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bonjour ~

Welcome to the twenties world! I was once told that the twenties are the best years to make an account of precious memories of life, dreams and love–doing so in the most vibrant manner possible.

: afeeqah azhar, 19 march, malaysian .
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recent update :
with just Solat
written on Wednesday, 11 September 2013 @ 00:36 ✈

"My name is Cassie, I am 23 years old. I graduated as a qualified nurse this year and was given my first position as a home nurse.

My patient was an English gentleman in his early 80s who suffered from Alzheimer’s. In the first meeting, the patient was given his record and from it I could see that he was a convert to the religion of Islam, therefore he was a Muslim.

I knew from this that I would need to take into account some modes of treatment that may go against his faith, and therefore try to adapt my care to meet his needs. I brought in some ‘halal’ meat to cook for him and ensured that there was no pork or alcohol in the premises as I did some research which showed that these were forbidden in Islam.

My patient was in a very advanced stage of his condition so a lot of my colleagues could not understand why I was going through so much effort for him. But I understood that a person who commits to a faith deserves that commitment to be respected, even if they are not in a position to understand.

Anyway after a few weeks with my patient I began to notice some patterns of movement.

At first I thought it was some copied motions he’s seen someone doing, but I saw him repeat the movement at particular time; morning, afternoon, evening.

The movements were to raise his hands, bow and then put his head to the ground. I could not understand it. He was also repeating sentences in another language, I couldn’t figure out what language it was as his speech was slurred but I know the same verses were repeated daily.

Also there was something strange, he didnt allow me to feed him with my left hand (I am left-handed).

Somehow I knew this linked to his religion but didn’t know how.

One of my colleagues told me about paltalk as a place for debates and discussions and as I did not know any Muslims except for my patient I thought it would be good to speak to someone live and ask questions. I went on the Islam section and entered the room ‘True Message’.

Here I asked questions regarding the repeated movements and was told that these were the actions of prayer. I did not really believe it until someone posted a link of the Islamic prayer on youtube.

I was shocked.

A man who has lost all memory of his children, of his occupation, and could barely eat and drink was able to remember not only actions of prayer but verses that were in another language.

This was nothing short of incredible and I knew that this man was devout in his faith, which made me want to learn more in order to care for him the best I could.

I came into the paltalk room as often as I could and was given a link to read the translation of the Quran and listen to it.

The chapter of the ‘Bee’ gave me chills and I repeated it several times a day.

I saved a recording of the Quran on my iPod and gave it to my patient to listen to, he was smiling and crying, and in reading the translation I could see why.

I applied what I gained from paltalk to care for my patient but gradually found myself coming to the room to find answers for myself.

I never really took the time to look at my life; I never knew my father, my mother died when I was 3, me and my brother were raised by our grandparents who died 4 years ago, so now its just the two of us.

But despite all this loss, I always thought I was happy, content.

It was only after spending time with my patient that felt like I was missing something. I was missing that sense of peace and tranquility my patient, even through suffering felt.

I wanted that sense of belonging and a part of something that he felt, even with no one around him.

I was given a list of mosques in my area by a lady on paltalk and went down to visit one. I watched the prayer and could not hold back my tears.

I felt drawn to the mosque every day and the imam and his wife would give me books and tapes and welcome any questions I had.

Every question I asked at the mosque and on paltalk was answered with such clarity and depth that could do nothing but accept them.

I have never practiced a faith but always believed that there was a God; I just did not know how to worship Him.

One evening I came on paltalk and one of the speakers on the mic addressed me. He asked me if I have any questions, I said no. He asked if I was happy with the answers I was given, I said yes.

He asked then what was stopping me accepting Islam, I could not answer.

I went to the mosque to watch the dawn prayer. The imam asked me the same question, I could not answer.

I then went to tend to my patient, I was feeding him and as I looked in his eyes I just realized, he was brought to me for a reason and the only thing stopping me from accepting was fear…. not fear in the sense of something bad, but fear of accepting something good, and thinking that I was not worthy like this man.

That afternoon I went to the mosque and asked the imam if I could say my declaration of faith, the Shahadah.

لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله (lā ʾilāha ʾillà l-Lāh, Muḥammadun rasūlu l-Lāh)

There is no god except Allah, Muhammad is Allah’s messenger.

He helped me through it and guided me through what I would need to do next.

I cannot explain the feeling I felt when I said it.

It was like someone woke me up from sleep and sees everything more clearly.

