Good End

I’ve wanted to head to Umra ever since I came back from KSA 7 years ago. Recently, I got the chance to go again as a school trip, and unfortunately, I don’t have a mahram. This fact was the last thing I had in mind. I searched a lot about Umra being accepted without the company of a mahram and found out that it would, except that you’ll be going against the Sunnah in the process. It took me days to be convinced and think logically. It’s not written for me, so why fight it?

My friends, for some unknown reason, are not going either. And others chose weddings over the chance of visiting bait Allah in Makka and AlMadina. I can’t understand this kind of people, those who can’t make up their mind and have the guts to compare the two. Your sister, aunt, cousin, uncle is getting married. So what? And what, in the world, is it going to do to you? ‘
Weddings are once a life time.. .’ Oh yeah? What about accomplishing a religious pilgrim? How on earth are you going to make sure that you’ll live till you have the chance to do Umra again? There are no guarantees. Actually, no one’s life should be taken for granted, because they aren’t, as simple as that.

Who knows, you might drop dead before attending the wedding. Wouldn’t it be better if you passed away while you had the pure intention of doing Umra and visiting the Prophet’s (Peace Be Upon Him) grave? All these pleasures of life are temporary. One day, you would die, you have got no say in this, and you will leave everything behind. What you gained from an enormous amount of money wouldn’t matter, not then, when you’re in the womb of your own grave, under the ground, just like you have never existed. This can change based on your good deeds in life and what you worked for the hereafter.

عن أبي هريرة أن رسول الله قال:
إذا مات ابن آدم انقطع عمله إلا من ثلاث: صدقة جارية، أو علم ينتفع به، أو ولد صالح يدعوا له..

Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) said: "When a person dies all his good deeds cease except for three: a continuous charity, beneficial knowledge, and a righteous son who supplicates for him." [Muslim]

Basically the Hadith mentions the three important things;

1. Continuous charity: Such as building mosques, schools, or any other forms of institutes that serves a good cause.

2. Gaining Knowledge:The first verse of the Quran that was sent from Allah (SWT) through Jibreel (PBUH) to the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) was ‘اقرأ’ meaning ‘read’ emphasizing on the importance of learning and gaining knowledge, not to forget, enlightening others.

3. A righteous son: raising your child based on religious beliefs is one of the things that would benefit you and the community during your presence and after your death.

This leads me to mention my second cousin’s death on Dec, 26th. She was in her mid-twenties, a young, beautiful and intelligent girl who drew smiles on everyone’s face. A couple of months ago, she was suffering from TB, and was somehow okay afterwards, so she returned back home. Things were slightly better till she was due to travel for treatment. All her close friends and family members gathered around before that day to say goodbye, and how lucky they were as she was gone for real the other morning.

Her death came to us as a shock; she was an easy-going person with a great sense of humor and cheerful personality, and just as she was alive, she passed away peacefully. (God bless her and may she rest in peace)

At the funeral, I couldn’t imagine how her mother would look like after she had just lost her only daughter, thus I was surprised by what I saw from the mother’s behaviour. There were no tears streaming down her eyes, no loud cries or anything of that sort. All I had to say was Mashallah, she’s one faithful women. She accepts and strongly believes in Allah’s qadar as she’s also aware of her daughter’s place; heaven, inshallah.

A lot of people attended the funeral, but mostly her friends whom she met in Islamic lectures. She had made sure to never miss a chance. A true example of a muslim woman indeed. My mother was amazed by how bright my cousin’s face was after the 3’osil, even though she was a bit tan.

One could only hope to be such an obedient person to be both remembered and blessed.

Don't we all just wish to be like this man?

اللهم ارزقنا حسن الخاتمة ~

+ On a different note, I recently got the chance to sit down with a newly-muslim women who just got into Islam (a few weeks ago) and her two children. We’ll meet up sometime this week plus my mom’s friend who’s an Islamic teacher (and have done this a lot of times before). She asked me to join since I’m pretty interested and might be of help in translation.

The question here is what are they supposed to know?

We can’t mention everything from the beginning so as not to scare her and the kids off, but we’ll surely start off with the basics. Do they need evidence from the Qu’ran or Hadith?

