How Tests Are Meant To Be

January delayed post

I was away from my country around these dates a year ago, I brought myself to the most grandiose place of worship in the world; Mecca. It has been a year?? It feels just like yesterday! Everything was still so vivid, so near to my virtual vision sometimes I don’t feel like I’ve left the place. But it’s been a year already I can’t believe.

My trip began on 20th January 2017, we were supposed to touch down Medina on the 20th itself, night time. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, we only arrived at noon of 22nd January. Two days of delay? Read here to know what’s happened.

Five times of flight delay with so many problems in between Astraghfirullah I couldn’t believe it happened. I’m not a frequent traveller, I never faced travelling issues and I’m not a flexible person. As much as I know everything is not under my control, I’m still very dependant to my plans and hard to tolerate uncertainties. Still with all these facts, things happened and became an experience to me. Now that “I’ve been there” for such cases.

My feelings throughout the first three delays were actually very okay. Because you know, we’re about to head to perform ibadah I was so in a peaceful vibe. I’ve cleansed my heart from hatred and dissatisfaction weeks prior to that and set to face everything with an open heart. So when things like these happened, I was so in control and kept faith that everything would be okay and we’d fly through eventually.

Even though we had to be waiting so long, even though we had to move back and forth to the hotel, I was all fine. I took everything as a blessing in disguise like we’re compensated with a nice hotel room, we got all day free delicious buffet spread and that we’re still safe in our country. Plus, I was all the time with my mom so when Mama is around, what else matters right? We spent our free time discussing about our schedules in Saudi, my mom recalled her experience and all that jazz.

Everything was initially, fine.

Until the 4th delay.
Until the fuss that went on with the tardy passengers.
Until I had to sleep on the floor at the waiting area.
Until the 5th delay.
Until we had to return to the hotel for the second time, with our checked-in luggage.
Until the system down for 3 hours on the 6th attempt to check-in.
Until the technical issue with the printed tickets.

Until alllll those, my patience ground finally became uneven. My hopeless-self started to get into character. The positive vibes in me had scattered around the airport and evaporated nowhere. I was all annoyeddd…!

But what to do? What did I get to do when everyone was also facing the same thing like I was? I had my mom there, I had my relatives there and other pilgrims too I can’t be blowing up my anger right in front of them all, no?

Zikr, zikr, zikr….and reflected.

I know those all were tests from the very first delay. But when I think again, the first and second delays were actually not ‘real’ tests. Because it’s something I could easily face. It didn’t test my patience level, it didn’t break my hopeful heart, it didn’t even make me cry. Those were not actual tests for me.

Tests; are meant to be hard, are meant to shake us and are meant to suffocate our faith if it’s not too much for me to say this. When we’re in a ready position to face come what may, we could actually be tested with something out of expectation. And we cannot say things like “I can tolerate if things were the other way around but not this, particularly not this!”. We cannot say “It’s okay if  the delays happened on the return flight, not this!” No! We cannot design the tests, can we? It’s specially designated to us and we’re meant to feel shaken by that in the first place before we find the way out. That’s why it’s a TEST.

Tests can be in many forms but one thing is for sure, they’re meant to be hard. If it happens to be easy and we can face it with no or less trouble and feel that we’re strong enough, hold back; remember how tests are actually meant to be. Though we might feel that we’ve gone through a lot in life, always remember that was not the end. The end is yet to come; all that we hope for is The Help for us to go through everything well and bring us nearer to Him. After all, “Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity.” [Quran, 2:286]

It was so touching arriving in Medina two days from the supposed time after so many obstacles. We couldn’t rid from feeling sad of losing two days of precious time in Medina because schedules were not adjusted. But the very first thing that the Mutawwif reminded us was to remove any remorse and be all grateful that we finally made it there safe and sound. It made our journey became more meaningful and much treasured. Thank you Allah.

Life is a test. That’s what it’s meant to be.
Tests are hard. That’s how they’re meant to be.

As ever,


A Travelogue of Flight Delays


Day 1 ~ Friday, 20th January 2017

Flight was scheduled on 1:30pm. The moment we arrived at the gate, we’re told that the flight was not yet ready; we gotta wait for a while. (1st DELAY)

2:45pm. We were told the flight was delayed for 2 to 3 hours. We’re given a free Burger King voucher for lunch. (2nd DELAY)

Went to Burger King to redeem our food and the queue was? Let me just tell you that the whole passengers of the flight were given the same vouchers.

Got our food, sat somewhere and ate while eagerly waiting for the announcement.

