Monday, April 30, 2012

Live in Reality

Assalamualaikum WRT WBT

Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim,

It took me a long time deciding whether I should I write this post or not. But after a long deliberation, I decided I should. And that everyone has their right to their own opinion, therefore, it is not a crime. If freedom of speech is a crime, then we are living in a life where the word freedom isn't used where it should and the belief that we are 'free' is a big fat lie.

There have been so many reports of what happened yesterday. I've heard first hand experiences, second hand, seen pictures that were real, pictures that were fake, true account reports, and falsified ones, and ofkos the report the media wants us to believe.

It baffles me on how people are so quick to believe the media today. We've seen how other countries give falsified reports, we've seen how easy it is to manipulate words, to manipulate videos. We've seen how the west portrays Muslims as terrorists, how they don't really report on what REALLY happened, but show us what they want us to believe.

The reason why the majority of the world are not aware of what is really happening in places like Palestine, Egypt, Africa, Syria is because the news doesnt report it. Secret killings and brutal murders of our fellow Muslims are kept silent, it is kept under wraps because the big countries in power don't want us to know and react. They don't want Muslims to unite and take action.

The media in the west reports only on things that are important to them, that benefit them. Till today, the story on the inhumane killings in Syria is still non-existent. Their way of covering up is so well thought of.

To all those movie lovers, don't tell me that you have never watched conspiracy movies. You see how cover ups are done, you see how the innocent is portrayed as the guilty, you've seen how the innocent are punished for crimes they did not commit. You've seen how easy it is to control a situation where something peaceful is turned into chaos. You've seen this all in movies. How hard do you think it is in reality?

Those who rely 100% on what the media says is a fool. RESEARCH first. Get your facts right before condemning anyone.

It is today where we see how low we can really become when friends insult friends, where family condemn family and where brothers/sister of the SAME Aqidah have pride in violating each other with abusive words.

Today, we see who our friends are.
Today, we see how immature our nation really is
Today, we can separate the ignorant and the well-informed
Today, we really see who is concerned about the future of our country

You should be ashamed. Wake up and live in REALITY. Not what the media wants you to believe

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"Why aren't you married yet?"

Bismilllahi Rahmani Rahim

AssalamualaikumWRT WBT

The time has finally come for me to update my blog. You know how your mind is always working, even in sleep? And yet you find it so difficult to translate what your mind thinks into words that people are able to understand.

In my head right now, there are so many things going on that Im having trouble dealing with every single thing. There are so many issues to cater and to acknowledge, but with the time I have in my hands (both hands), sometimes you feel you're drowning with the responsibilities people have put on your shoulders. And from my experience, meeting other people's expectations is really really hard. Especially when the expectations are so high.

This post is rather emotional and VERY controversial. So to the men, don't read if you don't want your egos being put down.

I really dont understand when people keep asking me, or hinting about me getting married. When? When? Any candidates? SubahanAllah, when my patience is running low, I get these impure and horrible thoughts on how to reply or react. Although we are told to be Sabar, there are times when you feel like you've had enough in dealing with people who are plain insensitive.

I don't get it, when married people keep pestering you about why you're not married yet. "Get married quickly", "It's you're turn next", "When will I be able to eat your nasi minyak?".

Why do people think that its so easy?

Guys reading this, I know you'll have this "Oh no, not about marriage again" thought. But lets face it, I write based on experience, and right now is the phase where people keep asking me about marriage. So Im writing on how I personally deal with it. Haha, so I guess you have to bare with me until this phase ends. Im so sorry. Hehe.

My question again, WHY do people think that getting married is SO easy? Its not. N.O.T, not. Finding a good and reliable guy these days is difficult. Why do I say this? Because it's true. And it's not because I am too choosy.

Last Wednesday, I was invited to give a 'motivational' talk to 40 students from Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UNIKL) MITEC. The 40 students consisted of those who had pointers of 2.0 and below and were just one step towards getting kicked out if they fail again in their next exams.

When they invited me, I cracked my brain on what to talk about. They told me to just share my experience as a UNIKL graduate, and how I finally got the award for best student from my campus during graduation. So ok, I went with that.

The first thing that surprised me when I met with these students were the quantity of male students in this group. 85% of them were male.

What I want to write about is the attitude they gave me. Im sorry guys, but I have to write this based on my point of view. I am not being bias, I write based on what happened to me.

During the talk,  I gave them a piece of paper to write down 3 factors on why they got the results they got. When they were writing, I went around to see what they wrote. Then I asked a few of them to share what they came up with.

