Friday, April 22, 2011

Of Answered Prayers with a Twist...

I’m kind of busy with work at the moment and to tell you the truth I’m not really in the mood to blog. Something has been bugging me for months and lately I’ve allowed myself to wallow in self pity. It totally triggered my BD PreProitis Smurfing Ephilitis symptoms (haha inside joke: p) funnily enough someone totally unexpected i.e. a male colleague of no importance, notices the change and confronted me about it in a jest. It got me thinking though, why should I feel sorry for myself?

I guess as human we always want things that we can’t have or not meant to have “yet”. I should just be more patient. Maybe it acts as a sign that I should start thinking of alternatives and not be scared to step out of my comfort zone. I realized that great things always happen when I go through a more “challenging” road. Faith is the key.

Yes, I’m rambling but who cares, insignificant toads (chewah) are not meant to understand this. Sorry but I just hate it when “strangers” pretended that they know me just by reading a few blog post a week.

Anyway enough with the negativity. I shall focus on the good things instead. I’m going to turn 28 next month and Alhamdullilah I’ve fulfilled 4/5 of my personal goals of the things I should do before turning 30. I should be thankful; I should be down on my knees performing sujud syukur all the time, for all of the things I’m blessed with

1. When I was 25 and newly engaged I dreamt of starting a family with Lan and now 3 years later I have a beautiful family with a loving husband and a gorgeous son. I also have great parent and in laws and also siblings who I can always depend on. What more can a girl ask for?
2. Lan and I managed to purchase our own house at a young age. Alhamdullilah should anything happen to us at least Ryan would have an asset to call his own. It is not much but it is ours :)
3. After 2 years of hard work, tears and grueling task of balancing between work, studies, marriage, pregnancy and a baby, I’m going to attend my convocation this May where I’ll be receiving a piece of paper stating that I’ve completed my Masters in Corporate Law. It wasn’t easy but I did it...
4. I’ve gone for my Umrah.

Some may view this list as a “braglist” but when I look at this list I feel ashamed for failing to feel thankful in the first place. This post shall act as a reminder of all of my answered prayers.

Speaking of answered prayers, one of the wishes I made during Umrah came true. Well it was an improved version of the wish, a bit unexpected but very much welcome nevertheless. The gift also came with a “test”. So I hope I can successfully endure it. Alhamdullilah and here’s to change :)

Consider this....

Character cannot be developed in ease & quiet. Only through experience of trial & suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, & success achieved.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday #6

Sneak preview to hubby's 30th B-day "party" on 17 April 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Umrah Trip (Final)

Ok my final Umrah post. This post is mostly on how an Umrah is perform :) When you go for your Umrah trip, you can actually perform your umrah more than once. Some people even managed to perform their umrah 3 times a day (such dedication and determination).

To me umrah is a very physical form of ibadah, as compared to prayers, fasting and zakat etc which I think is more spiritual in nature.You have to be mentally strong as well, having to brace the throngs of people, hot sun, etc. At the end of the day you'll learn one very important lesson which is PATIENCE

But now I understood why my parents was telling my sister and I to perform our haj as soon as we can. I guess they have a very good point, when you're younger the "rukuns" is physically easier for you to perform.

For example, on the day when we didn't bring Ryan along, we managed to finish our tawaf and saie within 1 1/2 hours. The older jemaah sometimes take close to 3-4 hours to finish the same course ( I know it is not a competition about who can finish first, I'm just making a comparison that when you are younger, tawaf/saie wouldn't be so challenging)

*Insyallah* once dah cukup duit we'll go ok, hubby :) Neways, there is 5 things that you need to do to complete your umrah:-

First: You have to Niat Umrah at a designated place (they called it Miqat) and the place has to be out of Tanah Haram (out of Mecca). You have to be in your ihram at this point (guys in white sheets and women in any attire covering aurat- though it is sunnat to wear white)The nearest place is in Masjid Tanaim (about 7 km away). You can reach there by taxi or vans.

Second: You have to complete 7 rounds of tawaf around kaabah. You can do it continuously or you can stop after each round (all depends on your capability) after finishing your tawaf you are to perform sembahyang sunnah preferable in front of Hijr Ismail.

Third: Saie. You have to make walk around Safa and Marwaa' Hills 7 times. Again do it at your own pace while reading the designated doa.

Fourth: Tahallul. Jemaah must cut a bit of their hair to complete your umrah (some guys will shave all their hair off) and after that you'll be out of Ihram

Fifth: You must do everything in order.

Lan and Ryan in their ihram

@Tanaim mosque

Tawaf around Kaabah

Safa' & Marwaa' Hills- Saie

*Alhamdullilah* Finally done with sharing all of our experience in Mecca and Madinah. *insyaallah* panjang umur and with opportunity would LOVE to visit again :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

BaBy ClaSsEs : KiaSu MumS GeN Y :)

*taking a break from umrah post*

Ryan’s Gym.boree(GB) class is ending, and we’re trying to figure out if we should continue with his classes. Ryan has been going for G.B since he was 3 months old, now, he’s up to Stage 3 in play class and he’s in Stage 1 music class.