5:00pm. Announcement – Flight was still not ready and the departure for today was cancelled. (3rd DELAY)

Being unsure of the next departure time, we’re told not to wait at the airport anymore. We’re given a hotel stay to check-in and rest.

6:40pm. Arrived at Everly Hotel in Putrajaya by bus, had free buffet dinner, and checked-in the room. Cleaned up, solat and rest.

9:45pm. They called to go down at the lobby at 10:30pm. We’re going back to the airport!

Day 2 ~ Saturday, 21st January 2017

12:00am. Arrived KLIA, checked-in. Departure time would be at 3:00am.

1:40am. Went through security, accessed waiting area, waited for boarding.

2:20am. Still at the waiting area, still not called for boarding and we heard a bit of a fuss going on – that some of the passengers were left behind at the hotel! These people; when others we’re rushing down with the hustle, they slept! Either they didn’t get the call to go down or they ignored the important call for being too tired maybe, I don’t know. But obviously, headcount was not done by the team (not our group).

40 minutes away to departure and this happened. And you know how long did it take to go back and forth from the airport to the hotel? 50 minutes times 2! Not including the time taken to walk in the airport from the gate to the check-in counter, security checkpoint until the boarding area. My God.

3:00am. The time we’re supposed to fly already, an announcement aired – the flight was delayed to 4:30am. This was sure because of the late people! With all the hassles since the day time, I started to become tired physically and mentally already. Not giving a damn about those people, I decided to sleep on the floor spreading my brother’s sarong and covered myself with a sweater. Zzz.. (4th DELAY)

4:10am. My brother woke me up to get ready to board as it’s almost 4:30am. 20 minutes to fly, the gate was still closed.

4:30am. The time we’re supposed to take off already, another announcement aired – that the flight was AGAIN cancelled. We’re not flying today due to – technical and safety issue on the plane. T_T (5th DELAY)

And again, we’re told to return to the hotel again and worse, we had to retrieve our entire luggage that we checked-in the first time and bring them together to the hotel. Imagine the trouble guys.

We arrived at the hotel at Subuh time and the whole day until night we were just there, stranded. Not knowing whether we’re actually gonna make it for umrah or not…….tsk tsk tsk

10:00pm. An announcement to gather at the lobby, we’re heading back to KLIA!

Day 3 ~ Sunday, 22nd January 2017

12:00am. Arrived KLIA, waited for check-ins. The flight was scheduled at 4:00am.

2:00am. Still not checked in – system down!

3:00am. System was up and running, but there’s a technical problem – wrong date stated on the boarding pass for all passengers! We’re still not checked-in, including all the luggage.

3:30am. Problem solved, we’re checked-in! Runnnnnn to the gate and, on board!! We’re finally seated on the plane!

4:45am. TOOK-OFF! Flew to Madinah Al-Munawwarah.

As ever,

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.


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,


During my Umrah trip earlier this year, I disconnected myself from the world – pretty much, the entire time. I wanted to focus myself and my mind totally on the most precious journey of my life visiting the holy lands and performing obligations. Now that Ramadan is coming, I am thinking of doing the same too.

You know, I have this sort of serious addiction to the phone, or social medias, in particular. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, What’s App. These four icons are just enough to shove away my time without I realized it. Sometimes, or most times actually, I just wanted to check something on the phone but that something usually turns to many things. Just so many things coming my way and I just couldn’t take my eyes off of them. Though I can excuse myself that there are many beneficial things I gain from the social medias as well, I can’t deny that time has been wasted so much. Scrolling and scrolling, that is a syndrome already.

Knowing myself well, I was determined to log out from everything and uninstall the apps at all for the whole 12-day trip – except What’s App, with the restriction to only respond to family groups just for quick updates. Time was extra precious I couldn’t afford to miss a thing, just because my eyes were on the phone and stole all my focus. So we weren’t best-friend for a while and one funny thing I found out was that, all the while prior to this trip, I always complained that my phone has grown too old that the battery could only last for less than an hour! When I was in Mecca & Medina, the battery lasted up to 2-3 days before I needed to recharge it. Haha I laughed at myself, amused and shamed at the same time.

And there I had the most splendid time ever. The view, the sound, the serenity were just so indescribable. I think I blinked less than usual. Not only mesmerized by the natural surroundings, I also paid good attention to the talks by the Mutawwif every time we gathered for briefing and on the bus going for ziarah. My mom said that I was lucky to have this Ustaz conducting our Umrah because he is so good. He didn’t only lead us but also instilled the elements of soul fulfilling, which is not what she experienced with other Mutawwif in her previous Umrahs. Ustaz Bakri, may Allah bless him and his families.

