Thursday, December 18, 2014


Syeikh Zahir Mahmood (UK)
I crown this syeikh my favourite speaker for twins of faith this year.
Such energy, every word filled with frustration and emotion.
And solid truth, smacking you right on the face.
Telling you what you have done, why you are such a failure;
why this ummah is such a failure
Facts =(

(parts you can skip starts here)

 I was sitting on the floor, waiting for my cousin to make wudu' at one of the toilets on level 2 PICC when I noticed that the number of people performing prayers at the the non-designated areas have increased since yesterday. Personal praying mats were on every nook, corners and edge of the building, facing the stretch of glass overlooking the lake of Putrajaya and the government administrative buildings.
I smiled alone, thinking that it's interesting how the Malaysians attitude have evolved to become more practical in practicing Islam. This is of course, the usual picture when I'm in Sydney coz we dont have musollas everywhere so come prayer times, it's either under the stairs at the emergency exit, or under any shady tree at any park, any changing rooms at shopping stores that dont blast their stereo, or any public areas that is clean enough for us to perform prayers. (I have my personal favourite spots at Darling Harbour, Hyde Park and at the Uni's library teehee.)

I didnt expect the Malaysians to have adopted such practice as well, given that we've always been taught to pray in a room where its labeled 'surau'. And given the fact that these suraus are almost at any public spaces (from the grand empty ones like the one at Pavilion Bukit Bintang to the overcrowded small rooms at Times Square, Imbi or SOGO, KL), we've been trained to search high and low for a designated place to perform salah.

But alhamdulillah, looking at the shift of mentality that has taken place here in my beloved Malaysia,
we are definitely heading somewhere

Anyway, my cousin really did took a while (yeah with the number of people wearing pashminas and shawls dominating the mirrors at the bathrooms, I can only imagine the queue), I got bored, so I decided to rummage through her handbag looking for interesting things. And when I was done with her make-up bags, I played around with my purse, amazed by the amount of junks I've managed to stashed in there. Few minutes later, when I was halfway done to examining the details of the purse to death, my cousin came out and we headed to make our prayers. We didnt bring praying mats so I took out the many blank A4 papers which among them are my notes from the talks. There, this feels just like Sydney.

It wasn't until we wanted to get back to the main hall did I realize that my purse wasn't in the bag. It must have fallen somewhere. So I panicked, rushed down to the 'lost and found' counter where two volunteers claimed that no one has brought it over just yet. I felt like crying, thinking of the amount of trouble I'm gonna have to go through to lodge a report for my IC and driving license (an image of me having to retake the JPJ driving test zapped through and I frowned at that thought; they cant make me take the test twice, can they?) 

And as if it couldnt get any worse, as I took out a new piece of paper to jot down the interesting points one the syeikhs was pressing about, I realized the previous notes I took- they've gone too.
I was gobsmacked.


I was so dumbfounded that I couldnt concentrate and with the frustration enveloping my thoughts (words getting fancy here, alert!), I crossed my arms and decided not to take notes. I was rebelling for no reason. 

Thank God they were just raising funds so eventhough Syeikh Aala was chipping in bits of stories of the companions here and there, my distracted state couldnt have come at a better time. It was amazing though, to see how rich the Muslims are. They pledged for a million (i think), breaking it into bits and people started to raise their hands for the amount they wanted to donate (one man donated RM 100,000!).
Money, really, isnt always the root of evil.

But where the hell was my purse?!
And my notes- my beautiful notes. =(
The only bit I got to cover was the last session where I sensibly decided to record things the syeikh said.
I'm going to have to ask my friends who went to the conference if I want to blog about the rest of the talks in detail~

(and resumes here)

The final speaker for the conference was this guy; SYEIKH ZAHIR MAHMOOD and his topic was 'The Final Hour'. The Final Hour is of course, one of the element of the 'World of the unseen' that we as Muslims, should have strong belief in.
Before I knew it, I was jotting down his points.
Forgotten about the purse; at least for a while~

Syeikh Zahir Mahmood is a UK born scholar, who is an instructor at the As-Suffa Institute, Birmingham. What I personally like about him is that he's pretty daring. He told us of his experience of being invited to Pakistan, where he was to give talks to a bunch of rich kids and he immediately presses on the subject of wealth and double standards. 
That takes a lot of gut; to rub it on people's face like that.

I mean often times we listen to lectures, we'd be happy to hear the fault of some others, like if they mention youth these days are clubbing and drinking alcohol, we'd go like, "Yep I agree a hundred percent, that is bad."

Syeikh Zahir Mahmood here, he sorta knows his audience. So, every points he made during his talk was directed to us, mentioning every small and huge sins that we overlook and how we think it's not a big deal.
His energy was amazing.
His words were like that of a father, being mad at his children.
I felt like I was being scolded for a good reason.
And I wanted more of it.

There wasn't one time where he comforted us with words like "It's okay. We can all change slowly"
He was more like "Look at what we've done. Look at the ummah. Look! You look at poor people and you think they deserve it? Who gave you wealth?!"

I was surprised actually. I thought I'd like funny talks more. Turns out I prefer this sort of bullet-to-your-hearts sessions.

You can download some of his talks here. They're from events and courses by As-Suffa Institute.
Just right click and Save As =)
I'm currently eager to finish this one called 'Are you a Loser?'

So here's some of the points from the talk. 
Syeikh Zahir Mahmood mentioned that most of us would probably relate that the final hour would be on the day of judgement. We however, fail to remember that our Qiyamah would start on the day we die. 
When we're buried seven feet in the ground, our Qiyamah would be reflected upon us. If it's good, then things are gonna be easy on afterwards. And if it's bad, chances are, it's gonna get worse once we're resurrected nauzhubillahiminzalik.