I love the instructors, classes are interactive equip with great set ups and I think Ryan is able to make a lot of friends there. My only problem is I think Ryan has kind of outgrown the play class. He started early on his Stage 2 so he has been spending every week on the same play gym for the past 8 months. I can’t blame him for being bored.

We have just started on the music class, which pretty much is a dancing class + instrument playing (mostly maracas and tambourine) and a bit of singing (on the mother’s part mostly) Truth be told I find the class a tad boring. We pretty much do the dancing + singing part bit at home every night. On teaching him to play instruments, well after going for 12 years of music classes, I’m more than qualified to teach Ryan myself (or my mum would tell you that :p)

I was told that the art programme is really good but Ryan can only join it in 3 months time when he turns 18 months. So do I reassigned him NOW for the play + music class or do I take him out and later rejoin the art class or find some other center for his classes? But then again ART CLASSES?? I think I got that area more than covered (yes masuk bakul moment)

Decisions…decisions… The fact that I’m LAZY to drive all the way to Bangsar at 8.30am on a Saturday morning is also influencing my decision to not go ahead with GB at the moment and the RM2K yearly fees. Since I’m not impressed with Tum.ble Tots and Kid.Sportz curriculum I think I shall keep on looking for other alternative for the time being.

Maybe I should save the money, buy Ryan the play gyms set which ranges from RM200-RM500, put it in my garden and invite his cousins to come play with him. Hahaha and I will have RM1.5K left to buy shoes.

Anyways I’ve bought him some new books and flashcards for his “classes” at home. We started reading before he goes to bed and before going to school every morning. This morning he made me read the same book twice. And I will be introducing him to the PlayDoh that Imran got him for his birthday *yes finally* (before this takut dia makan haha)

So baby, bye bye Gymbo (at least for da moment) and hello "teacher mummy" and "headmaster daddy" :p

P/S: if you know of any Playgym or toddler classes around Subang, Shah Alam and Klang do drop me a comment ok.

PP/S: I’m thinking of organizing a playgroup for toddlers among friends maybe once a month where both mummy + babies can socialize + main2 for an hour or so. Rasa2 ada yang interested ke nak join? plan je la bila nak buat pun tak sure lagi...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Umrah Trip (Part 2)

On the 21 March 2011 we travelled from Madinah to Mekah. We did our miqat and Niat Umrah at Bir Ali Mosque. The trip was a bit "challenging". The bus driver took the wrong turn and a 2 hour bus ride turn into a 5 hours ride instead. Ryan who was not feeling well, was shivering in the bus and refuses to sleep as it wasn't comfortable. He was in a very bad mood.

We reached Mecca around 2 am (7 am Malaysian time), as we're already in our "ihram" we decided to go ahead and finish our Umrah once we stepped down the bus. Everyone was a bit tired and cranky at that moment but we pushed on.

I swear to Allah upon seeing Kaabah for the first time, all the exhaustion totally left my body. I seriously can't take my eyes off this beutiful structure in front of me. To think that all the great Prophets i.e. Nabi Ibrahim a.s, Nabi Ismail a.s and Nabi Muhammad s.a.w stood on the same grounds before, made me feel totally insignificant. Rasa nak nangis pun ada.

We perform our umrah and managed to complete it before the subuh prayers (around 5am), later we went back to the hotel and sleep. By 12pm (Zuhur prayers) I can see that Ryan is not doing to well. Lack of rest due to all the travel the night before set in, high temperature, wheezing, coughing all in a package.

I was scared as we're in a foreign country, with no real access to paediatrician and clinics. Alhamdullilah I had all of Ryan's medication with me, and we had this really nice Wak (the tour caterer) to drive us to the clinic's the very next day. My doa' was answered and Ryan got better almost instantaneously with the help of antibiotics and non-stop prayers :) Well you know what they say about "wishes" made in front of Kaaba' *insyallah* it would be granted. You just got to have faith :)

The shops are right outside our hotel. CRAZY ok :p

27 March 2011- Ziarah around Mecca

First place of visit : Jabal Tsur where Gua Hira' is situated.

As we all know, Gua Hira' is the place where our Prophet Muhammad S.A.W received his first relevation

Ryan just woke up, saw the camel and is in awe...

Somewhere out there, The hills to the cave is too steeped so we didn't go up. Jabar Rahmah in Arafah. The place where Adam and Eve met after Allah punished them to 300 years of separation for eating the forbidden fruit. They say if you're finding for your jodoh, go up here and doa' for your prince/princess charming :p insyallah you will find him/her soon after. More camels, and Ryan geram and actually pegang one ;p
Masjid Jarannah- where we Miqat for my 4th Umrah

In front of the front entrance of Masjidil Haram

With zee family...

