#SeekGod

If there is one thing that stands out in Medina, it is the short intermittent time between prayers.

Aside from the multicultural and multiracial identity of the pilgrims and the mad rush to seek His pleasure, the short intermittent times really struck out like a sore thumb.

Maybe I’m not used to it but darn is it exhausting.

No wonder they say that you’d need a lot of patience and rest whenever you can. But I guess it is nothing when you are here to seek God. To find solace in His presence and that of the Prophet SAW.

Aside from that, the place is beautiful. Medina is truly a gem. With wide open spaces and Masjid Nabawi standing there in all it’s glory, it is impossible to not be in awe. Another beautiful sight is the number of pilgrims that came in and went for every prayer. It is outstanding at the number of languages and races of people that are there. Despite the fact that a majority are Bengalis, Indonesians and some Africans, you can truly get a sense of the different cultures that are there. People from different backgrounds such as farmers, doctors, lawyers, fishermen and such all congregate in Masjid Nabawi to seek His pleasure.

Furthermore, the mad rush to greet the Prophet PBUH is insane as anyone who attempts to do it WILL be met with shoving, pushing and pulling. If one attempts to pick something up, I guess, it’s all over. Taman Ar-Raudah is Heaven on Earth. That is why people fought hard to have space there. This is to the point where they would disregard you praying and would very well shove you aside if you’re in the way. Sigh.

The morning of the stay in Medina is always met with a strong cold breeze that would give anyone the chills. One has to ensure that they’re properly covered. However, you wouldn’t get such weather in Singapore so I truly appreciate the change. Aside from that, the humidity, or lack thereof, is telling of the place Medina is located at, a desert. Your lips can quickly get chapped and your throat can easily feel like sandpaper. Adequate drinking of water is needed.

Even though Medina is located in Saudi Arabia, it is a city that is heavily dependent on a foreign workforce. The cleaners, bus drivers, hotel staff and shopkeepers are either Bengalis, Yemenis, Africans or someone in between. It is quite telling of the nature and attitudes of the Saudis. Furthermore, these cleaners even begged for money. This surprises me as it means that they are paid so low to the point that even having a job wouldn’t secure them a relatively comfortable life. It tells a lot about how the foreigners are treated in Saudi, even to the point where I would label them as second-class citizens.

It’s almost the last day in Medina and I will definitely miss Masjid Nabawi.


As I’m writing this, we are on the way to Makkah and as we were leaving Medina, we were reminded of the small signs of the Day of Judgement which is that the mountains surrounding Medina will have plant growths on it.

To think of it scientifically, we were reminded of the threat of Global Warming but looking at it in the religious point of view, we are nearing the end of times. It is a scary thought and to think that once the first big sign of the end of times appears, there’s no turning back.

We left Madinah with a heavy heart, we left the Prophet SAW and his companions, we left Masjid Nabawi, we left Ar-Raudhah and we left his beloved home, the city that took him in when no one else would.

As Muslims, it is a must to love him, the Prophet SAW. However, it is different between being forced to love someone and actually loving someone. In the few days that I’ve been there, I saw the passionate love that Muslims all over the world have for him, the way they speak his name, the way they cried when they visited his grave. I saw tears running down the face of a man who you wouldn’t think had feelings. I saw the passionate rush to pray close to his maqam every Zuhr. The way people run to him is clear that they loved him like how I should love him.

There were signs of tears, signs whereby I would just break down if only given a little more push. Signs that I loved him. As much as I say that I do, I don’t think I love him as much as those people did. I did cry when I say his maqam for the first time and I did cry when I prayed at Ar-Raudhah but it was because of my hypocrisy. I feel as if my heart has not completely fallen in love with him, and I feel that I would fall into sin again if just given the chance.

I am trying my best to love him, to love him as one should but insyaAllah, the next time I’m back to meet him again, I will love him ever stronger.
The Prophet SAW is someone I had never seen, let alone hear, but the impact he had left behind speaks volumes for the man he is. I will continue to seek to love him more than I love myself:

The Muslim’s faith cannot be complete unless he loves the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and until the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is dearer to him than his father, his son, his own self and all the people. It was narrated that Anas said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No one of you truly believes until I am dearer to him than his father, his son, his own self and all the people.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 15; Muslim, 44.

The final chapter,

We are finally in Makkah and from the beginning of my visit here and I think till the end of it, I cannot contain the number of things I have seen here. The countless times I’ve torn till the times that I struggled to hold my wudhu, furthermore, the experience of tawaf and saii…

Firstly, the view of the Kaabah is magnificent from any angle. To think that you are letting your eyes gaze upon that beautiful structure, the House of Allah SWT feels almost embarrassing. To think that we came here upon the land of the Muslims, where the Prophet SAW had received revelation, bringing our sins. How can we even have a moment to think that we are even worthy of it?

