Sunday, April 29, 2012

not-so-Little Brother

I just have to continue with this birthday-post spree, don't I? :D What can i say, we have so many April babies in the family (and friends too), of which I had outlined in detail in this ancient post.

Today is my brother, Muhammad's birthday. I think I have never dedicated a post to him either, except maybe the one about his capture by the Egyptian government. So, happy birthday Momad- may Allah bless you with the best from this world and the next! And I pray you'll come back one day as a successful cardiothoracic surgeon (or has the ambition changed?) and we can proceed with the plan to take over the nation. haha.

I've always liked this photo of you and Luqman. :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Walking Companion

I’ve never written an entire post about this person who holds a special place in my heart (I thought I might have over the years, but after a quick browse, nope, I in fact have not). So, seeing that today is her birthday and that I have been going on a birthday-post run once again for the past two posts- what better time, eh? :D

Happy birthday to my roommate of six years, Fatin- the one who had to put up with everything I brought to the table- good or bad- since we lived together; the one who would cook for me when I got home late, became ill, or was simply not up for it; the one who reluctantly (at least in the beginning ;p) became my sports-enthusiast buddy- watching all those matches on TV whilst also having to listen to my personal commentaries; the one who taught me just how diverse we are even amongst our own people (there are so many things done differently in Penang compared to Pahang in so many ways!); the one who supported me in every single thing I did, and still does.

She was also my faithful walking companion, so here’s a short video of pictures collected along the years (it’s very incomplete though, as I couldn’t find many pictures I searched for and was pressed for time and have zero skills in video-making), dedicated to the one place we’ve covered miles over on foot, the place we have come to call home- наш город Волгоград. :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


"Selamat menginsafi diri bahawa dgn bertambah satu nombor lagi usia dalam diari hidup ini, maka rasmilah juga yg baki umur makin berkurang dan takdir ajal makin menjelang... Eid milad saeid, as'adallahu hayatakum fiddarain"

The above text from my Arabic language teacher (he speaks like, six languages, by the way) near midnight on the eve of my birthday last Friday made me bawl for a good few minutes under my pillow. Twenty six years have rapidly passed, and I'm still wondering about what good I have done for my life, my religion and future afterlife. Very little, if any. And I'm not sure what to make of the words many people have thrown upon me for the past fortnight or so- amazing, inspiring, awesome... they're almost like heavy rocks being stuffed into my chest, because I am not. Any of those. I'm happy that my friends benefited from my experience, but I hope not to be seen other than as an average Muslim struggling to be better at best. Some might think I'm being modest, but I honestly am not. ;) At times like these the prayer of Abu Bakr As-Siddiq r.a. (or in some narrations Ali r.a.) will echo in my mind:

"O Allāh, make me better than what they think of me, and forgive me for what they do not know about me, and do not take me to account for what they say about me."

Often we look up to certain people, thinking they're so great and all perfect, when in fact it is due to the mercy of Allah that He has concealed their flaws from our eyes. And some of us take for granted that very blessing- that when people think you're such a nice and sweet person, you aren't just all that, you have a bunch of bad habits and weaknesses having been veiled in your favour by His grace.

In the light of turning a year older, I hope to improve my relationships with my Creator, other people, the nature, and with myself; to gradually eliminate all my bad habits; to survive housemanship with grace and dignity (and not lose my head in the process!), and to continue spreading da'wah in every way I know and am capable of. 

Please make du'a for me too. :)

Birthday cake bought by my dearest grandmother.:D

ps: I never thought I'd still receive gifts from my family members, but surprisingly I did! Thank you to my mother for the blouse, my father for the colour-illustrated sirah book of the prophet s.a.w., my grandparents and aunt for the novel and ang pow, my younger sister for doing my laundry duty for the day (hehe!), and my (ex) roommate for the cards and shopping bag (pos ekspres no less!). And of course, all the lovely prayers and wishes throughout the day. It was especially heartwarming to receive calls and messages later that night, for I immediately knew they were from my HO friends who had just finished working their heads off the entire day and still remembered to call their little friend to show they cared. Aaah, I love my friends.

