Monday, July 10, 2017

My Ramadhan

Assalamualaikum and hi! :) Yay, it's Aidilfitri again. Happy Eid ul-Fitri to all Muslims out there and may this year's Eid will bring us more blessings from Allah SWT, and may we meet Ramadhan again next year. Ameen...

This year is my 3rd year fasting in Ramadhan as a Muslim convert. Alhamdulillah, I feel even more contented with my Ramadhan this year than last year's. I managed to perform taraweeh prayers at one of my favourite mosques, the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque in the capital. Last year I only went once to the mosque (and that was a kampung mosque in Tutong) because of my lack of confidence in performing the taraweeh prayers at the mosque. This year, however, I managed to overcome my lack of confidence by giving myself the chance to just go and join the crowd. I fought against my self doubts and with my only intentions to please Allah and sought the barakah in the holy month, I managed to perform taraweeh almost every night at the mosque. I even managed to perform taraweeh in the final ten nights of Ramadhan, with the hope to really find the real meaning behind the holy month of Ramadhan. 

Alhamdulillah, I believe I have found the true meaning behind Ramadhan. It is not only about fasting and controlling myself from doing the things that are forbidden, it is all about giving myself to Allah SWT. It is all about discipline, focus and meeting the goals to become a better Muslimah. It is all about taking care of my heart and mind, and to ensure myself to not fall victim to the lures of Dunya. It is not easy, I should say. But the fight really worth it. And additionally, this year's Ramadhan has taught me to love the Quran even more than before. Now I am making Quran as my best friend and my goal is to read Quran everyday, anytime anywhere. And I want Quran to be part of my life always, as all Muslims should do... :') Quran has always been my penghibur di kala duka, and it has always been my source of knowledge and guidance. It has shed light on me whenever I feel in doubts, and whenever I feel so empty and depressed. I admit it, before I embraced Islam, I always had self doubts, lack of confidence and feeling depressed more often. I felt that my life was meaningless, clueless and there were no true goals. Now that I have Islam in my heart, Alhamdulillah, I have been living in peace... I can feel the true meaning of happiness... :')

I wish I could write more but there are so many beautiful things that I myself cannot put them in words to describe how much in love I am with Ramadhan, and with Islam as a whole. I know Islam is the right path for me since the beginning I was first exposed to Islam. Alhamdulillah, thank you Allah for choosing me. I really really feel so blessed with this life and with this path I have chosen. Alhamdulillah...

"...indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves..." Ar-Ra'd, ayat 11.

The ceremonial barge of the SOAS Mosque, Brunei, taken after the taraweeh prayers.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Allah's blessings

"And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, 'If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favour]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe'" - Surah Ibrahim, ayat 9.

It was really a great test to me when I lost both my beloved grandparents in less than a year. Only Allah knows how hard it was for me to face this loss. Although it was too painful to accept, but my family and I managed to get through it together. Just when I thought I just recovered from the loss of Nini Bini last year, Nini Laki left us in the midst of us not believing that it would happen too soon. And I thought it was all just a dream. I thought that I would wake up from this nightmare and I would see my nini sitting there on his favorite rattan chair in the living room as usual. But it wasn't. It was real. Just a few days ago, I was feeling overwhelmed. I thought a lot about my grandparents, how much I missed them and how much I really wanted to be with them. I couldn't stop crying. I cried till my eyes were blurred and my head ached. I really missed them so much. I wanted to hug them and kissed their hands as I usually did. But, that's impossible... May Allah bless their souls and may they rest in peace. Amin...

However, despite of the recent sadness and misery in my life, Alhamdulillah, Allah has granted me something else. I have never thought that this day would come that soon but then again, Allah is the best of all planners. I am really grateful for the great news. In sya Allah, may this new path will guide me closer to you, ya Allah. I have been holding on to Allah's promises and trying my best to please Allah as much as I could, and Alhamdulillah... His blessings come at the time when I need it the most. "...Indeed, Allah does not fail in his promise" - Surah Al-Imran, ayat 9. I can never be more than thankful and grateful for this life. I may not see what the future holds but I believe, Allah has the best plans for me. In sya Allah, may Allah keep on providing me His guidance to go through this temporary life. Amin...

"...For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease." - Surah Asy-Syarh, ayat 5-6. 