One COMMON factor the guys listed out was MALAS (traslation: Too Lazy). Would you believe that the girls didnt write lazy as their reason? And yet, every single boy wrote it down. When I asked them, what do you mean "too lazy"? They answered either "Im too lazy to wake up in the morning", "Im too lazy because I dont even understand what the lecturers are teaching", or "Im too lazy to go to class". Oh my God.

So I went to the girls and told them to think of their future. I told them that we as females have to have a solid education, that we need to have qualifications, and that we need to have plan B. Why? Because the guys today are hampeh (translation: unreliable, cannot be counted on).  And if for any sort of reason, we will have to feed ourselves, we have to support our children ourselves, then to get a steady job, we need our education.

They girls laughed, and the boys gave me a very vocal reaction. Ofkos their egos were being poked, ofkos they felt challenged by my statement. And yet that was exactly the reaction I was going for.

So I threw back the ball in their court. "Ahh, you deny that guys today are unreliable, and yet you were the ones who admitted that you are too lazy to do anything, that you are too lazy to care about your future, and that you are to lazy to try and work hard. How can you deny it when you just admitted to it a few minutes ago?".

SubahanAllah, that was a hard talk. I know it's difficult to expect instant change of attitude, and the talk I gave might just be another typical motivational talk to them. But I pray that at least they realise that as guys, they can't be complacent. They can't take things for granted.

I know my statement was harsh. I know saying that majority of guys today are all hampeh might be untrue. But lets face it, if we really really want to compare, let us look at the universities. During the conference I attended 2 weeks ago, I was surprised to find that other countries have problems in finding females in furthering their studies. According to the research done by one Prof David Radclif, 70% of the faculty and students in the higher education system are males and only 30% are females. THEIR research is on finding ways to promote education to females in their country. The research paper was longer, but I'll not go into it.

So let us look at Malaysia. Obviously we can see how the females are dominating the seats in universities. No matter the course. Maybe in engineering, the guys still hold on to the record. But slowly, the girls are catching up. If there used to only be 3-4 girls in an engineering course, now you can see almost 12-15 girls.

So where are the guys? People assume that in Malaysia, the females are topping off the males. That there are more females compared to males. But you're wrong. Based on the 2010 census report by the Department of Statistics Malaysia, there are 14.56 million males and only 13.77 million females. So, you still think there are less males, therefore that's the reason why the girls are tipping the scales in education? Oh puhlease.

Where on earth are these so called men of Malaysia? I do not want to talk about the already married, already steady career men. These guys are fine, they contribute to the society and they are proven to be reliable (not all, but you get the picture). I am talking about the middle aged youngsters. The youth who are no where to be seen, who don't have jobs, no education. WHY are they not in universities, where are they? Why don't we see them in Masjids, why don't we see them teaching, why don't we see them doing good in the community?

I am so sad. I guess the two programmes I went to this week has brought on this frustration. The first was when I met the university kids. The second, was the teenagers from a school near my house. IKRAM Youth Johor was invited to give a slot to 80 form 3 kids who were among the best students in the school. They were the cream of the cream. They were the group of kids the school expected to get awesome results. And we were there to give them the biggest and most important tip of all to be successful: taking care of your relationship with Allah Taala.

It was great to see how well divided the group was when it came to boys and girls. 50-50. Looking at them, it gave you hope to seeing a better future for the community. Finally, people will no longer compare girls and boys when it came to being excellent in education.

But how wrong I was.

The girls were so great, they gave their full attention, they gave full cooperation, and they respect their elders. The boys? SubahanAllah. None of the above. They gave us attitude after attitude. With pinches of arrogance. They tested our boundaries and kept pushing our patience, button after button. They didn't want to do anything we gave them. Till the point I couldn't take it anymore. So I gave them an earful. A slap in their face. I told them the same story as I told the university kids. And again, I hope they actually get something out of the slap I gave them.

What I don't understand is why guys nowadays think that everything will be laid out to them on a golden platter. Its as if they don't see the need to work hard, that they don't see any reason to keep fighting and keep excelling. They THINK they know everything and they don't NEED to be educated.

Males have bigger responsibilities in EVERYTHING. They are our leaders. They are the ones who we are supposed to look up to. They are the ones who we are supposed to rely on. They are the ones who are supposed to protect us and fight for our rights.

