Today's Menu...

Takda idea nak masak apa....lagipun doktor so banyakkan rest..so today ini jer yg termampu masak...menu malas namanya...
Last nite cuma tapau pizza hut jer....

1. udang masak sambal tumis

2. Sayur masak lemak **ada kobis, carrot and kacang buncis**

3. Fish nugget (the kids tak tahan pedas...so gorenglah nugget for them too for additional lauk)

Paradigm Shift.....on Life

Many a times we feel that of all the people in this world, we are the least fortunate ones. Every now and then, we may also whine and wonder, of all the people in the globe, we have the most loads of burden on our shoulder to carry along in our endeavors. Many a times, we feel that the world seems so cruel and unjust. Even though we really belief in Qadha' and Qadar, we can't escape from blaming ourselves and those around us, for the mishaps and all the unexpected things that happened throughout our lives. And most often, we are being ungrateful with our lives and all the things that we have.

I used to cry over things that I couldn't get or achieve. I used to question myself, why should I sacrifice my own interest, ambition and feeling for the sake of others? I've often wondered, why Allah tested me with all those heavy tests?

However, a visit to a friend's house in Penang during the recent Chinese New Year's long holidays have changed my perspective on life and everything that happened to me. Upon returning from her house, I've started to rethink about how I looked and felt about life. I also thank Allah Ta'ala for answering my prayers, guiding me to the right way through contemplating on my friend's journey of life.

This friend of mine, sis H had just delivered her fifth child. She gave birth to a healthy, chubby 4.5 kg baby girl. It was a normal delivery, with no vacuum, forceps or any drugs. The moment I looked at this baby's innocent face, I felt so sad, because this little angel will never see her father's face, and will never fell a father's love in the coming years. The fact is, her father has just passed away two months ago from colon cancer at the age of 34.

Sis H's late husband was a friend of mine too. He used to be my husband's college for almost 4 years when they both taught in a college in Selangor before. Honestly, his death was a tremendous shock to me and my husband. I couldn't sleep from the moment I read sis H's message of her husband's death in my handphone at 1 a.m. that day. My body was shaking and shivering, I felt like vomiting, since I couldn't believe that he has gone. Since the journey from my place to hers takes about 10 hours driving, my husband and I didn't manage to attend his funeral early in the morning the next day. That's why, by hook or by crook, we know that we must visit this family when we went to Penang some day later.

The day her husband passed away, sis H was carrying her approximately 8 months baby in the womb. I couldn't imagine her situation at that moment, especially the days after the funeral. With four kids age 4-10, life would be so drastically changed and difficult for her. Furthermore, she has her own career too, with no maid or relatives nearby her place.

For me, Sis H is a very strong person. This is not her first time loosing the people she loves most in times she really need them . When we were studying together in the university at overseas, she lost her dear mother during the final exams. When the news was broken to hear, she was so calm. Since the final exams couldn't be postponed, she didn't go back to attend her mother's funeral, even though she hadn't seen her for two years. However, despite the grief and sadness, she could still give her focus on her studies and did passed the exams with flying colours.

Sis H married her husband (our classmate in the university too) right after they graduated from the university. Both subsequently continued to take Masters in a local university. They had two daughters while studying Masters and after that, her husband found a job while she continued her PhD studies. They were blessed with two more children during her PhD. Her father passed away while she was doing her postgraduate studies. So, considering that she has no parents anymore and all her siblings have had their own families, she followed her husband to Penang, because her husband's parents live in Kedah. They settled down in Penang, got a good job there and even bought a house.

Sis H obtained her PhD at the age of 31. Compared to the other classmates, she is the earliest to hold a "Dr" title. All this while, I thought how wonderful her life was and how fortunate she is. She has a career, PhD, a house, a loving husband and four children. What else on earth does a woman want in her life besides that? Sis H told me how she spent a whole night in her house with no other adult, bearing the contractions. She waited untill after fajr to asked her neighbour's help to send her to hospital. When asked about her life with no parents, husband and relatives around, she answered in a bitter smile,"That's what people ask me every now and then". Without answering, I knew she was having a tough life. Her eyes could tell , even though her mouth denied it.

But after her husband's death, I learned some meaningful lessons. I started to realize that life is not a bed of roses. In fact, Allah Taala has reminded us in al-Qur'an that our existence in this world isn't meaningless. We will always be tested, to evaluate our patience and iman. However, most importantly, I learned that Allah's tests on us are always something that we can bear and go through. Allah's tests are not beyond our own capability to handle them.

I know, sis H is being tested by Allah since Allah knows she has the strength to pull herself together, like she did during her mother's death several years ago. She can lead a life alone, since she is a very independent person. She have survived during her bad times without a mother's love and care.

I also learned that despite being tested by Allah, without realizing it, Allah always give us guidance, help and His blessings to us to go through the tests. In sis H's case, she obtained her PhD earlier than other friends, she have a secured job and career and even have her own house before her age reaches 30. Actually all these are Allah's help and blessings on her, as preparations for her to raise her five children without a husband at the age of 32. MasyaAllah...does this proves Allah's love towards His creatures?

Sis H's life has inspired me a lot. Her life made me look at all the tests, blessings and failures in my life from different perspective. Now only I know, neither I am the least fortunate person in this whole world, nor the only person being tested by Allah with the biggest and toughest test compared to other people.

It's been a while since I last contact sis H. I should do it now. I want to know whether or not the 4.5 kg baby has grown to 6 kg in a month!

How To Encourage The Reluctant Reader

- by Alvin Poh

Firstly, for reluctant reader, you must help them to get use to reading instead of doing other not so productive activity such as watching meaningless TV programme. For a start, it is best to choose books that interest them.

The books they read don't always need to have a lot of cultural significant. I know of many children who like to read Goosebumps and Animorphs which I don't consider as great literature. However they do capture kid's imagination and turn them on to reading. From reading Goosebumps, you child might be willing to try science fiction by authors of the caliber of Isaac Asimove and Ray Bradbury. And Mystery lovers might move from Nancy Drew to O.Henry or Edgar Allan Poe.

