Friday, March 29, 2013

Free Me

"And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart; For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed. When you part from your friend, you grieve not; For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain." --Khalil Gibran

Or so was said by Mr Gibran. But I failed to see how without words in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed. I sense no joy, only pain. Perhaps what we need is proper parting so we are not leave wondering. But good friends stay in your hearts regardless of the need to meet or part, isn't it? I simply don't know. But he was right, in the sense that in the absence of such person you realised what is it that you missed about him or her.

And in this particular occassion, I realized perhaps there's nothing much that I actually missed except for some exchange of laughters. Even deep thoughts and discussion of certain issues are plaqued with lack of consistencies and serious consideration, bordering on useless exchange of words. But isn't laughters the best medicine. All the time?? Perhaps, maybe, I don't know. But I know that it's time to move on. I have told this to myself many-many times before. There's no point being with people that used to bring out the worst in me. But as Yasmin Mogahed once said, there are some things that will continue to frustrate you, until you let go completely.

And I understand what it was. Anger. I am still angry, although I don't need to or don't have the right to be. Perhaps because I cared too much. Perhaps because these people think I'm always there for them. Perhaps because I wanted the very best for them. But I realised, they may not necessarily feel the same way. It's frustrating, yes it was. I have to stop being angry. But must I simply care less, be absent and wish nothing for them? It doesn't make sense. Is that the solution? No, no, there must be another way. I wanted to still care, be there and wish them all their very best and be happy regardless of whether the feeling is mutual or reciprocated. Only then, I understand I have reached the position of completely letting go. And only then would I really have moved on.

But how do I do that? There's no point showing your happiness at the expense of other people's misery just because you wanted to get even. But I need to break this cycle. In order for that, I need to see the truth and accept it as the truth state of things. How do I seek what is truth? By not being blinded by illusion, by things that's not there, by putting my own expectations. I need to openly accept that sometimes, what it is, is simply what it is. There's no need to dig the rationales of the current state of things, for fear I will fall back into the cycle of anger and therefore the inability to let go. And my biggest mistake was, I have often mistaken expectations of the truth with truth. So when it failed to materialize I became angry and frustrated. I have to keep reminding myself that I simply have to stop writing other people's screenplay. It's theirs and not mine to meddle with.

I recently was in conversation with a new friend, who had all this 'fancy' strong life principles and believe and appear to be borne with those principles. But now this person is stung with infatuation, most of those principles seem to have been bypassed, and failed to be applied. She had failed to see the truth, because she was blinded with the illusion that perhaps she is in love. I know how that feel, trickery of your emotion and soul that defeat your mind. And at the end of it all, if she's lucky she would have found a soul mate in that person she's infatuated with or else she would be in circles of anger again and again for have being cheated. The thing is, she hasn't realized, she was cheated not by others, but by herself. She's naive and she didn't even realized it. And when she thought she's in love, she became even more naive and open to be jabbed in the heart. This is all so predictable. I simply can't allow myself to be in that situation, where my heart overtakes most of my judgment. No, they have to be working together, not against one another. I have seen and been in too much realities of realities to realize that life doesn't work that way. Although there's more to this situation than meets the eye, but I won't allow myself to be angry at what I termed as 'nothing at all'. It's not worth it. These people are not worth it.

I seriously need to let go and focus on my priorities now. I will go offline if needs be. I need to finalise my corrections soon. I need to do a hyteroscopy for my uterus for a continual bleeding problem and immediately after a laproscopy for a persistent cyst. For that I need to go gynae and hospital hunting as early as next week. I need to get and do better for myself and those around me, those that really matters most for me, those that had always care for me, and is always there for me and wish me all the very best. And for those people who doesn't consider myself worth their time, I will always try to keep you in my prayers at the very least, In Sha Allah :-)

Me ~ Sick of 'poshness'! I'm not posh, have never been and God Forbid, I will never be. Sorry? You disagree? Well, you can posh yourself!!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Di mana Malaysia?

