Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tentative flight to Brunei if all goes well, Insha Allah.

Something strange - for the past 2 years or so, I've been spending my birthdays overseas (not quite out of plan), but as a matter of coincidence (last year in Nepal, and this year in Bali). If all goes well, this may be the case next year too - in Brunei, Insha Allah (as requested by my mother). :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

My Open Prayer

My Open Prayer

Dear Allah,

I find that my life is reaching a point where I am very thankful for everything You have blessed me with. It;s a point where I've come to realize that everything I have ever been granted - comes with mercy and endless compassion from You, even when I may not (up till that point) be deserving of Your mercy. Thank you my Lord.

Recently, after I returned to Singapore after working in Japan for 3 months (from Sept - Dec 8th 2012), I've been 'pressured' by my mum, grandmother and grandauntie to get to know a couple of bachelors. They have the best of intentions for me, of course. Who would want their beloved daughter, granddaughter or grandniece to be single all her life? Over the past months or even over the past year, as I have come to learn more about Islam, to read the views of many leading and influential writers on Islam - one of my favourites is Yasmin Mogahed. I have learnt especially through her - in her exact words - that everything in this Life albeit temporary is, a means to achieve what is sustainable, and to fulfil the true purpose of our lives. To me - as is probably true for most of us -  the question of what I would like to achieve with my life, what its purpose is, has always plagued me, like a haunting shadow that keeps egging me to find out, never resting. There was this endless need to search deeper. I believe I now have the answer, Thanks to You my Lord for guiding me to all these amazing reads, for moving my heart to sign up for the Fardhu Ain' class under Ustaz Zhulkiflee in Kembangan, for motivating and planting a desire in me to keep reading more about Islam, as written by these amazing inspirational writers (like Yasmin Mogahed). This has given me that answer - that my life is for You. To realize that Your true love is eternal, and that everything else is but a means to reach You, our Creator, for You know best my Lord.

Just like how every living thing (plant, animal or micro-organism) has its purpose or function, likewise, ours is to Serve You. To remember and find our ways back to you, in remembrance, in worship is to find peace. Thank You Allah. Please keep guiding me. My journey in remembrance and faith has only just started, so much more to be done - to better myself as a Muslim, and I have many dreams in this regard, those only You know of, and those only You're aware of whether I'm well suited to take up, in achieving. I just pray that I will be given the wisdom and strength to add value to those around me, for the right intentions, to inspire others to find the right path too. Only You can guide me and keep me on the right path in a way that is best suited to my abilities and worth - so please allow me to achieve that, Amin.

Even weddings and marriages are determined by You. So if it is within my destiny as deemed best by You - that I should be married, I pray that you will guide me to someone who shares the same faith, who can love me for You, and vice versa, and with whom we can continue touching more lives, for Your sake, Amin. Let my wishes come true, please. Free my heart from ill-intentions, cowardice, or egoism. Guide me with Your wisdom, love, patience and compassion - to be a good daughter, a committed and disciplined Muslim and a passionate motivator - Amin.

Your ever indebted and grateful Muslimin,

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Dear Allah,
Sometimes it hurts, to think about what has passed. SOmetimes I feel weak, when I realize how imprefect I am. When I lose motivation and for a moment, the will to go on. But I do have You, and Your Great Presence. Forgive me Lord, for I am nothing without You. Be with me Lord, for I need Your Mercy and Guidance. Inshaallah.
Grant me the will and patience and love to progress and go through life, Inshaallah. Amin Ya Rabbaalaamiin.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


One evening an old Cherokee (a Native American) told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil – It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

“The other is Good – It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee replied, “The one you feed.”

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hi there!

It's been awhile!

Today, I was on MC as my heart was palpitating very strongly and I felt quite weak and lethargic. Felt really strange and discomforting to miss a day at work though and I guess that's how it is like in Singapore (and maybe any other busy workaholic city you have today). That guilt when one misses a day at work. Thoughts about what else you must rush the next day just to make up for the loss of time today will flood your mind and rob you of that much needed peace of mind to recuperate. (Unless of course you make a conscious choice to not let such thoughts steal that away from you and just REST. I tried my best to do that for how else would I be productive? haha. I sound like a workaholic, don't I?