Choosing Books For Reluctant Readers

Some moms and dads don't really approve their children to reading comic books. Yes, comic books contain a lot more picture than words and the sentences are often not properly constructed. These parents hope that their kids have better taster by reading other kind of books. My personal take is this, "For reluctant reader, it is better to comic books than nothing at all". However make use that the content of these books are healthy - there are unhealthy comic books today that are full of violent and immortality. (Nowadays, we have Islamic comic like Aulad, Ana Muslim. I bought them for my kids too).

Some children prefer nonfiction books that let them read a page or two and pick up some interesting information without committing to a whole chapter or an entire book.

When choosing books for reluctant readers:

1. Find Books That Relate To Their Life

Is your child having problems with friends or at school. Reading novels and story books related to her situation can be very helpful. If you can't find the right book, one good solution is to seek help from the children's librarian. (I bought books about the the movies that my kids love, ie. The Mask, The Incredibles, Barbie, Toy Story2, Cars, etc. They are so excited to read the books after watching the movies).

2. Try Joke Books

Most children like joke books. They find them funny and humorous. You may have to put up with some tired jokes but jokes books are good way to encourage reluctant readers to read.

3. Cater To Their Interests

If your child is a football fan, then let him read books and magazine related to football. I'd also recommend biographies of famous and successful football stars which often teach good life values like self discipline, hard working and positive self-esteem. (For example, Wafitos loves asking a lot of questions on everything around his. So we bought him an illustrative beginners' encyclopedia on Everyday's Things and Events.)

4. Accept Comfort Over Proficiency

You're trying to encourage your child to read. Quantity is better than quality at this time. For a start, I'd suggest that you choose books that are below his reading proficiency so that he can feel good about reading them. He'll know when he ready, he can go for harder books with better quality.

5. Try Poetry and Puzzle Books

Parents may have forgotten how their children loved the verbal silliness of Dr. Seuss? Silly, spooky or lyrical poetry and rhythms often capture children's imagination when books don't. Look for poetry books written for young readers e.g. books by Shel Silverstein are all time favorite for kids. (Dr. Seuss's books are funny. My kids love them too).

I'd also encourage you to try puzzle books for your child. One of my personal favorite s Usborne Young Puzzle Series. They are very well written and highly captivating for children, evenly adults. They encourage creativity and help children to build up their problem solving skill.

** Based from my experience, as parents, we can inculcate the passion for reading in our children right from their early years. Instead of buying toys, I used to buy board books for Wafitos and Afafita. In fact, Wafitos' first toy when he was one year old was books. Some parents may think that how could a one year old toddler appreciates books? Well, the truth is, to nurture the love for reading, we MUST start as early as we could. Our toddlers and babies may throw the books, bite them, chew the covers or tear the pages, but its ok. They'll soon love books when they grow up. Inculcating the passion for reading and love for books means that we, parents, MUST read the books for them regularly. Its better if we could make it a routine of bedtime story. We must show our babies and toddlers what is books are, and what can we get from reading books. We must also make the books accessible for them to take and flip through. For example, set a mini library or a put a bookshelf in our kids room.

Alhamdulillah, my son has a strong love from books. He can spend hours in MPH or Kinokuniya, sitting at one corner, reading books. I'm glad that my efforts are fruitful now. Many a times, when he was a toddler, I keep on questioning, would all my efforts of exposing books to him be fruitful? But now, I'm glad that I have done a right thing for my kids.

Patience In the Qur'an

Patience in the Qur'an

Patience is mentioned more than 90 times in the Qur'an. No other moral value is mentioned as much, not even truthfulness or honesty. The word is mentioned in the imperative form in the Qur’an. For example, Allah SWT also says what can be translated as, “And seek help in patience and prayer” ( 2:45).

If you wish to be close to Allah, then be patient. If you achieve that degree of closeness, you will hardly have any reason to fear committing sins. Allah says what can be translated as, "Surely Allah is with the patient" ( 7:46), and as, "And indeed We will definitely try you with something of fear and hunger, and diminution of riches, and selves, and products; and give glad tidings to the patient" (2:155).

Patience is the only deed whose reward is endless. We all know that the reward of a single good deed shall be ten-fold, and that of giving charity may be even 700-fold. However, no one knows where the limit of reward of patience lies.

Also, Allah SWT says what can be translated as, "And Allah loves the patient" (3:146). Knowing that Allah is with the patient and loves them is enough to encourage people to endure. You will have the power to quit smoking, obey your parents, connect your severed ties of kinship, and resist gazing at what you are not allowed to look at, if you simply bear that in mind.

Moreover, Allah SWT says what can be translated as, "And We made from among them leaders guiding by Our Command, since they (endured) patiently and had certitude in Our signs" (32:24). This ayah is about the Jews during one of the periods in which they were compliant. Allah in this ayah says that leadership and supremacy depends on two props: patience and certitude in Allah. The torn Muslim ummah (Muslim nation) will not attain leadership over all nations except through patience. Patience is not only illustrated through performing the different acts of worship. Patience can be in focusing on reform and improvement of production, while abstaining from sins, handling distress, and putting ultimate trust in Allah, as well.

Allah SWT says what can be translated as, "And indeed he who (endures) patiently and forgives, surely that is indeed (an act of true) resolve concerning His Commands" (42:43). It is an act of resolve then when you have patience over an offence and forgive those who hurt you.

Allah urges believers and messengers to have patience. He addresses the Prophet, saying what can be translated as, "So (endure) patiently, as the Messengers endowed with resolve (endured) patiently"(46:35). Patience here turns from being an insubstantial theory into a tangible practice to adhere to.

Allah stresses patience in his advice to the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w and his ummah, "O you who have believed, be patient, and vie in patience, and be garrisoned (i.e., Keep a standing army ready to defend you) and be pious to Allah, that possibly you would prosper" (3:200).