Baru-baru ini saya menghadiri sebuah kongres antarabangsa berkenaan Undang-undang Keluarga dan Hak Kanak-kanak di Australia. Sepanjang pemerhatian saya, Malaysia tidak menghantar wakil daripada pihak Kehakiman mahupun Kerajaan menerusi Jabatan Peguamnya ataupun kementerian berkenaan, sedangkan negara-negara Asia lain yang sering dikatakan lebih ‘mundur’ daripada negara kita pun menghantar hakim-hakim, wakil peguam negara mereka dan wakil-wakil daripada institusi kekeluargaan dan kementerian mereka. Mereka semua kelihatan sangat teruja untuk membawa perubahan di dalam isu-isu berkenaan Undang-undang Keluarga dan Hak Kanak-kanak di negara mereka dan membentangkan perubahan-perubahan yang telah mereka lakukan. 

Alhamdulillah, ada dua orang pegawai polis dari bahagian D11 - Bahagian Seksual Dan Kanak-Kanak yang turut hadir, itupun atas inisiatif mereka sendiri. Melalui salah seorang pegawai ini saya dimaklumkan jumlah pegawai terlatih yang berkenaan bagi menguruskan Bahagian D11 adalah sangat sangat sangat sangat tidak relatif dengan jumlah kes yang perlu dikendalikan. Sesungguhnya sesuatu perlu dilakukan. Walaubagaimanpun sebarang perubahan ke arah penambahbaikkan adalah tertakluk kepada ‘inisiatif’ daripada penggubal polisi di Malaysia. Namun mereka yang berkenaan tidak pula hadir, malah mungkin tidak mengetahui berkenaan perhimpunan kali ke 6 ini. 

Situasi ini bukan baru. Sudah beberapa kali menghadiri program seumpamanya, namun yang berkuasa membuat perubahan tidak hadir. Sampai bilakah dana dan perubahan yang diperlukan berkenaan isu-isu kekeluargaan dan kanak-kanak ini perlu di ‘lobby’??!! Mungkin kita perlu menukar ‘keluarga dan kanak-kanak’ kepada suatu bentuk komoditi barulah akan ada yang sudi membuat ‘tajaan’. 


I'm not into rationalising why they should or should not attend. I'm just arguing why most times they don't seem to be 'interested' in the matter. Basically, we are not okay internally. Our society now seem to have fall back on relying on other sources of 'support' system, at least what's left of it or what have grown out of the current lack of provisions, than what's provided by the government. 

During most of the presentations from Malaysian, we were reporting our loopholes and sadly, most of the other delegates were not interested in them. They were more keen on gathering information on change and developments in the area rather than hearing our sad state of a 'family law system'.

Again, sickening!!

Albeit feeling a bit lost now and then, now I will always try to highlight the issue in class, even if the subject is Business Law. My hopes and prayers are for my students who are bound at the very least to be leaders of their families and themselves to grasp the importance of this area and stress on improving it. There's no money in it, just a future of 'self-destructive' generation if the current trend continues...

Me ~ All is not lost, for I can still smile when I think of you. But don't be mad, I'm moving on for I have just found a brand new kind of free :-)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Travelog Umrah Day 10 - 12

Day 10 and 11 in Madinah were Ziarah days. We went to Masjid Qubaa, Jabal Uhud, Masjid Qiblatain and the Dates Market.

Masjid Quba'
Masjid Qiblatain
Masjid Nabawi - Maghrib time
For the past couple of days, I'd been in contact to met up with Prof Mohd Kamil Ibrahim. Earlier during day 10, he'd call to confirm our meet up later that night. So after Isya' we were picked up by Prof Kamil off to his house near Jabal Uhud. He'd given a short tazkirah for us and some insights how life was in Madinah. Sister Roza, Prof's wife cooked us Nasi Ozzie, with lamb and roast chicken. Sedapp ok!! Later, they were kind enough to bring us (me) to the local stores to get myself some baclavas. 

The next day, we joined another ziarah to the Magnet Zone and the Al-Qur'an printing factory. No women allowed in the factory. hmmm...Gender discrimination? I will skipped the Magnet Zone story - please google it up hehe... The rest of the day we just did some catching up with some friends and shopping :-) I was actually fasting on the second last day. Break my fast with some dates, had dinner after Isya' and later that night went to the briefing on Ziarah Wida' and our preparations in heading home. 

