Thursday, February 09, 2012

Mutual Understandings

Assalamualaikum WRT WBT

Last Friday, like any other Friday, we had a small yet fun gathering of gals called Circle of Eiman. Basically, its an Usrah group that I have other than my usual Usrah. But this group consists of Sisters from around the world. Mostly international students in UTM.

These Friday gatherings (I've been to about 5 times), are always sessions where I find Allah opening my eyes a little wider than usual. He makes me see the beauty of Islam that is practiced all around the globe.

We have sisters mainly from Turkey, but there are a couple of sisters from Yemen, a sister from Somalia, one from Pakistan, two from Uygur and one from China. And ofkos, us girls from Malaysia :P

I have to admit that we (the ones from Malaysia) are just there to add flavour to the group. But again, it has been an enjoyable experience. Especially when talking about different cultures and sharing about Islam.

One of the things that really impresses me, is that the sisters from Turkey really really know their History. Especially when talking about the Uthman Empire. Well, it is to be expected since they held a huge role in it's history. But what made me so impressed was how enthusiastic the sister was.

I have to admit that I find it rather difficult to talk about Islam in English. Although I try to write, but speaking about it, expressing the teachings of Islam, explaining the meaning behind an ayat in the Quran with this western language makes me a little scared inside. Although I pride myself in expressing my FEELINGS so much better in English, it is a complete opposite when talking about this way of life.

Which is why these gatherings are so wonderful. I get to practice talking about Islam in English. We get to discuss and 'argue' and share.

Even though the knowledge we have been taught in school is very advanced, the ilmu we have to sponge in is vast and insyaAllah will stay with us in our life practices, but it was unfortunate for me that all these were in Malay. Which means, I only know the terms and words in Malay.

Reading English translations of the Quran, I find words that are way way out of my vocabulary. Truthfully, at first I found it difficult to understand. Maybe because my mind was only exposed to the Malay version, and conditioned to only understand ONE particular translation. Sometimes, when reading the Quran at COE, we make the other sisters read the translations in their own mother tongue. Just to expose everyone to different languages. Its really cool.

But having said that, I now fully grasp the meaning behind "Arabic the language of Paradise". EVEN when explaining and talking about Islam becomes a difficulty, no matter where we are from, each and everyone of our sisters in COE will use Arabic words when talking. And EVERYONE understands too. Isn't that just beautiful?

In school, one of my many difficult subject was indeed Arabic Language. If the teacher was considerate and sporting, then it would be fun. My favourite Arabic teacher was Ustazah Zuraidah Aman. She was the coolest because she will consider all types of students. I was one of the slow ones when it came to Arabic. Maybe because I didn't fully understand, mainly because I think my Arab teacher in primary school wasn't very good :P. BUT in Ustazah Zuraidah's class, I was able to get an A. An A ok. That for me is such a miracle. One of the things she taught me (which I practiced till I finished school) was NOT to memorise an essay for exams. Seriously, I never did. What I did before every exam was memorise different words that can be used rather than a whole essay. Because lets face it, that's what makes an essay good. Variety of words.

As a result of not enjoying the majority of years learning Arabic, I wasn't very good. I only understood simple simple words. I understand some words when reading the Quran, I sometimes get jiffs of words when I hear someone talking in Arabic (I get some words, and self-translate the whole sentence based on assumptions. Hahaha). But apart from that, I didnt pursue to improve my vocab, I didnt do any revision what so ever since finishing high school.

Which made me pleasantly surprised when I was pushed into a conversation with this Arab-speaking uncle a few days ago, and I was able to understand and reply! Its been 11 YEARS since I left school (man do I feel old). Anyway, its been more than 10 years since anyone has spoken Arabic with me. So I was seriously freaking out when this Pakcik tegur me.

I was minding my own business, browsing thru some Muslimah socks at a local souk, when I was asked "Kaifa Haluki?". Ofkos I still remember how to reply. Hehhe. So when the uncle heard me reply in Arab, he straight away asked questions one by one. Hehhehhehe again, I understood and replied. There were words that I forgot, so when he saw my face go all confused, he surprised ME by translating the words in Malay. Hahhahhhaha. But Alhamdulillah, I have not forgotten the basics. I need to revise, and learn back words I used to know.

Bila dah tua ni, baru I start to appreciate the beauty and importance of the Arabic Language. Oh how I wish I took my studies seriously. Hehe. One of my many dreams in life is to at least be able to converse in Arabic.  I need a good and patient teacher. Which is why, I adore Arab-talking guys. I find those who have such an ability to be so sexy and so attractive in my eyes. Which is why, I would just LOVE to have a husband who is fasih in Arabic.

If only I were worthy of such a man.


  1. I am learning arabic sikit2 with your sis. :D

    eh macam i je tu dok memorise karangan. but in my defense, i stil merangkak buat ayat, suruh i but karangan pasal communication of modern and old. ok excuse

  2. Hehe.. I used to memorise too. But it brought me more trouble than good (especially when the essay i memorised didnt come out in the exams), ha dah tersangkut. Hehheh. So i changed methods since.

    Good for you akak! You go girl! Hehe


Did you like that post? Please share your thoughts