Ramadhan is just round the corner but we still have a few more days left of Syaaban. I don't know you, but I haven't been doing much of supererogotary worships to Allah swt this time round. I hope to do more before Syaaban ends. Ya Allah swt please give me strength!
My previous entry depicting arrays of glorious food was probably a subconscious act of reminding myself of the coming Ramadhan. That fasting is such a meaningful ibadah which teaches us patience and compassion. That we should be grateful that food is so abundant at our doosteps. And that we should aslo exercise frugality when breaking our fasts and not glut on our foods like that's our last meal!
My Dear Daughters
Meanwhile, Sarah and Sofi insyallah have settled well and began classes immediately the week they reached Volgograd. Sarah started off with her Obs and Gynae posting. This year is supposed to be rather gruelling for her as she needs to travel a fair distance from one department to another each day as the different departments are located miles apart. Her options for mode of transport would be the public bus (cheapest), mashrud (mini-buses) and cabs. To avoid crowd jostling, foul odors and headaches she prefers either mashrud or cabs but that would mean more expenditure on transport. On her first day at the Obs ward, her lecturer asked her group whether there's anyone interested in specializing in O&G and only Sarah raised her hand. Since then, whatever hands-on activity conducted, Sarah would be called first since she had shown initial interest. Alhamdulillah that sort of boosted her morale a bit, :p.
Sofi has a new entry about the celebration of Volgograd's birthday. As usual she has loads of eye-feasting pics to share. Despite having problems
It will be the 4th consecutive Ramadhan for Sarah this year, away from us and the second for Sofi. May Allah swt ease them both in performing all the ibadah in Ramadhan as much as He would to us over here!
Not a book review
On Monday and Tuesday a collegue and I were assigned to do medical check-ups for 150 factory personnel somewhere in Gebeng, an industrial port town. However due to several factors, Tuesday proved to be a very slow day and I managed to sit back, relax and get myself 'lost' in a few books , a novel by Orhan Pamuk titled The Black Book, Faith vs Materialism (The Message of Surah al-Kahfi) by Syed Abul Hassan Ali Nadwi and Mutual Reminding and Good Manners by Imam Abdullah ibn Alawi al- Haddad (a gift from KKL). I am also thankful to the kind tea-lady who made me a cup of hot coffee to sip through the slow hours. Ahh...what bliss!
Orhan Pamuk is a Turkish writer who has written several books and 4 of them have been translated to English. I likened his writing to Kazuo Ishiguro's, long and tedious. But what I like about Orhan's stories is that it's related to the Turkish way of life and in it are many explicit descriptions pertaining to its people, places, scenarios and buildings. (I am sure Boogey's antennas would have perked up by now!hehe) Like all Ishiguro's books, I know I will take weeks to finish Orhan's Black Book. And each time I pick the book to continue, I will need time to immerse myself back amongst its characters. It's simply mesmerizing.
Faith vs Materialism defines the fallacy of materialism succinctly. Based on Surah al Kahfi, many of its anecdotes are derived from the 4 main stories found in the surah, namely the Companions of the cave, Tale of the 2 gardens, Moses and al Khidir and Dhul Qarnayn. To quote the author,
"The materialist civilization, so prone to over-emphasize it perspective with extreme measures, has been aptly described in the verse Surah al Kahfi: "We have made heedless of Our remembrance, who follows his own lust and whose case has been abandoned" (18:28)
The 3rd book is so full of beautiful phrases that reminds us of the correct path. Here are some meaningful advices. I quote: Know that the path begins when a powerful urge is cast into the heart of the servant which troubles and unnerves him, and drives him towards God and the last abode......The urge is one of the hidden warriors of God, it is a gift of solicitude and a sign of right guidance.
To mark the coming of Ramadhan and not forgetting the remaining Syaaban I end with this beautiful Hadith: "My servant ceases not to draw nearer to Me with supererogatory devotions until I love him, when I love him I become his eyesight with which he sees, his hearing with which he hears, his hand with which he strikes, and his foot on which he walks. When he asks of Me, I grant him, and when he seeks My protection, I protect him"