Thank you Allah. ^_^

pps: My parents, youngest brother, grandparents and aunt are in Makkah, probably performing tawaf as I write. ;D May Allah accept all their deeds and keep them safe throughout their journey. And may He grant me the opportunity to visit His two most blessed lands once again.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dearest Abah,

Happy 51st birthday! May Allah continue to confer blessings after blessings upon you in this world and the hereafter. 

I'm sorry for not being able to sing "Allah selamatkan kamu..." this morning like you used to do in the car to each and every one of us on our birthdays on the way to school. And I'm sorry I won't be back earlier tomorrow, but as I had explained (which you refused to listen), it was you who insisted I booked my interview for today last week. Hehe. Anyway, here's a little birthday note for you as a teeny consolation from your daughter.

You are the one who have always supported my every (okay, almost) little idea and endeavour; from my earliest childhood ambition (astronomer) to my various extracurricular activities to my latest undertaking, you have always been there to offer sound advice and encourage me to be the best that I can possibly be, and I can't thank Allah and you enough for that. 

Thank you for taking care of me for the past (almost) 26 years, for (almost) always being patient with my serabutness, klutziness and forgetfulness, for instilling the love for knowledge in me, for buying me kuih koci every Thursday, for your tough quizzes and illustrative insights, for your generosity in always giving me more than what I expected, for not giving up on me and believing in me.

And I apologise for every hurt I have scratched upon your heart, for my never-ending questions, for constantly making your coffee less sweet than you would prefer, for the times I complain too much, for not always rising up to your standards and expectations... and many more.

One of the best lessons that you have taught me which I will always distinctly remember was when I had a fallout with a close friend several years ago and lost contact with her for two years. I was certain that it wasn't my fault at all and thus, I thought, the weight didn't fall on me to offer an apology. But you told me that it didn't matter in the least, which one of us was at fault. What matters is to forge and maintain ties of friendship, and if we apologise to the other person, we might be seen as admitting we were wrong, but Allah knows the truth and will hold us in the highest regard in the Day of Judgment. And that that is all that matters. That really moved  me, and prompted me to straightaway contact my friend and apologise for our relationship turning sour... and all's well that ends well. ^_^

All in all, I thank Allah from the deepest corner of my heart for blessing me with a father who does not only love, but also educates. Alhamdulillah!

"The best gift from a Father to his child is education and upbringing."
Hadith of At-Tirmidhi on the authority of Sa'id Ibn Al-'as.

Love, Sofi.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Alhamdulillah, all praise be to Allah.

One of my prayers has been answered last Friday when He granted me the gift of completing my memorisation of His divine words, Al-Quran Al-Karim.

The final week was quite a stretch, as I was determined to finish on a Friday, the holiest of days, and had arranged my order of memorisation and recitations accordingly. My teacher was rather busy all week though, and I had almost thought I wouldn't make it, but praise be to Allah, the best Planner and the One Who Fulfills the prayers of His slaves, who made it all possible for me.

He who has been so good to me, despite the many times I have failed Him- giving me second chances when no others would, over and over again. No matter how deep in trouble I've got myself into, He would always come to my side, providing me a way out.

He who does not discriminate, whose love and mercy exceed any imaginable expectations.

He who has guided me to the truth- The One and Only Lord, The Most Merciful.

Now the harder part has come- to maintain my hifz with consistency. It's a lifetime commitment- a responsibility as well as a blessing. And I don't even have to mention the hardest part of all- to live out the teachings of the book; to emulate the walking Al-Quran- our beloved prophet Muhammad s.a.w. Allahumma yassir wa la tu'assir wa tammim bilkhair...

Concurrently, a new, torturous exciting chapter of life is about to begin- W-O-R-K-I-N-G! It felt a little funny when I went to register with MMC and SPA a few days back that they kept calling me 'doctor'. I still don't feel like one, frankly (hopefully none of my future patients read this, they might question my credibility -__-).

Okay, I've been on cloud nine for several days already, time to wipe the dust off those medical books...

Have a good day, everyone.