Thursday, March 31, 2016

Awfa's Treatise on Loyalty and Trust

How beautiful a couple make Loyalty and Trust,
though too often they are found separated; incomplete:
This is the lesson from a baby
who hasn't yet learnt how to not trust.

A baby is born with eyes that do not judge.
But one of the first social skills she will learn
is to be anxious around strangers. 
To distrust.

You see, we don't forget how to trust.
Rather, we learn how to distrust. 
It is a natural stage of a baby's development;
maybe, an instinctive preparation to face a world
which is not always what it seems:
where people cheat, lie, deceive, play power games.

And to cheat, lie, deceive, play power games,
are social skills the baby, too, 
will learn as she grows up;
though now she is deceptively innocent.

We don't forget how to trust.
Rather, we learn how to distrust. 
perhaps the belief that other people deceive
is a mechanism we build in our own minds
to cope with the guilt of our own deception.
Perhaps the belief that other people are not what they seem
is a mechanism we build in our minds
to cope with the burden of our own secrets.

If so then to trust is something to re-learn. 
And to learn how to trust others, 
one first has to learn to be worthy 
of the trust of others. 

How can I expect loyalty from others when I am myself untrustworthy? 
How can I expect to trust others when I am myself disloyal? 

Loyalty and Trust come hand in hand.
Naturally. Beautifully.
But only if they meet.

This is the lesson from a baby
who hasn't yet learnt how to not trust:
though too often they are found separated; incomplete,
how beautiful a couple make Loyalty and Trust. 

Credits: Awfa binti Adlan Wafi

Sunday, March 20, 2016

In a Masjid in Puchong

I distinctly remember my mind being blown,
as I opened that book 
picked off a shelf 
in a masjid in Puchong
over four years ago now -
a Chinese translation of the Quran.

Immediately I turned the page
to one of my favourite ayat,
and as I often did back then 
took a picture, put on a cheap filter, and posted it on Insta 😓

But why did the image of Chinese letters
side by side with the Quran's Arabic words
have to blow my mind so?
When we have been taught in school
that the message of Islam is universal,
for all peoples of the world?

Perhaps it's because we have forgotten 
this unifying message of the deen,
and replaced it with the sentiment of racism and nationalism;
a sentiment taught implicitly in our Muslim homes, 
and lived out in our everyday lives.
All under the guise of 
Us Muslims, versus Them kafirs.

Until eventually we come to believe 
that Islam is Arabic,
or Malay.

How sad, how ironic
that we Muslims are the ones who hide the universal beauty of Islam
on a shelf in a masjid in Puchong:

"O mankind, 
indeed We have created you from male and female and 
made you peoples and tribes that 
you may know one another. 

Indeed, the most noble of you 
in the sight of Allah 
is the most righteous of you. 

Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.

- Surah Al-Hujurat:13

Monday, March 14, 2016

Possibly the most dangerous disease to affect a da'ie is that of self-righteousness.
Afflicted, he/she begins to think him/herself as pure,
belittling others and being rough to the very people
he/she is supposed to call to Allah.


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Popo's Relationship Advice

An extract from yesterday's conversation* with popo**

Me: popo sudah makan?
Popo: sudah..!
Me: saya pon dah makan pagi tadi la
Popo: makan apa? Nasi lemak ka? Kahkahkah
Me: haha tada la..nasi putih sama telur goreng saja laa
Popo: manyak panai ah..! Masak pon panai, semua pon panai.. Satu hari nanti lu kawen la kahkahkah
Me: hahaha popo tolong saya pujuk mama kasi saya kawen laa
Popo: cali sendili la.. Lu punya mama tala cali untuk lu la kahkahkah..! Haiya...mikai*** ah!

* translate will definitely not help with this, guys
**chinese for 'grandma'
***how popo pronounces my name

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Seat Booking

You know why I enjoy those weekly train journeys?
It is a chance to escape from both the weekday hassle of Preston hospital and the weekend hassle of Manchester;
a quiet time for me to share with just the window and my thoughts.

Sometimes, however, it would be a chance I wouldn't have:
if I catch the train at rush hour, the train is often full to bursting.
And so I would have to stand up for the nearly hour-long journey in close proximity to equally tired people who were also unlucky enough to not get a seat.

So, after a while, I developed a sense of apprehension when the train approaches the station..
would it be a relaxing, seated journey?
or would it be spent desperately trying to be comfortable by leaning on something the whole time?

Then one day, as I was getting on a train half-full 
(which is most 'exciting' because you don't know whether you're assured a seat or not), 
a thought struck me:
my seat has been booked!