And have you ever been in this situation before? How and what did you do/say exactly?

First Grade

In my memory of 1st grade, I am very excited on the first day of school, and I am wearing my light-blue uniform with the white t-shirt for the first time. I insist on getting my hair done by mom, and not the maid, to look extra special.

My Entrance
We enter the huge school together (my mother, little brother and I) My mom talks to the kindergarten teacher and admits my brother in. ‘Where are you going?’ my brother asks with terrified looks, and I decide that I would never forget how he looked like. ‘I will get your sister in her class and get back to you. Go on now’. The teacher gives my brother a wide smile, the same one she gave hundreds of children before him.

We climb the long staircase to the next floor, where my classroom is. I am older than my brother, and this mere fact must explain why we are separated by different floors. My mother stands in front of me while she talks with the teacher. I am on the last step of the staircase and a while later, I find myself half falling backwards as I hold on to mom’s Abaya, she pulls me back. The rush of adrenaline excites me more then ever, making me forget what might have happened.

I get into my class and sit on the seat. My mother peeks in and says goodbye. I do not cry, I think we are not supposed to cry in class so I hold back my tears.

Downstairs, my mom passes by my brother’s opened-door classroom. He runs towards her as if she was gone for ages. He says ‘I do not want to go back’, and he never did after that day.

Weird Little Girl
On one of the lunch breaks, I walk by students playing football on the field and before I know it, a bomb slaps my face so hard that I do not have the time to absorb what the hell just happened. I give the guys their ball back, and they give me curious looks in return. ‘Why isn’t she crying?’ they must be thinking, but I do not cry then either.

One day, a maid comes out of my friend’s house and shakes her head, an indication that he is not coming to the bus. Little did I know what she meant was he is not coming back ever again. He is dead, and you do not see dead people anymore. On that same day, one of the teachers announces the death of our little friend. He asks us to recite the fatihah so I do as I am told without realizing why.

Extra Role
Through the year, I was having an extra role besides being a student. I was a social helper of B; A girl with physical disabilities, and the teachers appointed me to take care of her. I do not know how it all started but I have been feeding, carrying, taking care of her, writing both her class work and homework and other sorts of things you expect from a paid social helper to do, except that I did not get paid.

During the classes, the teachers used to call me if B needed to go to the toilet. I would help her walk, open the toilet door for her, seat her and clean her. I used to do all of this when I was only 7. When I finish my class work, I would do B’s. Whenever B needs to get out of the class, I would follow her, as a lifeless shadow.

At the end of the day, I would carry two bags; B’s and mine. Children often made fun of B’s bag as it was Pepsi’s brand so they used to push me down the stairs, and calling me all sorts of names. I did not respond because I knew I had another mission to accomplish next; Walk B to her bus then head to my own. I would make sure she is safely seated on the bus seat and place her bag on her lap, then run as fast as I could to where my bus is. Scolding fits from the responsible teacher of the bus was a routine I had to get used to along with the others.

Except The Unexpected
On the few, last remaining days of first grade, I told my parents about my second job as a social worker. Dad was in rage and Mom asked me why I have kept this down for so long. I could not bring myself to answer the question I have never known. Dad asked me to simply say no when a teacher asks me to escort B anywhere.

I made up my mind and did exactly what I was told but perhaps I was too young to expect a response.

Why not?’ the teacher asked me the other day for the first time, I repeated what my Dad told me to thinking it was ought to end the discussion ‘Because my Dad said so’. My teacher hesitated for a while as she registered what I just said. She too, did not expect this particular response from me. I was her loyal student, she must have thought. After seconds of building up a way to say it nicely, she said ‘do not you want to go to heaven?’ Why is she asking me a stupid question now of all times? What has this got to do with what we are talking about now? I thought. ‘Yes...’ I said, blindly. ‘Then you should help others’ she was right, for all I know. ‘You are right, but my Dad said don’t...’ My Dad has not asked me to say anything other than this, so I just repeated it again, stupidly. She, eventually, called a teacher to escort B out. My teacher was taken aback by what I said, and the mere thought saddened me.

