Sunday, November 27, 2016

Cik, nak beli tisu cik?

I had a moment of reflection a few days ago when I was out buying lunch.

I just ordered my lunch, when an elderly man approached me for some change in return for pocket tissues. "Cik, nak beli tisu cik? Boleh pakcik buat duit makan..."

Naturally, I looked for some small change in my wallet, and took out a couple of RM1 notes when I accidentally took out a bigger note, folded within one of the smaller notes.

When I realised the situation, I told the uncle that maybe the money was meant for him, and for him to keep it. He was very happy and gave me more tissues in return.

Payday was just a few days ago, so I guess I was in the spirit of giving. Hehe.

Halfway through my lunch, four more elderlies came with similar stories, some of them blind, walking with canes. And as my collection of tissues grew, my spirit of giving went from full gear to......well, not so full gear.

I ran out of small change, and it was definitely getting heavier for me to lift up the bigger notes for donation. By the time the fourth (or was it fifth?) uncle came, my answer was merely that I don't have any small change to spare. 

What a change from the initial reaction, huh? -_-"

I'm not here to drill into the path of whether they are real homeless people, or whether this is part and parcel of a bigger syndicate - really, that is not for me to judge. My concern is more on my behaviour - which I am directly accountable for. I went back to the office, still thinking about the whole thing.

It seems that, when approached for some change, I would naturally give small change first, and am somewhat reluctant to give bigger change when I ran out of small change. You see, the same amount of money that I would consider "little" when shopping, becomes significant when I want to donate to a stranger at a hawker store. For example, if you tell me your top costs you RM30, my immediate response would be, "Wow, that's cheap!" But when the Pakcik came to ask for some money, to give out RM30, feels like I'm taking out RM300 from my pocket -______-"

Am I only giving when I feel that something is of little value to me or that I can make do without it? Is there still skepticism deep in my heart? This is really something for me to reflect and improve on.

What about you guys? When approached for some change, would you give the bigger notes when you ran out of smaller notes? If yes / no, why...or why not?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Story of Musa

 I don't know about you, but mannn life seems to really just pass me by these days. After months of ultra peak period, work has finally settled down to a normal pace and I am able to go home during daylight to a very happy baby boy!

Musa is 10 months now. This means, he only has one more monthly birthday before he turns one year old. It really feels like it was just yesterday I was telling him, "Is there no calendar in my tummy? You've been in there for 10 months I'm pretty sure you'd like to see some daylight??" Hehe.

Today, I want to write something about Baby Musa which I've been planning to write for yonks. There are many motherhood moments which I treasure, but this one tops the list. I want to pen it down so that I would always remember how it made me feel, even when my hair (and memory) turns grey.

A lot of people thought that Musa was named after my late grandfather, a man whom I've never meet but has only heard good things of. While it's true that they carry the same name, and it is my hope and prayers that Musa will grow to be as disciplined, and as loved and as knowledgeable as his late great grandfather - there is more to the story of his name than meets the eyes.

Musa is named after Prophet Moses a.s. (Musa, in arabic) whose birth and survival defies the odds, and whose life is a spiral of one miracle after another. Prophet Musa a.s. was born at a time when mass killing of baby boy was ordered by the ruler, for fear that one of them would grow up to defy him. No baby boy was spared, but by the will of Allah, Prophet Musa a.s. was not only the sole survivor, he was adopted and raised in the castle by the Queen herself! He grew up with all the wealth in this world and yet he remains a humble man, strong and always upholding truth and justice in all occasion.

Fast forward to a gazillion of years later, Allah has blessed me and Z with our own miracle. Two years ago when I was diagnosed with Appendicitis, I was also told that it would be difficult for me to get pregnant - and the doctor proposed an invasive surgery to fix the problem. It was heavy for me to swallow the news then, and I decided against the surgery, in favor of second opinion. Months went by, or rather - half a year went by and I never went for a second opinion preferring instead to be in my own bubble of denial. One day, I finally told Z that I was ready to see a doctor for 2nd opinion, and we went to one.

I told the doctor what was told to me, and it was weird when we had to say it out loud and acknowledged that we might have a problem. The doctor wanted to scan me and I was preparing myself for the worst case scenario. When he scanned me, he was quiet for a while and he said, "You wouldn't believe this."

I closed my eyes, and cringed so much, thinking - how bad could it be? He pressed a switch and much to my surprise, sound of steady, loud heartbeat filled the room. "Congratulations, you're already pregnant."

My heartttt probably doubled in size in seconds! To even try to depict how I feel at that point of time, is futile. It was a feeling like no other, I had tears in my eyes, and my husband - well he looked like a bucket of cold water just washed over his face. Life just got real huh, Z? Haha.

