Saturday, November 21, 2015

i so badly want to write
can I just pass second year already
got exams till dec gahh -.-

Monday, October 12, 2015


So a few weeks ago, I went to the Seekers Hub at Riverwood with Remie and I was blown away by this amazing talk by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani from Canada. It was one of those 'back to basics' talk where you dive into the topic of  your relationship with God, your relationship with human and basically the things that you do everyday and how they actually give a significant impact on your life but you've been oblivious. Well, the timing couldn't be any better. I was not exactly having the time of my life in Med then (now too, actually). Exam dates were constantly at the back of my head, I couldn't sleep at night, every little jigsaw pieces refuses to fall into places, (i feel like a hippo all the time).  There was a few times along the road that I felt like Med is not worth it anymore and the constant desire to drop out was building massively; I was at the brink of breaking down. Started getting cramps at nights and and metallic taste on my jaw. I had to run over to Diba's for stresss-release massages  because air was accumulating in my body cavities giving me the daily migraines..hahahaha. Yeah, it was that bad. (some rant that was, allow me)

So yeah, I had anatomy that morning and it was Friday. I was eager to go home and call it a....week. Although I'm pretty sure I'd come home to yet another 5 hours of laptop staring before bed. So when Remie buzzed asking if I wanna hitch a ride, I did a 30 seconds debate in my head which resulted in  me texting her back telling her how I'd love to take the shotgun.

And as usual, best decision ever.
It was a total escape. I loved it.
They even provided us with handouts this time around and so yay, no phone-scribing.

Ohhh lemme show you Seekers Hub. Photos are taken by Lala during our first visit here few months ago before Ramadan started. We were practically ooohing and aaahing all the time then. And for some reason, Lala had her compact camera with her so here are some shy pictures. (Shy, because after a few snaps she puts it away and we stopped goggling at everything like tourists. I secretly wished she's keep going though and have at least snapped the free cookie and tea/ coffee counter and the bathroom omg the bathroom is amazing you could sleep there)

Seekers Hub, as Remie puts it, has this welcoming vibe that is amazing (i need a new adjective pronto). People from all walks of life go there. There are the locals, the internationals, the PRs, the hijabis, the non-hijabis; people just sort of gather and welcome each other, eager to learn Islam regardless of their physicals. In a way, it teaches me that everyone wants to change. Everyone sorts of crave for the truth coz its fitrah. And everyone has their own struggle getting there. The least we could do is to not stop each other from wanting to fulfill that crave; that burning desire to do something about our condition. The least we could do is to not pass on the stigma that you gotta be this, this, this, you gotta wear this, this, this and you gotta let go  of this and this and this, before you can actually learn Islam.

 I mean, I don't know. I'm a very opinionated person. Coz I dwell on stuff, alright. I dwell on unimportant stuff like how peanut butter would taste with Vegemite or the origin of the word 'banana'. And sometimes when I feel like it, I'd dwell on this sort of stuff. A lot of people would probably slam me hard if I voice this out but I really think that there should be more islamic classes that do not subject the audience to a certain rules or dress-codes or basically any of the 'all-or-nothing' concepts. I know so many people who crave to learn Islam but they are more willing to do it in isolation, which, I would also add, is not wrong or anything. It's just that it would be even more better if they were given the choices to come to the classes without having to strip away everything and come like they're fully cleansed and worthy for a talk. The whole changing yourself for better is a process and community support is absolutely crucial.

I'm beating around the bush- yeah.
My point is,
Islam is for everyone. Not just for the chosen people, who were hand picked and screened through by yet another group of people.

And that's why I loooove Seekers Hub.
They don't judge.
They give us space to think if what we're doing is appropriate.
If what we're wearing is appropriate.
If our minds are alright. If our hearts are alright.
They didn't tell us what to do and leaves us with "because if you don't, you're going to hell".
Or the glares. They didn't give any glares.
Or the hidden sarcastic jokes.
Or the you-are-bound-to-us-this-is-a-lifetime-membership sort of unspoken agreement.
Nah. They had none of that.
They're a non-profit organization.
They give us space.
We get so little of that these days.

So, the guy they put on was Faraz Rabbani. And he was discussing The Complete Counsel. An Explanation of the Hadith: "Religion is Sincere Concern"
I promised Lala I would scribe the notes in another post. But in the mean time, let me introduce you to the guy who talked in one of the most baby speed ever yet it was amazingly engaging, I couldn't stop writing; Faraz Rabbani.
He is a great great lecturer.
I have never loved any lecturer that lags when talking. I get annoyed really really easily when people takes forever to deliver their sentence. 
But I was surprised that I enjoyed his pace.
Probably because the subject was pretty heavy.
It was a lot of self reflection.
And had him talk in a Mufti Menk sort of speed, I would have died trying to keep up.