But HOW on earth are we supposed to look up to guys who have no job, who has no education? HOW are we supposed to put our lives in their hands when they are irresponsible? When they just don't want to work hard? HOW are they supposed to support us? HOW are they supposed to fight for our maruah? HOW are we supposed to rely on people who are just plain lazy and have no desire to succeed in life? HOW are we supposed to respect guys who don't value education as something important? Who doesn't practice Islam the right way?

Where are you, the men who will be our leaders? Whom we will be able to rely on? Show yourselves!

I am not saying that all guys are like this. No, that's not right. Im just saying that the reliable kind are becoming extinct by the second. So I repeat my earlier statement; finding a good and reliable guy these days is difficult. And those who are reliable, feel threatened by the achievements a gal has, therefore they back off.,

And you still ask me why Im not married? That's why. It's not because I'm choosy. There's none to choose from.

Wallahu'alam. Please forgive this emotional outburst.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sectarian Violence in Syria, what is our responsibility?

Assalamualaikum WRT WBT

I just came back from a talk by Assoc Prof. Dr Hafizi Md Nor, the chairman of Asqa Syarif. A talk on the "Tears of Syria" which has encouraged me to write about it before going to bed. I don't think I'd be able to sleep before writing this down. And I think I would feel guilty for not taking some time, even a little while on talking about this issue whom many are ignorant and are unaware of.

My biggest confession tonight (or should I say morning), is that I was one of those ignorant people. Before going to the talk, I took for granted that I knew what was happening in Syria. I am ashamed to say that I tot what was happening over there was slightly the same as what happened in Libya or and what is happening in Gaza.

But tonight, Allah has opened my eyes, Allah has woken me from the complacent feeling, Allah has shook me senseless by the reality of the cruelty in Syria.

If for whatever reason, we seriously are not aware of the current issues concerning our fellow brothers and sisters in Syria, then let me be the one to highlight a few things on what I obtained thru the talk tonight. If there are a few facts I have gotten wrong, please correct me.

To tell you the truth, I have no idea how to start. What I found out tonight from the talk has brought me to the point of speechlessness. Its like, I cannot believe what is happening over there, I cannot comprehend on how human beings who no longer think or care about their own families, who torture and brutally kill their own family members because of pure hatred.

Sectarian violence. Violence caused by difference in sects, in religious beliefs and cultures. Astaghfirullahazim. May Allah forgive us for our ignorance.

Syria gained it independence from France in 1945 and was governed by their own people until the era of Hafez Al-Assad who was in power for 32 dictatorial years. After that, his son Basyar Al-Assad took over the regime and has been in power for the past 11 years.

Too much power makes men do terrible things. Holding power for too long makes them greedy till the point they will do practically anything to hold on to their power. When that happens, they will come to the point where they see themselves as gods and arrogantly walk the earth as if they can do whatever they want.

Hafez Al-Assad was a Syiah Nusairiyah (Syiah Alawiy). This 'religion' was formed 200 years after the wafat of our beloved Prophet, Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. Syiah Nusairiyah is a combination of different beliefs and practices which include Islam, Christianity, Pagan and Syiah. They are NOT among what we call our brothers and sisters. Today, they look at Basyar Al-Assad as their god and with pride proclaim that they worship Basyar Al-Assad before anyone. Even Allah Taala.

Ibnu Taimiyyah considers the Nusairiyah far worst and more kafir than the Nasrani and the Majusi. They are of a different kind. They despise Sunni Muslims (those who believe and follow the Sunnah) with pure hatred, they insult and verbally abuse Saidina Aishah r.a and the Ummahatul Mukminin r.a. and so many more unspeakable things. Im afraid to list them out.

Syria comprises of a few different ideologies and beliefs. 78% are Muslim Sunni (ahli sunnah wa jamaah), 10% Christian, 9% Nusayriah (Syiah Alawiy) and 3% Druze. I got this from Dr Hafizi.

The violence towards Sunni Muslims started during the days of Hafez Al-Assad. We were never exposed to what happened in 1982, where Hafez Al-Assad had his army 'hunt' down the Sunni Muslims in Syria like animals with weapons of mass destruction. The attack towards the people of Syria lasted for 27 days and killed nearly 46,000 people. Fourty six THOUSAND people. Age, gender, young or old, women or children -- there were no exceptions. All murdered brutally.

After years and years of facing violence after violence, violence that we were never aware of because it was secretly kept, purposely silenced by the regime, the time came when the people of Syria decided enough was enough. They were violated and oppressed to the point of insanity. With the revolution of Islamic countries, one after the other, whom have also been under regimes and dictators, the spirit of fighting back for their rights finally came to Syria.