Musa, if you're reading this, I want you to know that we never expected you, but once we knew of your existence - we wanted nothing more than to have you with us! You were our very own miracle and it is through you that I am reminded of Allah's kindness, always giving even when I am undeserving of many of His blessings.

May you grow to be a fine man, loved by many like your great grandfather. May you follow the footsteps of Prophet Musa a.s. who remains humble even when showered with all the  wealth in this world, and upholds truth in all occasion. May your heart remains pure and inclined towards goodness, and only goodness.

And last but not least, may you sleep better at night. Ameen!

Funfact: In case you didn't buy the story above, he was also Made in USA. Hence MUSA! :D

Monday, June 13, 2016

Black Elegance

There is something about the color black that exudes an aura of modest elegance with just the right hint of mystery. One of my best friends, Asma' literally lives in black, and she is probably the  reason why half 3/4 of my wardrobe now is either white, black or nude #monochromejunkie

When I saw the Saskya dress by Love to Dress, the little girl in me fell completely in love with the dress. The cascading ruffles, the petaled sleeves, the flowy cut...mannn, never knew black could be so feminine as well!

Yesterday, we took time early in the morning to shoot in Saskya and I guess from the pictures you will see why I am so in love with this dress. Since little-black-dress days are over, this is my new black dress essential. Hehe. So very proud of Asma' and the Love to Dress team for such an elegant piece <3 p="">



Scarf: dUCk

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Turning 28


As a kid, I hated the birthday song.

There is something awkward about just standing there, watching people smile and sing to you....and do nothing. It didn't get easier,  in fact became even more awkward as I grew older.

This year, my birthday began with our customary family dinner at my favourite restaurant on my birthday eve. The next day was supposed to be another typical 9am to 6pm kinda work day but it was made extraordinary with surprise helium balloons and beautiful flowers from Bubs as I stepped into the office, hilarious pranks by Titts and Mimak, a lovely birthday cake from my colleagues and a romantic dinner by the KL skyline with my husband. Just before I called it a night, I found my husband's birthday card underneath my pillow, and read words that moved this sappy, old-at-heart girl to tears :')

The birthday celebration went on for a couple of days - with my highschool girlfriends and a birthday dinner surprise by the Girlies, with special appearance from an old time Melbourne buddy! My birthday week ended perfectly with a surprise do at home by Titts and Mimak.

The living room was transformed into a dreamy indoor picnic for three, complete with floating white balloons, fresh hydrangeas, roses and the best desserts a girl could ask for. The set up has Mimak's name written all over it...except for the fries and iced milo which sure screams Titts-I-dont-do-healthy-food idea :P

Alhamdulillah for another wonderful birthday. Thank you for all the surprises, the gifts and well wishes, the big and small efforts to put a huge smile on my face. I have plenty on my plate to improve on and as my husband puts it, underneath all the happy wishes and fun celebration is the knocking truth that we are one step closer to return to our Maker....I couldn't agree more.

Here's to a meaningful birthday - a birthday with our loved ones, near or far. A birthday that would boost our spirituality and physical happiness and more importantly, a birthday that would remind us of what truly matters :)

Happy birthday to me!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Are You Game?

Just a week ago, my eldest sister suggested we start a One Grand per Household campaign to help those whose homes were completely destroyed by the East Coast floods.

To be honest, I felt that she sounded too ambitious then. I mean I wasn't even sure if I could raise 500 bucks what more a thousand, but we were determined to give them a significant amount to lift up their spirit and help them rebuild their life.

So I told her I'm game. 

The skepticism slowly fades away as I learn to realise if Allah wills it, a small effort could truly snowball into something bigger.

What began as personal SMSes to families and close friends, began spreading via Facebook, Instagram and even local radio station. Before long, a steady flow of donation streams in from friends and strangers alike.

On this note, I must say thank you everyone for your amazing support, for helping us spread the word – for every contribution big or small. My sisters and I are truly overwhelmed by the kindness of fellow Malaysians which we witnessed first hand through our little effort to raise these funds.

Today, alhamdulillah with your help we have collected over RM50,000  - and that donation will reach out to more than 50 families! I seriously can’t wait to help deliver the donation on your behalf, hoping inshAllah we could put some smile on their faces after all that they have gone through.

For your information, the donation is focused on the Hulu Kelantan area where there are approximately 800 homes destroyed in the wake of the East Coast floods. We may not be able to help everyone, but we are trying to help as many people as we can and we are counting on you and I to make this happen.

Please help us deliver one grand to as many affected households as possible. I am positive that your donation would make a difference in their life. Let's continue to spread the word around and encourage the people closest to us to donate - moms, dads, best friends,  friends of best friends, just about anyone!

Over and over again I would tell everyone, no amount is too small and our responsibility is to ensure your donation will reach those who need it most.

