Wives of Prophets

Finished another book – “Kisah 12 Isteri Para Rasul” (The Stories of 12 Wives of Prophets) by Harun Ar Rasyid, published by Karangkraf. This one has accompanied me for the whole year of 2017. Bought early of the year consists of 12 stories, made it one story per month so now I’m done.

KISAH-12-ISTERI-PARA-RASUL-book.jpg

The stories are of :

  1. Hawa, wife of Prophet Adam a.s
  2. Wailah, wife of Prophet Nuh a.s
  3. Sarah, wife of Prophet Ibrahim a.s
  4. Hajar, wife of Prophet Ibrahim a.s
  5. Wahilah, wife of Prophet Lut a.s
  6. Rahil Binti Laban, wife of Prophet Yaakub a.s
  7. Laya Binti Mansyar, wife of Prophet Ayyub a.s
  8. Safura, wife of Prophet Musa a.s
  9. Khadijah Binti Khuwailid, wife of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w
  10. ‘Aisyah Binti Abu Bakar, wife of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w
  11. Hafsah Binti ‘Umar Al-Khattab, wife of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w
  12. Ummu Salamah, wife of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w

May Allah be pleased with all of them. All stories display good examples except two, Wailah and Wahilah, who were the opposites.

After reading this book, one thing I can conclude is that; being a woman and standing by the name wife of a man requires a lot of patience and sacrifices. These heroines of Islam were the wives of the Most Nobles but their lives were so full of challenges. Allah put them in their respective difficult situations to then make them the idols of latter ummah. It’s so different from the expectation that we have as a lady in the current life. Ladies now typically have always been dreaming to be catered with this and that by the husband and competing to be the luckiest wife ever. Anything less would lead to disappointment. Of course that’s our rights but if we can understand the purpose of this life in the dunya and how had it been to the leading ladies before us and if we really take them as the examples to hold this role, would we still be comparing our lives with others? Let’s redefine ‘being lucky’ and extend our understanding beyond this mortal life. I realized now it’s really important to know the stories of more Islamic models and comprehend their journey rather than fancying the lives of others on the social media. Ooops!

Of all stories, one that has always won my heart is the story of Siti Hajar (may Allah be pleased with her), the wife of Prophet Ibrahim a.s. It’s well known, I’ve known it earlier too so reading from this book was a refresh to me. It’s a really beautiful story portraying real faith and tawakkul of a woman towards Allah s.w.t. With all those, Allah honoured her patience by making Sa’ie as the ritual pilgrimage. All muslims who perform Hajj and Umrah must travel back and forth from Safa and Marwah that serves to commemorate Hajar’s search for water for her son and God’s mercy in answering prayers. That’s how glorified this one particular Woman in Islam for the trials she faced. Subhanallah.

Prior to performing my Umrah earlier this year, I was so anxious about Sa’ie. Did my research and came to know that the total walking distance seven times from Safa to Marwah back and forth is more than 3 kilometres?! My God. I once joined a 5-kilometre run programme so I could estimate the distance so to me honestly, it’s far! Considering myself as not an active person and with the challenge of Iman that would disturb me when performing Umrah, that was scary. Sounds exaggerating but really I told my husband I was so worried about not being able to finish the walking just because I’d give up and stop at all.

Surprisingly there, Sa’ie was the most… I can say, my favourite part of the rituals. The traveling was really calming and spiritual I actually have no words to describe my feeling when doing sa’ie. It was not tiring at all because I was all the time reminded by the story of Hajar, imagining doing exactly what she did all the way. Thank you Allah for the unique strength he granted me and all others.

We completed our first Umrah on the first night in Mecca. The next night was the first time my mom and I went down for qiam. After completing our sunnah tawaf, we found a spot for us to continue with prayers and tafakkur. Then I asked my mom; “Ma, can I go to that side (saie area) for a while? I want to perform Sunnah Saie.” My mom instantly chuckled and said; “Hey, there’s no Sunnah Saie! There’s only Sunnah for Tawaf. Saie is only done within Umrah. Haha.”