The rising of the Syrian people was started by a group of 28 little kids. Having been born and raised in violence and oppression, even they felt something was wrong with their country. Even they felt the killings were wrong and something had to be done. So they wrote slogans on their school walls of how the Syrians wanted to bring down the regime. They wrote the same slogans voiced out and shouted in the countries who were and have succeeded in fighting for change -- Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and now Syria.

The Syrian army caught them and tortured them brutally. These were just kids! Do you know what they did to these innocent children? They were tortured by pulling out their finger nails and toe nails one by one. They were terribly abused, kicked -- think of whatever type of cruelty you can think of, that's what they did to them. Astaghfirullahalazim.

When the families came to demand them back, the regime gave them a condition for the remains and the rest of the abused children. For them to be returned, the families had to give them with their women to be raped and the results of the rape will be the children that they want so badly. That was the last straw -- that was when the rising and the fight for change started.

I just cannot find the words to describe all the other cruelties and violence currently happening in Syria. 30-50 people are killed without any sense of sympathy. Children and babies are beaten to death. Women are raped in front of their husbands, brothers, fathers and children. They are raped for everyone to see.

More information, please go to this link. Click here. The article is in Malay.

So having said that, what is our responsibility in helping our brothers and sisters in Syria? A huge and heavy responsibility rests on our shoulders, where we will be asked on the day of Judgement "What did you do to help your fellow Muslims?" Will we have an answer?

Are we just satisfied by being ignorant about it and see it as something unrelated to us? Are we going to just listen and read and do absolutely no action in helping out? Are we going to be like some so-called Islamic countries who are just sitting idly and zipping their mouths, turning a blind eye? Tepuk dada tanya Iman.

Ulama Amilin Al-Azhar says: Basyar Al-Assad must be killed. The hukum is WAJIB before he tortures and kills more Muslims

Dr Muhammad Badi' (Mursyidul Am Ikhwanul Muslimin) guarantees: Basyar Al-Assad will be punished by his countrymen for the cruelty he has put them thru.

Dr. Yusuf Al-Qardhawi promises that the people of Syria will get their victory and promises to have Jumaah prayer and give the khutbah in Damsyik one day.

95% of the Ulama around the world are voicing out their disagreement on the actions of Basyar Al-Assad's regime. They are doing their part in freeing the people of Syria. What are you doing?

Living in the world of cyber space, an era of Facebook, Twitter and Blogging, use the technology to our advantage. Spread the message across, be the agent of change, be the person who talks about Syria to others. Be the ones to wake the sleeping up. Open their eyes and help make a change.

Our Ummah is under attack from all sorts of bathil. It is in our hands to fight them off for the sake of our Aqidah. Allah is always on our side, we have the power of Doa, our most biggest and strongest weapon. So the only way we should go is forward, no looking back.

Spread the word. Wallahu'alam

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Madinah: The Land of Our Prophet

Assalamualaikum WRT WBT

I guess, tonight is the night where I finally get to update this blog of mine. A huge appreciation to my fellow readers whom have been very loyal and very patient with me. Its almost 5 weeks now since my last post. I do apologise.

How has every body been? I sure hope in the best of health. I havent been purposely ignoring this blog if that thought ever popped into your minds. As I mentioned in my previous post, I went for Umrah for 2 weeks. The other week.. well, lets just say I was suffering from the post-Umrah 'syndrome' i.e coughing, fever, sore throat -- the entire package.

Till today, my voice hasnt 100% recovered. Im still very reluctant to answer any calls (which might explain why I havent been accepting any calls from anyone for the past week. I do apologise).

Today's post will be a little personal. Im just giving everyone a heads up. If you are expecting a general tazkirah like I always do, then I sure hope you will not be so disappointed with this one.

People generally assume that when one comes back from the Holy Land of Makkah and Madinah, there are bound to be changes. Changes 'should' be seen in how the person talks, how the person dresses and how a person views life. Although, by default this should be true, it isn't usually the case.

Every person's experience being in Masjidil Haram, being in Raudhah and being right within arms reach of Kaabah is different. I would like to write my experience here today, because I have this feeling that, if I dont write it down, it'll seem like a dream, that it will seem what I went thru was just my mind playing tricks or just something conjured up by my imagination. I am writing this down so that the memories I have, will be forever recorded in my mind and in my heart. This post will be divided into two: Madinah and Makkah.

