Tuesday, October 24, 2006

IN-LAW CAMARADERIE AND THE TEARS AFTER....



The following was written the night before raya:

Alhamdulillah. Allah swt has given us the strength to endure a month of fasting in Ramadhan. Along with it we were also given the extra will to perform
supererogatory prayers at night. Tomorrow we will be celebrating eidul fitri. Keng has highlighted in his entry that :Mengikut hadith yang diriwayatkan oleh Ibn Majah, yang bermaksud: "Sesiapa yang bangun pada malam 'eid (fitrah dan adha) dengan mengharapkan pahala, nescaya tidak akan mati hatinya pada hari mati sekalian hati". Lets try our best to be amongst those who enliven this night with tahajjud. And also it is said that Rasulullah, after the completion of Ramadhan would greet people with :Taqabalallahu minkum i.e. May Allah swt accept our deeds and yours!

As previous years my father-in-law will ask everyone to join him for the last iftar at his place. I had this rare opportunity to sit together with Boogey's and Pang5's wives tonight and let our hair down and discussed things so perculiar to our husbands who are siblings! Tonight we realized even more, how the three brothers are so alike in many, many ways! Their 'zanny' passion for photography and cameras. How they would take pain to endure many obstacles simply to satisfy their whimsical urges! For instance, if we're on a long journey to somewhere on the highway and an interesting subject catches iKelah's eyes, get prepared to extend the journey hours further! He'd park our car by the roadside and would approach the 'said' subject or landscape nearer at a closer angle, in order to capture the 'perfect' composition. Boogey's wife related that on buying 'lemang Kijal' this morning, after leaving the stall, he had exclaimed in dismay for forgetting to snap photos of the stalls. This caused him to stop the car and took extra time to take pics of the smoking lemang. How so alike they are in their passion! My description of our experience at Parangtritis explained this fact explicitly.

Incidentally, we broached on the subject of their being 'slightly' disorganized and how they would unyieldingly and stubbornly defend that their untidiness is never a hindrance for them to search for their things. iKelah would adamantly say," Please do not move my things, no matter how untidy they may be, cause I can search for them even with both my eyes closed!' And when my patience has reached its brink, forcing my 'itchy' hands to arrange all the unruly papers and what nots in proper looking order, he would instantly have difficulties to retrieve any particular bills or receipts and come up with his popular remark, "if you hadn't moved my stuffs, I would have easily found the wanted bills in between the piles of knick-knacks in a jiffy. I know exactly where in between the papers, they are situated!' Both Boogey's and Pang5's wives echoed my sentiments and voiced how spookily these brothers are so alike!

Well this was one of the rare times we get to sit together and compare notes regarding the guys! Each time we hit the 'nail' and realized how alike they are, we would squeal in laughter!

But dear friends, raya this time was not without its downside and heart-wrenching moments that brought 'flooding' tears....more of it.....
here



Mak and I (dinner Friday night)


Experimenting with shades. And I looked best in a Mickey Mouse for kids!


We were visited by beautiful people! KKL, OK, Cik Ma, Mak-twain, hubby and twins, Khin and wife.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The end of Ramadhan and The Unrelenting Haze




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The current haze seem to have this lingering attitude and it's not showing any signs of relenting at all. In fact, it is probably the worst so far in this coastal town of ours. Everyday, for the past couple of weeks, the poor atmosphere is being shrouded with thick, dense and smokey blanket of air that is wrecking havoc to our ecological system. Visual span is so limited that I can't make out the sea horizon near my house. The sea and sky seemed to have merged together and adopted the same hue of greyish white. Eventhough, the poor air quality doesn't physically cause you to immediately suffocate, psychologically you are being overwhelmed with great anxiety that's enough to throw you to the brink of emotional suffocation! And the list of medical conditions generated from contact with the particle-laden air is endless: Asthma, Bronchitis, Skin Allergy, Eye Allergy etc.

It is said that during the night of Power (lalat ul qadr) , Gibrael a.s. and endless numbers of angels will descend down on earth. The night is said to be barmy and peaceful. And the next morning the sun appears white and without rays (beamless). Well, with the thick haze blocking our visual field, this might prove to be a bit difficult.

Tonight is the night of 27th Ramadhan, one of the probable night of Power (laylat ul qadr). May Allah swt give us the strength to be more vigilant in our night prayers during the last days of this Ramadhan. To quote Nusayba's (23) dad : "Cry if you can. Force to cry if you must" . Yes, the night prayer is the perfect time to communicate with Allah swt. In the quietness of the night, one hopes to attain khusyuk and deep self-reproach.