Addressing the Prophet s.a.w, Allah SWT says what can be translated as, "So (endure) patiently under the Judgment of your Lord, and do not be as the Companion of the Whale (Prophet Yûnus “Jonah”) as he called out, as he (was) made to choke (inwardly). Had there not overtaken him a favor from his Lord, indeed he would have been flung off upon the naked shore (i.e., the wilderness) (while) he was a reprobate" (68:48-49).

The stories of the prophets in the Qur’an always end with the moral that is to be understood from the stories. Surat Yusuf and surat Hud conclude with many morals. At the end of Surat Nuh (Noah), Allah says what can be translated as, "So (endure) patiently; surely the (fair) end is for the pious" (11:49). Through this story, Allah tells the Prophet s.a.w. to learn from those who were patient before him as their end is most certainly “fair”.

Allah also teaches us that victory shall not be granted to the Muslims unless they persevere in following the right path. Allah describes in Surah al-Baqarah the confrontation between Jalut (Goliath) with his army of non-believers and Talut (Saul) with his army of believers. At the end of the story, he says what can be translated as, “(But) the ones who expect that they will be meeting Allah said, “How often a little community has overcome a much (larger) community by the permission of Allah; and Allah is with the patient." (2:249). Allah says in a later ayah what can be translated as, "So they routed them, by the permission of Allah" (2:251).

Allah also says in Surat al-Anfal what can be translated as, "In case there are twenty of you, patient (men), they will overcome two hundred" (8:65). According to this ayah, victory is conditional on the element of patience. If you have the patience to abstain from sins, worship, study, work, and behave yourself with your parents, then be certain that you will succeed in what you are doing. Do not blame ‘deep-rooted habits’ for your behavior; but rather you should train yourself to be patient.

Allah SAW says what can be translated as, "And similarly many a Prophet there has been along with whom myriads manifold have fought; so in no way did they feel feeble for whatever afflicted them in the way of Allah, and in no way did they weaken, and in no way did they yield themselves; and Allah loves the patient" (3:146). The victory of religion also relies on patience.

(extracted from an article of amrkhaled net in Kalamullah web)


A week past...

Last week was the longest week I ever had gone through. My health condition was not good, I'm still having cough, running nose for almost a fortnight. Hubby went to Kelate for 3 days and two nites for some programs, leaving me with the kids at home. Actually, it was my first time of being left with the kids and being the one and only dependable adult at home during night. The day my husband flew to KB, I fell sick, terribly sick. Even the kids didn't go to school, since Mama was bedridden by her flu. I eventually took 'ponstan' (a kind of painkiller) to relieve the pains all over my body. Well, after spending time on bed for more than half day, Alhamdulillah I managed to crawled to the kitchen to prepare some food for the kids. From the sound of clattering plates, spoons and the creaking sound of the fridge being open and shut again and again, I bet they were so hungry.

Unsurprisingly, upon entering the kitchen, I some leftovers of food on the table. Two bowls of cereals and milk, the wholemeal bread, margarine, a jar of blueberry jam, and a carton of soya bean milk. Kesianya, budak-budak nie, I thought. Feeling guilty for not being able to fulfill my responsibility as a mother, I tried to cook some dish for their lunch despite the severe cough and fever.

I quickly reached a frying pan to fry some chicken wings. But first, I dunk several cups of rice in the rice cooker, washed it and switched on the 'cook' button. While frying the chicken, Wafitos approached me in the kitchen.

"Mama, you are sick. Why are you here in the kitchen?" He asked, showing his empathy I guess.

"It's ok, If I don't cook, what are you going to have for your lunch?" I replied.

"We can eat biscuits and cereals, Mama. You go and have a rest,lah".

I smiled proudly to him upon hearing his concern of me and my health. Suddenly I felt that I was feeling better. I was so sure it was not because of the painkiller, but was resulted by my son's concern. That's why doctor's always advice friends and family to show concer and simpathy to those who sick. I believe, it is one of the best medicine to heal a sickness.

Later that day, in the evening, I tried to call my sister, Ibon, who is studying in a nearby University in the Faculty of Medicine. Hoping for some tips and actually hoping her to accompany me that night, I felt hopeless as I knew that she had been sicked for several days. And that doctor-to-be was in the polyclinic to see a doctor. Alamak, habislah...takder talian hayat nie.

In the evening, after swallowing another ponstan, I drove to a nearby clinic with the kids, the same clinic that I went to form the beginning of this month. Alhamdulillah, towards late evening, I was feeling much better (after eating painkiller, I sweat) and managed to drop by at nearby store to grab some groceries.

The night was so silent and quite empty without hubby around the house. Well, I guess I missed his company more than I miss him (hehehe). I went to bed at around 10 p.m, something that I seldom did when hubby is around, because we always had some 'intellectual' discussions and 'changing' ideas on current issues at night after 10 p.m. (What to do, dapat husband yg fulled of ideas and always using his brain 24/7).

What I learnt last week is, never underestimate the presence of a man in our lives and never also underestimate our own strength. (heheh). We, women, indeed needs a man in our lives, however, we must also bear in mind that we can survive without men. Don't take it wrongly, this is not a feminist propaganda (in fact, I am against Feminism). It's just a fact that we should know and be aware of. Only Allah is our sole Provider and Hope. Only on Allah can we totally depend our lives.

**Afafita's drawing on her dream house**

Teaching Children About Measurement and Estimation

Yesterday, Wafitos asked me about the meaning and concept of measurement. As usual, Mama terkedu-kedu in giving explanation. After elaborating the concept and giving him some examples, I surfed the internet and checked my parenting resource to find any tips for me to teach my son about measurement.

I would like to share this article to anyone. Hope it will benefit you, friends.

by Alvin Poh

The supermarket is one of the best examples of a place where the ability to use mathematics is put to work in the “real world.” It’s a great place to practice measurement and estimation and to learn about volume and quantity and their relationships to the sizes and shapes of containers—geometry!

Making a grocery shopping list can be both enjoyable and an opportunity to reinforce young children’s number sense.