View of Kampung Ayer taken from the observation tower at the Mangrove Paradise Resort

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Baby Irah

We were walking side by side towards the front door when Baby Irah said, "Tani pinjam rumah Nini Iyop". I was stunned for a second when my 3 year old cousin mentioned our late Nini Laki's name. We just came home from kedai runcit to buy groceries. Then I asked her, "Nini Iyop mana, baby?" Just testing what would her response be. And then she said, "Nini Iyop jalan syurga. Nanti Kaka pun jalan syurga, jumpa nini" I was struck at heart and said "" I held back my tears...and just smiled, looking at Baby Irah. Her innocent and cute face made me feel calm at heart. I really miss you Nini...

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Zuhur that I will never forget

"Allah Akbar"; with the takbeer, we started our Zuhur jemaah. My fiancé was the Imam on that day. Three of us; my brother, my fiancé and me had our Zuhur prayers at my uncle's place. It was around 1 pm and we performed our Zuhur at the living room area. It was raining with thunder and the room was quite cold. It was during our second rakaat when I heard noises outside my uncle's house. And at that moment, I knew, my late Nini's coffin was already brought down from his house next door to the pick-up truck. I tried hard to focus on my recitation of surah Al-Fatihah while holding back my tears. I knew, that would be the last time I ever saw Nini Laki again. Once we finished our prayers, and du'a, I joined my brother who walked quickly towards the door and stood still, watching the truck started to move slowly, making its way out to the simpang. It was still drizzling, as if the day knew, my family was mourning for the loss of our beloved grandfather.  I quickly called my brother and my fiancé, to follow the truck with my car. We walked in the rain towards the simpang to get to my car. I didn't know whether I cried in the rain or it was the rain itself; but I could feel both my cheeks were wet and my eyes blurred.

It felt like forever when we followed the pick up truck to its destination. My fiancé drove my car, while me and my brother sat silently in the car. There were quite a number of cars joining our trip to the nearby cemetery. From a distance, I could see the pick up truck moving slowly in front of us, towards the Orang Dusun's cemetery in our kampung... 


It was only 10 months after my beloved Nini Bini passed away and my family was once again, saddened by the news of my beloved Nini Laki. He was only admitted for 11 days at the RIPAS Hospital, and he passed away after he was admitted at the SICU ward for only one night. It all started when Babah and Uncle Etus found him sitting on the bathroom's floor. 'Weak legs,' he said. He couldn't stand up so they called an ambulance to send him to the Tutong Hospital. He was then sent to the RIPAS Hospital for further check ups. I wasn't in the loop; only Babah and Uncle Yamit were there the whole time for the check ups and updates from the doctors. The only thing I knew was that Nini Laki was okay. He didn't suffer from any serious injuries or any serious internal bleeding and what not. The first night he was admitted at the RIPAS hospital, I went to visit him. I was surprised to find out he developed rashes on both his arms and he was shivering, holding on tight to Uncle Yamit's arms. I asked my uncle what happened and I was told that he developed allergies after he was prescribed antibiotics. And I expected his condition would improve, which he did. 

My fiancé and I came to visit him every day at the hospital to follow his progress. My family members took turns to visit and Nini Laki was never left alone even one second at the hospital. It was only a week in the hospital when his condition started to worsen again. Fever came and go, and everything escalated real quick that the doctors decided to place Nini Laki at the SICU ward. It was that final night when I couldn't stop crying as I watched him lying lifelessly on the hospital bed, being attached with all the cables and machines. It was really a pain to see my beloved Nini Laki being treated that way but that was the only option. Babah and his siblings got no other options only to let the doctors tried their best. I stood still, watching Nini Laki's closed eyes. He looked calm, as if he was sleeping. His chest moved up and down, very slowly. I held his cold palm. No response at all. I had this heavy feeling that I knew he would be never be recovered again but I denied myself. Only Allah knew how I felt that night. I had the same feeling I had on the night before Nini Bini passed away but I just kept it to myself. It was already past the visiting hours but I wouldn't budge from my position. I just wanted to be there with Nini Laki; hoping a miracle would happen. I longed for him to call me name again. But, it never happened. And that night, I couldn't sleep. In fact, most of my family members couldn't sleep. Everyone was anxious. It was around 3 am when the news came from my uncle. Just that one text in our WhatsApp group and we knew Nini Laki has left us... 