Last night I thought the sky was clearer and the stars were visible. And this morning, the sun was starting to creep through in between the slowly dispersing haze, raising my hopes of seeing the clear blue sky with its fluffy white clouds once again. Alhamdulillah, this afternoon, I am already able to discern the sky horizon above the sea and also beginning to see the outline of clouds in the sky. I hope it is not too much if I make a symbolic comparison or anecdote of the haze and our sins. That the haze symbolizes our sins. And that the receding haze denotes how Ramadhan has washed away our sins through our multiple ibadah of fasting, night prayers, etc, as we approach its end. Insyallah!

I recieved Has's email linking to Datuk Haron Din's Tazkirah here. One of the salient point :
Sampaikah kita kepada apa yang nabi sebut kepada isteri-isterinya dan kepada sahabat-sahabatnya iaitu “Faya ‘ajaban liman adraka ramada na fala yukh farulah”, iaitu maksudnya “Alangkah hairannya (ajaibnya) bagi orang yang telah sampai umurnya kepada menjelang Ramadan, apabila habis Ramadan hairan kalau dia tidak mengambil kesempatan untuk Allah mengampunkan semua dosa-dosanya”.

Many will embark on the balik kampung exodus including yours truly. To Pycnogenol and Bea, and everyone else, drive safely and may we fill Syawal with lots of Takbir and Tahmid. Selamat Hari Raya. Maaf Zahir Dan Batin!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

NIGHT PRAYERS

Praying In Turmoil - taken from flickr


We are into the second-half of Ramadhan and hopefully we are geared up to do night prayers more fervently. Thus I have compiled some articles I found in the net regarding the night prayers. Hope they are beneficial to everyone, insyallah.

Qiyam means 'standing' and ‘Qiyam al-Layl’ means 'standing at night'. In the Shari’ah term both terms refer to 'the voluntary night prayer.

If one divides the night into six parts, the fourth and fifth part are the best for prayer. If divided in half, the second half is best. If into thirds, the middle part is best. With this said Tahajjud is offered after ‘Isha and before Fajr.


The Excellence of Qiyam al-Layl:
Many Qur'anic verses speak about the excellence of Qiyam and the merits of those people, who perform Qiyam al-Layl on a regular basis, for example, Allah describes the believers who deserve Jannah saying:

“They (the believers) forsake their beds, to invoke their Lord in fear and hope; and they spend out of what We have bestowed on them.” [Soorah as-Sajdah (32): 16] “They (the pious) used to sleep but little at night.” [Soorah ath-Thariyat (51): 17]

Those who regularly perform the tahajjud prayers are the Righteous and are more deserving of Allah's bounty and mercy. Allah says: "Lo! Those who keep from evil will dwell amid gardens and watersprings, taking that which their Lord gives them. For, lo, they were doers of good. They used to sleep but little of the night and before the dawning of each day would seek forgiveness.''

Also, numerous Ahadith add to this subject, narrated Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu): “The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:
“The best prayer after those prescribed is (the prayer performed) in the depth of night.” [Sahih Muslim and Musnad Ahmad]

Protection from Shaitan:
Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:
“When one of you goes to sleep, Shaitaan ties three knots over the rear of his head, blowing into each knot, 'You have a long night, so sleep on.” If he wakes up and mentions Allah, one knot loosens. If he makes wudhu (ablution for prayer), another knot loosens and if he prays, the third knot loosens and he becomes lively and good-natured; otherwise he gets up ill-natured and lazy.” [Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim]

Acceptance of Supplication:
Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:
Our Lord descends every night to the lowest heaven, when only one third of the night has remained. He says: “Who will invoke Me, so that I may give him? Who will seek My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him.” [Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim]

Mercy from Allah:
Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said
May Allah have mercy on a man who wakes up at night, prays and wakes his wife to pray; and if she refuses, he sprinkles water on her face. And may Allah have mercy on a woman who wakes up at night, prays, and wakes her husband to pray and if he refuses, she sprinkles water on his face.” (hasan) by Shaikh al-Albani (Abu Dawud)

The Excellence of Qiyam in Ramadan:
Many Ahadith describe the excellence of Qiyam particularly in Ramadan, some of them are:

Forgiveness of sins:
Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) reported:
“Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) encouraged the people, without making it an absolute command, to perform Qiyam during Ramadan. He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) used to say: “Whoever stands (in Qiyam) in Ramadaan out of faith and expectation (of Allah's Reward), all his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim]

Etiquettes of Late Night Prayer
The following acts are sunnah for one who wishes to perform the tahajjud prayers.

