Friday, 20 February 2015

My Quran And Me

Sometime in January, my fairly new colleague, Sister A, and I decided to embark, or should I say re-embark on our Quran reading journey. Both us were just talking about our journey with the Quran and we both were sharing that we needed to buck up with our recitation.

That was when Sister A thought we could come up with a buddy plan. That we come with a plan of reading schedules and stick to it to the best we can, and at the same time, motivaer each other along the way.

We both jumped at this opportunity and drew up plans and a neat schedule to complete one cycle of recitation by Ramadan. Sister A is expecting her first child, Alhamdhulilah, and wishes to benefit her little one too, with her recitations, In-Shaa-Allah.

It feels really good that there is now a plan that I can follow up with. Sister A and I do random checks with each other on our progress, and nudge the one who has fallen behind.

The days of renovation in our place did see me falling behind, but I am determined to catch up. We are having long holidays with the Lunar New Year festive for the Chinese folks here. So, it has given me some pockets of catch-up time. Alhamdhulilah.

Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu' alyahi wa sallam) said: "The one who is proficient in the recitation of the Quran will be with the honourable and obedient scribes (angles) and he who recites the Quran and finds it difficult to recite, doing his best to recite it in the best way possible, will have a double reward."

(Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

SubhanAllah, such is Islam...

Together, Sister A and I are also reviewing Asma-Al-Husna (the 99 names of Allah) by Ramadan, In-Shaa-Allah.

My recitation schedule and my Quran.

As I was reviewing my tajweed, this site was very useful for a good recap on the rules. I spent some quality time going through all the sessions before I started reading from Juz 1. Alhamdhulilah, it sure was helpful.

Every now and then, when I am not too mentally drained on the commute back home from work, I usually turn on the recitations for the Surah that I am reciting at the moment on my MP3 player - this has been helpful too, Alhamdhulilah. 

"The most beloved of deeds to Allah are the most consistent of them, even if they are few." (Al-Bukhari)

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Appreciating Every Moment...

Our house has just been furbished with new bathrooms - through the Home Improvement Programme (HIP) introduced by the Government. This is a island-wide initiative for mature estates here, that started rolling out for some one and a half-years now (thereabouts). Flats that come under the programme get new bathrooms, doors, gates and items, and home owners pay a very subsidised rate from our Central Provident Fund (CPF).

Alhamdhulilah. Thankful for these that came our way. But two weeks after we were told of the dates that our house would be renovated, I was very anxious. Because the lil catch was this - that we would not be able to use both our bathrooms. They would fix mobile ones below our flats and one in our place in the evenings till the next morning - this was optional though.

The men in my family had no issues with this - Dad, AZ and Brother. But Mum and I couldn't fathom the idea of having to walk down with our headcovers throughout the day.

Trust me, I felt really, really anxious. We then decided to stay over at her friend's place near our home for the 10 days of renovation. Proximity to work and all that really mattered to us.

The day came, and the first day of works left our house in something we didn't, or at least, I didn't quite imagine.

The brown covers were left on till the end of 10 days. The first day I returned from work, Mum had already decided not to stay at her friend's place. She was game enough to use the washrooms below our place -- because they really were clean.

But AZ decided I wouldn't be able to manage. And insisted on getting me packing to Cousin Sister R's place. Her kids were already calling me up at work, all excited to have a guest with them. But at the end of the first day, I just didn't have the heart to leave! When the whole family was ready to endure the conveniences, I just didn't want to chicken out.

That was when I saw the beauty of Allah's works. We had neighbours - of course, people whom we have built a relationship with over time, one Chinese Christian family right opposite us and another beloved Hindhu family above us - who came to our doors to tell us we could pop in their homes anytime for using their showers. Alhamdhulilah.

The Christian sisters had just renovated their home some two years before, and so they opted out. Same went for the nuclear family that lived above us. We were really thankful to them, and we saw how fortunate we were to have such lovely neighbours.

May Allah bless these kind souls abundantly. Ameen.

In taking care of neighbours, Allah (swt) associated them with categories of parents, relatives, orphans, poor and needy. In Surah An-Nisa' (The Women) Allah says:

"Serve God, and join not any partners with Him; and do good -- to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near, neighbours who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and what your right hands posses: for God loves not the arrogant, the vainglorious."  [4:36]

It was quite an experience, these 10 days. For once, the house was always dusty, which meant there was no housework for me. Every nook and corner in the house got dusty; the kitchen, and plates and cups included, so that meant no cooking too.

These times made us realise the blessings we had in our lives too - a place called home, clean sanitation, food on our tables. The workers who did our works heightened our gratitude levels. Their jobs sure weren't easy. They toiled so hard to give us pretty bathrooms but we wondered how many of them and their families enjoyed such facilities in their hometowns. From the stories they shared with us while they took quick breaks sipping on their cold drinks we offered them, I don't think they do.

Thank you, Ya Rabb, for blessing us with so much here. Alhamdhulilah. Alhamdhulilah.
The finished look of one of our bathrooms. The 10 days were really worth the while.