Rays of Splendour


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It’s 7 March… and I’m another year older!

It’s my first ever birthday overseas.

During each of the previous birthdays before this, I’ve never been one who expects to celebrate it nor do I expect to receive gifts for it. To me, it is enough to have my family and close ones by my side. I believe that their presence in my life forms one of the biggest blessings I am ever granted and to know that they’re there with me is enough. That on its own is already a huge, huge, huge gift for me.

So to wake up for fajr to silence and no glimpse of the dad peeking his head into my room to wish me a happy birthday, or the mom singing me her rendition of the song in her off-key tone, or the brother going “Kak, it’s your birthday today?? I didn’t know sehhhhhh!“, or the two bffs attempting to pull off some birthday surprise to humorous results… Well I must say, all these have opened my eyes to how Allah has been so generous all these while in placing those people in my life.

That aside, those people never cease to make their presence known in my life.

In the past few hours, I’ve received birthday greetings from them through WhatsApp (seriously, the wonders of technology!).

I’ve also received a video which I could see required a lot of communication and logistical planning between the people involved. The video sparked off a variety of reaction within me: I was moved and appreciative of the effort that goes into it (they said it took two months to prepare! *salute the effort*); I was also tickled immensely by it and couldn’t help laughing out loud by myself as I watched it; it made me happy to see my friends coming together and enjoying themselves as they shot it; and I was just… grateful in general.

Lastly, I also received gifts from them! 🙂

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You know how sometimes you just share things with your friends? You thought it was just one of those usual conversations you have with them. Imagine my surprise when I opened the package from Sut, Kin and Fad and found a Pandora box inside. See, I have been raving to them about the sudden inspiration I had to add a pendant charm to my Pandora bracelet and even spent time with Sut to look through its website at possible ones to get. To open the package and be greeted with that… Well, that made me go “Wow! But weren’t we just talking and raving about it together like we normally would when it comes to our other buys?“. I had initially planned to buy it for myself as a gift for completing the semester many months from now (insyaAllah) but now that I received one as a gift, that made it even more special. I’ll definitely be admiring this charm as it hangs from my wrist whenever I put on my Pandora bracelet.

And that basket of flowers over there? Never ever in a million years do I expect to receive it from this friend. So to open the door to my apartment and be presented with the delivery, then to read the card and found out who sent them, and thereafter noted that they contain pink roses and carnations… I couldn’t help think “But wasn’t I just texting random updates about what I saw during my first day of school when I was raving to him about pink roses and carnations? He’s sending me some??“. Yet, I love the flowers a lot and shall appreciate its beauty while it’s still alive.

Amazing how these people can be hundreds of miles away from me and yet I can feel their presence as strong as ever.

So, I’m an extra year older in my thirties (and ever closer to meeting the Lord). I pray that He continues keeping my heart turned to Him in faith and grants me an increase in it, that I am never heedless of His blessings, that I am in constant remembrance of Him, that I never neglect His rights upon me and that I always have the love of Him and the Prophet pbuh in my heart.

I pray too that He grants my family and the people close to me His constant love, care and protection always; and that He grants them all that is good in this life and the Hereafter.


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Doing it for mom

Our moms are one of the greatest blessings in life that God has granted us. They’re the first person who loves us even before we are born and once we are in this world, they are the first one to love us unconditionally. You might have done things to disappoint or anger her along the way, or even not spend enough time with her but that motherly love still remains steadfast in her heart.

Truly, out of all the experiences of love we can ever encounter during our lifespan, the love from our moms forms one of the most sincerest of them all.

And today, that same love moved me greatly.

My heart can’t help but go all soft inside as I recalled how she went about trying to help me settle some administrative matters related to my studies just now. Despite being all exhausted from the lack of sleep after getting back late from our weekend getaway and then having had a busy morning, she still found it in her to go the extra mile to help me. Then later in the night when I came to look for her to get her opinion on a good seat to choose for an upcoming flight, she got up from the place she was initially lying down and gave me her 100%.

She always, always, always gives my siblings and I her full undivided attention no matter her physical or emotional state.

Regardless of how strange or crazy our pursuits may be, she would also be there to give her full support to our endeavors if she is convinced that it will bring goodness for us. Then if our intended pursuits seem otherwise, she works hard to talk it out with us and get us to consider alternative options. Yet if we are still adamant to go ahead with our choices, she would still be there to give her blessings.

Importantly, she never, never, never fails to keep us in her prayers and praying for the best for all of us.

As I reflected on all these, I realized that I’ve also reached that point whereby I’m embarking on my studies for her. After all that she has done, I’ve come to a stage where I pray that Allah allows me to complete this whole two years for my mom, she continues to be there to witness it all, and may this pursuit be a conduit for me to achieve His pleasure, insyaAllah.

I’ve always believed that everything we have in our life is not ours. That job you have. The salary you are earning from it. The promotion or position you attained in your job. That educational qualification you own.  Your property. Your wealth. Your family. Your children. Your beauty. Your talent and skills. Your health and even time. Everything is His and the only reason why that particular blessing is in our life at that exact moment is because He is giving us an opportunity to use it in His path.

And from the bottom of my heart, I sincerely pray that I always remember never to take for granted any blessings that He has given me and to always use it for goodness and a means to serve Him, insyaAllah. They’re never mine. They’re His.


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His uncountable mercies

And so, I didn’t manage to keep up to the Ramadan resolution to blog about the reflections on certain verses from the Quran nor about sharing the verses that struck me. While indeed I have done some reflections and came across many verses that hit me right there in the heart, I found that I was more comfortable doing so at the confines of my prayer mat. That, and the fact that this past Ramadan was an extremely busy time for my family and I, it left little room in between to properly sit down and blog about it.

It’s now Syawal (in fact, Syawal is almost over as I’m writing this) however I felt that I needed to document this down somewhere. This Ramadan was a special one for me. It’s one where people who matters were with me in performing acts of worship and devotion to Him. Thereafter when it ended and on the 1st of Syawal, it culminated into one where every single member of my family went to the mosque together to perform our Eid prayers.

It’s like the Lord has especially created all these experiences so that I could keep it somewhere within myself to be accessed and savored during the times when I needed them in future. And for this, I feel such immense gratitude to the Lord for His uncountable mercies in surrounding me with people whom I truly care, love and cherish.

Just a few days ago I was talking to a colleague about how much I’ll miss her when I’m away next year. It surprised me to find that my voice got caught in my throat mid-sentence as I said that and I felt tears in my eyes. I had to quickly look away and not continue with the rest of the things I wanted to say because I knew if I were to go on, those tears will fall.

That incident showed me one thing: that when the time comes for me to fly off, I may potentially find myself leaving a massive, massive, massssssssive portion of my heart here in Singapore.

How do I face that situation when it happens?


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Happiness is a blessing

I think it is safe to say that there are thousands – possibly millions – of websites out there that offer tips on how to be happy. Of course whenever anything is in surfeit, the product/service can come in a range of quality depending on its content (even design, manner of marketing, etc). Out of these plethora of websites, I find that I am able to relate more to those that come across like they truly care in ensuring you will attain happiness.

This idea of attaining happiness came to my mind this week. No matter how useful a site is in dispensing advice on being happy and no matter how closely one follows its suggestions or gets inspired by it, isn’t happiness essentially an entity that will only be realized if God decrees it? That delight one experiences when something good happens to him/her/people they care about is the work of God. Granted, one need not be happy only when something good happens as happiness can transpire even in bad times. Regardless of the form that happiness extended from, it is a blessing from Him.

But sometimes, I forget that everything comes from Him. And that everything on earth – happiness included – is ephemeral.