What You Need

List of grocery items

Color pictures of grocery items cut from magazines, catalogs or advertising flyers (for example, choose pictures of different kinds of vegetables, fruit, containers of milk or juice, cans of soup, boxes of cereal and crackers, loaves of bread)

Index cards (or similar-sized cards cut from heavy paper)

Glue stick

Small box (large enough to hold the cards)

What to Do

Put together the set of food pictures and help your child paste each picture onto a card. Then have your child sit with you as you make up a grocery shopping list. Read the list aloud to her, item by item, saying, for example, “We need to buy milk. Find the picture of the milk.” When the child finds the picture, have her put it in the box. Continue through the list, asking her to find pictures of such things as apples, potatoes, bread, soup and juice.

When you’ve finished, ask your child to tell you how many things you need to buy; then help her to count the pictures in the box.

Ask your child to put all the pictures of vegetables in one group, then all the pictures of fruit in another group. (You might continue with items that are in cans, items that are in boxes and so on.)

Point to one group of pictures, such as the fruit. Help her to count the number of pictures in that group. Have her do the same for other groups.

Use advertising flyers or newspaper advertisements to help your child identify, classify and count items. Ask, for example, “Howmany cans of soup are there?” “What vegetables do you see?” and so forth.

How To Inspire A Love For Learning

What can a parent do at home to inspire the desire to learn and awaken that passion for knowledge?

Take a positive attitude about education. Does it sound simple? It does, in fact, sound incredibly simple but it seems to be the one thing that those exceptional teachers have in common. They have an amazing attitude about learning – their students’ learning and their own.

Here are some tips to get you inspired:
“The learning process has to be a fun and meaningful process for the child,” quotes psychologist Ms Miranda Mulyana*. “For example, parents or teachers can utilise visual aids such as pictures, demonstrations, and diagrams in demonstrating a new concept or idea. This holds true for practice work and review also. Drilling isn’t the only way to review lessons.”

Be a learning role model. Be excited to learn new things. Be interested in the information your children are accumulating. Talk about events and activities. Let the children teach you something new as well. You’ll be amazed at the curriculum in schools these days; it can be very fascinating. While you are at it, learn something new yourself. You could share study time and talk about the struggles and achievements with your young ones.

Pay attention to your child’s interests. Ms Mulyana* offers this encouragement, “Outside of academic work, also encourage the child to pursue his/her interests and cultivate his/her strengths so that he/she can continue to build up on his/her strengths and self-confidence.”

Find out how your child learns. Different children learn using different methods. Some learn visually through seeing and making pictures. Others are more tactile – they learn more through touch like building blocks and working with clay. Many learn from what they hear, which is auditory learning. Take time to see what works best with your child. Each person learns differently. They can be different from their siblings and even from you.

Schedule a regular reading time together. Reading out loud together will encourage even unwilling readers to start. For older readers, this allows them time to concentrate on sentence structure and the vocabulary. It is a great way to get information in as well as spend valuable time together.

Make learning part of your child's everyday experience, especially when it comes out of your child's natural questions. When you cook together, do measuring math. Talk about the weather and how it works. Mention some current issues in the newspaper and ask them questions about their thoughts. “Use higher-level questioning techniques. Ask questions that are open-minded and stimulate critical thinking and discussion,” suggests Ms Mulyana. “Also encourage the child to ask questions about things in his environment and common everyday practices, and answer his/her questions honestly and openly.”

Help your child take charge of his learning. The desired goal is for the child to be responsible for his or her own successes and failures. He must feel proud of the successes, with the motivation being the intrinsic interest in learning and not an external reward. Ms Miranda Mulyana adds, “Use as much affirmation and praise as possible for the child’s academic and non-academic achievements, so as to continue to build upon and maintain the child’s confidence level.”

Downtime is important too. While we all want to supplement school with outside activities, be cautious about how much you urge your child to do. Relaxation and thinking time is also important.

Moderate the viewing of TV. TV does not allow a child to develop their own thoughts and interests as information is being dictated to them. Playing with toys, reading books, doing craft and talking with friends are different. It allows for individual thought; it helps them to develop interests and skills.

*Ms Miranda Mulyana is a psychologist at Mount Elizabeth-Charter Behavioural Health Services, Mount Elizabeth Hospital.

Dear Parents, Please Read This Every Morning...


I am raising my child to be a successful vicegerent (khalifah) of Allah, who will help create a truly Islamic World.

  • Today I will try my best to know and understand all the influences upon my child's development.

  • Today I will try my best to help my child understand the power of negative influences to take him/her away from Allah, and the power of positive influences to take him/her to Allah.

  • Today I will try my best to shield my child from the power of the negative influences to take him/her away from Allah.

  • Today I will try my best to enhance (increase) the power of the positive influences upon my child to take him/her toward Allah.

  • Today I will try my best to notice some positive things my child does or says, and tell him/her how much those things are appreciated by me and by Allah.

  • Today I will try my best to say nothing negative to my child. Even if I have to correct my child's wrong behaviour I will try my best to find some positive way to do so.

  • Today I will love my child unconditionally, but I will try my best to express that love at times which are most beneficial to my child.

  • Today I will try my best to be an example of a good and right human being (Muslim) for my child.

  • Today I will pray for Allah's help that I can be a good parent for my child.

**Ya Allah....boleh ke buat semua nie? Rasanya yg last jer I mampu buat...berdoa kepada Allah agar diberikan ilham untuk mendidik anak2.....InshaAllah.

Today's Menu...

Today tak tau nak masak apa. Yg terlintas di otak cuma lauk nie je. Dahlah masak kelam kabut, a bit salty pulak. takpelah...yg penting semua org ada makanan untuk dimakan. Bersyukur jelah...