Divorcing myself with the phone for some time did not harm. I don’t regret not having a single picture with the two most beautiful mosques, I captured the views in my memory. I did snap more pictures at the hotels and ziarah places. Since I came home, there’s no single day goes by without me re-imagining myself around Masjidil Haram and Nabawi. Sometimes I am at the rooftop, sometimes right in front of Multazam. And I believe I will return some day, InsyaAllah.

Well, my Umrah as a whole wasn’t perfect, there were times I got tired and so sleepy I couldn’t sit straight. When I remember those times, I wish I could repeat my Umrah and patch the flaws I made. That’s what I can hope for but better off, I should look at what I have now – which is the incoming Ramadan the holiest month of all, if Allah wills me.

I plan to disconnect myself as I did and devote myself to more ibadah and related. Its a bit longer then the umrah duration but its still no harm, self, won’t harm. With the list of things ready for me to-do during the month, I think I’ve overbooked myself. Haha.. Being ambitious as always not considering the glitches I might surely have at some points of time. But the intention is there! Hehe..And truly I wanna better myself, even if it after all will only result just an inch of betterment from my current state.

I will always keep in mind these words by Nouman Ali Khan from one of his videos I watched. He explained the Quranic concept on improving ourselves and this is how he put it.. “Allah tells us to pray, all the way to closer – and I’m using ‘all the way’ on purpose. To Allah, you’re getting closer – not the closest, not to the end. You’re making it closer to guidance is the eventual goal. And for human being dies pursuing betterment – not perfection, just betterment – they’ll have, later, a successful life.”

Closer, better. Happy fasting everyone. May, in this month, we find the new contentment of life while striving towards betterment. Disconnecting…⁠⁠⁠⁠

Till the next post,

31, But Thens…

Ambition was one of the most common questions being asked when we were a kid. We’d be like “When I grow up, I wanna be this…I wanna be that”… answering people. When we’re alone, we daydreamed beyond everyone’s expectation on us. It seemed like a very long way to go but we just couldn’t wait. Couldn’t wait to grow up and be what we wanted to be. Be on our own.

Today I turned 31. I am already at the when-I-grow-up age that I looked forward to when I was a little girl. I am an adult now and in fact, I’ve been an adult for years already.

But then… I am not the lady I pictured myself as, when I was young. I used to be very ambitious, you know? I wanted to be a career woman with corporate dress up and look intelligent.*Laugh*.

But then, here I am. A wage earner of a multi-national corporation who works 9 to 5 daily, an average executive who doesn’t seem like climbing the corporate ladder any higher. I have no professional certification to high-price my CV and I dress simple. Well, that’s not too bad. I’m happy with my job and daily routine now. Work-life balance.

But then, is this what they call a ‘comfort zone’? Am I already in a comfort zone at this age when my career has not even reached a decade yet? Always a parent’s wish to see their children grow up, get a good job and be successful. Is this a success already? Apparently not what I ambition-ed.

But then, what do I do to stand prouder of myself? Nowadays, doing business is more highly regarded in the community. You’re perceived as more independent and strong by running a business especially if you could brand yourself or your product.

But then, doing business was never in my frame. In fact, I tried, once, but it didn’t work out and I just didn’t enjoy it. And then I tried stock trading. It doesn’t have to plead people to buy, I just had to gain as much knowledge on the economic ins and outs.

But then, it’s still so heavy to me. It’s like going back to college with an obsolete brain but it’s okay it can be polished. With my duty at work and as a mother, I juggled. I couldn’t spare time on the day to study the stuff so I stayed up midnight. I joined one-time classes on the weekends and left the kids with my husband or the babysitter with extra charges. I called it a sacrifice.

But then, I realized my attention to my family went condensed. Even when I’m with the kids, my mind was busy picturing the charts and whatnot. I also had disagreement with my ex-stock-dealer husband who differed my trading practice and a lot more issues. This clash of priorities was so demanding. I was thinking, why do I have to trouble myself with all these problems when I don’t have to? I have a fine job and a steady family who needs much of my attention now so I should just focus on them. And so gave up trading.

But then, the kids will grow up and things will slow down. That time, I will look back and might be regret that I did not push myself a bit harder. I will grow old, retire and live depending on my pension money which maybe has lessened due to early withdrawals. What a force. I’m not gonna live the life I can call a success. So what do I do with my LIFE??