1) Upon going to sleep, one should make the intention to perform the tahajjud prayers. Abu ad-Darda' relates that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "Whoever goes to his bed with the intention of getting up and praying during the night, and sleep overcomes him until the moming comes, he will have recorded for him what he had intended, and his sleep will be a charity for him from his Lord." This is related by an-Nasa'i and ibn Majah with a sahih chain.

2) Upon waking, one should wipe one's face, use a toothstick, and look to the sky and make the supplication which has been reported from the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam: "There is no God but Thee, Glory be to Thee, I seek forgiveness from You for my sins, and I ask for your mercy. O Allah, increase my knowledge and let my heart not swerve after You have guided me, and bestow mercy upon me from Thyself. All praise be to Allah who has given us back life after our death and unto Him is the resurrection."

3) Then, one should recite the last ten 'ayat of al-'Imran, starting with, "Lo! In the creation of the heavens and the earth and [in] the difference of night and day are tokens (of His sovereignty) for men of understanding." Then one should say, "O Allah, to You belongs the praise. You are the Light of the heavens and the earth and what is therein. And to You belongs the praise. You are the truth and Your promise is true. And the meeting with You is true. And the paradise is true. And the Fire is true. And the prophets are true. And Muhammad is true. And the Hour is true. O Allah, to You have I submitted. And in You have I believed. And in You have I put my trust. And to You have I turned. And by You I argue. And to You do I turn for my decisions. Forgive me of my former and latter sins, and those done in private and those done in public. You are Allah, there is no God besides Thee."

One should begin Qiyam al-Layil with two quick rak'at and then one may pray whatever one wishes after that. 'Aishah says: "When the Prophet prayed during the late-night, he would begin his prayers with two quick rak'at." Both of these reports are related by Muslim.

One should wake up one's family for tahajjud
Umm Salamah narrates that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam got up during the night and said: "Glory be to Allah. What trials are descended with the night. And what has descended of treasures. Who will waken the lady occupants of the rooms (i.e., his wives) for prayers; how many a well dressed in this world will be naked in the hereafter." This is related by al-Bukhari
Al-Bukhari and Muslim record that the Messenger of Allah asked 'Ali and Fatimah: "Do you not pray [during the night]?" 'Ali said: "O Messenger of Allah, we are in Allah's hands. If He wishes to make us get up, we get up." The Prophet turned away when he said that. Then, they could hear him striking his thigh and saying: "Verily, man disputes a lot." This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

One should stop praying tahajjud and sleep if one becomes very sleepy
'Aishah reports that the Messenger of Allah said: "When one of you gets up during the night for prayer and his Qur'anic recital becomes confused to the extent that he does not know what he says, he should lie down." This is related by Muslim.

Anas narrates that the Messenger of Allah entered the mosque and saw a rope stretching between two posts. He asked: "What is this?" The people told him that it was for Zainab [bint Jahsh] who, when she became tired or weary, held it (to keep standing for the prayer). The Prophet said: "Remove the rope. You should pray as long as you feel active, and when you get tired or weary, you should lie down to rest." This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
One should not overburden one's self with the night prayer and should only pray it to the extent that is reasonable, and not leave that practice unless there is some great need to do so. 'Aishah reports that the Messenger of Allah said: "Do (good) deeds according to your capacity, for by Allah, Allah does not weary from giving rewards unless you get tired of doing good deeds." This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Al-Bukhari and Muslim also relate from 'Aishah that the Messenger of Allah was asked: "What is the most loved deed to Allah?" He answered: "One that is performed constantly even if it is a small deed." And Muslim recorded that 'Aishah said: "The Messenger of Allah was constant in his deeds, and if he did something, he would do it consistently."

Al-Bukhari and Muslim also record, on the authority of 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud, that it was mentioned to the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam that a man slept until the morning. [ThereuponJ he said: "Satan has urinated into the ears of that person." They also record from Salim ibn 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar, from his father, that the Messenger of Allah said to his father, "Abdullah would be a good man if he would pray the tahajjud prayers." Salim said: "After that, 'Abdullah would not sleep during the night save for a small amount at a time."

Best time for tahajjud
It is best to delay this prayer to the last third portion of the night. Abu Hurairah reports that the Messenger of Allah said: "Our Lord descends to the lowest heaven during the last third of the night, inquiring: 'Who will call on Me so that I may respond to him? Who is asking something of Me so I may give it to him? Who is asking for My forgiveness so I may forgive him?"' This is related by the group.

