Soul-searching

Marrakech, Winter 2015

Souls are of three types.
1) Commanding Soul
Nafsul Amarah. It will command you to do evil things, leading you to the hell. But, it is also receptive to changes. Human soul is like a child being breastfed by its mother, addicted to it. When they are being weaned, it shouts keeping the household and neighbourhood awake. After time, in a few months, it changes and would not want to be breastfed again.

How do we mold this commanding soul? It will first scream, then with time it will lose its grip if you surround yourself with good environment, make good deeds your routine.


2) The blaming soul
 Nafsul Lawwamah; blaming itself. A living soul will feel regretful and happy at times. When he sins, he will regret and blame himself and when he does good things, he is happy.

3) The Peaceful Soul
Nafsul Mutmainnah of serenity, contentment and inner warmth. They will hear the Angel of Death at his deathbed saying, " Oh you peaceful soul, return back to Allah, pleased with yourself and Allah is pleased with you...."

Taubat dan Padang Pasir

Morocco, Winter 2015

Teringat pengalaman bermalam di padang pasir.
Cuba kita bayangkan kita sendirian di padang pasir dengan unta yang membawa makanan-makanan dan barangan-barangan lain. Tiba-tiba, kita sesat dan unta tersebut hilang. Tak keruan kita dibuatnya.

Lalu, kita kepenatan dan tertidur. Setelah bangun, unta kita itu tadi berada di depan kita. Betapa gembiranya hati kita.

Bayangkan perasaan itu. 

Sesungguhnya Allah swt lebih gembira apabila hamba-Nya bertaubat setelah melakukan dosa.

Wallahu a'lam.


p/s: Alhamdulillah, tadi berjaya jogging. Doakan saya istiqamah. cewah. Target hari ini, jawab soalan neuro dan buka Neuroanatomy Crossman.

Social Interaction

Picture of a bird perching on a pole at the rooftop of Golden Horn Hotel, Istanbul in Spring 2016. Taken after breakfast.


Sometimes, we do not know what makes us happy. Interaction may be challenging to one and may not be to another. One may both like and do not like socialising. Of course, if personally invited, one should make all the effort to be present because there is a right of others for us to fulfil the invitation.  We also have to consider others’ point of view and not wrapped up in our own dislikes and discomfort. However, sometimes, perhaps when one know one does not have the ability and energy to make a convo into a meaningful one, one tend to skip the social gatherings. I don’t know if this makes oneself rude and selfish.

One may not enjoy socialising when it stops becoming meaningful and significant; conversing on superficial matters that will not add value. One may then hate it and disappointed with oneself when one fails to shift the conversation to be a meaningful one. Perhaps, one should be more prepared and more courageous. Or perhaps, one may have been wrong all along, because there will always be values in anything if one seeks for it.

The more we isolate ourselves from new people, the more isolated and segregated our society may become. Those casual interactions we have in house party, dinner etc probably will be the ones to cross social and economic barriers. They expand your little world and overlapping bubbles that create a society.

Akhir kalam, Rasulullah saw ialah contoh terbaik. I pray that we all be given eloquence and courage to spread good and warming words.
Maaf zahir batin.


Broccoli Soup

Assalamualaikum,

With the motivation to eat healthily, I woke up yesterday wanting to eat something, but I rather have something that will make me happy with myself. So, I decided a vegetable soup. Then, I remembered having broccoli soup once in a restaurant and I absolutely loved it. I just never knew that broccoli can taste that good. After looking up for the recipe in the internet, I decided to make it with whatever I have got and it tastes quite good, well, at least not horribly bad. Lol.
So, here is how I made the soup.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 of the half of chicken breast (would you say 1/4 of chicken breast?)
  • Broccoli (If you buy it from lidl, use half of it)
  • Milk (about half a cup)
  • 1 potato - skinned and chopped
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Water -about half a cup
  • Olive oil / butter

Well, you see my measurements have never been exact, alter as you like, especially with the water and milk.

Methods:
1. Simmer the chicken breast (Cut into roughly smaller pieces) in water for about 10 minutes
2. Heat up the olive oil,.Saute the onions and garlic.
3. Add in everything (potato, chicken breast with the stock, broccoli, milk)
4. Simmer until all are tender. Season with salt and pepper
5. Blend them untik you get a mushy and quite smooth soup
6. Reheat it.


Enjoy. :D



You Terus

Assalamualaikum. This is just a writing about my unorganised thoughts (like most of my posts, because I usually don't proofread them, simply scribbling).

You terus; or rather Uterus. I got the phrase 'You terus' from a joke by my friend. You know who you are.

Eating trash has always been my problem. What I mean by trash is unhealthy food. I don't yet find the best way to motivate me to eat healthily. Then, this thought came. However, I must say here that they are only relevant to ladies.