(Collection ends 15th January 2015)

Account No: 7601082325 (CIMB)
Account Name: Ajjrina Annuar

Account No: 164892056247 (Maybank)
Account Name: Azzahraa Annuar

Account No: 7006196095 (CIMB)
Account Name: Azzwaa Annuar

I pray that inshAllah the worst is over for them and I truly hope to bring more smiles to East Coast, Malaysia.
Are you game?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Welcome Home

My not-so-baby brother is back from the US...for good, alhamdulillah! We were all shocked he actually graduated (no offense Adik!) so you can imagine how we felt when he told us he made it to the Dean's list. To put things in perspective, my mom almost fell off the chair.

"Is there another Afiq with the same surname in the University?"

"Surely that's a fake certificate? Where did you get it printed, old-town Brooklyn?"

Bahahaahhaha. #horriblefamily

My brother truly deserves more credit than he's getting huh? I guess sometimes no matter how old he gets, in our eyes he will always be our youngest, carefree, one and only little brother who would do anything just to get an extra 10 100 bucks from mom.

I mean, come to think of it, just yesterday he was 13 trying to escape life in boarding school and somehow today subhanAllah,  he is a mechanical engineer graduate, ready to take on the world! Seriously, where is this pause button we all so desperately need?? I guess it's just a few more sleeps before I turn 40 guys -_____-

It was so nice of my brother to arrive earlier than expected just to surprise the whole family. Totally saved us the petrol to and fro KLIA :P And the look on my mom's face when she saw her son walk into her bedroom? Priceless! Honestly. You could almost see stars bouncing out of her eyes.

Unfortunately, that surprise cost mom her whole night sleep because she was too happy and excited to sleep that night. Hehe. Nothing's quite like a mother's love huh? :)

Jokes aside, welcome home Adik! It's soooo nice to have the full quorum again! Alhamdulillah, after more than 17 years - finally, everyone is home....for good!

Meet the male version of Toots :D

Friday, August 1, 2014

TOMORROW: Save the Children of Gaza - 2nd August 2014

Sometimes, when I look at my nephews, I think of the children of Gaza. They should be with their family - laughing, playing and looking forward to growing up just like other kids.

But no, they are not.

On Eid, a playground was hit by missile. A witness said, "The kids were playing on the wheel. A rocket fell and cut them apart."

They were supposed to be celebrating, but instead eight people were killed - seven were children. 

And no one is held responsible for their deaths.

Please, pleasee...spread this awareness. Every religion would want us to uphold justice and protect the innocents. Join the growing peaceful rally, be inspired and boycott any organization that supports the Zionist.

And lastly, I hope to see you at the Save the Children of Gaza rally tomorrow, inshAllah :)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Prayer for the Americans

I suppose this could be quite controversial, but if you wish to read this I hope you will read it with an open mind and that you will read it to the end so that you will not misinterpret my message, inshAllah.

In my line of work, I am exposed to all sort of sanctions (i.e restrictions and penalty) which the United States impose on countries in order to show their stand against a certain action. For example, Iran was sanctioned as it was deemed to be a contributor to national terrorism while North Korea is sanctioned for its perceived nuclear threat. These sanctions could be partial or extensive and it could cover areas of banking, trade and even travelling. In most cases, it would really cripple the sanctioned countries as the sanctions make it near impossible for the countries to transact with the rest of the world.

As the saying goes, the greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse. And one can only imagine the sort of power the United States have in their hands as sanctions are not only imposed on their people alone but also on those who transact in their notes and currency. 

At this point, as immature as this may sound - I couldn't help but wish that the US sanctions are imposed on Israel because bombing hospitals, schools and ambulance are clearly acts of terror. 

And yet United States, the country that imposes countless sanctions to show its foreign policy against terrorism is financing a blatant terrorism. The fact that two UN schools in Gaza have been bombed and UN is still unable to pass a resolution to allege Israel of war crime is a clear indication that UN is powerless without the big guns.

We know where the power resides. And surely we know who, out of the five superpowers - have consistently vetoed against the decision to charge Israel. 

It is the Government of the United States.

And as much as I want to condemn them, I want even more for them to support our cause because deep in my heart I know that they could make a difference in a way that we, for now, couldn't.

We know Israel will keep on going for as long the American government is shielding them. But this only makes us stronger and more united as one. Strengths, afterall are often nurtured during the most trying of times and this is the process of us re-building our strength. 

I couldn't help but to admire the sort of support I'm seeing underground. The fund raising, prayer after prayer, boycott campaigns and rallies to raise awareness of this situation worldwide regardless of colour and religion.