'Amr ibn Abasah reports that he heard the Prophet say: "The closest that a slave comes to his Lord is during the middle of the latter portion of the night. If you can be among those who remember Allah, the Exalted One, at that time then do so." This is related by al-Hakim who grades it sahih according to Muslim's standards, and at-Tirmizhi calls it hasan sahih. AnNasa'i and Ibn Khuzaimah also recorded it.

Abu Muslim asked Abu Zharr: "Which late-night prayer is the best?" He said: "I asked the Messenger of Allah the same that you asked me and he said, 'The (one done during) middle of the latter half of the night, and very few do it.'" This is related by Ahmad with a good chain.
'Abdullah ibn 'Amr reports that the Prophet said: "The most beloved fast to Allah is the fast of David. And the most beloved prayer to Allah is the prayer of David. He would sleep half of the night and then pray during the next third of the night and then sleep during the last sixth of the night. And he would fast one day and not fast the next." This is related by the group except at-Tirmizhi.

The number of rak'at to be performed during tahajjud: The tahajjud prayer does not entail a specific number of rak'at which must be performed nor is there any maximum limit which has to be performed. It would be fulfilled even if one just prayed one rak'ah of witr after the obligatory night prayer.

Samurah ibn Jundub says: "The Messenger of Allah ordered us to pray during the night, a little or a lot, and to make the last of the prayer the witr prayer." This is related by at-Tabarani and al-Bazzar.

Iyas ibn Mu'awiyyah al-Mazni reports that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: "The night prayer should certainly be performed even if it is for the length of time that it takes one to milk a sheep. And whatever is after the obligatory 'isha is of the tahajjud." This is related by at-Tabarani, and all of its narrators are trustworthy save Muhammad ibn Ishaq.

Ibn 'Abbas also narrates that the Prophet ordered them and encouraged them to make the tahajjud prayer to the extent that he said: "You should perform salatul layil even if it is just one rak'ah." This is related by atTabarani in al-Kabir and al-Awsat.

Note: Sources:
www.sunnipath.com
www.sunnah.org/ibadaat/qiyam.htm
suficenter.org/Practices/tahajjud.html

Saturday, October 07, 2006




MY WORDLY TIME

Steadily time flows unaffectedly,
For time waits for no man,invariably,
Even when a great plan you have laid,
To execute, to please non but your Creator,
Will time wait till later?
Still it flies, not a second missed!
In square one, you're stuck,
With daydreams of plausible bliss.

Noon approaches, never fail, always does,
You're still lost in the woods,in the dusts,
Walking the complete circle of vain,
Pacing the nonsense path of worldly gains,
But time has no empathy, never!
It keeps moving, ticking stronger than ever!
Trying hard, with squinted eyes, you can't see the light, you quiver.

Eve takes over, beautiful red-orangey hue, yonder,
The pitiless time still marching the day,
You panicked as time leaves you at bay!
You searched for your lost soul over and over,
In between the heaps and piles of mundane affairs,
Looking over your trembling shoulders,
At the wall clock that ticks with tireless vigor.

As the dark night looms over,
You pleaded with time, its mercy you implored,
But time replied with all doom and gloom,
"I have no control of myself whatsover"
To each, its very own,
Time and space, all alone,
As exasperation overcomes,
You frantically searched for your lost time,
Those precious seconds,you threw out the door,
But none regained, time is no more.


As we age and the years escalate over,
Never let time leave you behind, not even an hour,
Hold on fast to its very rein,
For once you slip, you'll never gain,
Those precious seconds, you must strife,
As time is the ultimate essence of life.

By Dith

____________________________________________________________________________________


LOST! STOLEN! (not died!!)

Pooty- 14th May 2005
Mayo- 14th May 2006



23 made the above using my 'cheap' recipe for her iftar. She has deft hands at taking good pics of food and her fettucini does look more enticing than mine in the pic! (p.s. I took that pic from her blog! Sorry 23!)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

This is to acknowledge that my beloved blog AT TAQWA is back on track. As some of you may know, I have suspended it for a short while due to some unforeseen circumstances. I have decided to continue from surah AL IMRAN and currently using Yusof Ali's transliteration and Tafseer Al Jalalayn.

I have also added an audio link to Minsyawi's recitation of the Quran. Chose the specific 5 ayah, listen and then read the transliteration and tafseer. Insyallah, 5 ayah a day and we'll qhatam the whole Quran in due time.
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