Well, ladies. Doesn't what you eat shape you, affect your future, at least your future health? Plus, if you aspire to have offsprings in the future, and not only that, you want them to be healthy, don't you? So, you have got to take care of your health from now on. Don't we carry our children with us now? Lol. No? The ovum (Or rather follicles) in your ovaries? Their individuality has already existed physically with you since you were a foetus. They, if you would like to think, have also been physically connected with your mum (their grandmother).

So, whenever the thought of opening the maggi package or reaching out any other trash, put your hand on your lower belly and think of 'You Terus', or if you want to go a step forward, imagine caressing a baby (foetus) with a motherly touch. Lol. What a strange thought.



I don't know how long will this work on me. Trying to manipulate my mind.

P/s : I don't know any direct effects of diet to ovarian follicles/ ovum, you can check the literature if you want. As for now, I need to sleep. Knackered, moving from one hospital to another in a day and doing some crunches and lunges.

Picture


Iceland

Alhamdulillah, in winter break 2016, I was blessed to see the magical beauty of this world. I went to Iceland. Many thanks to my travel mates who had braved the storm together, were willing to drive us despite the long hours and bad visibility, arranged the itinerary, vehicles and many more things that they have done. Thanks for letting me be part of your trip.




Skogafoss























We also had the chance to visit one of  the three Islamic Centers. The one we visited is in Reykjavik near The Pearl. We were heartily welcomed and served with tea and biscuit after Subh. The Muslim population in Iceland is about 2000 people, mostly are immigrants. However, only about 800 of them are registered because some may not be practising and some may be scared to do so. 
Interestingly, this building was once a pub. If you step into it you can be a witness to this statement as you will see the spotlights and a bar. They say that this place is meant to be a mosque as they have not changed a single thing of the structure except just adding carpet. 



Tips and reminders
  • If you go in winter, make sure you are well prepared, bring proper attire.
  • Heat pad might help supplying heat to your peripheries
  • We stayed in campervan, the main problem is toilet. We were there during Christmas, so many stations and shops were closed.
  • People in Iceland are nice. They offer help straightaway when needed. However, take care of your safety as well. We were harassed one night. Thank God, the van was locked and phone was working that we could call the police. Emergency number is 112. Make sure you have a way to connect with your mates.
  • Hotels let you use their toilets for free. So does the gas station.
  • Foods are really expensive. One bottle of  500ml of water can cost about GBP 2. Bring food and snacks from where you are if possible. We had one food luggage checked in.
  • If you are flying with Wow Air, be sure to check the luggage size. They only take small cabin luggage. I had to upgrade and pay for larger cabin luggage.
  • Cold water from the tap is clean and drinkable, anywhere in Iceland.
  • Driving can be a pain in harsh weather - gales, snowstorms which render the stability of the vehicle at risk, not to mention the very poor visibility and the slippery road with almost no demarcations. The driving skills of those who have passed it certainly deserve some glorification. Make sure you check the weather forecast, road websites if you want to prove yourself a commendable navigator.
  • Aurora doesn’t look green through naked eyes, unless it is really strong. I have seen green ones, fortunate. Check by snapping it using your camera. It usually looks like white lights in the sky. If you can see the stars (clear sky), most prob can see aurora too. Check aurora strength in the website.
  • Make sure you bring a tripod for nice aurora photos.
  • If you wanna go to the Blue Lagoon or Ice caving, book your place about 3 months beforehand. 

Structure in Life



Everything in this life has been ordained an order. Look at the sky; you will see many celestial bodies. It is not allowed for the moon to meet the sun although all this while it has enjoyed the sun's light and has been reflecting it. Well, before the end of time, that will be the case.

The exact strength of gravity ordained by Allah has made the life possible. Had it been any stronger, it will retained more poisonous gases and had it been any lesser, it might not retain the right amount of oxygen. So is the consistency in the order of life.

Had the axis of the earth is just a bit different, the seasons may change and will lead to chaos.

This theme of tremendous order, harmony and miraculous arrangement is recurrent.

There is indeed no crookedness if we really ponder.

Look at the order of solah. Had we done it a second earlier, it will be invalid. Had we delayed it, we will have to answer this.

We ought to be structured.






Picture credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/light-landmark-building-architecture-135018/

By Time



This is my notes from this lecture from my local Imam in Cardiff.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bJ2tWwfTIU

People of the past or at any time, those who are successful, guess what? They were not always generous. They were stingy too; stingy of their time - a very very expensive commodity.
Allah says in the Quran, which brings the meaning of: He was the One who placed the sun as a shining lamp, and the moon as a reflector of the light and Allah made this world in phases, so that men may recognise the value of time, therefore not fall into pit of uselessness.

Youth is, but a fleeting moment of strength, shrouded by weakness; which precedes and follows it.

There is a story about Ibn al Jawzi who had written at least 30 titles, said that he would like to benefit his time, but he usually has guests and they have rights upon him, so he usually will use the time sharpening his pencils and sewing his books.