After the 2 hours, I was completely shocked by how filled the blanks on my notes are.
I had put down his quotes, I've added in my own opinions, I even get to scribe in Malay, channeling my thoughts across in my mother-tongue language.
I had all the time in the world to think while he speaks. That, my friend, is rare.
And I didn't want him to stop.
His pace felt right.
The subject was right.
And Remie and I couldn't stop discusssing about it in the car all the way home.

Here's some links to his biography by Seekers Hub : (even this little article about him is pretty inspiring)
This is his tumblr. He has a tumblr! I am not sleeping tonight.
And this is Seeker's hub podcasts on some of his talks.

I'm gonna listen to this one soon.

The Prayer for Drinking Coffee – The Power of Purpose and High Intentions, by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Look him up, guys! I learnt so much from one session. You would too, I promise!

Thursday, July 30, 2015


Its really good to be back in Sydney.
Don't get me wrong. I love Malaysia, I really do. And the winter holiday this year was perfect with my parents, siblings and close cousins around; and the opportunity to celebrate both Ramadan and Eid in one break- what more can you ask for. But really, my imaan just sort of gets boosted up here in Sydney as compared to when I'm in Malaysia.
I crave for more talks, for more heart-warming, spiritual gatherings.
In Malaysia, I couldn't be bothered.
Really. I wonder if I have split-personality.

Anyway, Lala called me the other day and informed me that Twins of Faith this year is finally happening. It will be on 16th of August. I think it'll just be a one-day event this time. And the theme this year is "Once upon a time in Madinah".
I'm looking forward to an amazing revival of my limited Seerah (History) knowledge.

More information can be found here:
I'll write more when I have time to. 
Been really busy these few weeks.
Med is horrorrrrr

Friday, May 8, 2015


I'm typing this with a minor distraction from Masterchef Australia (which is playing on the side tab) so, pardon all the silly grammar mistakes and crazy sentence structures from here on.

I really love how Allah structures your life in ways that you can never imagine. When I first came to Sydney, I was practically starting fresh. The only person I knew then was Nadira, my ex-roommate (she's getting married this winter hence explains the 'ex'; long story). And it didn't help that I have the middle-child-introvert-at-heart-extrovert-somewhere-deep-down-if-anyone-dare-to-dive-in-and-have-a-look syndrome. Basically, the idea of socializing and making friends at a new place is exhausting as hell.

Which explains why it took me a year to get to know Reime and Nadia. I've met them a couple of times but it's always at some event where there's fifty million other people I know and just have to go and hug. So yes, I don't do huge crowd and small talks. I get zoned out really really quickly and unless the other person contributes as much to the conversation, I can usually sense an awkward cue coming and my soul get ripped to pieces when this happens.

So there I was, playing basketball with Nadia at Moore Park when she asked me if I wanted to join the weekly tafsir session at Lakemba Mosque that very night. It was Easter break and I just got back from Dubbo, so despite my 'introvert'ness, I was still in the mood for some unplanned trips, so I said yes. Wallahi, it was the best decision ever. It was a step into getting to know two beautiful souls, Nadia and Remie, and a great introduction to what now has become my hobby and a great passion; understanding the words of the Quran.

The sessions runs every Tuesday for around 45 minutes, commencing after the Isya' prayer. The speaker is, Allah bless him, Sheikh Abu Bakr Zoud. He's really worth listening to. He has the typical Lebanese-Australian accent that reminds me of my muslim friends at uni. He's pretty young. He doesn't make that many jokes, but that's not an issue. He just takes stuff seriously and he delivers them really really well.

Here's the tafseer series collection from
Syekih Abu Bakr Zoud tafseer collection

His youtube channel (I would personal go here, coz the sessions are numbered)
Syeikh Abu Bakr Zoud youtube channel

His facebook page: (Many of his recent tafseer videos are uploaded here too, but you gotta scroll down to find them.) 
I like his tafseer sessions in particular, because he takes time to go through one verse after another. It took 3 to 4 sessions for us to cover Surah 'Abasa and the explanations are always packed with mind-blowing information. I'm really bad at wording his lengthy lectures but I would highly recommend anyone who is keen to understand the meanings of the verses that we usually read in salah, to have a listen at his podcast. You would be amazed by the relation of one Surah to another  eg: Surah Al-Layl and Surah As-Shams. You'd be surprised that there are so many verses that relates. Rhetorical questions that are answered here and there and all this while, we have just been oblivious. The beauty of the Arabic language and how a simple phrase like 'the sun is wrapped', when translated word by word according to the norm of the word 'wrap' in Arabic, captures the imagery of the Hereafter in such a way that you can never fathom alone.