After we die, we'd probably ask Allah, why didn't He show us signs?
When in fact, the signs are always there. We overlooked them.
The news of relatives, friends, acquaintances passing away, the wrinkles on our forehead, our birthdays, the oppression on the Muslim countries around the world, the earthquakes, the flood, the landslides.
These are all signs.
And we choose to see it with a blind eye, not associating it with His calls for us to turn back to him after we've swayed for so long.
We share a noble status on facebook, and we continue to sin.
We hoped for people to change, but we denied our own responsibilities.

The believers are people of action. They don't just sit looking at the problems of the ummah, becoming armchair critiques; they actually do something. And they have a focus. What is their purpose of life? Where are they gonna channel their wealth? How will they help Islam?
These were the sort of questions that swarmed in the minds of the people during the glory days of Islam. They put Allah before anything and everything, and they managed to conquer every aspects of life there on. The education, the wealth, the power. Everything for the sake of Allah, the priority of every action.
Because come death, the only thing that you're gonna bring from to dunya to the ground with you, would be your kafan (the white piece of cloth that envelopes your body).

"And I swear by Allah, your kafan won't have pockets"
-Syeikh Zahir Mahmood-

On the day of judgement, it would be so scary that every man is for himself. All those Hollywood movies portraying the supposed imagery of the Judgment Day do not come close to even 1% of the horror it would be on that day. There won't be families hugging each other, looking for shelters. Even women breastfeeding, they'd forget about their babies. (Yes, if its gonna be that illogical, then it should be extremely scary). One that the human mind is incapable of picturing.
Septillion stars are gonna fall from the sky.
The mountains breaking into pieces...

And no soul can escape after that.
Be them alive, or be them dead.
For even if you're dead, the Angel Israfil is going to blow the horn for the second time, and you shall be resurrected too with the others.

Think about it. Every one you know in the history books is going to be there.
Even Napoleon
Even The Beatles
Even Abraham Lincoln
Even Adolf Hitler
Even our beloved Umar Abd Aziz.
Umar Al-Khattab
The Prophets
Even Pharoah

They're all gonna be there.We're all be gonna be there

Allahuakbar. No matter how great or how low we were during our lives, we're all gonna stand there on the day of Judgement counting our deeds, waiting for our turn to receive our books.

So the big question is, have we prepared ourselves for the final hour?
Or are we willing to compromise our Barzakh, Mahsyar, Siraat, Hisab, Mizan and Jannah.
For this temporary,single entity, dunya~


They called later that night and told me that someone turned in my purse and I have to pick it up at the main office at Damansara.
Alhamdulillah. Phewww.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Great line up this year, we have:
Sheikh Tawfique Chowdry
Sheikh Alaa Elsayed
Sheikh Yahya Ibrahim
Sheikh Tariq Appleby
Sheikh Daood Butt
Imam Karim AbuZaid
Sheikh Abu Abdissalam
Sheikh Zahir Mahmood <done>
Sheikh Muiz Bukhary
Muslim Belal
Faisal Salah

I love them all! May Allah bless them, give them the highest jannah and put them among those that he loves.
And may He let us follow their footsteps, aminn =)

 Last time, I attended Twins of Faith in Sydney, there was so many things I wanted to share with the world and then I came home, realized that I had 4 days before my finals and so I said to myself, I'll do it after the exam.
And of course I never did.

The notes I took remains notes, which, is still there in the phone. But it remains there.So what im gonna do is that imma combine this weekend's talk (Twins of Faith 2014 Malaysia: World of the unseen) and the one I went to in February (Twins of faith 2014 Sydney: The Sunnah the Better) and blog about them both coordinating it by speakers. 

I remember back when I was 18 and Afikah Aiman told me all about the conference, I was like, well, I dont see the significance of going to such event when you can just go on youtube and select the lectures of your favourite scholars. I mean, I could listen to Nouman Ali Khan all day long for free really. No tickets. No gas money gone. No need to dress up, I can watch it at home over a bowl of popcorn, on my bed, in pyjamas.

But alhamdulillah 3 years later, He knocked some sense into me and I somehow managed to force my cousin to get me two tickets so I could drag my mum along. And wallahi, that simple phone call I made from Kingsford was the best decision to wrap up 2014 (well we technically still have 15 days to go but that line I just typed is pretty cool I dont want to cross it).

The thing about going to such conference is, you get pretty constantly pumped up by the great great vibe around you. Everyone is so eager to learn, to donate, to get involved and you just felt there is a great ummah spirit that we Muslims have that we sadly dont convey as much at other times. Outside of nice conferences like this, we're very much strangers and we don't seem to want to know one another. But deep down, we long for unity of the ummah. We want to see men in jubahs and women in proper clothing, in hijab, talking about Islam, talking about the greatness of Allah.
I didn't realize that before but-
I kinda like that.
It's a weird world we live in today where if you talk about Islam, you'd be labeled pious or extreme or somewhat rigid.

Its sad. And true.

And come conference like this, you're free to voice out your opinion. You can quote these scholars and share it with your friends and it becomes a topic that isn't awkward because you're not the only one who went.

And that is a great stepping stone to a lot of things.

My mum also pointed out something nice to ponder about from the two-day conference.

It's nice to sit down with everyone.
The volunteers are made of everyone.
The speakers are everyone.
The audience is everyone

I think her point is, these days, there's way too many islamic organisations with different names and each one claiming that they are better than the other, their vision are better, somewhat stronger, somewhat more substantiated.

Conferences like this, organised by an independant body that has no association with these unseen politics between the many islamic organisations in Malaysia, well, conferences like this, they're really a blessing.

We need more of it.
You've done a great job, Mercy Mission!
Imma blog about the content next according to the speakers so stay tuned!