“Oh really? Hahhaha.” I laughed too for obviously such a non-basis thought I had in mind. Funny with myself but deep down I felt a bit sad for not getting to do saie as I wanted to. So I asked my mom how many times would we be doing Umrah here, she said 3 or 4 times. There and then, I was so determined to do the maximum and Alhamdulillah I managed to perform Umrah for 4 times. On the final round of saie I teared up so badly, I walked really slowly not wanting to end that rite. It was really a priceless experience indulging the sirah of Hajar and writing this making me miss the places so much more. Siti Hajar (may Allah be pleased with her), the saie rite and the wisdom behind it have impacted a particular area in my life in a very positive way after I came back home. May all Muslims that have never been there will have the chance to go to the Holy Lands, and those who’ve gone will have the chance to repeat in the best condition of ourselves. Ameen.

All other stories are also very much inspiring in it’s own way. Learning sirah of the believers is really important for us to live this life as they’re the real examples for us to follow in working this life towards the eternal one; the hereafter.

Till the next post,
SALZY

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A Writer or a Quoter?

I was composing a blogpost when my husband came and sat beside me. I stopped typing and had a chit-chat with him.

Me: You remember yesterday we went to the kindy, the teacher reminded us to teach the kids at home?

Hubs: Yea..

Me: You heard she said about the reward in the hereafter and all.. That they want us to also gain rewards as well..

Hubs: Yea..

Me: It’s soo thoughtful, right? I gotta write it on my blog!

Hubs: *nodding cynically* Your blog is like a ‘copy-&-paste’ blog, right?

Me: What? No?

Hubs: Yea… You heard something, or you read something, you like it, then you post it on your blog. It is ‘copy & paste’.

Me: *jolted* Hey. No! I don’t copy-paste things. I write with my own words, I write from the heart, okay? If I read something or I heard something and I wanna put it on my blog, I would quote it. I’d put the name of the author or whoever said it or if I don’t know I’d still acknowledge it’s not from me. I won’t pretend that the bombastic words are mine? And sometimes I don’t even take things directly; I rephrase things but would still address the original ideas. It’s not copy-&-paste, hello?

Hubs: Oh, okay. So does that mean your blog is a ‘copy-&-paste-&-paste’ blog?

Whattt, again? Is that just how you rephrased your statement earlier?? With that, I went with “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” to the longest vocal cord in my throat!!!!

How dare he?? This guy really had no idea about this writing career! Come, onnnnn….!!

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But that short and sharp opinion left me thinking for a moment.

Maybe he’s right. Maybe what he said was true. Maybe yes. I read something, I hear something, I like it, and I park it here. Add my comment, publish. In short, it’s copy-&-paste-&-paste. In fact now now I’m copying and pasting what he said.’

Hahahhahahaha! Like seriously! Okayyy…. Now it’s digested.

So yes, really. Actually, when I was about to start blogging again, in my mind was all about the things that I read from my books that I wanna share with people. It’s a lot of new things that I get to know from reading but I didn’t have a medium to exude them. I don’t have a book club and I don’t prefer social media. So I thought blogging is the best idea for this and this has become my main purpose and I’m happy with that.

But this comment from Mr. Sarcastic makes me realize that whatever it is, it’s not original. Maybe, 50% of the content of this blog is all from others and I’m just the ‘presenter’. Out of nowhere, my ears were suddenly echoed of the advice from my English lecturer when I was in Uni. This is what she said when students loved to overuse quoting-technique in essays because obviously it’s easy. She said; “This is your essay. You sign off your name. If you’re quoting so many other sources then the essay won’t belong to you anymore. And this makes you not a “writer”, but a “quoter”.

God bless my teacher. After years of leaving school, her words are still relevant and beneficial much. Hence, a writer or a quoter? Wait, let’s now take a look from the eyes of a reader. Let me slot in a bit of a book-review, shall I?

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It’s a book by Robin Sharma titled ‘Who Will Cry When You Die?’ – A collection of thoughts on life lessons in helping people to live great lives. I loveee the book so much because it’s so meaningful, it’s packed of light advices yet very significant and deep.