No, I didn't make a booking via the trainline website; and so no, the seat did not have my name on it - 
but my seat booking is even more guaranteed than that!
Because (I just realized) Allah has decreed that 
on this particular train, at this particular time, a guy named Mikhail will get this particular seat.

And if Allah has decreed it, I will get it regardless.
(And if he has not, than I won't get it regardless.)

I guess that's life in general -
we so often feel under pressure;
under attack from all the decisions we have to make, the assignments we have to get done, the seats we have to race for.

But stress for what..??
"rufi'atil aqlaam, wa jaffatis suhuf", as the Prophet s.a.w. wisely described the nature of the fate which has been written for each of us:
"The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried".

A firm belief in qadha' & qadar will make you a chilled person. 
And that's cool, bruv 😎

(Not to say don't put in any effort at all lah.. 
If I don't make effort to get on the train in the first place, how should I even hope to get a seat??

The point is: Relax. Make the effort. Then chill.
"rufi'atil aqlaam, wa jaffatis suhuf") 

Monday, March 7, 2016


The applicability of thermodynamics against jiwang:

Lower the temperature.
The heart has a melting point.

"Until your heart is in check,
you can't use your mind"
- Nouman Ali Khan 

But to make a decision with BOTH heart and mind? that requires more than a knowledge of thermodynamics 🤓

(Confirm ak kne tembak pasni sbb bajet paham thermodynamics)

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!

At the antenatal clinic last week, 
I was given the chance to operate the ultrasound device 
which detects the heartbeat of a fetus in the womb. 

Taking a while to find the heartbeat, it then took me a few seconds for me to realize how profound a situation I found myself in:
I was holding the device which allowed a would-be mother to hear her baby's heartbeat for the first time.
Cameo role that I played, I was nonetheless part of a precious moment she would probably remember for life.

There is something I've noticed about the nature of Obs & Gynae placement thus far:
it allows you to witness the wonder, the beauty of motherhood.
But it also shows you the blood and gore that comes along with it.

And as much as babies are the most adorable of creatures, 
one cannot help, on this placement, 
but to realize that a baby fits the definition of a parasite quite well:

"An organism which lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the other’s expense."

(And by this definition a baby continues to be a parasite even after it leaves the host's body, 
draining the host and her spouse off their physical, emotional and mental vitality as he continues to grow. Sorry Ma 😶)

Anyways what I was trying to get at, Ma,
is that when I was holding the ultrasound device
I thought about you, and 
wondered about that moment when you first heard MY heartbeat;
the heartbeat of that parasite which until today 
has yet to grow up fully and still gives you headaches 😅

Too often we don't appreciate 
the most precious things in life until it's passed us by: 
whether it be a precious moment, like hearing the heartbeat of a baby for the first time,
or a precious person, like the lady who has always loved you unconditionally despite your parasitic nature.

This parasite has got nothing to give you this Mother's Day, Ma
except this message of gratitude 
and a video of an otter and her baby 😅

Love you much, mooch2, assalamualaikum 

(Credits to Norshahkang Shuaib who first showed me this video and thus showed me that sanity is apparently not a prerequisite for postgraduate study)

Friday, March 4, 2016

To Commit

The goalkeeper who runs out of goal,
the person who founds a club,
the man who decides to settle down -

they are wildly different situations with a common thread:
it involves making a decision, and committing to it.

But commitment (by its very nature)
is not without risks:
the risk of failure, 
of heartbreak, 
or plain embarrassment.

It is no surprise why many choose not to commit;
thinking it's the safest choice to make.

But then they do not realize
that the act of not making a choice 
is itself a decision.

So..what to do?
No risk, no rizq.

P.s. Maybe the inability to make a decision is a symptom of an underlying disease: an unwillingness to take responsibility.

P. p. s. there is, though, one relationship in which there is no risk in committing to. The relationship with Allah lah..duhh ✌🏻️

#salamjumaat #imanbarunakup #amsyajanganpressure

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


When those statues around the Kaabah were brought down, I imagine
that it must have been painful for the worshippers of those idols to see.
It must be hard to let go of old habits, old attachments.

But that pain was, ultimately, short-lived.
And that pain was necessary, before 
the inner peace that Islam brought 
could enter their hearts.

It is a similar case, I imagine, for those idols we have in our hearts:
wealth, self, a lover.
But like those statues around the Kaabah they too must be brought down.
It is a pain necessary to achieve inner peace.

And I pray that it too will be a pain short-lived.