Muslim World Tour

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gibran Hasnaoui, the self-proclaimed Ibn Battuta of the 21st century, tells us all about his Muslim World Tour project. All I can say is... I wish I could do the same!

Productive Muslim in Kuala Lumpur

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I'm sure you guys have come across Productive Muslim. Or at least Productive Ramadan. If you haven't... where have you been?! For almost two years I've enjoyed reading their articles and watching their YouTube  videos.

That's why I was stoked when I found out the founder of Productive Muslim would be in Kuala Lumpur to give a two-day seminar on how to be a productive Muslim (totally saw that coming didn't you?). It took place yesterday and today at the International Islamic University of Malaysia.

Islamic Eye Candy

Saturday, February 25, 2012

"My success is only with Allah (swt)" {Qur'an, 11:88}

"Lo! Allah and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet.
O ye who believe! Ask blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation." {Quran, 33:56}

Detour to Doha {Part 2}

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Before leaving for Saudi Arabia I was asked to book a hotel in Doha, Qatar. I was reminded to pick something "not so lavish". Really? Did I actually need that reminder? So I went on, looked at my options and chose a good hotel but a simple looking ensuite for my family and I. Trust me, the photos that were posted on (at the time) weren't impressive. And that's why when we arrived at the hotel we were surprised with what we saw... 

This, ladies and gentlemen, is Kempinski Residences and Suite in Doha.

Not Just One

Monday, February 20, 2012

Shaykh Ismail Menk in Kuala Lumpur 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

We attended a talk by Shaykh Ismail Musa Menk at Al-Khaadem Foundation tonight, alhamdulillah. He came all the way from Harare, Zimbabwe and  he's very knowledgeable, engaging and funny mashaAllah. His 2-day seminar at University Malaya is already sold out. Even I wasn't able to get tickets because they were sold out by the time I arrived Malaysia. However, the organisers have decided to hold a live telecast outside the hall (free of charge) to accommodate as many people as they can. Non-Muslims are more than welcomed to join.  

Talk 1: The Fortunate Muslim Family: Divine Solution to the Fragmented Family 
Date: 20th February 2012
Time: 8 pm - 10 pm
Venue: Dewan Perdana 1, Kompleks Perdana Siswa, University Malaya

Talk 2: Being Steadfast on the Path
Date: 22nd February 2012
Time: 8 pm - 10 pm
Venue: Dewan Perdana 1, Kompleks Perdana Siswa, University Malaya

Shaykh Ismail Menk will also be giving a talk entitled 
"Prophet Muhammad (pbuh): The Man and his Message" 
21st February 2012
at Masjid Al-Falah, USJ 9 after Maghrib prayer

Everyone is invited so please spread the word, inshaAllah.

Style Sunday: Saffiyah

Some of The Scarflets and I were at Sugarscarf Boutique for an interview with TV 9. 
It was for a 5 minute slot so my one and only line was: "Saksikan kami di Saffiyah, Ahad 9 malam di TV 9". Haha! 
(English translation: "Watch our appearance on Saffiyah, Sunday 9 pm on TV 9)

Faith Friday: The Power of Bismillah

Friday, February 17, 2012

Surah Al-Fatihah, the first chapter of the Holy Qur'an, begins with the sentence 'bismillahirrahmanirrahim'. In the name of God, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful. In Islam, we are encouraged to say bismillah before doing something. We say bismillahirrahmanirrahim before eating, drinking, going to work, so on and so forth.

How important is the name of Allah (subhana wa taala - Glorified and Exalted be He)? As narrated by Imam Muslim, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, "The world will cease to exist, doomsday will start, when the name of God - Allah (subhana wa taala) is no longer mentioned". This name is why creations exist. This name is why we're still functioning as humanity. 

Detour to Doha (Part 1)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

After our 2011 Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca and Madinah my family and I took a detour and stopped by Doha, Qatar for a couple of days before returning to Malaysia. Although I was in a somber mood because our pilgrimage had come to an end, I was very eager and excited to visit an Arab country I had never been to before. Additionally, at the time I was still writing my dissertation about the pan-Arab news channel, Al Jazeera, and as many of you would know, Al Jazeera's headquarter is located in Qatar. A substantial portion of my thesis was dedicated to the history of Qatar, its leaders and political developments. Hence, I was very much looking forward to witnessing the manifestation of Sheikh Hamid Al-Thani's (Emir of Qatar) vision for his country with my own eyes. After all, he was dubbed the maverick Emir of the Middle East.