It’s such a scary thought that you are stepping into this clean land seeking for His forgiveness. It makes you think to tread lightly.

To also remember that great events such as the building of the house by Nabi Adam AS, the continuation of the building by Nabi Ibrahim AS, the story of Hagar and Nabi Ismail AS, the place of the Quraish and Nabi Muhammad SAW occurred there makes you wonder who are we even.

To think that we are stepping in the same land that the Prophet SAW had stepped on 1400+ years ago makes you wonder the impact he had on this Earth and the perfection of the revelation. There are times when I began to wonder if I am even worthy of this visit. To think that I have sinned countless times, how dare does I seek forgiveness. But I know that that is the devil talking.

I seek refuge from Him, I seek His forgiveness, I seek that He accepts my repentance for if He doesn’t, I’m doomed.

This comes the question as to how does one know if their prayers are counted? I fear that my prayers are not counted because sometimes I feel gassy but I am never sure if it counts as passing gas especially when I’m trying to keep my wudhu. I just hope the hadith is sound.

It was narrated from ‘Abbaad ibn Tameem that his paternal uncle asked the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about a man who thought he felt something whilst praying. He said: “He should not stop praying unless he hears a sound or detects an odour.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 137 (this version was narrated by him); Muslim 362.

Whatever it is, I really hope that my prayers be accepted and my repentance be accepted. I fear His wrath. I really do.


For my birthday, I managed to celebrate it with the Prophet SAW when I went to Ar-Raudhah, a place where any supplications made will be accepted by Allah SWT.


However, that’s beside the point.

I had torn to change myself, to become someone better and had sought His help to make me into less of a hypocrite and more of a good man just like the Prophet SAW but it is not as easy.

Doubts appeared in my mind as to what if I changed back into the person I was before. What if all the tears that had rolled down my face were all for nothing, what if I somehow I am full of sin once again?
I sought His forgiveness every time and this time, it was made at the two greatest places on Earth. Sigh.

They say that one has to have yakin which means to have trust and faith that one will be forgiven by Him. Sometimes it’s hard but they say if doubts start to appear on whether He forgives or not, that is Syaitan.

Hmmm…

I just need to know whether my taubat and prayers are accepted. I’m sorry I’m all over the place.

It is only when we left Makkah and Madinah that I realised that it is actually quite hard to fend off the nafs incited by Syaitan. To do ibadah felt heavy and to spend more time to do ibadah felt like a chore.

May it become easier for us to seek God as we learn to cope with such influences. Amin.


What I hoped to take away from this umrah is a new sense of who is Allah and who is His messenger SAW. To better appreciate His merciful nature and the efforts His messenger SAW had put in to establish His religion on the land.

I had sought to cleanse my heart and have a renewed sense of self, a removal of any hypocrisy that I might have held.

I’m not sure if I had achieved that but insyaAllah, with due time, I would have changed for the better. The fear to not become who I was before still hangs about but I am determined to let go of the past and strive for Allah.

A new life begins. Bismillah.

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a step forward

they say that when one goes for umrah/hajj with the intention to become better, they would. 

I call myself a hypocrite. A person who is fronting one character and when no one is looking, I become another. 

with this chance to go for the umrah, there is one thing that I truly hope to achieve, that is to move on from the darkness that has enveloped me for almost a decade. 

12 days isn’t much as compared to a decade but I hope that significant strides will be made.

tbh, I’m nervous. despite the fact that we meet God every single day, to enter THE place where everything happened is one that fills me with intimidation and fear.

I don’t know what He will test me with but I know that whatever it is, it will be beneficial for me in the long run.

I will continue updating this blog as I go along and I hope that upon reflection, it will be filled with many insights as I make this journey of self-discovery.

an amalgamation of stories

There was a time when you feel that you have the world in your hands. There was a time when you feel as if you can conquer anything. There was a time when you feel that you have reached that socially elusive term called, ‘success’.

But then, that was then.

Now, you’re stuck in a rut, consumed by the agony of societal pressure, consumed by the work that has been placed upon you, consumed by your inner desire to fight back but slowly realising that everything you do is futile. The world feels as if it is crushing in on you, collapsing beneath your feet. Your every breath feels laboured, hard… It is as if you’re breathing through a straw while being miles underneath the ocean’s surface… 

It might be time when you feel like you cannot let go, a time when you feel that the only way for this to work is to keep holding on even though you know that it will slowly kill you…

It is ridiculous I must say though, it is happening all around. People hold on to their cancers because they feel that if they were to let it go, they would lose a part of them. Even though they know that they will slowly lose themselves.