Support from non-Muslims and even Jews and Americans reminded me of our history, when the Prophet SAW and his followers were ill-treated by the Quraish. They migrated to Abyssinia and were given undivided support under a Christian ruler. History has shown us that Islam stands by other religions for as long as they support peace and justice and it is heart warming to witness the same support today. It is even more uplifting for me to see how the Christians and the Muslims in Palestine are together as one - in a solidarity that perhaps even my nation could learn from.

At this point, we know we're fighting against a more powerful team and in my personal opinion it is okay for us to admit this. After all, Islam started off as a small movement which consisted only of the Prophet SAW's close family and minorities and the Prophet SAW acknowledged this. He SAW made a special du'a for Allah to strengthen Islam with the conversion of a powerful Quraish ie Abu Jahal or Ummar and Allah granted this wish. The conversion of Ummar proved to be a much needed moral booster for the oppressed and his strength grew to be the strength of Islam as the religion spread its wings across continents.

So tonight, despite how I feel towards them - I choose to make a little prayer for the American government and its people.

May Allah SWT open your heart to see what the rest of the world is seeing. Just as how Allah has guided the heart of Ummar to Islam at a point when he wanted to kill the Prophet SAW, may Allah guide your heart to support the Palestinians at a time when you want to fight them. May Allah guide the people of power in the US and give them strength to do the right thing. And if they are unable to do this, may Allah replace them with a better and stronger team who will be able to stand by what is right. More importantly, may the Americans who voice out against the Gaza occupation and other injustices in the world grow to be leaders of their country who would inspire and eventually execute the change they want to see in this world. 

I would understand if some will deem my prayer as futile - what with the level of power the Pro-Zionist Americans have on the economy. But surely no du'a is too big for Allah to execute!

And all the while, we will be here - united as one for the people of Gaza and the oppressed. Our sanctions may be small in magnitude but I am convinced without a doubt that by Allah's will, it will continue to increase by number and by strength. 

To President Obama, this is all I have to say: 

Looking at your government made me realize that if I were to choose between power and freedom - I would run for freedom

I would rather be on the streets rallying for justice than to live in the comfort of White House and provide support to bomb civilians. Nothing justifies the bombing of ambulances and hospitals, especially not the alleged human shields. You do not need to be a superpower to know that bombing ambulances, hospitals and schools are unacceptable. You just need to be human - a free human who can speak and uphold truth even when the truth is not in your allies' favour. 

And that, Mr President - is the true power. 

I pray that the US too will achieve its true power and freedom. There are so many men, women and children who are bleeding and dying as I pen this, but they stand firm against the oppressors regardless of religion or race. If you could have just a fraction of their strength....there is so, so much that you could do to make a difference. 

Because just as how you, Mr President put it six years ago - "When it comes to positive change - Yes, we can!".

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Eraser of Sins

Abu Hurayrah (r.a.) the companion of the Prophet narrated;

I heard the Messenger (s.a.w.) say "What would you think if there were a river running by the door of any of you, and he bathed in it five times a day, every day. Would any trace of dirt be left on him?"

The people said: "There would be no trace of dirt on him."

He (s.a.w) then said "This is like the five daily prayers, through which Allah erases sins."

-Saheeh Muslim

Do you guys realise what I just realised after reading this hadith?

Allah doesn't need us to pray five times a day, guysss. In fact, Allah is free from anyyy need. He is Lord of the universe regardless of what we do (or what we don't do) on His universe.

But through our solah, Allah SWT is actually offering us an opportunity we all lonnggg for deep in our hearts - the possibility to erase our sins and start anew.

And yet, sometimes, we rush over our solah as if it carries little value to us. At times, some of us even skip our solah, almost as if we're dismissing Allah's offer to erase our sins, when we know it is the single most important thing we need in our life :( Allahu mustaan.

It was narrated that Uthman ibn Affan r.a. said, "I heard the Messenger SAW say - 'There is no muslim person who, when the time for prayer comes, performs wudhuk properly, concentrates on his prayer and bows correctly,  but the prayer will be an expiation for the sins comitted prior to it, so long as no major sin has been committed. This is the case until the end of time.'" [Saheeh Muslim]

Ya Allah, make us among those who continuously improve on their solah. And let our solah be the expiations to our sins until the day of judgment. Ameen.

Monday, March 4, 2013

CAMERON HIGHLAND: Weekend getaway


 Alhamdulillah for a beautiful, picture perfect quiet weekend with the family :)

Woke up early and read a book whilst enjoying the beautiful morning view from our hotel, the Lakehouse. Drank strawberry-flavored highlander tea and eat yummy scones by the tea farm. Took a stroll down the pasar malam by the evening and one scrumptious steamboat dinner later, we were all wrapped in blankets watching a movie until one of us starts to snore. Hehe. 

And somehow we also managed to selit some time for picnic - eating Nasi Dagang no less, fresh from Kelantan!