I have been refraining myself talking about my experience for a week now. Without a voice, you dont really have a choice. You cant tell people how you feel, what you experienced, how it felt just being there. Although, the best time to actually write is right after a certain event happened, I didnt think my time in the Holy Lands should be spent on writing feelings and experiences in my blog. My time was for Allah and Allah alone. So here goes..


Honestly, I was scared when the time came for us to actually go to Madinah (yes, we went there first). From Istanbul, it was about 4 hours. The feeling of actually going to Masjid Nabawi, visiting Rasulullah. With all the things I have done thruout my life, one of the things I fear most is that I will not be accepted as one of Ummat Nabi Muhammad.

From the airport, we took the bus to the city of Madinah. I had absolutely no idea what to expect. It was about 4 in the morning. Tired, sleepy and wishing for a bed, the city was a blur. The first thing I saw was the signboards of the shops. Squinting away as the signs passed by, I tried to read whatever I could understand. I sat up when our guide said "To those who have never been to Madinah, there you can see the minarets of
Masjid Nabawi".

MashaAllah, from afar you can see how the Masjid was lit up. I didnt know what to feel. I was just stunned that we were finally there in Madinah.

Along the way, I didnt get to see the whole view of the Mosque. The only thing we saw were the tip of the minarets. The sense of reality didnt really hit me, even when we checked into our rooms. At that time, the bed was what we were looking forward for. Just a good lie down. I couldnt even think straight. We were too tired, lacking in rest and a good night sleep.

Right after breakfast, we gathered with the group and set off to Masjid Nabawi. Again, I didnt know what to expect. Before this, the only exposure I had to it was from stories, from snaps of photos, but never was I able to imagine how it would look as a whole. And MashaAllah, was I in for a surprise.

As we walked to the mosque, we finally reached the gates, I was welcomed by the feeling of surprise. It was HUGE! The first thing that caught my eyes were the tents. I never imagined how big they were. I had heard people talking about these tents that can be retracted when it was night time, but MashaAllah, I never thought they were that big. AND, never in my mind did I think the massiveness of the Mosque itself.

The first destination was of course, Makam Nabi. It took nearly 20 minutes just to get there. You can imagine how far we had to go, and how HUGE the mosque actually was. It was far. I know I can try to describe it all I want, but how you imagine it and how it really is will be totally different. You have to go an see it for yourself to actually understand.

From the pictures, I can assure you that it doesnt seem to bring the Mosque any justice. Its tall and beautiful minarets, its beautiful carvings, the abstractness of its tents, MashaAllah. its unforgettable.

Our hotel was somewhere at the east side of the Mosque. And Rasulullah's resting place was on the west side. So as we walked along the Masjid grounds (all covered with the tents), it was cool and very calming. Although the people were so many around us, the Mosque was so huge, it didnt seem that many. There were still big empty spots all around the grounds. Did I also tell you that the grounds of the Masjid were all in marble? Beautiful shiny and cool marble all around. So people just sat where ever they want. As we were walking, we had to go thru people who were sitting down, people who were with their families, husbands who were waiting for their wives, and even people just sleeping.

We arrived at the Baqi' Cemetery (Perkuburan Baqi') first. It is said that our very own Saidina Uthman bin Affan is laid to rest here with the other Syuhada' and Mujahidins. Also Rasulullah's daughters and others who were with Rasulullah till his day of wafat. The reason why I say "it is said" is because the graves cannot be identified. This is because each grave is only marked with simple and small stones, with no wordings. You can google the images if you want to know what I mean.

So we said our prayers and our guide brought us a little closer to Makam Rasulullah s.a.w (which was basically the opposite of the Baqi' Cemetery. In Masjid Nabawi, if you look at the roof, the green dome marks where Rasulullah is buried. Beside our prophet is Saidina Abu Bakar. And beside him is Saidina Umar Al-Khattab.

During our first visit to Rasulullah's resting place, we didnt get a chance to go very near. However, for me, this was close enough. I could still feel so close to him, I could still feel a jumble of emotions. During this time, all I could think of was "Ya Rasulullah, I feel so ashamed. I am ashamed of all the things I have done, that do not follow your Sunnah. Ya Allah, please make me among those who will be under Your protection, those whom will get Rasulullah's syafaat during the day of Judgement." and so much more.

Thinking back on the memories I have about being in Madinah, there are too many for me to tell people. Some are sad, heartbreaking. Some are inspiring. Some just makes you feel so grateful. I will not write about all of them bcos for me, there are some things best left in your memory, bcos some of them were Allah's way in teaching you to be patient.