And it helps that his sessions are tafseer of the Juz Amma, which is helpful considering that most of us would recite verses from this last juz whenever we pray. That's a plus point for us, non-Arabic speakers.

From the way I see it, it's better that we recite verses that struck our hearts when we pray. We get to concentrate better and we'd say our Salams with satisfaction. Imagine that. It's amazing how you were given the opportunity to remind yourself everyday of anything from the Quran. If you read Surah At-Takwir, you are reminded of the hereafter. If you read Surah Al-Asr, you are reminded of  the essence of time. But rather than just knowing the literal meaning, you get to understand the in-depth translation, the messages, the miracle of what He is conveying.

It is not a wonder then that during the glory days of Islam, people are most connected to Quran. It wasn't wealth that makes them amazing. It's their connection with God. Their connection with His book.
Really, if we understand the Quran, we get to learn so much.
And our prayers will make us humble.
It will be more than just a ritual filled with reciting verses after verses of what we memorized since forever.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Article bout her winning the slam poetry thing (Brave new voices) in 2012 

Just watch em you'll love her, you wanna be her.

I just admire loud, confident women.
I admire people who can relay their message in their comfort
Who knows how to word their anger and frustration in melodic rhymes
I admire women who stands up and take the mic
Who speaks clearly and have the fight vibe

I admire people who construct their thoughts
And made it heard

I admire people who knows what they want
Where they're heading

I admire people
of aim
and vision
and strength
and passion

AMAL KASSIR's spoken word poetry are just amazing. She's turning 19 this year and she've already gone far. Her background is Syrian-American, so yeah, with everything that's going on in Syria, it must have bleed bad in her. 

I dont know what's that like. Having your family members there in the time-bomb country. Any minute now you'd be hearing news of death and, guess what, you actually know these people. 

Whenever I hear news about Palestine or Syria or Iraq or any other muslim countries that are on fire, I dont know what to think. I'm usually just bummed by how bad the world has turn into. And the fact that less and less people care these days; its just devastating.

I just got back from volunteering at the hospital and as I sat down to read this morning's paper in the library, I get so frustrated I feel like crying. It may have been the exhausting day (lab practicals from 9 am, peopleee). But I'm betting that the content of the news was what got me.

So, Nentahyu won again. And well, everyone know that whoever's the PM at Israel doesnt really matter coz we're not suppose to count on them for peace. But the way the article was written. It was as if he's just a political figure with no crime.
I thought of all the kids he killed, the children he left orphaned. The many many videos I watched of how buildings were bombed and kids were stuck in between cements and snipers shot babies on their foreheads~
I'm not expecting him to lose
I just. 
I expect the world say something. I expect rage, I guess. For justice is too much to ask for these days - they have 'negotiations' for that.

Syria was bombed for no reason.
If you have oil, you're done man. You're the target.

And let's make it even worse. Lets put fear in people. Now that they're backing up the muslims for the massacres they're facing. Now that they're making rallies and protest against Israel and war in general. Let's make them not wanna get involved.
Lets create, say, ISIS.
Coz Al-Qaeda is old story and well, if we can fool people bout Osama for 10 years, this generation would wanna something fresh so there, one new issue. 

And there it is.
I'd go for lunch with my friends, talk about assignment, life and what's hip and what's not, and when we diverge the conversation to the news, they would awkwardly pat me on the back and congratulate me for not being part of any terrorism of any sort.


It hurts me that my religion is treated this low.
It hurts me that my friends; people who actually go to uni and study and are educated, thinks that ISIS is something that we have no choice but to support.
It hurts me when they couldn't be bothered questioning the bias media
It hurts me when they are oblivious of how this whole islamophobia thing is being played

It hurts me that I'm so weak and all I could do is explain
And my explanation are not great anyway

It hurts me when this pure religion is being constantly made fun of.
Being played.
And it hurts me
that we are so massive in number
And we are this weak

like hell.

Dunno how the Palestinians cope.
Theyve been hurting forever.
And still.