Anyway, during that short period of resting, I managed to read a bit of Akio Morita (one of the Founders of Sony Corp)'s book 'Made in Japan' and one interesting excerpt got me thinking. His philosophy of what keeps workers happy at work. He argues that it isn't and can never be just pay and he is therefore (understandably) against the practice of paying big bucks to attract and retain talents (I think this mindset is adopted by most Japanese companies actually, based on what I hear about their remuneration schemes). So Morita-san argues that what's more (and arguably, most) important is that employees feel like they are doing something important in the company and are contributing to a greater purpose in the organization which will attract and retain them. It relates well to what drove him and Ibuka-san to start the company and to sustain the motivation despite all odds, I guess. How they constantly seized the opportunity to want to build that innovation that was totally unique and never heard before. The need to do things differently (that till today is something we wish to retain and cultivate further in our organization.)

My thoughts? I agree. But there's always that tipping point which becomes obscure. That the pay difference cannot exceed that tipping point for then these talents may be easily poached to other competitors. And also of course, the ongoing challenge of how to ensure that the challenge is something that can be sustained on a daily basis whilst creating an environment that is conducive to proactive responses and which supports efforts that seek to tackle these challenges and seize opportunities.

Anyway. now on a more self-reflective note..

I just realized that over the past year or 2 that I have not been doing anything actively on a social/ community-front that would make myself proud. (ie. like be a director of a community project or leading in some cause, etc. and this lack of contribution on that front has made me a tad restless and unhappy and I don't like that feeling..

I used to have that personal self-evaluation chart of mine which I use to keep track of my performance and development across various important aspects: physical, spiritual, educational and career (now to replace academic performance previously which was applicable while I was still in Uni).

Well, some efforts have been made thus far that I'm happy about that but the community involvement aspect is something that I definitely need to work more on:

1) Physical: I just bought a coupon for discounted swimming lessons. Bought for myself and Pish. It's $42 for 4 lessons (usual price: $60/ 4 lessons).
They have swimming classes for groups of ladies every Monday evening at Bedok swimming complex. So yeay, lookign forward to that. Swimming lessons has been something that I have aspired to learn since last year! And despite emailing several swimming trainers and companies, I received no response! Hmm.. hopefully I do make genuine progress on this front now given that I have already paid for it.

2) Spiritual enrichment:
This is something I must say that I am very proud and happy about. I have signed up for Fardhu AIm (Beginners' Class) every Friday evening for about 12 lessons I believe with Uztaz Zhulkiflee. He is a knowledgeable man, Mashaallah. (Nadz was the one who recommended this course to Mairah and me. And thankfully (after publicizing this course on my facebook profile, even Irdhawati and Adibah have signed up too.) I do genuinely look forward to his classes.
May Allah AWT guide us all in our pursuit of knowledge and may we be better Muslims with greater Taqwa (Amin who can then make use of this knowledge to lean improved lives with higher quality ibadat and spread thhis knowledge with others.

3) Educational:
Hmm, I will be attending Japanese classes every Sunday afternoon (for about 10 lessons first). This is to prepare us (the Fresh mInds) for our 3 months attachment in Japan come Sept-Dec 2012. Hmm, to be completely honest, I have mixed feelings about this, but as Uztaz Zhulkiflee mentioned, go and learn with an open heart and a humble attitude. Knowledge is an obligation of every Muslim and I should put in as much effort as I can to show my appreciation (to my company which is paying for this) and to do my best for it.

Other than that, I do wish to recap past knowledge or to somehow pass forward the much knowledge that I have gained from the talks I have attended or the courses I have been to. (like EQ management, progressive leadership (how to coach), women empowerment talks about how to be better women leaders without the need to compromise on our feminine traits, consulting tips: how to categorize and structure out thought patterns). But how? Facebook? Blog? Maybe blog will do the trick.

But hmm, come to think of it. (back to he topic of my lack of comunity involvement and contribution lately). Perhaps I have chosen to make a trade-off currently. To reduce the time I spend on community engagement and involvement by spending more time with my family instead. Hopefully Alllah SWT guides me in my pursuit of becoming a better Muslimin who is more responsible, disciplined and who fully utilizes my time on earth to add value and touch the lives around me (with His guidance), Inshaallah, Amin.

Monday, December 19, 2011

What is the Truth?

Hi there..

I have been thinking a bit about this world and the purpose of our existence.

Met Has yesterday for a movie- Mission Impossible 4: The Ghost Protocol (the movie was good btw) and then we had a chat over coffee and snacks in Starbucks at the Cathay. We had a conversation about marriages, relationships, religion and purpose of life. The first two topics have frequently been the most commonly talked-about topic lately amongst my girl friends and I suspect that this could be attributed to the fact that this month has been the season of marriage and engagements for many- which of course will prompt many of those single ladies like myself to start wondering if and when this time will come for us. It's interesting how this is the case - is this a result of societal pressure or the inherent need for having a life partner?

