, stuff by the book because I honestly hope that my deeds will help carry me to Jannah as I have no strength to huffaz the Quran. Nor to pray extra on top of the obligatory ones. I struggle to fast. I feel I don’t have much knowledge to share with anyone. So I do good deeds. Simple nice things. To ease another persons hardship. To make them happy. To make me happy.

Like giving a smile. Saying kind words. Lending a helping hand. Comforting a lonely heart. Touching ones hands & hearts. Handing a ringgit or two for those who need it. Derma online. Sponsor an orphan. Buying a meal or keropok to the hungry. Supporting small businesses. Benda kecik2 mcm tuh.

The last LIVE tazkirah/study circle I attended was probably more than a decade a go. Bila dah kerja, dah jadi mak2 ni – I have trust issues to find a good study circle. And even if I do find one, my concern would be of allocating time to attend them. Naturally bila dah lama tak dengar hal2 agama – jiwa ni haus, kering. I should have brought some tissues there. Tiap kali dengar benda yg pilu, leleh air mata. Habis mascara I. Ayesha is such a humble and wonderful storyteller and yes, since she aspires to become our local version of Yasmin Mogahed – InsyaAllah her dreams will come true.

Thank you sis. I will try my best to be istiqamah in reading my Quran and doing good deeds everyday. InsyaAllah.

 

 

 

* Back from the gathering, Mr Husband asked, ” So did they talk using Sis a lot?” I just laughed and had to agree. Everything is Sis nowadays.

 

Lubuk Pahala. To each their own. What is yours?

Caprice says Social Media is the new Power. Sadly, how true. It is very easy to just judge someone based on a single photo or a video cut short. You drink a cup of coffee beside a penguin they say you want to abuse it, a guy wears pink to his grandma’s birthday party to fulfill the theme – netizens say he is gay. Just because he hugged a male cousin who is also wearing pink in ONE PHOTO.

But that is Social Media. We also cannot run away from being judgmental on a first encounter with a stranger in real life. We categorize people based on what they wear or who they hang out with. Pakai purdah is Arqam.. or sesat.. or antivaccine. Tak pakai tudung is tak solat, tak kenal agama. Cam tuhlah. Sedangkan we may never be sure the good things they do to please Allah. The Lubuk Pahala Allah gives to people we think have sinned greatly or is far from perfection – simply because He loves them!

Perhaps to a GRO, He bestowed her a disabled child whom she loves dearly and cares for unconditionally. To a childless couple a great amount of wealth so they could be generous and sedekah always.

And yet being human, we still judge. I too have my fair share of incidences which woke me up and made me istighfar as I felt awful for judging them too early. Eventhough it was not on Social Media tapi bila terdetik , “Eeeee.. dia tak malu ke mcm tuh. Tak insaf ke?” or “camnelah dia nak masuk syurga”.. it still feels bad.

#1

Once during medical school in Manchester, I was in the same group with this very energetic, young male Lebanese Muslim. He was popular for he loves to mingle with everyone. To the muslims, he would greet “SalamAlaykum Sisters/Brothers”.. to the non muslims it’ll be a hey man sorta thing. He would join every single social gathering like a pub crawl or a costume party. He does not drink alcohol but he socializes freely with the ladies. He would give them nice big hugs. Never a kiss but hugs definitely.  He wears a tight top which shows off his well sculpted body almost everyday.

I was wearing a hijab like those muslimahs you often see and I did not go to pub crawls. Not even the MESS PARTY. Hence it was easy for me to say ” kenapalah suka nak gi tempat2 camtuh” Until one day….

We finished our group session for the day. Being the friendly guy  he is, he was asking me (my sister Yasmin, that is what he usually calls me) how I was doing and how I should show him around Malaysia one day if he’d ever reach here – while rearranging his books and papers in his bag, when suddenly he brought out a little Quran. My immediate response was “oouh?” while pointing at the kitab.

He said “yeah yeah.. I bring it with me everywhere sister. I read them everyday. Are not the words of Allah beautiful? Our prophet Muhammad S.A.W. is such a lucky dude to be the first man to receive His words yeh?”

I was at lost of words. This man who hugs girls, goes to pub crawls – brings The Quran in his bagpack everywhere and reads them daily! Aku? Kadang-kadang seminggu pun macam tak sentuh. That was one of the biggest lessons I have learnt about Lubuk Pahala. This friend of mine, his was InsyaAllah in the reading of the Quran.

#2

There was this lady at work who wears the hijab as part of the uniform but frees her hair outside of work. Yet you can tell that she is kind from the way she talks and treats other people. So it was easy to say, “budaknya dah baik, kan bagus kalau dia pakai tudung”. Then you learn that she is more than kind – she prays her solat Fardhu on time and not only that, she wakes up at night for her tahajud. And she is not even above 30 years old. MasyaAllah.

Aku? Who will be 35 this year? Solat kekadang hujung waktu. Tahajud apatah lagi.

InsyaAllah her Lubuk Pahala is in her prayers and with time InsyaAllah she will cover herself as well.

To err is human. But we should always find ways to improve ourselves and please Allah. Find your Lubuk Pahala and work hard on it until you can become a good muslim as a whole in other aspects of your life. Do not depend on that one Lubuk Pahala though, for the ultimate goal is for us to have a ‘Good Ending’ and pave our way to Jannah. And that does not lie on Sedeqah alone. Or prayers alone. Or religious fasting. We need to still practice Islam as a whole. InsyaAllah.