Your Heart is the Pillar of Your Worship

Your Heart is the Pillar of Your Worship

by 'Abdullah 'Azzam (may Allah have Mercy upon him)

"...the heart is the machine that drives all acts of worship. It is what moves the entire body! As long as the heart is alive, then the limbs will be alive, and the soul will open itself up to worship. However, if the heart becomes diseased, then worship will become too heavy on the soul, leading to it eventually disliking and hating - and we seek refuge with Allah from this - worship. Because of this, Allah - the Glorified and Exalted - said, regarding the prayer:
{"...and truly, it is extremely heavy and hard except on those who are submissive..."} [al-Baqarah; 45]
The prayer is heavy, because one's legs and hands are not what get up for the prayer. What gets up for the prayer are the heart and the soul. {"Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He Who deceives them. And when they stand up for the prayer, they stand with laziness and to be seen of men, and they do not remember Allah but little."} [an-Nisa'; 142] Because of this, it is the heart that stands up for worship. The limbs are simply slaves of this heart, carrying out what it commands them. If the heart is alive, then the soul will be alive, and worship will become beloved and sweetened to the hearts and the souls, and they will open up for it. However, if the heart becomes diseased, then worship becomes too heavy on it. The heart is like the digestive system: right now, the most beloved thing to you is meat. However, if you develop an ulcer somewhere in your digestive system, then the meat - along with its fat and oil - becomes the most hated thing to it, since it is diseased. Sweets are also something that are beloved to the soul. For example, if you were fasting right now and were to break your fast on some desserts, then your soul would become satisfied with that, right? However, if one were to be stricken with diabetes, then he would not be able to handle these sugary foods, even if they were beloved to him. The heart is like this: it must be strong so that it can handle worship that is strong. The stronger your heart becomes, then throw as much worship upon it as you wish. You would get up to pray at night, and you would cherish this prayer and consider sleep to be your enemy: {"Their sides forsake their beds, to invoke their Lord in fear and hope..."} [as-Sajdah; 16] He begins to forsake it because an enmity develops between him and his bed. He prays behind the imam, and he says to himself: "If only he would make the prayer longer," so that he would increase in his opening up to this worship, and his tasting of its sweetness.

[From a lecture given by 'Abdullah 'Azzam on June 15, 1988 entitled 'The True Preparation,' found in the collection 'at-Tarbiyyah al-Jihadiyyah wal-Bina''; 1/220]

Are We Civilized Enough?

A fortnight ago, I happened to watch the Ripley's Believe It Or Not show. It was quite entertaining, as usual, exposing the world's most weird happenings, things and people. Suffice it to say, among the stories highlighted during the one hour program, the cover story on a group of native tribe in Brazil had really caught my attention. This tribe (I forgot its name) had a very peculiar culture, which I doubt would be accepted by modern and so-called civilized people nowadays. Honestly, I was so sad knowing and seeing them living in an uncivilized life. The women were still topless, and some are the men still went out for hunting or fishing in naked. They also lived in small bamboo cottages.

To me, this group of people was really 'weird'. The female tribe members applied plats made from clay on their lips and mouth as one of their accessories and as to attract men. These plats will gradually make their lips wider and mouths bigger. The bigger and wider a mouth is the considered the prettier. So, every girls and women forced the lips and mouths to become wider and bigger by putting bigger plats. This act could result to lips-tearing and bleeding. Despite the pain and agony, they willingly keep on cherishing this tradition.

Sounds weird and scary huh? But the most strange and agonizing tradition in this tribe is the "puberty test". I couldn't stop from screaming 'ouch', 'eeiiii', 'biar betul'...etc as I watch young girls and boys going through tests to show their braveness when they reach puberty. According to their tradition, whenever a boy reaches puberty, (this usually in the teen age) they are encouraged to do a ritual which includes bravery test. As to prove their braveness to other tribe members and declare to their elders that they are ready to be an adult and take up the responsibilities of an adult, the boys must put their hands in a jar filled with thousands of ants. These ants are the one that are well-known for their lethal bites. (Ya Allah..just imagine!!) So, as to pass this test, a brave boy shouldn’t pull out his hand from that jar, let alone crying out for help. He must let the ants bite his hand. Having said that, if he passes this test, he would be acknowledged as a true brave man.

So, what about the girls? Well, the girls were also being tested in a different kind of test, yet as agonizing as the boys test. First, the girls should be fasting for a whole day. Then, some elder women of the tribe would pull out their hair...every single hair....until the head became bald!! Just imagine....it was so painful, and absolutely a real kind of torture. And, if the girls could bare the agony, then only they would be acknowledge as an adult.

Masha Allah! As I watched the program, I couldn’t stop myself from thinking of the justification and reason behind both tests. At last, I made my hypothesis. The pain of ant biting resembles the upcoming challenges for the boys as they become adults while the pain of hair-pulling most probably resembles the labour pain...heheheh.

That night, I made a conclusion that I knew was so unfair and unjust. I categorized them as uncivilized people. Yet I’m thankful to Allah for giving a chance to be a civilized person living in a civilized society. Having said that, I started to ponder on my ‘civilized’ community and society. Who am I to judge other people and called them uncivilized? Are we really civilized enough compared to them? And the mind-boggling questions started on.....and on....

As a matter of fact, we are not much different from that so-called uncivilized tribe. It their women are topless, isn’t it the same with us? Just look at ourselves, our communities...we are so proud to say that we can creatively design up to date clothes and we can produce good quality linens and silks, yet, many of us are still barely covering our aurah. If the women of the tribe hurting themselves to make them prettier and to attract men, we, the ‘civilized’ women are surely not much less hurting ourselves to always looked pretty. If they use plats for lips, we use botox, ‘susuk’, and other kinds of hazardous cosmetics for the same purpose. If the boys dare to feel the pain to show their braveness, our youngsters even dare to die to show their skills and braveness to the world, through ‘merempit’, clubbing, taking drugs, etc.

Now only I realise that we are not much different from them. As a matter of fact, the more we claim ourselves as civilized people, the more we return to be uncivilized. The higher skyscrapers we build, the lower is our akhlak and virtues of life. If we still don’t change, the sooner we will be living like the native tribe on the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Show. Do we really want to be like them??

Choosing the right toys...does it really matter?

Toys are inseparable from a child's life. From the very first month of his life, rattles and musical box may be the most apparent company for a baby. As the baby grows, parents usually buy different kinds of toys to entertain their cute little joy of life.