On the last day, around 7.15 am I joined Ustazah Hamidah's group visit to Raudhah again. Alhamdulillah, because it was not a Friday, we all had a longer time to spend inside Raudhah.

We had lunch, prayed Zuhur, and later went back to the mosque to wish our farewell to the Prophet (saw). We settled packing our bags soon after. With the new Saudi Arabia rules, packing seem rather problematic hehe...The rule was, one passenger must only have  one check-in luggage, errr hehehe...but we managed, after some tinkering :-P

I also did manage to pray Asr at the mosque, my last one and rushed back to board the bus to the airport. The bus left around 5 pm and reached the Madinah airport before 6 pm. We cleared the immigration by 7.30. Madinah airport was wayyyy better than Jeddah's airport. Alhamdulillah, all went well until we reached KLIA. In Sha Allah, someday soon, I will be back, Amin.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Travelog Umrah Day 8 & 9

Around 8 am I went to a pharmacy near the hotel to get a stronger cloth bandage. I put some ointment on my right foot and wrapped it tightly. By 10.30 when we went to complete our Tawaf Wida' around, my foot was almost pain free and I managed to complete the 7 rounds in less than an hour. As I was walking to the nearby zamzam containers I gave the Ka'abah one last glance and prayed In Sha Allah, I will be back. We then walked back to the hotel, bring down all our luggage, had lunch, prayed Zuhr and was down at the lobby waiting for our bus to Madinah. We left Makkah around 3 pm. 

On the way to Madinah, we had free dinner at one of the Yaman Restaurant along the highway.
This is supposed to be shared by 5 people, plus we took some additional fish and chicken :-)

The pic said it all - how wonderful it was hahaha

By 10.30 we'd already settled down in our hotel rooms. Once showered my sis and I went down to Masjidil Nabawi to pray. Agreeable that the mosque is beautiful, Subhanallah and distance wise, is only about 200 m from the hotel Alhamdulillah, but I somewhat feel a little bit lost. After a whole week, being in an open concept mosque - a super mosque that is Masjidil Haram, praying direct to the Ka'abah, Masjid Nabawi felt rather confined. Granted, it is so well organised, the mosque caretakers had carefully segregated the female and male sections, even sections of those with children sections through specific doors, or blocked sections, but I felt like I'm questioning myself. After a week in Makkah I kinda miss the 'chaotic' environment of Masjidil Haram. I immediately prayed my feelings will go away. 

Modern - The gate boards


Madinah as a whole is way far organised, peaceful and cleaner than Makkah. Shopping wise it's far more tempting, because of its strategic planning of the location of the mosque, the hotels and the shops. This is what Makkah is trying to emulate with its current major development. Weather wise, it's also a little bit colder than Makkah. It's definitely two contrasting states.

The next morning, after breakfast, we waited for Ustazah Hamidah to lead us to Raudhah visiting the Prophet. We were the last group to enter Raudhah that morning before they closed it for Jum'ah prayer. Alhamdulillah, I think everyone in the groups managed to offer their salams, solat and say their du'as, one good thing being the last, there's not much people hassling and rushing you. It's one of the happiest day in my life and so... I fell in love. If I could tell the world, I would :-)

The sight of Raudhah...

Dusk in Masjid Nabawi
Post Asr and Isya is shopping time. We didn't buy anything in Makkah, so it's 'payback' time ;-) The best thing about shopping in Madinah, most of the shopkeepers can speak some basic Malay. So it's like being in Malaysia, at times hehe...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Travelog Umrah Day 6 & 7

On day 6, we took an extra Ziarah session, visiting the Haramain museum, a camel farm and the Hudaibiyah Mosque. The bus picked our groups at 2 pm. First stop was the Haramain Museum. It housed the relics of the two mosques. It was such an interesting museum, but we were only given 15 minutes for an exhibition that should take at least 45 minutes to finish because there's two more buses of visitors waiting (and I think they want to close for Solat Asr). Seriously, I don't get how these Arabs function! They don't seem to follow have any specific or common rules. Pening! 

