October 25, 2006

Eid Prayers

We celebrated Eid on Tuesday. Alhamdulillah, I managed to convince dh to bring us to the Eid prayers at the oval of the islamic school which was about half an hour drive from home. At first he was adamant not to take us, saying takbir starts 6 am and prayers at 7am and it would be hard to wake the children up early similar to what happened at last year's Eid. (It was raining last year so Eid prayers were performed at the nearby masjid). So I devised a plan this time round that the children should go to bed early so that they could wake up nice and early. It worked like a charm.
After a quick breakfast for the kids, we drove to the venue at 6 am. We arrived half an hour later near the school and it looked like heaps of cars carrying muslim families were headed in that direction too. In fact, cars packed up along the road in a bumper to bumper situation waiting their turn to enter the school grounds so dh just dropped me and 2 of our kids in front of the school gate and sped off to find parking outside the compound.
The crowd was streaming into the school whilst dear daughter and I proceeded towards the prayer saf and laid down our sejadah. She was looking quite sweet and girlie today with her hijab and baju kurung unlike other days when she wore just a tee and long trousers. My one year old baby wore a perfectly good grey jalabiya which I had bought for his older brother in Makkah a couple of years ago.
When the salah was about to commence at 7.15 am , crowds were still streaming in, masha Allah. The imam called to them to hurry up before he stood up to lead the prayers. A lady stood next to me and she was holding her very cute little 4 months old baby while takbiratul ikram. I put my not-so-little baby son and started to takbiratulikram. He weighs 13kg and I am sure my biceps couldn't accomodate him on my arm during the takbir. Needless to say, my baby wasn't happy about that and cried and tugged at my jilbab half the time as he is very clingy when he is in an unfamiliar surroundings.
After the Eid prayers, I was expecting a long khutbah like back in KL but all I heard was the imam saying praises etc in arabic and then it was over and done with. Now, it was time to eat and drink some refreshment and to mingle a bit.
It was a sight to behold , the sea of people in their best attire converging in a school yard to celebrate the first day of Eid. There were people who originated from all corners of the world. Afghans, Africans, Indians, Lebanese, Palestinians, Caucasians, Eurasians, Turkish, Indonesians, Malaysians, Somalians and Fijians to name a few. Perhaps no other religion could boast uniting all color and creed into one ummah that worships the One true God ie Allah, as Islam does. It is truly a deen ie a way of life that cuts all language barriers and physical borders, Masha Allah.

US muslims one family in Eid

October 20, 2006

The Birds Glorify their Creator

Do you not see that everyone in the heavens and earth glorifies Allah, as do the birds with their outspread wings? Each one knows its prayer and glorification. Allah knows what they do. (Qur'an, 24:41)

I recently noticed this phenomenon of the birds glorifying their Creator . From living in the city centre next to a busy road in KL for many years where all I could hear was the noisy traffic going pass by each morning, to a quiet metropolitan suburb in Oz, I suddenly became aware of the dawn chorus where the many types of birds start singing to glorify their Creator, in some sort of unison each daybreak. In other words, it suddenly dawn on me, pun intended.

Their glorification of Allah was magnified further in Ramadan as we were required to wake up before fajar, earlier than usual for our sahur. Subhanallah (Glory be to God). There were all kinds of birds singing in all sorts of fashion. I couldn't tell you their names in correlation to their voice, being no bird expert, however, I could tell you the chorus was sweet and surreal . If in Kuala Lumpur, one could hear the muezzin call to fajar prayers echoing into the new day, Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar, Ashadul anla ilaha illallah, also signifying that the time of fasting has begun for the day when no food and water should be consumed until sunset; then in Oz, it is the birds who start the day with their melodious tasbih and tahmid, glorifying and praising Allah at dawn that could only symbolise this. They continue to do their salah (prayer) for perhaps an hour or so until the sun rises completely out in the sky, Subhanallah! My own ablution and fajar prayer pales in comparison to them lasting only 5-10 minutes every morning, if only I could do more when I say Inna salati wanusuki mahyaya wamamati lillahi rabbi alamin. They do not seem to tire in glorifying their Creator each morning Subhanallah. If birds can remember their prayers and glorification to their Creator, then why is it that man lacks remembrance? .

Link to Dawn Chorus

October 17, 2006

Shopping in Ramadan

Shopping! Something quite a lot of women love to do .. Me included. I love to shop whether going to the mall for just window shopping or even virtual shopping through the internet which is as easy as a click of a button. However, my passion for shopping isn't shared by my dh as he would just roll his eyes when he finds out how much I spend sometimes. No wonder they have a book titled "Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus" . Without a doubt, many men and women are certainly at different wave length on this subject. Though to say the least, I am quite perplexed that he can spend hours at Big W with the older kids just browsing the DVD and toys section before emerging with heaps of things for them. Hmmm.
Fortunately, my sister and mum share the same passion for shopping to some degree . Infact, I can say they are quite pro shoppers , much ahead of me in the game. They can spot a bargain and find the best deal or the coolest item or whatever on the street. However, the current situation does not permit me to meet them frequently as we are residing in a different city and country altogether. So I would just browse on the net and sometimes sms my sister for some advice if I need them.
I have to say I have not done much shopping in Ramadan. I have hardly bought anything for myself and my children this month. This is odd for me as previously I would just love to go to Big W to buy some good and affordable clothes to wear for the new season. I have to say that fasting is a good way of suppressing my nafs for shopping.
I have already bought my 2 older children their new baju raya that they could wear for Eid ul Fitr about 5 months ago when I was back in KL, so there is no need to buy any more clothes for the two now. I have been looking to buy some abaya for myself on the net but I never got past the checkout counter as I was thinking oh.. I have some old abayas that I haven't worn that many times before so I could wear them if need be. My dh would feel very relieved to know that I am feeling this way in Ramadan. Good for the pocket hey!

My 1st Blog Entry!

So what do I write on my first blog entry? I dunno. I don't really have the time to blog with 3 children to manage daily. Anyway, after reading all those cool blogs on the net, I think it is high time for me to blog. Hehe. I hope my internet connection will not fail me again while I am writing this.. So I am just learning to blog as I go along. It is quite user-friendly so far but I hope I can write better than this later on without too much grammatical and spelling mistakes. Don't quote me on that though.
Ramadan Mubarak to all muslims reading this though there is only a week left, I hope you have a blessed Ramadan. I do have an intense affinity with Ramadan though regrettably, I wish that I could have done more terawih prayers and Quran reading than I did so that maybe my deed book with the angel on my right improves greatly .. However, I would be just as contented if I could fast the whole month so that I do not need to replace any days for this Ramadan.
The toughest thing for me to do in Ramadan is waking up 3.15 am before fajar prayers to have sahur . In KL, I could still wake up around 5 am and eat a decent meal for sahur but here in Oz , fajar/sunrise is much earlier at this time of year so 3.15 am it is then, up til 3.45 am do I prepare and have my sahur with my dh. We did managed to wake up for 23 days in a row for sahur. Phew.. Infact, on the first night of Ramadan , I had pretty much insomnia right after my mum called me up at 10.30 pm from KL. So I fried some rice at 12 pm and still could not sleep so I had my sahur at 2am on that very 1st Ramadan morning. Since Oz muslims only started fasting on Monday 25 September 2006, that is 2nd or 3rd Ramadan for other countries which means we would be the last to celebrate Eid although we're 2 hrs ahead of KL and 10hrs ahead of GMT and say 14-18 hrs ahead of USA. Hmmm. Is it too early to say Eid Mubarak to all muslim friends out there?!...