Why? Why would people do such a thing?

I don’t know to be honest. Sometimes it is because they have placed upon the other person and idealized version of their lives, thinking that that person would be the one to fulfil their dreams. Other times, they placed upon that person a hope of a better life and soon, they become dependent, too hard to get out from. 

To be honest, I don’t know where I am going with this post. It is more of a vomit post whereby I type whatever I feel like. It started out as a story for all the people who are struggling right now but ended up an emotionally depressing story of poisonous relationships.

Oh well. 

Anyway, it is the end of Y3S1 and the beginning of a new era. Final year is upon me (technically a semester more but I’m planning to begin my FYP as soon as possible). 

Furthermore, it is the trying to get my sh** together phase and clearing out all the old stuff to usher in the new. I realised that I have already found out who I want to be. I have realised my identity as a person. Looking back at my first year when I was still a piece of nonsense, I have to say that I have gone far. Everything that happened in the last 3 years had brought me to where I am today and changed me. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. However, I’m just glad that I have reached this far and there so much more distance to cover in life. I will always continue to strive to be a better creative. It is going to be an experience but as long as I have no baggage, I will take whatever risk I can. 

Also,

I miss her. A lot.

in the midst of projects

I’m currently in the midst of several projects that would allow me to gain the necessary skills to be an entrepreneur in the future. First, is the straws business that I’m doing. Since there is a huge gap in the market to provide cheap metal straws as an alternative to the plastic straws, I went in and sold them. I am far from earning a profit and has yet to pay back the cost of purchasing those straws but as far as I can see, it has thought me about marketing, negotiation and the rules surrounding mailing. I also realised that Facebook is an untapped market in Singapore and following the Pareto Principle, it is the place where I get 80% of the attention for 20% effort. I was thinking of furthering my efforts within NUS but since there are some adhocs that are selling straws, I should not disrupt them and just continue to focus on the customers outside of school.

Furthermore, I am the Project Director of FOC2019 and this is a huge thing for me. Leadership is usually something that someone is born with and unfortunately, I consider myself as not a born leader but one that is thought to be one. It is quite a hard thing to do and this is the moment where I have to try to see where I stand in the long list of leaders. It is going to be an experience but one that I hope to be beneficial for all the new members under my care.

For now, examinations are coming and I have to get my game on.

Till next time, cheers.

New things to come

 

It has been a while, hasn’t it?

My excuse is that I have been busy with Silat the past few weeks. It has been exhausting.

But now, I’m free for a temporary moment. Why a temporary moment? Because I have decided to pick up the role as the project director for this upcoming freshmen orientation camp. It is my first time taking up a role that is central to the whole movement of a project. However, I feel that it is about time that I picked up such a role.

I am confident that I am capable of carrying out the task with a certain level of level-headedness. I also think that if I am unsure about things, I can fall back on trusted people.

Anyway, what a semester it has been thus far. With a few blinks of the eye, it has already reached Week 10 and thus, the end of my Y3S1. Gosh, I’ll seriously miss NUS once graduation comes. Ugh.

Anyway, my life has been rather happening the past few days. One, I was invited to be one of the official photographers for Street Superior 2018. I am honoured and blessed to be able to get such a role. It will be a whole new experience for me and I cannot wait to see what it has in store for me. Also, Gary’s new series ‘Trash Talk’ has been pumping me up for the flip game and I’m trying my best to secure the best deals for the metal straws in China. I really feel that I can flip them and make some good money with my skills in marketing/publicity. Hmm… that will be another whole new experience.

Well, I guess, there are a lot of things to look forward in the coming few weeks and I will try to update as frequently as possible here. Furthermore, I may try to minimalise certain aspects of my life, especially my digital life. So, stay tuned to what I have in store.

 

It is our choice

People do not realise that how we decide to respond to something makes us be in control.

We all know that we should only focus on what we can control and not what we can’t but for the things that we cannot control, we can instead control how we react to them. Would you cry about something that is beyond your control or would you suck it up and move on?

Be protected from the Accursed.

The goal of Syaitan is to dirty yourself or to make yourself feel dirty to the point where you have lost all of your self-control. He strives to dirty yourself to the point where you can no longer face Allah, thinking that you can never be forgiven.

He strives to break you down, bit by bit to the point where you feel numb to the sins that you have committed, till you stop asking for forgiven from the Most Merciful.

He reasons with you, telling you that your bad deeds are justified. He tears you apart, slowly.

He has promised to attack from the front, back, left and right and promised not to stop till the Day of Judgement.

Therefore, we have to always be on guard.

Sometimes we fail and fall victim to his influences but we must learn to stand back up, every time, vowing to strengthen our will.

May we be protected from the Accursed and the enemies of Allah SWT.