A few things that really made a stamp in my mind were the things I never expected. For instance, Raudhah. Before actually going there, I kept hearing stories on how Raudhah is, how to strategically get the chance to go in and pray, how small it was and how fortunate it is to get a chance to go in.

Even after having prepared myself with these types of stories, the actual experience is something altogether different than whatever you had in mind, whatever you expected. I will tell you my experience of going into Raudhah. Here is my story.

Before actually going to Madinah, Mak and Ayah always told us to pray and keep praying for the chance to go into Raudhah, bcos only those given permission by Allah will have such an honour.

For those who do not know, Raudhah is a small area between Rasulullah's house and his mimbar when he was alive. Rasulullah s.a.w has once said how this area is Raudhah (which means garden) from the Gardens of Jannah, where ones prayers will be maqbul. Which explains why everyone is always praying for a chance to go into this small but very important and meaningful area.

In Masjid Nabawi, what separates and distinguishes the area of Raudhah and the rest of the Masjid is its carpet. The area of Raudhah in marked with a beautiful soft green carpet with flowers. The rest of the Masjid is covered with red carpets (as seen the picture above). Females were not allowed to bring any cameras or hand phones so Im importing pictures from the web.

My family and I (females only ofkos) only got the chance to enter Raudhah on our 3rd and final night in Madinah. We were informed that the nisa' were only given the chance for Ziarah (which is the term they use) between 9p.m to 12a.m. And since it was our last night in Madinah before heading off to Makkah, it would be our last chance no matter what. So we stayed back after Isya' prayer. As everyone was reading Quran or just talking among each other, waiting for 9p.m., one of the female guards came to my grandma and asked if she wanted to go for Ziarah.

Before I go into the story, let me tell you about these female guards. They are the ones wearing black from top to bottom, covering everything except their eyes. They usually stand at the entrance of the Masjid to check our bags for any cameras or hand phones. They come in all shapes and sizes, and they can be strict or kind based on situation. AND to our surprise, they can speak any possible language including Malay. Haha. There was this one time when we came to the Masjid at around 3a.m. for qiamullail, and this guard greeted my grandma. "Ibu, apa kaba?" Hehhehe.. we were really surprised. But ofkos the pronunciation was a little pelat and a little more towards Indonesian. But they understood us when we talked in Malay. Surprising but true.

Ok, back to the story

I guess the lady guard came to my grandma cos she was in a wheelchair. So when we answered yes, she told us to go to gate number 5. We had no idea what it meant, but we went to the direction she pointed us to. Again, I had absolutely no experience in how everything was going to go, so my sisters and I just followed mak to gate 5. When we reached there, we noticed that there was a long line for those with wheelchairs only. Which ofkos means, the 3 of us (me, Aimi and Aida) had to separate with Mak.

Having no idea what to do, being the eldest among the three, my sisters looked at me on how to proceed. Haha scary experience I tell you. Looking around, I had this feeling that people were gathering together according to Country. Its pretty difficult to ignore the facts when you see a whole bunch of Turkish ladies (and I mean a LOT) sitting down together and calling their friends to come and join them. So I decided to look for those from Malaysia (which can easily be recognised since majority of them wear Telekung).

We found a small group of 20 Malaysians and sat with them. I asked the Makcik in front of us on how things are actually done during this time, and she told me that the guards will call us according to turns based on our country or our language. So she said that we'll just wait until they call us Malaysians and walk with the group. Oh okey.. so there is a system.

But while sitting with the small group, I found myself thinking. During prayers, a LOT of Malaysians were among the Jamaah. So it was weird that there were only 20 lining up, couldn't be! As a precaution, I wanted to go around the Masjid to see if there was another bigger group of Malaysians. But seeing my sisters scared faces, I told them to go and I'd be the one to stay put. So they went and called to me when they confirmed my instinct. So we moved right in front of gate 3.

While waiting, there were a few ladies who got up and left the Masjid. When asked why, we heard them say something like "ala, nanti mesti mcm semalam, diorg bagi kite laaast sekali masuk" (translation: "huh, this is going to be like yesterday where they let us into Raudhah last") which was ofkos with an unsatisfied tone. As if it was going to take too long and they didnt have the patience to wait.

But again, since it was our first time, we didnt comment and tried not to have any bad impression with the situation at hand. In front of every 'group', we saw a lady guard who was holding up a sign. Ours wrote "Bahasa Malayu", so we assumed we would have to follow her instructions. During this time, I saw something very impressive and very moving. It was during this time I felt proud being a Malaysian.