Not too sure, maybe it starts off with the inherent need for a life partner because biologically I do believe that we were created to have sexual needs so as to fulfill the need to procreate. This has led to many marriages of course, which then makes it a social norm, which therefore reinforces the need to find your life partner soon (especially when you're at this marriageable age like mine- ok I'm 24 now, but time really flies and I do hope that I too, will find my special someone over the next few years).

Anyway, back to the conversation that as and I had.. About religion and the purpose of our existence.

To me, life is about dying a good person. A worthy Muslim who can remember that life is indeed a test that will be trying but that Allah SWT knows all and that He will therefore salvage you if you are patient and if you live in His guidance, Inshaallah.

Yet, I have some queries. I do believe that there can only be and that there truly is only one Supreme Being which ordains the happenings of this world. This is true despite the many religions that exist in the world. Yet, is it then also true to say that religions were all created by Men and that only Allah, the Supreme Being is One and the Alimighty knows best? Is that blasphemous? Some would surely say that saying such a thing is blasphemous. I have both Muslims and Christian friend swho will cringe at any kind of suggestion that states that all religions are in fact leading to the same end. But their explanations as to how, and the what differs of course. It's confusing. The many scholars of the many great religions all seem to be so certain of their own faiths and teachings of their great religions yet I would like to believe and hope that all of mankind can indeed be saved and given a chance regardless of their acts and be judged instead for their hearts, manner and conduct. For truly, if God was Magnanimous and Merciful as He really is, then surel y he can forgive and accept us all regardless of our backgrounds or the faiths that categorize and divide us?

Ya Allah, I do not want to be a sinner. I do want to do good and to go in the right path. Just would like to be close to the Truth and to guide others to onto this same path. Inshaallah. Amin.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Finish Line"

I thought I knew it all
I've been through the highs, said all my goodbyes

Learned to run before I learned to crawl
It's not worth fighting for if one of us is sure
And one of us is dying, trying to find loves cure
I have waited all my life to paint these cities red
Thoughts I've always had here are stuck inside my head
It's not worth waiting for if one of us wants more
And one of us is dying, trying to find love's door
When we learn how to flyWe forget to how walk

When we learn how to sing
We don't wanna hear each other talk
Here we are at the finish line, ah
Here we are at the finish line

And you, you really thought you knew
Everything to do
With holding onto me and holding on
This time is making me slip right through your hands
And now you don't understand
Trying to find love all yourself

When we learn how to fly, We forget to how walk
When we learn how to sing
We don't wanna hear each other talk

When we know what we want
We forget what we need
When you find who you are
You forget about me

Here we are at the finish line, ah
Here we are at the finish line, ah
Here we are at the finish line
Ah, ah, ah

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

So how?

For now:

My weekdays are packed with work..

My week nights must be packed with more physical and enrichment activities. (Gym - sign up with Amore for a gym membership, go for religious classes and spend the rest of them with my family)

Maybe First Monday of the Month: Meet-the people sessions (sent invites to Cass!) -> leave work at 645pm.

Every Wednesday and Saturday: Workout at the gym! (Sign up for Amore Fitness package)

Tuesday Evenings: with Family

Thursday Evenings: Mosque/ Religious Classes

Friday Evenings: Family or Friends

Saturday: Friends/ Self
Sunday: Family

Lacking Inspiration.. And then..

I forgot for awhile.

What I was set to do.

My dreams, aspirations and hope for this World.

I would like to shape it in a meaningful way, to help touch lives, to free to some extent and to salvage to another extent.

To put my life, education to good use and not just live another purposeless one

I need to remind myself

There are many things beyond us that deserve greater attention. World problems, inequity, injustice, victimizaation of the poor and less knowledgeable, domestic violence, pain and sufferings and poverty.. the list does not end..

I was losing the inspiration after a while.. Bogged down by the bottomless abyss that can be work that can steal you away from yourself. It's unsettling. I love what I do but it can;t be for long. There's so much more to be done.

Be with me Allah. Let not my dreams die in vain..

I will start tracking and pushing myself on a project basis, on a daily basis, I will not shy away from this challenge and I must not.

For truly, there are far greater things beyond myself.

Inshallah, Amin.

Friday, June 24, 2011

not easy. being the only child in a single-parent, not so well-to do family. :(