Our 40 Riyal Burger King. Food are very expensive in Saudi. Tapi sapa suruh mengada nak makan, right??

Al- Bait Tower/ Shopping Mall. There's some cool shopping place. Didn't really shop much here as I'm more attracted to the street bazaar. But I love the shoes in Payless (crazy selection) and they have nice clothes in this boutique called Femi9/NEXT etc

The tower clock face would be white in the day

and would turn green at night :)

Cold and windy nights in Mecca,This was taken after our Tawaf Sunat around 9pm. Ryan social kat Mecca balik hotel late almost every night :p

28 March 2010

Ladang Unta/Camel Farm

There's some camel roaming around and you can get some fresh camel milk *yucks* Suffice to say I didn't bother trying.

Anyway, i know he's my son and all but he looks so cute lah in the picture *hahah* Mr Rosy Cheeks :p

The remains of the old Hudaibiah Mosque, where the Hudaibiah Agreement between the Muslims and Quraish Mecca was signed. The agreement was to discuss Muslims entry into Mecca to perform their haj yearly.

My sis in law goofing around

Lan and Atirah (sibling no 5)

Our Last day in Mecca.

Coming Soon: Last post on our Umrah Trip :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Umrah Trip (Part 1)

I'm going to divide the Umrah Trip into 2-3 posts. There are 100++ pics from 2 cameras so you can imagine my laziness to edit + upload :p More pictures are on FB so check it out... The photos in this entry are the ones taken in Madinah where we stayed for 3 days (19 March 2011 to 21 March 2011) So enjoy the pictures/history/comments/captions etc...

19-20 March 2011

In front of our hotel in Madinah- It is called Hassan Palace and is about 10-15 minutes walk away from Masjid Nabawi

He insisted on walking everywhere on his own nowadays :p

With my in laws minus Lan

Ryan and his aunts View of Masjid Nabawi at night. Gorgeous right :) One of the many mosque entrances
Huge umbrella's to shield people from the sun...

View of Masjid Nabawi in the day. There are about 100 small stalls and shops at a nearby arcade selling jubah, shoes, ornaments etc. Plenty of variety and cheap. If you're not intent on prayers memang will lose your head over shopping.

Surprisingly I only bought one jubah for moi and mostly stuff for people. I bet Lan was proud (surprised?) over my self restrained :p my sis + bro in law serious beli bagful of pretty things

Lan and his siblings minus Ashraff- Yes there are EIGHT of them :p

My son is so photogenic UNLIKE the father (please refer to my wedding album for verification) hahaha

21 March 2011

Masjid Kubah- This is the first mosque build by Rasulullah SAW in Madinah. You're encouraged to perform your solat sunat 2 rakaat at this mosque as to follow Sunnah Nabi

"Whoever makes ablutions at home and then goes and prays in the Mosque of Quba, he will have a reward like that of an 'Umrah." This hadith is reported by Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Al-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah and Hakim al-Nishaburi (Source from Wiki)

There are stalls selling shawls and little trinkets all over Madinah/Mecca. Most of the stuff is under 10Riyal (about RM9 ish) great from souvenirs

@ Ladang Tamar/ Tamar Farm.

The tamar/kurma here is expensive so people don't usually buy them but you can see the Tamar tree/seed up close. Anyway there's A LOT of tourist on that particular day so I didn't even bother going in the shops and stayed outside to camwhore instead.

I think those are the Kurma seedlings.

Ryan started having fever on our last day in Madinah. Weather was crazy hot in the day and cold at night but like the little trooper that he is, he followed us around with little fuss.

Bukit Uhud. This is where Uhud Battle happens. The Muslim soldiers lost that day as the defied Rasulullah order to stay in place after the battle. Morale of the story? Always listen to your leaders and don't defy commands *hmmm*

In front of the grave site of Saidina Hamzah (Nabi Muhammad's Uncle) and other syahid Muslim warriors

This my dear is the "Magnetic Hills of Madinah aka Valley of Jinns" . The magnate pulls can power the bus to move without starting the engine. Kinda cool but scary at the same time :p

Eating the creamiest vanilla ice cream EVER. They probably use camel's milk for the ice cream :p

@ Masjid Qiblatain

This is the mosque with two qiblats. At one time the Muslims perform their prayers facing Jurusalem but one day during prayers the prophet received a relevation from Allah to face Kaabah as a qiblat instead, so he turn during prayers.

The first 2 rakaat was perform facing Jurusalem and the final two was facing Kaabah hence the name Qiblatain

Pasar Kurma- Kurma , nuts and candies heaven :)

That's all for our Madinah Trip, Mecca journey coming soon.....

To be continued....