Whether or not they know the significant role of toys in a child's life, parents nowadays are overwhelmed by the varieties of toys available in the market. Unfortunately, some of the parents buy abundant of toys for their babies and kids without knowing the fact that toys are not merely a means to bring joy in their childs' life. Rather, toys are considered an essential part of a child's learning process and experience.

It has been proven by psychologists and experts that the types of toys being played by a child may influence his character and nurture his potential as well as interest. thus, parents should be more particular and smart when buying toys for their children. Here, based from my experience and my readings, I 'll list down several points to be considered when choosing an appropriate toy for our children.
  • Choose a toy that is made or invented specifically for specified age group of the child.
    • Never buy a toy that is beyond our child's capability, physically and cognitively. This will only make our children bored, restless and eventually decrease their self-confidence.
    • An appropriate level of toys can boast a child's self esteem and confidence since he believe that he is having a control over the toys.
  • Choose an educational toys rather than popular or high-demand toys.
    • Our kids will surely fancy Barbie dolls, Transformer robots, Power Rangers action figure, etc than Scrabble and puzzles. However, as parents, we are the one who make the decision and buy the toys.
    • Sometimes we can compromise or negotiate with our children regarding toys. Popular toys and educational toys can be bought alternately as to achieve a win-win situation.
  • Never too early to start exposing educational toys to our children.
    • The earlier the better.
    • Educational toys include all sorts of toys that can nurture our children fine and motor skills, emotional aspect, cognitive and etc.
    • So don't try to turn our children to Einsten or Ibn Sina. Just follow their natural developmental milestones.
    • Variety is a must when choosing and buying toys.
  • Ensure that the toys are safe enough for our children.
    • Especially for babies, make sure that there are no small parts that can be detached to avoid swallowing.
    • Don't buy toys that are too 'cheap' . These toys may contain chemicals that are hazardous to our children's health.

**These are some of Chichi and Afafita's toys.

This is the playdoh. Afafita's fave.

The binocular. Wafitos' fave. Used during nature walk.

Scrabble for beginners. It's good, edutaining.

Computer- games, learning words, maths sums, music, etc. Fun and the kids love it.

The microscope...Wafitos is do excited gathering new specimens and analyse them through his microscope. Siap nak buat lab sendiri.

Lego set....can give the kids endless joy of building creating things...

Last but not least important...story books.....

20 points to love....

As I was bloghopping and surfing the internet, finding new resources for my study and adding some new data for this Allah's made "cpu" of mine, I stumbled upon this marvelous tips on maintaining a healthy relationship and enhancing "mahabbah" and "mawaddah" between husband and wife.

I would like to share this with every wives, husbands (including mine, particularly) and every wives-to-be and husbands-to-be out there. Hopefully we can implement these suggestions to improve our relationships with our spouse. Just remember, a happy and loving couple is the prerequisite for a happy and successful family.

May Allah bless us all, with His bounty, love and care.

**20 Points to Love

by Shaykh Riad Ouarzazi

  • Exchanging gifts, (It develops love between you two) it does not have to be materialistic.
  • Spend time together. Just you and your wife. (Vise versa)
  • “The look of love”. Just by looking at your wife you should know what she likes.
  • Warm greetings.
  • Praise the wife. Never compare her with someone else. Applies both ways
  • Participate together in the household chorus. Your work is not only outside!!
  • Kind words, they are Sadaqah.
  • Spend time OUT together.
  • Peaceful gatherings.
  • Husband has to be balanced with the YES/NO.
  • Show your interest, support, and care.
  • Change your routine. Surprise her/him.
  • Pamper her/him.
  • Don’t hide your feelings. You should be able to talk to each other (Never in front of the children).
  • Call her/him by her/him beautiful names
  • Don’t talk about your problems before bed.
  • Show THANKS…Jazakallahu Khair
  • Apologize
  • R-E-S-P-E-C-T
  • Contemplate the Seerah.

The Most Popular Song....

Recently, I exposed my two kids to Nasheed by Zain Bikha. Unsurprisingly, they are so addicted with those songs, and continuously listening to them, especially in the car. Now, whenever we travel, Mama wouldn't have the chance to listen to Mama's compilation of pop music and songs like 'Hurt', 'Umbrella', Last year, the kids adored Yusuf Islam's songs in the "I look I See" cd. Alhamdulillah, they have memorised some of the songs, especially "Your Mother", "Months of Hijriyyah" and several others.

Compared to Yusuf Islam's, Zain Bikha songs are more catchy. That's why the kids fell in love with the songs the moment they listened to them.

Wafitos' favorite is"Pizza in the Pocket" whereas Afafita's favourite song are "My Mom Is Amazing" and "Child's Prayer".
But above all, the most popular and most most listened to song is "Flowers are Red".

What should i do?
How to narrow the scope of my research?
Which part should be focused?
should I restrict my research to Malay Archipelago?
Hmm.... poningnya kepala...
Dah stuck nie.....
I think I'm starting to have the sindrome-buat-PhD

O Allah...give me hikmah and ideas to embark this project.....

Kayaking at Bkt Merah Laketown...

If not us, who then?

Last week, Wafitos approached me one evening after school with a very "difficult" and "unthinkable" question.

"Mama, Allah is the one who created all human beings, right?" He asked me. "Definitely, nak. Every one in this world is created by Allah.", I replied, even though I was quite sure that his question was actually not a question. Rather, it was his style of fact confirmation.

"Mama....if Allah doesn't create people, what would Allah do? Would He create other kinds of people or creature? Would Allah still create this world? Or would Allah create other things?"

The moment Wafitos finished asking, I started to switch on the search engine in my head for a suitable answer. And surely, with this limited RAM and memory, I ended up with the "safe mode" answer, "Only Allah knows the answer, Chichi. We couldn't know what would happen".

