Disconnecting…

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,
SALZY

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,
SALZY

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”.

kaabah

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,

SALZY