Buttt….there’s one thing that’s kinda disturbing throughout my reading which is – QUOTES. There were like tooooo many quotes from so many people included in it. I noticed that and wondering why is this like a quote book?? Until I reached the part that he said in all his books, he loves to use quotations from the world great thinkers because a quote contains a wealth of wisdoms in a single line. Nahhh then only I got it – he likes quotes, so he quotes quotations in his books. Okay.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s good, it’s very much inspiring but as a reader, when I pick a book especially from a particular author, I’d expect to dig as much original thoughts from the writer him/herself, not others. Hence to me albeit how good the book is, that too many quotes scratched one star from the rating I could give. My two cents!

After alllll…… my point here is not to argue about whatever writing style one would wanna apply. I don’t mean quoting is not good it’s what I liked too and I do love quote books. What I come to think is, from the honest comment made by my husband, I now fathom out that to grow as a writer, through blogging or through any medium, the best is to try to produce as much thoughts that come from our own critical thinking. Make it the first of its kind other than just evolving from world existing ideas. You got me?

Hence again, a writer or a quoter? For now, just a casual blogger who will do whatever she likes. A mixture of both I guess, haha. Thank you Hubby for the constructive feedback on my dear blog though it’s quite cynical at first I hated you for 60 seconds! Along the way, it’s something that I’m taking note of for my own good in my current and future undertakings.

Till the next post,
SALZY

Arranging My Bookshelves on Goodreads

I think I’m funny. I played around with the Goodreads apps browsing and adding books only to know that I created 10 shelves in total! Haha… Who on earth needs 10 virtual bookshelves when you can actually load thousands of books in only one default Read shelve with no-collapse assurance? Me, and I have my own justification. :p

Here’s the list of my shelves :

bookshelves

Four Read shelves labelled by years? That’s triggered by my date-oriented nature that really thinks I need to group my books based on the year read. If possible, I wanna sub-group them by months, hehe. But of course it’s not necessitous and as years pass by; it’s gonna be so messy to have these 2018, 2019, 2020 and so forth. I think I will just cancel the rest and only maintain the current year and the default read shelve for older books.

Just for now, I wanted to see my collections since 2015 – the year I revisited this hobby after abandoning it for quite some time. My God I’m so good at abandoning things even they’re some sort of entertainment to me. How could it be, self?

Well, I can say that was since I got married or more factually, married to a no-bookworm. My husband, he doesn’t read books! We still remember a moment in the beginning of our relationship; the ice-breaker phase. On the phone, we talked about our favourites and I told him about my reading pastime. I went on and on talking about my favourite books, this book and that book. And he was like.. clueless. Didn’t know what to reply vis-à-vis books and so he tactically diverted the topic into movies. So then we talked about movies. No more books. Haha. It’s funny to recall it now yet funnier to realize that I didn’t grasp that hint telling me that we’re so contradict so why did I marry this man?! Hahaha..

And so 2015 was the year I returned to reading as I was setting up my goals for the New Year, I searched for things that could activate my brain other than just fulfilling my to-do list with the never-ending house chores and life errands. My current collections are all starting from only 2 years ago and it’s growing I’m loving it!

Moral is, even though we don’t marry someone who shares the same interests with us and even if our spouses are more dominant in influencing us to follow their stuff, it doesn’t mean we have to give up things that we love to do. Sometimes we tend to abandon them just because we donned our head with multiple hats. But hey, don’t let our concerns toward others steal the concern over our own selves, okay? While my husband is not a book lover like I am, that wouldn’t space a distance between us.

Till the next post,
SALZY

I’m on Goodreads

Hi everyone! I’m now on Goodreads. If you have an account, feel free to add me, ya? 🙂

goodread logo

Source : Google

I have always been to Goodreads to see some book review or most times to find books from specific authors but I didn’t really maintain my own. Only recently, I downloaded the apps on my phone and I think it’s easier now to update my books so I decided to revive the account with my reading collections.

Now I am busily loading the read shelve with the books I have read all my life. (Really? No.) Just as much as I could recall because some are not in my possession anymore. Those that I’ve read in my college years, maybe my mom had dumped them all. So I’m trying to recall those that I really loved so I can keep them in my Goodreads before they’re totally forgotten.

As for book reviews, I will only work forward. From my currently reading to the next book I’ll be reading. Can’t afford to write for every previous one but you can check the star rating I gave.