Wafitos' face showed that he wasn't really satisfied with that answer. He still looked puzzled, hoping for more elaboration from his so-called 'educated' mother. I knew I had to do something. I felt guilty leaving him in unsolved curiosity. So, as usual, my last resort was the Papa.

"Bang, I ada satu soalan. Kalau u dapat jawab, u can become a mufti. Your son................". So, finally, Papa managed to give a satisfying elaboration and answer to this always-ask-weird-questions-boy.

However, the moment Papa held his breath after trying to convince Wafitos, he popped another question. "But why Allah named the first person He created Adam? Why not Muhammad or other names?"
Well...does anyone out there can answer this question for my Chichi?

Teaching Children About Numbers

Teaching Children About Numbers

Young children may not recognize that numbers are all around them. Pointing out numbers on everyday items increases their number sense.

What You Need

Boxes, cans and bottles of food and other household supplies

What to Do

Place several boxes, cans and bottles on the kitchen table. You might use a cereal box, a can of soup and a bottle of dishwashing soap. Sit with your child and point out one or two numbers on each item. (Numbers can be found in the names of some products, as well as in the list of contents and in addresses. However, rather than pointing to a very large number, such as a postal code, point to one digit in that code—a 6 or 3 or 8.)

Point to one of the items and say a number that is easy to see. Ask your child to find it. Then have him look for that number on the other items.

Have your child choose a number for you to find on one of the containers.

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things --God, your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions--and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car. The sand is everything else--the small stuff."
"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you. "Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first-- the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for acouple of cups of coffee with a friend."

**This anecdote was previously appeared in kin hashim's blog. I'm so moved by this anecdote thus would like to share it with all my friends and blog readers. To Kin, sorry for cutting-and pasting your interesting entry without your permission. Harap maaf yer!

Tag again....very hard and lenghty one...

Ok. I've received this new tag from my sis. But I decided to copy it from Kin's blog. I thought maybe it would be more fun to compare our answers. Ist it ok iu?

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night?
Ayu - Haziq & faris lah...
Kin - Nabhan

Afafita- My hubby, we were in the car, on the way home from my mother in law's house. we were talking about mat rempit. kutuk2 mat rempit that we happened to meet on the road.

2. What were you doing at 0800?
Ayu- Siapkan makanan utk huby kije ngan anak2 breakfast..
Kin - 0800 bila ni? kalau pagi ni, tengah cek emel :).

Afafita-if you mean today, well...tengah buat hantaran for my sis in law's majlis tunang. but usually at 8 a.m, I'm sitting on the sofa alone, menikmati the tranquility of my life after kecoh2 peak hour from 7-8, rushing the kids to school.

3.What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Ayu- chatting..ngan azraa..hihihi
Kin - buat burung kertas untuk Fawwaz :).
Afafita- Reading my blog and khairaummah site.

4. What happened to you in 2006?
Ayu - banyak.. yang besh..balik mesia.. p paris..p swiss....p italy & tempat2 len... sonot!!! hihihi..
Kin - Yang paling bermakna, Nabhan lahir ke dunia... :). pahtu, stat bercuti panjang ikut hasben dtg ireland ni ha...

Afafita- A lot of enjoyable events. Can't exactly remember. Dah lama sangatlah. why not asked about 2007 jer?

5. What was the last thing you said out loud?
Ayu - "Haziq!!!.. takmo baling bola atas mejaaaaaaaaaa......"
Kin - "Nabhan!!! jgn tutup piter ibuuuuu...." :).
Afafita- Bang, u boleh tolong bawak naik beg trolley grey kat tepi tangga when you come uptstairs? Don't forget tau! I dah naik nie...malas nak turun lagi....

6. How many beverages did you have today?
Ayu - 4 kali kot.. x ingat
Kin - 3-4 kali kot...
Afafita- bout 4 to 5...entahlah forgotlah.

7. What color is your hairbrush?
Ayu - takde hairbrush...(benda ape nie? huhuhu..)
Kin - cokelat.. :).

Afafita- emmm...brownlah

8.What was the last thing you paid for?
Ayu - sewa rumah..belanja kt pasaraya plus..
Kin - beli apple juice kat SPAR..

Afafita- Paid the toll LDP...(boring..tak habis2 toll)

9. Where were you last night?
Ayu - teratak yang bersepah2..hohoho..
Kin - rumah kak elly kat Ballyneety...mengeteh :).
Afafita- At my in-laws house...

10. What color is your front door?
Ayu - coklat2 gelap..
Kin - samala kaler pintu umah kita ayu..heeehehe..
Afafita- Mcm brown +red.....a mix of both colours.

11. Where do you keep your change?
Ayu - tabung.. seriusss...;p
Kin - atas meja kat bilik...
Afafita- In the small inner pocket in my handbag.

12. What's the weather like today?
Ayu - kejap mendung...kejap cerah.. malam..setiap masa sejukkkk...
Kin - ari ni tak nampak matahari, mendung jer...tp, tak hujan... snow tak de la plak... :).

Afafita- Very hot and sunny. Dahlah sibuk2 ada majlis...panasnya..

13. What's the best ice-cream flavor?
Ayu - Coklat + strawbery.. yummy...
kin - coklat...

Afafita- I usually go for chocolate and blueberry

14. What excites you?
Ayu - travelling...heheeee
Kin - window shopping... :).

Afafita- Window shopping and balik kampung to my mom's house...

15. Do you want to cut your hair?Ayu - nope..
Kin - sometimes..
Afafita- when I'm starting to feel uncomfortable and thinking of having a new image.

16. Are you over the age of 25?
Ayu - baru je terkeluar...tapi still maintain.....;p
Kin - yer... sedar diri dah tua, dah lebih suku abad :).

Afafita- serba salah nak answer. actually dah, but...mcm still feeling young...hehhe

17. Do you talk a lot?
Ayu - nope..kot.. tp kadang2 banyak.. kadang2 pemalu sampai tak reti nak cakap per.. seriuss..!!.
Kin - Mmmm....i would say... tak banyak cakap kot... kadang2 terlebih cakap gak..eehhehe..**tazkirah ; "diam itu lebih baik dari bercakap perkara sia2" :).