The moment we landed in Doha we were met with a surprise. All the immigration officers were Arab women. I didn't expect that at all. Bear in mind, I had just left Saudi Arabia where it's not very common to see Arab women working. At least, not in public. The immigration officers wore black abayas and shaylas. Some were wearing full-on make up while others opted to wear none. I thought, Okay, this is interesting...  I should've taken a picture but I didn't want to risk being yelled at. Arab women are usually very particular about picture-taking.

To All My Readers...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I would like to say 'thank you' to each and every one of my readers today. 
To all my silent readers and my not-so-silent readers.
(Yes, that means those of you who have taken the time to comment, e-mail and/or say 'hi' when you see me in person)
Life has become a lot more interesting ever since I started blogging two years ago.
And it's all because of you, dear readers.
You guys are amazing, mashaAllah!

now that I'm on holiday in Kuala Lumpur I would love to hear from more of you if you know of any upcoming events 
I should know about in Malaysia, Singapore or Indonesia.
I'd be keen to attend seminars or talks regarding Islam, Middle Eastern / South East Asian / European politics, art and media.
I'm currently in the process of coming up with a future thesis topic so I need to get inspired, inshaAllah.
Plus, we just might bump into each other. Be sure to say 'hi'! 

Leave a comment or e-mail me.

Celebrate Love

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Forget Valentine's Day!
This is a far better way to celebrate love.

"And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you love and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought." {Surah Ar-Rum, verse 21}

I've listened to Imam Suhaib Webb's 'Mothers of the Believers' series and it's truly fascinating because I am indirectly learning about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and how he treated his beloved wives (may Allah swt be pleased with them). It made me realise that there's so much to learn about the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his life. We need to conquer ignorance about Islam by acquiring, sharing and implementing knowledge. Therefore, I encourage you to be a part of this global event and benefit from the knowledge of these prominent Muslim scholars and leaders, inshaAllah.

 Sign up now because I heard it's almost sold out! 

Faith Friday: The Struggling Muslim - Hijab and Modernity

Friday, February 10, 2012

Jumaah Mubarak everyone!

When I wrote a post about Islamophobia not too long ago someone asked me this question: I would love to hear what's your answer/opinion if someone, be it a non-Muslim or Muslim, asks you, "Why do you have to wear the hijab in this modern world?"

Muslims and non-Muslims have asked me a question along those lines. Wait, what? Muslims? Yes, there are Muslims who don't believe the hijab is relevant today and that's a personal choice. There's no compulsion in Islam, especially in matters pertaining to the heart's worship. Muslim men and women have told me that I shouldn't hide what God has given me and that covering the awrah is old-fashioned. To be honest, I used to think that the hijab was a conservative mode of dress and never thought I'd eventually wear it myself but I never criticised a Muslim woman for wearing hijab and dressing modestly. In fact, I secretly admired them for having the courage to be steadfast in their faith instead of conforming with the ever changing trends of with the "modern" world.

To answer your question, this is what I would say:


Thursday, February 09, 2012

Assalamualaykum everyone! Since my return to Malaysia I've been indulging myself in total relaxation but my sister's been bugging me to start blogging again so here I am. All that packing and moving was so stressful  but I'm glad all that is in the past. My first week back has been all about spending time with my family, getting over my jet lag and acclimatising to the Malaysian weather. It's hot and humid here but I prefer this over snow and hail any day.

It's so good to be back in Kuala Lumpur, alhamdulillah! I haven't set a date for when this holiday will end as I haven't bought a return ticket to New Zealand. All I know is I need a break and I'm lucky to be able to have some time off to do the things I enjoy. It's also really nice to be back with my family and my sister is especially good at making me feel at home. She took me to see her new office yesterday because she has just been transferred to teach at the Food Science and Technology department of University Putra Malaysia at end of last year. After a quick tour she treated me to a 3-course lunch at the university's fine dining restaurant. I never knew a university could have a fine dining restaurant! 

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you... L'apprenti.

Au Revoir Dunedin

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Goodbyes aren't easy. That's why I don't do goodbyes. I prefer to celebrate and cherish whatever precious time I have left with my loved ones instead. Last Saturday some my friends and I went to Brighton beach where we had a picnic and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. I’m going to miss the girls I met in Dunedin so much! They’re part of the equation that sums up who I am today. When I first moved to Dunedin I was so different. I was 16 and all I wanted to be was completely Western because ever since I was a kid I was surrounded by Western ideals. However, when I met these women, learned about their beautiful cultures and observed how they practiced Islam I saw a side of my faith that I hadn’t seen before. I realised that Islam was more than just rules and rituals. Islam became something that I wanted to understand and embrace instead of something I followed to conform with the Malaysian Muslim society. For the first time, Islam was interesting and I saw it as a beautiful and dignified way of life. SubhanAllah, the Muslim community in Dunedin has inspired me in so many ways.