When you are mixed with all the races, all types of people around the world, you will notice how people behave. Whilst looking around us, I noticed how well behaved the group of Malaysians and Indonesian were compared to the others. When the lady guard told us to sit "ibu-ibu, dodok", everyone sat. I looked around the lady guards were all saying the same thing to the other groups, and yet they were ignoring them. They still stood and talked among each other. Some where on their feet ready to run.

Our group were all still sitting, which was why we were able to see everything that happened next. Gate 3 was right in front of us, so we saw a figure of someone behind the gate, ready to unlock it. I guess everyone else saw it too. That's when all the running and shoving started. Just imagine, we were perfectly waiting in line in front of the gate, sitting patiently. But as the gate was opened, people came running from both right and left of our group, fighting their way into the gate. I was so shocked!

The people in our group started to stand up seeing this commotion. In my head it was "Emmm.. it is the norm? Are we supposed to run and fight?" But as we stood, the lady guard in front of us told us to Sabr and sit back down. So it confirms my assumption that these people who are running and shoving weren't supposed to do that.

So we waited until the lady guard in front of us started moving into the gate. Bare in mind that the pushing and shoving were still going on from every direction.

Aimi, Aida and I just walked along with the crowd having no idea what to expect when we actually reach Raudhah. During this point, somehow or rather, we ended up just a few metres away from Raudhah. Three of us being the tall ones in the crowd, we could see the room where Rasulullah s.a.w and Abu Bakar and Umar were laid to rest, which is where all there of us started to get emotional. We said our Salam to our beloved Prophet and his friends.

I'm not sure how to explain what happened next. The place allocated for the nisa' in Raudhah is very small. It was only like 6 saff for prayer where each saff could only fit 10 people in a row. So you can imagine how small it was to accommodate the vast number of people coming in.

As we came into the area (which was not yet Raudhah), we were FORCED to move forward. Ya Allah, this was the start of a very painful and upsetting experience. It was bizarre on how we ended up in the crowd. As we looked around us, we noticed that there were no Malaysians other than us. Somehow or rather, we were separated from our earlier Malaysian group and was among the group that shoved and pushed however they felt convenient for them.

You can't see the shoving here, but basically,
this was how it looked like
I dont know how to describe the situation, but it was so crowded, there was nothing, not even a small space to separate you from the person in front of you and the person behind you. We were stuck in a place where pushing came from every single direction. People elbowed, shoved, pushed and fought to get into Raudhah. Ya Allah, it was so upsetting.

Since we were tall, we could see the lady guards who were standing on chairs to control the crowd. They were shouting to tell the crowd to stop pushing forward because there was no space, and the people in front were praying. But nooo.. these people just ignored the instructions and pushed on forward.

My sisters and I are big and tall, we thought people wouldnt dare to push us. But again, no.. they kept pushing us forward. But we did hold our ground for 20 minutes, till the point our feet hurt from all the restraining. Allah really tested our patience during this time. I guess it was His way of testing us if we really wanted to go into Raudhah and to test if we have what it takes to be Sabar in the process.

My sisters and I were crying all the way. As for me, personally I cried because I was near Rasulullah. Yes, Rasulullah's makam was just beside Raudhah. I also cried because I felt it was impossible to have a chance to pray in Raudhah with this situation we were in. I cried because I really wanted to, but might not have the chance. Secondly, I cried because I felt so ashamed with how the rest of us were acting. Pushing and hurting others just to get a chance to pray in Raudhah. That's not how it's supposed to be! People should be ashamed! Rasulullah was just there beside us! We shouldnt be acting this way!

Thirdly, I was crying because it hurt. My sisters kept asking me "Kakngah, kenapa mcm ni?" (Translation: "Kakngah, why is it like this?"). I had no idea.

When people still kept pushing us, I turned around to the person pushing and asked them nicely to stop. I told them to Sabar, I told them to wait because people in front were praying. I also told them to read the sign above us that asks us to not push and be patient. It was in every language, so everyone should try to understand. I was crying when talking to the people around us who still kept pushing.

We still held our ground, not allowing people to pass us because there wasn't anywhere to go even if we let them pass. So since pushing didnt help their cause, some resulted in tickling us. Astaghfirullahalazim. What people do when they are selfish. My sisters were all crying and telling me how it hurts. I had had enough, so I told those who were still pushing and tickling to go on ahead of us. We couldn't take the pain anymore.

As this was happening, we were still forced by the crowd to move forward. Crying was now something of a norm to us by then. We could always find things to cry about. But we were saying istighfar every step of the way. This went on for more than 45 minutes, till Aida noticed something.