Is this fun? I think so. I always have something to comment post-reading so Goodreads will be a good place for me to pour some thoughts, at least for my own reference in the future.

I love reading because really sometimes, a book can make me cry, a book can chuckle for two seconds or even make me smile all day. On the other hand, a book can also cause a debate between me and my Husband! He doesn’t simply accept things that I share though I thought it’s interesting. He will question my points to dry my brain and will come out with his points for me to ponder, where in the first place I thought I was the one who wanna make him ponder! How annoying but I guess, that’s how we grow.

If a book is extra meaningful to me and more elaborative to review, I will definitely dedicate a post in this blog. Always, a book can change or set my perspectives on things. That’s when I need to express it out. So, Happy Goodread-ing!

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Till the next post,
SALZY

Snap a Picture & Talk about It

JemyAira

Happened to be, it’s TV. So what’s up with TV I am going to talk about? I guess let me reveal to you about my behaviour when watching TV. Just so you know when it comes to watching drama on TV, I’m a very expressive person. If the story is funny, I’d laugh my lungs out. If it’s a tearjerker, I’d cry a river that will flow into oceans. Romantic scenes like above, blinking heart eyes. Suspense, I’d panic like I’m the one to be killed or being chased. I would go OMGGGG, Noooo, Dammit!!, Huwarrrr to the highest pitch so whoever watching with me around would surely get annoyed with this temperament but what can I say? When I start gluing my butts in front of the TV for a movie or drama, I naturally dive into the characters and my name instantly changes to the hero’s or heroin’s name. If you’re too like me, know that you actually can be an actress. Hidden talent! Ahaks

Being expressive when watching is fun, and healthy if I could add. At least for ourselves, not for the annoyed buddies they might go depressed after that haha. Being expressive itself is important in our daily lives because our heart (I mean the heart-shaped hearts) is a storage of limited space. Just like the real heart that takes in blood through the veins and pumps it out to the lungs and other body parts; the blood doesn’t, and in fact cannot, stay there forever or else – I don’t wanna mention scary things.

Same goes to the feelings and emotions that we collected from our days, remember that our heart is just a stopover especially for the negative feelings. It is hurtful to let it stay for long so what do we do? Express it out! Talk to a good-listener friend, write a journal, cry alone or most effectively, cry to God. Don’t ignore the feelings with the thought that it will later fade or be forgotten just like that. Yes, time heals and this is too what I always tell myself when dealing with problems but at the same time, do something in a way that can entertain your heart a little. For example, watch TV emotionally! Haha, does it help? If not, find a better option.

Okay, this means I am done with the task “Snap a Picture & Talk about It”. This is an activity from the book I just finished reading – The Tao of Writing. This book gives me an understanding of writing based the Tao Te Ching – a Chinese philosophy. It’s really basic yet significant, to get anyone who found it hard to write, don’t know what to write about or been losing words; to simply get started. Many suggestions listed but when the eyes met this one I was like, okay easy I can do it now. Grabbed my phone, turned on the camera and saw the TV through the lens. Snapped it up and began writing. I’m done!

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Till the next post,
SALZY

Bad Feelings Habit

Currently reading – The Bounce Back Book by Karen Salmansohn. Bought early this year and target finished date; end of this year. Really?? A year taken to finish a single book? Yes! Hehe. This is how I read ‘tips books’, or quote books. Books which contents are formatted in points form, have only brief explanation and they’re not linking to each other. You may read them not in sequence and mostly they have many pictures or graphics.

The Bounce Back Book

Quote books, for instance they have 50 quotes collection and I time-frame it for 6 months. I will allocate reading only 2 quotes per week, it can be in sequence by page or just randomly. Why? So that I can allocate my time for other books at the same time; books of total wordings that require continuous reading from cover to cover or else, you would get lost of the plot. Also, by reading and pausing, you allow some time for thinking and applying what’s advised before moving on to the next one.

What a lengthy intro you must be quizzical what does this have to do with bad feelings habit, right?? Haha, sorry. Back to the book, The Bounce Back – presents 75 tips to regain your footing after a life setback. Haven’t finished but really would love to share this one advice that really hits. At least to me, and I think it’s not something specific for traumatic situations but also vital for everyday life.