This is how Masjidil Haram will look after the extension...
Imagine, in the future, you may not even be able to see the Ka'abah while you pray

Then we were off to one of the camel farm at the side of the highway on the way to the
Hudaibiyah mosque. Charming animals ;-) Final stop for the evening is the Hudaibiyah mosque. What's left was some of the old remnants of the mosque built during the Uthmaniah rule. A new mosque was built near the remnants.

The remnants of the old Hudaibiyah Mosque from the Uthmaniah time

On day seven, after Isya' my sis and I joined a ziarah trip to Gua Hira' at Jabal Nur. We started climbing shortly before 11 and reach the highest peak by 12. Imagine being in the spot where the Prophet first met Jibrail and received the first revealtion of the Qur'an. Too much adrenaline rush - well partly contributed from the Arab driver driving us partly to the base of Jabal Nur in his 'craze' fashion, (don't get me wrong - it was fun! hehe)  hiking without stretching, and trying to squeeze into the overly small entrance to the cave too ;-). They have know construct stairs up the hill, so it's not that dangerous, but rather tiring. We finally came down the hill at around 12.30. I actually slipped at one spot and sprained my right ankle. But later that night, I bandaged it tightly and did the same the next morning to avoid it from getting worst. It was alright by Subuh time.

Makkah's View from the top of Jabal Nur

Me ~ Dari mana datangnya kasih? Dari mata turun ke hati :-) Me and my addiction for the normal way of falling in love. Jabal Nur, instead of Jabal Rahmah is the perfect spot to fall in love! With? Everything...;-)

Travelog Umrah Day 4 & 5

Early morning, after Subuh and breakfast, the agency planned for a ziarah to Arafah for our group. First stop before Arafah, was Jabal Tsur. Then in Arafah, we were dropped by Jabal Rahmah. Then, we were driven pass Muzdalifah and Mina. We drove through the 4 (or was it 5) level Jamrat complex and the infamous Muassem Tunnel.
By 12 we stopped by Ja'ranah mosque so those who wants to performed their Umrah can get into their ihram and say their niyah. We arrived back at the hotel around 1 pm, had lunch, prayed Zuhr and gathered back at the lobby by 2.30 to start our Umrah with one of the Mutawwif. Tawaf after Zuhr was less congested. We finalize the 7 rounds under an hour and head for Saie. When we break for Asr prayer, we're coming into our fourth round. This time it's not too bad for me, because the Asr prayer had allowed my back to recuperate and 'regroup' ;-). By 5 we've completed our Umrah and performed our tahallul. Perhaps this going to be my last umrah this time around :-( May Allah blessed us all to be given the chance to come back.

We head back to the hotel after that, to clean up and take some rest. Then we were off to Masjidil Haram for Isya'. My father stayed back for he was too exhausted to walk back to the Haram. After Isya' and Solatul Jenazah, the Imam - Imam Syed Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais announced something. I don't really understood what it was. Back at the hotel, after dinner, while we were discussing with a couple of people from our ziarah trip about who the Imam for Isya' was, one of the guys told me that the Imam was announcing calls for Istisqa - calls for rain prayer tomorrow but he's not sure when.  So with that discussion over, I went back to my room to sleep.

Come the next morning, we were off for Subuh before the first Azan and stayed back for Dhuha. While waiting for Dhuha, suddenly the Imam was announcing something and I caught the word Istisqa again. Within minutes, he'd start off the prayer with the multiple takbirs. Alhamdulillah, both of us was given the opportunity to offer it too - The first in our lives, led by Imam Syed Abdurrahman Al-Sudais. He gave his second khutbah in tears.
We're off later to the hotel and out and about again by 11. After Zuhr my sister and I did the Tawaf Sunat and somehow I lost her at the end of the 7 rounds. I looked for my shoes sack but I couldn't find it so I decided to just go back to the hotel. I stopped to buy a 5 riyal slippers and off I was to the hotel.