The burial ceremony for our beloved Nini Laki went smoothly. Fresh flower petals were scattered on top of his grave as a final touch. I saw Babah had tears on his face. It really broke my heart to see tears on Babah's face, though he tried his best to hide it but I could see right through him. It was at that moment I realized the weather had changed; from a rainy and thundery noon to a windy and cool afternoon. I still remember the sounds of the birds started singing as if they were trying to cheer us all up at the cemetery. At that particular moment, I knew, I won't be seeing my grandparents anymore. Rumah Nini will be empty. There will be no more weekends with Nini. There will be no more "sikin tangan Nini", "tunggu Nini siap makan baru balik", "Nini di bawah arah perahu", "Marah Nini karang" and plenty other things... And I already missed him calling me with my kampung name...

You will always be remembered and will always be in our hearts forever Nini...

Nini Laki's favorite Kijang

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Gugurnya sekuntum bunga

Aku duduk diam di dalam kereta. Tanganku terasa bagaikan tak mampu memusing steering wheel keretaku. Aku cuma memerhatikan beranda rumah Nenekku yang kosong dan sunyi. Hatiku digamit rasa sayu. Kalau sebelum ini, Nenek Bini akan berdiri di sana untuk menghantar cucunya pergi kerja dan melambaikan tangannya setiap kali aku mengundurkan keretaku, kini tiada lagi. Tiada lagi lambaian itu. Tiada lagi senyuman itu. Tiada lagi pesanan Nenek, “Yun, moncoi-moncoi manau ah”. Tiada lagi air Milo panas di atas meja dapur Nenek. Tiada lagi temanku minum pagi. Dan, tiada lagi suara Nenek… Air mataku tiba-tiba mengalir deras. Ketiadaan Nenek Bini membuat hidupku terasa kelam dan bungkam.

Hari ini sudah masuk 19 hari Nenek Bini meninggalkan kami namun hari yang sedih itu masih lagi terbayang-bayang di mindaku. Aku baru saja melangkahkan kaki keluar rumah untuk ke pejabat di saat aku menerima panggilan dari ibuku di kampung. Perasaanku di ketika itu kosong. Aku bagaikan tidak percaya bahawa hari sedih itu telah tiba. Namun, aku sudah lama tau hari itu akan tiba jua memandangkan kesihatan Nenek semakin hari semakin tidak mengizinkan.

Sehingga kini, aku bagaikan masih tidak dapat menerima ketiadaan Nenek Bini. Aku masih ingat kata-katanya ketika aku meminta izin untuk pulang ke Bandar. Masih sama pesannya, “Yun, moncoi-moncoi manau ah”. Itu lah pesannya yang terakhir buatku sebelum dia tidak lagi mampu berkata-kata. Padahal, ketika dia memberi pesanan itu, matanya langsung tidak terbuka. Suaranya perlahan. Pening katanya sebab itu dia tidak mampu membuka matanya.

“Unoh andih moncoi, moncoi kali ah,” kata Nenek apabila aku bertanyakan tentang temanku. Dia tersenyum, nampak sinar kebahagiaan di matanya. Aku tau, dia suka teman pilihan hatiku.
“Aku mimpi Eyun kawin,” selorohnya apabila aku bertanya mengapa dia tidur siang begitu lama pada suatu hari. Padahal pada waktu itu, Nenek sudah mulai menunjukkan tanda-tanda sakit yang tidak dapat dipulihkan lagi.
“Bakal cucuku noh,” katanya dengan bangga memberitahu saudara-saudaraku yang lain sewaktu aku membawa temanku berjumpa dengannya ketika kami meraikan hari keluarga di rumah.

Semua kenangan itu ku simpan di dalam hati. Tidak akan ku lupakan buat selamanya. Terlalu banyak kenanganku bersama Nenek Bini. Sejak aku kecil hinggalah dia menghembuskan nafasnya yang terakhir. Kerana itulah, Nenek Bini memainkan peranan besar di dalam hidupku… Alhamdulillah, kini jasad Nenek sudah selamat disemadikan di tanah tempat dia membesar, bersama-sama dengan arwah Datuk yang menjaganya sewktu dia kecil dahulu dan juga di samping arwah adik angkatnya yang meninggal muda kerana sakit di sekitar tahun 70-an.

Sekarang, aku dapat merasakan, hidupku sudah berubah. Terasa asing. Terasa kekurangan. Terasa kurang serinya. Aku merasa aku bagaikan ingin segalanya cepat berlalu tetapi aku sendiri tidak pasti apa sebenarnya yang aku inginkan untuk cepat berlalu. Aku bagaikan tidak sabar menanti hari esok kerana bagiku hari-hari kini terasa begitu sedih dan kelam. Tapi, aku tidak tau apa sebenarnya yang aku inginkan esok. Hari esok masih kabur di mataku. Aku merindukanmu Nenek... :'<