"Kakngah, cuba tengok carpet" (Translation: "Kakngah, look at the carpet"). All three of us looked down, and MashaAllah, we were in the green carpet area! Ya Allah! Thank you!

So I told my sisters to doa and ask Allah for whatever they want. With the pushing still going on, we already accepted the fact that we might not have the chance to pray. So we said our doa as best we can and moved on. We were so exhausted. Even our walk was slow because it hurt too much from all the pushing around us. But we were all grateful for the chance to say our doa, no matter how hard it was to get there.

We understood and accepted that we weren't given Allah's permission to pray in Raudhah. We were sad, but we accepted it.

As we walked towards the exit, we talked about how our slippers were with Mak and the fact that we might have to walk barefoot back to the hotel. Walking thru the Masjid, we were led towards the gate we came in. It was during this point where we noticed the earlier Malaysian group. They were still waiting patiently for their turn.

In my heart I knew that our earlier experience in Raudhah was Allah's test, and this was His way of rewarding us for being patient, He was giving us a second chance. So I asked my sisters if we'd like to try again. There might be the possibility we'd be able to pray. They agreed.

So we went back in line with the Malaysian group to wait our turn. But I told my sisters that since we already had our chance the first time, we should let the others go in first, we can go last. So we waited, and waited. We noticed how the lady guards let all the other nationalities to thru and kept our group at bay. Alhamdulillah, no one resisted, no one protested. Again, I felt proud being a Malaysian.

At precisely 12a.m., the lady guards gave us the chance for our groups turn. MashaAllah, I was surprised with the situation. No pushing, no shoving, no shouting, no fighting. Everyone was considerate. It was totally opposite of what we experienced in the first round. I was crying just by noticing this. We were right at the back of the crowd. Like I told my sisters, we should let the others go in first because we've been inside before. So when the turn came for us to pray, I told my sisters to pray first, I'd wait for them to finish.

As I waited, one of the lady guard called me "Sister, go pray in front". I looked at her, disbelieving what she said. Could there be a chance for me to pray at the front? She repeated her statement two times, and came to me to show the place she meant. I had to clear my head to believe this. But I went to the place she pointed. And praise be to Allah, I prayed in the 2nd Saff from the front. Alhamdulillah. You don't know how grateful I was, how moved and how appreciative I was for this chance.

After we prayed and said our doa, I heard the lady guards say "Ibu-ibu, cepat keluar. Iran mahu masuk" (Translation: "Sisters, please exit quickly, the Iranian group is about to enter"). Having the terrible first experience with the other nationalities, I finished my doa and headed out.

We walked slowly back to the hotel. Barefoot. Hehhe. As we walked, we reflected on what happened. I saw smiles on my sisters' faces. The ending of the day was something worth remembering. It was an event and experience to be remembered till the day we die. Allah's test on our patience, and Allah's reward right after.

The walk to the hotel was a very long one. So as we were talking, we played a game with the floor. No touching the lines, just as a way for us to pass the time, an effort in ignoring how our feet hurt from the pushing, and how far the hotel was.

We reached our hotel room at nearly 1.00am. Still ecstatic from our experience, but exhausted by it too.

That's basically my experience entering Raudhah. Im sure everyone has their own cherished experience, and I know everyone is affected in their own special way.

Allah did give us a hard lesson to learn. No matter how hard it was for us to go thru the first experience, it has made me matured in so many ways. It has made me understand the meaning of Sabar and the meaning of being grateful. Allah has taught me what it means to go thru hardship first before He gives his reward. I understand this, literally. I now understand this concept and it will forever be stamped in my mind. Thank you Allah for this experience. I always find myself with tears when telling my story to others or just remembering it. It is something I will NEVER forget.

My last Subuh prayer was also an emotional one. One of the saddest and hardest thing I faced in Madinah was saying goodbye to Rasulullah s.a.w. I pray I will get a chance to go and visit him again.

I also pray I will be among those under his syafaat in the Day of Judgement. That I will be among his Ummah. As Maher Zain's song goes, I hope when he sees me, he will smile. InsyaAllah.

Ya Allah, keep me in this path. Protect me and make me strong.

That's basically my story in Madinah. There is so much to tell. Especially during our visit to Uhud. Im going to have to write about that one in another post.  I'll also do another one for Makkah :)

Hope you gained some insight and gained some new knowledge thru my experience. I hope there were some lessons learned, some examples to follow. Thank you for reading.

Till next time, InsyaAllah.