Afafita- Depends on whom I talk to, and who involves in the conversation. If I'm among my siblings, I'm not likely can be described as a talkative person compared to them. but kalau dgn si ayu nie...memanglah banyak cakap. The conclusion is, I will talk more among the less talkative person, and on the contrary.

18. Do you watch the O.C.?
Ayu - No.. (benda per nih>?)
Kin - pebenda O.C nih?
Afafita- Sorry no idea what is it.

19. Do you know anyone named Steven?
Ayu - Steven tak penah..seven or stephen kenal lah..haha...ha .. steve blue..haziq suka sgt2..
Kin - no

Afafita- Steven Segal tu boleh kira kawan i tak?

20. Do you make up your own words?
Ayu - mayb..no.. (tak paham solan..ehehe)
Kin - tak paham soalan gak...
Afafita- yes...of course bila bagi nama or petname for babies.

21. Are you a jealous person?
Ayu - tengok keadaan.. kadang2 jelous bangettt!!
Kin - mestilah jeles....tp bertempat la..
Afafita- the truth is...tak jealous sgt. Dalam bab nie, I tetiba jadi sensible and rational .....cos I believe in Allah's Will and takdir....

22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter 'A'.
Ayu - ARIEF???..harharhar..Adibah...(kak adibah...;p).. kak azma eh.. azraa cork..akma sheffield...kak akma.. lagi.. Ayu??? namaku..ehehe.... ramai ah....
Kin - yg terlintas kat kepala sekarang.. AYU la!

Afafita- Akmaliza : my best friend (Ayu kira sedara, bukan kawan, so takleh masuk dlm list nie)

23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter 'K'.
Ayu - K? em..sat2.. aa..emmm... ummm... Kamaliah? ehe.. K..em tak ramai... tak ingat...huhuhu
Kin - Khairiah...

Afafita- entahlah...nothing comes across my mind now.

24. Who's the first person on your received call list?
Ayu - Entahlah.. budak jerman yg duk praktikal kat Mesia ritu... Dia speaking jemen.. tapi aku x tahu nak jawap per...hahahaha siannn dier..
Kin - 'abang'...
Afafita- Abang KM (my husband)

25. What does the last text message you received say?
Ayu - hepi belated birthday to haziq from achik tina.. kt kampung..;)
Kin - "pagi ni anak3 makan apa? nasi lemak ke?" :).
Afafita- Waslm. le patutlah xde org jwb taq kat blog, bkn smlm kate rini ke?ehe xpe...semoga segalanya brjln dgn lancar..kami doakan dr jauh..selamat bersiap..eh.. (from ayu)

26. Do you chew on your straw?
Ayu - Nope..
Kin - no..

Afafita- of course not.

27. Do you have curly hair?
Ayu - Yes..
Kin - no
Afafita- heheh...mine is rebonding type.

28. Where's the next place you're going to?
Ayu - insya allah... UK & Ireland.... yahoo!!...
Kin - tak tau lg, blum masuk dalam kalendar secara rasmi .. :).

Afafita- Most probably during the March school holiday, nak jalan2 kat terengganu and kelate pulak..ngan mak and abah....naik abah's new nissan grand livina insyaAllah...hehehe

29. Who's the rudest person in your life?
Ayu - em.. adela..
Kin - tak ingat dah sape...

Afafita- ada one person. She is a Muslim convert, org Sweden. My ex roomate time study Masters dulu. I tak tahan bila dia kutuk2 azan subuh, and dia kata bising jer azan subuh nie. and tak tahan bila dia started to questioning the fundamental teachings of Islam, as if she was not a muslim. I had a fierce fight with her cos she didn't show her respect towards Islam, the religion she converted to.

30. What was the last thing you ate?
Ayu - Laksa..kek..strawbery..fillet fish.. banyak....
Kin - jeput udang (@cekodok utk sapa2 yg tak tau jeput tu apa yer... :p)
Afafita- kek chocolate yg dihadiahkan oleh pihak lelaki kat majlis tunang tadi petang.

31. Will you get married in the future?
Ayu - Mane leh kawin reramai... bersyukur dengan apa yang ada..
Kin -jawapan masa umur 20tahun; yes, of course! :). jawapan masa sekarang; dah kawen la.... :).
Afafita- dah 2 anak pun...irrelevant question.

32. What's the best movie you've seen in the past 2 weeks?
Ayu - Cite kelakar.. Upssss...
Kin - upin dan ipin :). (ni kira movie tak? hehhehe..)
Afafita- Ok, actually it's not a movie. It's a telemovie kat slot cerekarama @ TV3. Dono the title..but it's about appreciating your husband, and his way of showing off his love towards us. (memang terkenalah batang hidung that nite)

33. Is there anyone you like right now?
Ayu - ramai..kawan2 baru..
Kin - yes, there is...

Afafita- yeah...definitely

34. When was the last time you did the dishes?
Ayu - kul 5 ptg tadi..
Kin - kul 12pm tadi..
Afafita- last nite...cos this whole day kat in-law's house.

35. Are you currently depressed?
Ayu - yes
Kin - no
Afafita- Not really lah but sligthly. stress nak betulkan proposal, nak cari scope yg sesuai untuk my research nie, nak kemas bilik bebudak yg mcm titanic, nak kuruskan badan.....nak fikir nak mengundi ke time election nanti, nak kumpul duit nak gi jerman jumpa ayu..

36. Did you cry today?
Ayu- yes..
Kin - no

Afafita- I seldom cry...susah sgt nak tgk i nangis. (keras hati ker? taklah). time arwah nenek meninggal pun, I nangis sembunyi2.....

37. Why did you answer and post this?
Ayu - saje2.. takde kije..heh...
Kin - sebab Ayu yg suruh...hahhahhaa..

Afafita- Si ayu lah nie.
Ikutkan hati tak kuasa....baik tidur or tengok tv...eheheh

38. Tag 3 people who would do this survey.

Afafita-takda ramai kawanlah...