My sis apparently stayed back till Asr, thinking I am still there at the mosque. But later I managed to send her a text of my whereabouts through my father's phone once I am back at the hotel. My phone has no function here, except where there's WIFI haha... I guess, in Makkah, a lot of time one has to improvise. But I still feel bad for those elderly first timers that came without their children or any other family members. Some got lost, had difficulties managing elevators, escalators and some got too tired, became unconscious and had to be escorted back in an ambulance. So loosing or misplacing a pair of slippers is really in comparison - nothing much ;-)

Travelog Umrah Day 3

Last night was our first night sleeping at the hotel, because the night before we had straight away went for our Umrah. Early morning my father woke up for Subuh and I looked at my watch and agreed with him that's it's time to get moving. He decided to walk to the mosque and we will follow suit. Once downstairs I looked at my world clock on my phone and realised we had the wrong time. My father's body was still functioning at M'sian time and he had woke up according to M'sia time which is way too early for Subuh considering the 5 hours time difference. We went back to our rooms and 20 minutes later my father came back to the room realising his mistakes. I immediately change my watch to Saudi time and took another 3 hours sleep before we head to Masjidil Haram for Subuh.

By now we had already discovered another less congested route to exit and enter the Masjidil Haram. The first day we had used the main Babul Umrah and the Malik Abdul Aziz gate. But the main gate for Babul Umrah was later closed. So for the next few days we chose the Babul Malik Fahd gate and made our way in to pray closes to the ladies section facing the Ka'abah, near the Babul Umrah area. The ladies section of Babul Umrah has the best view of Ka'abah considering that a major section of the mosque is closed for renovation near the Saie area and the top level Tawaf area. Once we exit the mosque, we took a route nearer to the side construction of the mosque, where less number of people knew off and the route had cut back a considerable amount of time for our trip back to the hotel. Here, now especially with the constructions and the closing of a majority of the gates, timing and route will decide whether you'll be stuck in less or more people, taking more or less time.

The view from the women's section - Babul Umrah
After Subuh we had the opportunity to see how the maintenance team of cleaners cleaned parts of the praying area. I mean they really care for the mosque and taking into consideration the numbers of people visiting Ka'abah, they did an excellent job :-) After Dhuha, we head back to the hotel to catch up on some sleep and got back to Masjidil Haram for Zuhr. We rushed back to the hotel afterwards because my father and sister wanted to do another round of umrah, my father 'badal umrah' especially for my late grandmother. They were off to Tana'im by 3 pm.

Saw they did this only once - other times they also washed the marble tiles
I opted not to, because the Saie rituals is killing my back. I thought I seriously need to give my back a break. But I joined my sister for my Tawaf sunat later after Asr. Oh my, it was so congested, it felt like the Hajj season. One hour later we finished and headed for Saie. While waiting for her to finish, I spent time praying at the Safa hill. In between her rituals we had to break for Maghrib and experienced performing the Solat near Safa hill. Interestingly, just like in the case of Tawaf, everybody stopped their Saie and prayed all along the two lanes. My sister finished her Saie, we prayed Isya near Marwa Hill and head back to the hotel. Tomorrow, ziarah to the compulsory Hajj place is planned, including another chance to say our intention for Umrah at Jaranah.

Solah on a hill can be slightly tricky hehe

Monday, March 4, 2013

Travelog Umrah Day 1 & 2

Alhamdulillah, it all went well in the end, and I was given the opportunity to perform my first umrah with my father and sister starting today. Except for the fact my father left his 500 Riyals at home, every thing else went smoothly. We arrived at the airport and was given the briefing before boarding.

The flight was a different story of course. We were flying with Saudi Arabia. Seat wise, more or less like MAS. Food was good Alhamdulillah. The stewardess in comparison to MAS' are not very helpful. I feel sorry for some of the first timer 'golden age' flyer. My sister ended up having to act as a step-in stewardess for a couple of them. But they take what they thought was their silly encounters with the plane's facilities with smiles on their faces, so I can't help smiling back.

Stretching time is good too because they continue to be an amusing venture for me. I used to stretch during my flights, and this time is the most interesting. I find some men in their ihrams rather attractive , but actually most times there were - men in two-piece towels, and therefore very amusing to observe. Especially so when they need to use the toilet in the plane :-p. I guess it's pretty tricky to manaeuvre the plane's toilet in their ihrams. Astaghfirullah, I'd rather not imagine anything hahaha...There are times when I need to look the other way every time they come out of the toilet, if you know what I mean :-p You just pray that none of their ihram fall off while they were all so busy snoring hahaha...