It tells that Bad Feelings Habit is learned habitual responses towards situations that have been triggered in the past. Example, you came from a broken family, you watched those bitter arguments of your parents and how it ended up – these were the ‘past’. Now that you’re married and currently facing a rocky situation with your husband. Your condition itself is stressful but what added salt into the wound is; your family history. Your present is re-triggering the feelings from your past due to similar situations. It’s like you’ve ‘learned’ the feelings so you tend to react the same way. It is actually a habit! When in fact, you should separate out any feelings from the past and don’t let them get in the way of dealing with your present emotional trauma.

So heavy talking about this. Let’s take a simpler example, my own one during my son’s potty-training mission. When he began to understand the ‘nature’s call’, he would come to me and tell “Mom, I wanna pee” – most of the time, when I wasn’t free. I was cooking, I was eating or even when my favourite drama was on important scenes! Always, always I’d feel disturbed and respond to him drearily like, “ahh…why now?”, “like, again??”, “oh please, Dhany” – so bad right? Haha. Well of course I still attended to his request, it’s a must! We went to the loo together with my mouth babbling this and that.

Until I realized this is not healthy! My son was progressing for another milestone and Mom was being so discouraging? What a bad habit. This is what the book called the ‘Bad Feelings Habit’ that brings about negative reactions from me to my son. Poor boy.

So I decided to change – I set in my mind that every time my son calls to accompany him, I would immediately say “Ok, take off your pants and let’s go to the toilet” – before I could think of any annoyance or disturbance at the moment that could affect my feelings negatively, it moves me to put whatever chores on hold and do what Moms gotta do. Just by practicing a single statement, things changed emotionally better to me.

That’s how I can relate when I read the topic. Not similar but something that we repetitively feel which actually can be changed. I think I have a lot more bad feelings habits I need to analyse in myself. Those situations that we perceived as an “allergy” to us and let it take control of our emotions. Those people that we thought bring us that negative vibes when it actually comes from within. Let’s get rid this “roller coaster of feelings” as the author says.

I like this book. It dug out all kinds of creative ways to overcome your adversity and put them in simple straightforward bounce-back assignments. The pages are also fancy and instantly lifting up your mood the moment you flip it through. Will continue reading till the end.

Till the next post,
SALZY

A Day at the Book Fair

Yesterday was a happy day! I took a day off just for the purpose to visit the International Book Fair Kuala Lumpur (PBAKL) at PWTC. The biggest annual event that gathers the most books, one that I always looked forward to attend. This was our (my bestfriends and I) one of many activities that we did together back in our university time. I remember we took an LRT together, a few of us, and spent long hours in the heaven on earth. It’s always so good to have buddies sharing the same hobby. Books bring us together.

It has been a few years since my last visit to PBAKL even though I always planned it earlier, there were always a hitch during that one important week of the year, and that left me frustrated. The feeling of stepping into the book fair was so overwhelming. Haha. I don’t know why, books can really make me happy. At first I just walked freely as I felt I have plenty of time here today! But hey I said to myself, don’t waste time it’s only 6 to 7 hours I have then ting ting ting Cinderella has to come back home!!

And so I did it systematically. I checked out the floor plan and the levels and the halls they had and made a few rounds picking, flipping and putting back the books without buying anything yet. I snapped the picture of some books that seemed interesting, with the prices too. Went for lunch first, visited P. Ramlee exhibition, made another round and suddenly it’s 4 pm and my hands were still free from any shopping bags! I was already exhausted (oh my, so old) and so I sat down somewhere, scrolled up and down the pictures in my phone deciding which ones to buy and to drop.

The next cycle was me like a fast-forwarded cartoon popping in and out from one booth to another transacting those lucky books into my possession. A little mistake that I did not mark which-book-is-where so for a certain moment I wandered around and if I was really a cartoon, you could see me cross-eyed, with question marks above my head. Lesson learnt.

Ended my day at my kinda happy place carrying heavy shopping bags, met some friends for dinner and went home with blistered feet yet still, smiling big. 😀

Till the next post,
SALZY