The feeling was overwhelming joy, clarity and most of all…. peace.

The first person I told was not my brother but my patient.

I went to him, and before I even opened my mouth he cried and smiled at me.

I broke down in front of him, I owed him so much.

I came home logged on to paltalk and repeated the shahadah for the room.

They all helped me so much and even though I had never seen a single one of them, they felt closer to me than my own brother.

I did eventually call my brother to tell him and although he wasn’t happy, he supported me and said he would be there, I couldn’t ask for any more.

After my first week as a Muslim my patient passed away in his sleep while I was caring for him. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon.

He died a peaceful death and I was the only person with him.

He was like the father I never had and he was my doorway to Islam.

From the day of my Shahadah to this very day and for every day for as long as I live, I will pray that Allah shows mercy on him and grant him every good deed I perform in the tenfold.

I loved him for the sake of Allah and I pray each night to become an atoms weight of the Muslim he was.

Islam is a religion with an open door; it is there for those who want to enter it…. Verily Allah is the Most Merciful, Most Kind. “

* note * Our sister Cassie passed away October 2010 Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon, after she gave da’wa to her brother, who had accepted Islam Alhamdulillah [not a hadith]

written by Maria Elena

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Fear of the Blank Page
written on @ 00:08 ✈

The joy of discovery, especially about the things you care about, is a wonderful feeling.

I like the idea of having essay assignments because they allow me to explore the subject I am studying in my own terms (to a certain extent). I can learn new things on my own and put my thoughts out there about the things I’ve learned.

However, despite having to write many essay assignments during my four years in university, I still have problems with writing them.

I get intimidated by word count and page numbers. The professor telling me how many pages or how many words I have to write is like giving me a whole chicken and asking me to eat it all in one go. I know that is not the case, but in my head that is what I am thinking about.

Knowing that I have that huge goal in mind and looking at the blank Word document in front of me, I get anxious. To avoid my anxiety, I procrastinate - I convince myself that I still have time and that I can do it later. Deep inside I know that is not true, but I can be very persuasive at times, even towards myself. It is bad to fool others, but it is worse to fool oneself.

I am still struggling with this fear, but I found 3 ways of dealing with it that seem promising.

1. Break the task into smaller pieces.

I can’t eat the whole chicken in one sitting.

If I have a 10-page essay to write, for example, then the first thing that I’ll do is break the task up into parts.

For example, for the first week, I will only focus on the research that has to be done for the assignment. Then, the second week will be the time when I start on the blueprint of the essay. Then, I’ll move to the introduction. So on and so forth.

A colossal task can be made manageable if I take it one piece at a time. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

2. Don’t look at the page.

Simple, but surprisingly effective.

Since I am anxious when I look at the blank age in front of me, the best way to overcome it is to avoid looking at it. Not that I am avoiding the problem, but I am removing the restriction that prevents me from writing.

Once I free myself from the shackles of the blank page, I can just focus on the one thing that matters at the time – writing. Word count and number of pages are not as important as getting the message across.

I cover my computer screen with something and look at the keyboard. It is surprising how smoothly ideas flow from my brain to the tips of my fingers when I don’t have to think about how much I’ve written or how much more I need to write. I just focus on the writing and I write my minds off.

Of course, there are going to be errors (lots of them) in my writing since I am looking not looking at the screen. I don’t worry about that because that is what editing is for. As long as the main ideas are written down, the process of editing will be a breeze.

Don't let perfection get in the way of the writing. Just write.

3. Writer’s block? Write about it.

Writer’s block: the enemy of all writers. Or is it?

Once, I took a writing course and my professor gave me an interesting advice: when you have writer’s block, write about it. I don’t think writer’s block is the inability to generate ideas. Ideas are there, but words to express those ideas are not coming out.

To overcome the blockage of words, write about anything on the side. What the professor suggested was brilliant: using the writer’s block itself as the topic of writing. Describe the block, the feelings, the fear, and be as detailed as possible. Turn a problem into an opportunity.

The main point is to just write – let the words come out. Break the blockage with a constant stream of words. Pretty soon I'll find myself able to continue my original work. 

Having written all that, I still feel the fear and it is still affecting me. I even experienced it before writing this article. But here I am, writing my words and putting my thoughts out there, and there you are, reading them.
taken from aiman azlan ..

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written on Tuesday, 3 September 2013 @ 23:49 ✈


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Do you know ? Honesty is the best policy in life