Anyway, Jeddah's airport continue to live up to its reputation ;-) It took all of us 2 hours plus to get through all the checkpoint. We then need to wait for the tour bus and wait for everyone in our group to fill it up, which took almost an hour. I think my father is almost flat by then. We really need to get showered. The trip from Jeddah to Makkah took about an hour. Makkah traffic for Friday night (or maybe every other night and day) is beyond comprehension. I was told honking is a common practice :-p

While waiting for our bus...
We reached the hotel almost midnight - Saudi time, we showered, prayed and had our supper. The hotel is so-so, but I have already expected nothing much. Actually, it's not that bad. It's clean and comfortable. Its only issue is the fact that it's located almost 600-700 m from Masjidil Haram. Most of the hotels within the 500 m radius from Masjidil Haram haram had been demolished to make way for new developments, including new hotel complexs. In fact, there's an ongoing massive constructions going on around the Masjidil Haram.

We make our way to do our Tawaf by 1 am. The weather was excellent, cool and breezy. Since my father and sister are not first-timers, we opted to perfom it ourselves without the Mutawwif. That and the fact, I'm a bit nervous so I had to visit the 'Hamam' before we start. I won't comment the 'Hamam', but I did go again before Subuh, so perhaps they were 'survival-able' :-p

We walked in through Bab Abdul Aziz and slowly we can see the Ka'abah. Subhanallah! Nothing can express how I feel. You spent years watching it in the media, in pictures and on your prayer mats and now you actually see it standing there right in front of your eyes. It's just so surreal. I've never felt so grateful, Alhamdulillah. It's Jum'ah night so the pilgrims were more than usual. But regardless Alhamdulillah, we complete the Tawaf in less than an hour. Congestions always occurs near the starting line - Hajarul Aswad, what more with the construction, most of the space near the starting point has been blocked off.

We performed the sunat tawaf prayer, sipped some zam zam and head for our Saie. The Babus Salam is closed to the public, there's less access door available from Masjidil Haram. There's one near the end of Marwa and Safa, but only one door from inside the Masjidil Haram which cuts in the middle of the Marwa lane. So we had to cut through the lane before we reach Safa to start the Saie which was an additional 200 m before we can start the Saie. Saie was a different challenge altogether. We had spent 8 hours in the plane, 2 -3 hours at the airport, and 1 hour in the bus by the time we start the tawaf. When we started Saie, our exhaustion were beginning to show. But my father wanted to complete everything then so we can do our Tahallul and lifted all the Ihram's prohibitions. My back felt like it's snapping into two by the 3rd round. But I find men running their 'ramal' in the course of their Saie inspiring and rather cute :-) We had to take a break twice (well, it was me the second time ;-)), before we finalized the whole set by 3.30 in the morning. We dif our Tahalul with the assistance of a family of Indonesian & waited for Subuh, our first Fard Solat in the Haram this time around.
Taking a break - checking photos ;-)

Friday Night Pilgrims

We reached the hotel back for breakfast around 7 am and collapsed till almost 11 am. My father however headed to the Masjidil Haram by 10 am for his Friday prayer. We chose not to go and waited for Asr. Perhaps it was a wise choice, since my father said they were just too many people, almost like Hajj time for Friday Prayer. I feel bad because my father had no one accompanying him, which slows down his movement, for he needed to be careful in case he fall off because some people were being rough and pushy due to the high number of people attending Friday prayer. Alhamdulillah he made his way back, but much later that he had expected. He had lunch and continue to rest, while we got ready to walk to Baitullah for Asr. We prayed Asr on the upper level overlooking the Ka'abah and later moved back downstairs for Maghrib & Isya'.

Masjidil Haram under a (construction) siege
Soon after performing Solatul Jenazah (which is done after every Fard Solat), we were off for dinner at the hotel around 8.30 pm. We were all flat by 10 pm, our feet starting to fail us. But I kept on praying we'll be healthy to finish all the required and commendable rituals. Tomorrow, we'll be given the option to go to Tana'im for those choosing to perform another umrah.