 

Baby Ninie. Deciding between Daycare and Babysitter. Ended up choosing daycare. Why.

Mr Husband voted for daycare. I voted for a babysitter. I even made a few mental notes of the type of babysitter I’d choose or avoid.

  • Not having too many kids they babysit at home. Something like not having 2 babies less than 1 year old at one time.
  • Mothers with small kids of their own ( < 2 years old) is also not preferable because their kids would also demand attention. It’s normal. This is also for safety reasons as the carer could be stressed out and impose harm to the kids.
  • Avoid those with home/ online business that involves baking or food prep related products. My fear would be kids getting near hot utensils or sharp objects. But then comes the question – if they need to post their items for those selling cosmetics for instance, do they bring my child to the post office as well or have the postman pick it up?

I was hoping that once I choose a proper babysitter, Baby Ninie would be in a less crowded centre with personalized care. Full attention.

Mr Husband however, said it was dangerous to leave the child with A Babysitter. That one stranger whom you’ve never actually met before to care for an infant who couldn’t speak for herself. To him there are risks of unwitnessed abuse or assault, unwitnessed negligence, abduction (gosh) and what not. It does sound scary when laid out that way.

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While he agrees that in daycare, the numbers may be bigger and risk of negligence may arise – the key is to find a registered Daycare as a start. At least we know that a certain policy or training is in place to maintain the harmony and safety of the centre. And if reported for God forbid, some sort of offence – a penalty will be ensued. There may be bad apples but it would be rare for all of them to be horrible carers.

We found a daycare near our home. It had a registration number and was owned by a couple that my father in law knew. While the couple had a respectable background, we cannot say the same for the workers but we hope that surveillance is done promptly to monitor them. Because I understand how stressful it is to even care for one baby, what more with possibly 5 in one day. Not to mention the screaming bigger kids.

I took tips from friends and my sister – to ease the caretakers job and to protect Baby Ninie as well. Some of these tips include;

  1. Prepare a reasonable number of bottles to daycare, so they wouldn’t have to worry about washing the bottles too much. let them know you are okay with bringing back the unwashed bottles. Baby Ninie had 3.
  2. Choose a teat with a slow flow for infants. I personally chose Pigeons Peristaltic teat. It costs me about RM45 per bottle. mahal kan. sebab tak nak tersedak. It’s supposed to have that protective measure of not flowing if the baby is not sucking on the milk. But in a few months when she can sit up, I would opt for cheaper bottles.
  3. Provide enough milk formula and bring back the milk during the weekend. so you could monitor how much milk your child consumes and see whether it tallies with the usual amount you give at home. Some pre-packed the milk in small containers or straight in the bottle but I worry that sometimes Ninie may need small topups in between of an ounce or 2.
  4. Similar to diapers – some provide the whole pack. I prefer to supply on a daily basis so I could keep track how often her diapers are changed in a day. My magic number is 7. Some mothers advise in investing for the more expensive diapers that could hold urine more since diaper changing can be less frequent in certain centres.
  5. Prepare her grooming stuff in a bucket that is mobile so you could bring it back home at the end of the day.
  6. Finally, pray, Pray that god will look after her and keep her away from harm. InsyaAllah.

So far Baby Ninie is OK. The other bigger kids seem to like her a lot. HAHAHA. The main caretakers although young, seems nice. I hope it is not a front. We are paying RM100 for registration and RM350 per month. We can send her as early as 715AM and hope to fetch her by 530PM.

Yes, she gets cranky sometimes as reported by her carers. Mosquitoes bite her smooth skin once in a while but nothing major. She seems to posset a lot judging from her smell and wet clothes. The colour of her poo seems alright which is consistent with what she is feeding on.

Caring for a baby requires cooperation and proper communication between parents and carers. The child will grow in front of both their eyes and it is important to communicate changes and growth spurts to each other. If everything goes well, we may continue for the next year before she goes to preschool.

 

No alibi pics

If ever I was accused of a crime or being Missing In Action (M.I.A) – I can’t really prove that I was at a particular place or time you know. As an alibi. Like these fabulous, happy moments. Where I’m supposed to be there but not really obvious. HIhihi.

*Photos copied from friends facebook pages*

shida bday

A surprise birthday wish to a colleague. Kinda lured her into the resuscitation area, asking if she treated the fake patient earlier of the day and enquired what the hell went wrong!. It worked and we celebrated with a cake from Secret Recipe.

I was there. I did not take the photo. But I was there.

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Then there’s this moment where we had Iftar together at work. It was a quiet day and we managed to sit together at the table. Well I joined in a bit late because a patient who had a so called headache from 5PM decided to come to ED at 7PM near Iftar time to be seen. I thought he needed serious attention but it turned out he only wanted a Medical Certificate. WHATTTTTTT??? He came to Casualty just for a minor headache with no signs of increased intracranial pressure and normal vital signs!!!

Again, I was there. I did not take the photo. But I was there.

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And this took place last night. A mini get-together at a nearby hotel to break our fast. I had to leave early because I have mata ayam Ee goes to bed latest by 9PM and the last thing I want to do is carry him to the parking lot. The food at Bayview Hotel was not too bad. Loved the meat and the potato salad. I wished there were more room in my stomach for more bowls of cendol. But I was full and on the brink of having a gastro-regurgitation. We paid RM59/pax for adults and RM39/pax for kids over the age of 4.

A last shoutout : I was there. I did not take the photo. But I was there. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAA.

So yeah, I make a terrible criminal.