But then,  I realized all of my thoughts are all about life. Life in the dunya. The life that is certainly not permanent. I remember during my Umrah trip earlier this year, our first tawaf was led by the Mutawwif. After finishing the seven rounds circling the Kaabah, we performed prayers individually and gathered facing the Multazam (the part of the Kaabah that is between the Black Stone and the door of the Kaabah) for the Mutawwif to lead the du’a, we followed with ‘Ameen’. The du’a was so long. In my silence, I was surprised that the whole content of the prayers were all on repentance. Asking nothing but forgiveness. Nothing health, nothing wealth, nothing happiness, nothing worldly. I was stunned but in the end cried too.

Seriously…my life had been all about the world like it’s never gonna end. I always looked back thinking if-only’s when life is all what Allah has willed it. I’d been thinking of the life when-I-grow-old when growing old is not even certain. I’d been looking forward to my future age when the ultimate future is Jannah that we hope for. This is why I have so much but-then’s in my life. This gotta stop.

There’s a quote that says, “When you wake up with no other intention but to worship Allah, you have found the purpose of life”. Have I? For the next 32nd year onward, InsyaAllah. I’ll do my best. May Allah forgive me and all us for the excessive worldly thoughts over the life after death.

But then? Happy Birthday to me 🙂 Alhamdulillah.

Till the next post,

Stop Being Greedy

It was only 2 months away when my mother offered me to join her for Umrah this round. She has been planning for it since a year ago and I was not in the list. So two months could be quite a surprise for me! My beloved mom was sponsoring the whole fees and I just had to prepare myself and stuffs so it’s definitely a “YES, I’m going”.


If we dived into the heart of every Muslim, deep down inside there must be a spot of desire to touch down the Holy Lands Mecca and Medina. These two places of worships are the cities that never sleep. Despite the huge crowd at all times, it is also a place that you can find true peace and serene.

I am no difference. I was too happy and excited to visit the dream place of mine but…knowing the fact that my husband is not joining us disappoints me a little. I also have to leave my two toddlers again after the UK trip previously. I was thinking…erm, this is not what I want. I do wanna go for Umrah but of course I wanna be accompanied by my beloved husband. Couples that pray together stay together, no? I felt like it’s gonna be an imperfect trip of me going “alone” leaving my important people behind. Erm…but that’s okay.

And when I started to inform people that I’m going for Umrah and that I’m going with my mother and brother, my husband is not is joining, kids are not joining, I instantly got the responses like…

“Whyyy are you leaving them…??”

“Oh it’s not gonna be fun!”

“Yeah, travelling with kids is a little trouble but separating with them is worse!”

“Pity those kids being left by mom for weeks”

“If I were you, I just can’t!”

Darnnnn….!! Those mommy-sensitive words were hitting me like a rock. My excitement all gone in a second and I suddenly don’t feel like going. I started to ramble to myself; ‘I should just wait till the time we can all go together’, ‘it’s not gonna be a meaningful Umrah for me’, ‘this is not what I want, this not what I want’. I cried.

I cried, I cried and I istighfar. I istighfar countlessly until it calmed me down and I started to think…wisely and talked to myself;

“This opportunity, is like a dream comes true. This is what I have been praying for my whole life. It comes sooner than I ever thought. It comes in the easiest way…an offer of thousands of dollars without me having to beg for it. I am going with my beloved generous mom and I am going to spend the whole time clinging with her doing her favourite things at her favourite places. A place that I can feel the nearest to the Prophet s.a.w.. A place of Baitullah.”

Ar-Rahman 55a.jpg

Darn! Again…I was like suddenly awaken from my reverie and fired by “Hey, Stop Being Greedy, Woman!” shouted from all around me!

Greedy. Yes…that was it! That was the reason for all my dissatisfaction and disappointment! I am greedy. I have got what I can call a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that was not only dreamed by me but many other Muslims but I was still not thankful enough and focused on what I don’t get. Oh human, that’s just too bad. 😦

That was my moment of wake-up call. I beat myself and Istighfar some more feeling what a bad slave I am but somehow thankful that I realized it early. Suddenly a feeling of joy and excitement embracing me fully and I just couldn’t wait for my trip. And those mommy sensitive responses? No, that’s not for me. My friends didn’t mean to make me feel bad. Those are just normal reactions and I was just too sensitive. Of course I missed my kids so much but being away to focus on my obligations to the Almighty is my priority too.

Stop being greedy, people. Gratitude is the source of happiness while greedy is totally the opposite. I remember another episode of me being greedy and repented, began to thank more and things changed afterwards. Not keeping this post any longer, to be continued.

Till the next post,