Lightening Strikes
The bell rang announcing the end of the day. I ditched B that day, but my conscious won over me, so I stood somewhere beside the staircase to make sure if B is fine. What I saw next struck me like a lightening and it all happened so fast, as if you’re forwarding a movie just to know what would happen to the lead actress, except this was reality.

B couldn’t help but slip over and roll down the staircase till she hit the floor with a loud thud, with her bag caught in between her legs. She was a mess, and the look on her face was as if she were holding for dear life. I did not know what to do next so I ran to save my own life as well. It was the end of first grade, and as weird as it has started, it ended.

6 years later, I was shoe-shopping with mom and that’s when I saw B for the first time after that horrible accident. She was walking perfectly fine, with the help of her sister. She did not recognize me, but I did, for sure. She has not changed much, although she grew taller.

I wanted to say hello, then thought better not to. What would I have told her, anyway? Remember the girl who made you roll down the staircase on first grade? The girl who caused you injuries just because she got fed up of walking, carrying, and taking care of you, and the fact that this girl was the same age as you were and it was you who ruined first grade’s memory for her? No, I could not say this, when in fact, I kept quiet for so long and eventually wanted things to change. Things were fine before that day, to B, of course. She was safe for a whole year, and someday, based on an irrational choice, she did not know what hit her.

Over the years, the guilt of what I have done haunted me. It made me know what the word regret really means. For years, I thought I had done the right thing at the wrong time, but now, things have changed and I think of it the other way around. I should have helped her till the end. It’s not her fault that she has physical disabilities, and it sure wasn’t mine either. However, it was my fault to have left her alone that day. I can’t imagine how badly injured she was when all I did was watch and run, afraid of my own safety.

I was a selfish little first grader.

Inspirational Quotes

'The tragedy of life is not death, but what we let die inside of us while we live'.

Sometimes, we just lose the sense of living. We wish that we were not brought up to this world in the first place. We cheat, lie, kill, and do other sorts of things and that’s when the regret part comes in. We often think that this sweet feeling of remorse can simply erase the others off. We walk around knowing we’re on the right path, and there’s nothing, not even a single thing can change this, when in fact, we simply lost our values and ethics in order to cope up with our surrounding. Life is ripping the humanity out of us just so it could give us a space on it. We must not forget the people we’re living close by are also humans, just like us, and by a word, we can easily hurt them. Saying sorry is the least we could do in this situation, even though they might not get over it, but at least know that your job is over by uttering this 5 letter word.

'We don't really forget anything bad that happened to us, we simply choose to ignore it to be able to move on'.

One of the blessings we own is the fact that we’re able to forget. Forget and move on, as if nothing happened. Though there are certain things which we carry along with us no matter what. It’s usually the bad things we’ve been through and decided to forgo to be able to live without the knowledge of its existence. It brings great joy to us if we believed we’re living the perfect life. The only sad thing is, we’re actually not.

[Book Reviews] Recent Read

Before We Say GoodBye by Louise Candlish

To cut it short, Louise’s story plots are very similar in every aspect. Someone loses a close family member then isolate him/her self from their normal life and get to live in a fantasy world, building up other relations elsewhere. ~ 4/10.

Thirst by Christopher Pike

Thirst #1 is divided into three books; The Last Vampire, Black Blood, Red Dice. Basically, the story is about a vampire girl, Sita, who tries her best to cover up her identify and if anything gets in her way, she takes away their lives. It was my first time getting into horror, and I enjoyed it very much. The book gets 8.5/10 from me as the ancient stories of their God, Krishna slowed me down.

Torn Apart by James Patterson and Hal Friedman

I wasn’t really interested in non-fictions after this book. It’s a story, a real one, about Cory’s lost childhood. At the age of five, he was diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome. Over the years, his Doctors struggled in finding a cure to overcome Cory’s weird tics by taking all sorts of medicines they had in mind but nothing worked. When he’s 16, he decides to get rid of every medicine that made his status worse and get involved in wilderness camp all alone, and that, apparently, was his only cure. ~ 9.5/10.

+ I'm currently rereading Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince.