Friday, August 19, 2016

A year wiser

August 18th, 2016.

Before I begin writing, I ask Allah first and foremost to protect me from evil eye that comes from any form of jealousy or hatred. Ameen.

And I hope this post will benefit my readers too.

Alhamdulillah. Today marks the day of my 24th birthday. And of course, as I turn a year older, I hope also to turn a year wiser. Insha'Allah. Unlike the birthday celebrations I had in years past, I prefer to celebrate this birthday in a simplest way as it possibly could. Strangely when I turn into a young adult, I feel more comfortable to not expose myself more on social media than I did before. I thank Him for today, for allowing me to live this long because not everyone is as fortunate as us. Say alhamdulillah.

I made a lot of life-reflection lately. Contemplation. In fact, I always do this a few days before my birthday just to remind myself of how lucky I am to live this life. I've changed a lot since I came back to Malaysia and I've been through a lot too, emotionally. Therefore, it's important for me to do this reflection to help myself understand that despite what happened in life there are always positive things to be thankful for. And being me, I love to share this reflection to my readers.

Life itself is a lesson.
I was born and raised by two loving parents who had been through life adversity when they were young. I was never pampered by wealth, neither my siblings, when we were little. There were no Barbies or other expensive toys. For us, there was only imagination. I remember when my sister and I would grab video tapes and we would build a house from it. We'd use anything that for us would work as our dolls. I also remember when I was a toddler, my mother and I visited her friend's house. Her house was big. As I was walking into the house, I saw a big doll house. It was everything a little girl could dream of having! As much as I wanted that doll house, I understood my parents very well. We weren't rich but blessing alone was enough for us. So, I went home and continued playing the video tapes we had and built a house as big as we could.

That's my life, the part that was never written before.
But I wouldn't trade it with anything else.

It takes more than I want to... to achieve what you want.
I am forever grateful for having the parents I have today. Listening to their life stories has helped to keep my feet on the ground. And I'm thankful for having healthy grandparents who shares a lot about the struggles they had to go through during war time. It's important to remind yourself of who you are and to not let yourself get carried away with what the world has to offer.

My parents were born in a poor family. It was never easy for them to achieve what they have now. They never had a chance to further their studies abroad or bought a Mercedes Benz as their first car. But that's the beauty of life, that's when I learn to achieve something on my own and value it for the hard work that I put into to achieve it. I remember when my father told us about his university life. He had to borrow money from his uncle to help him go through uni. My late grandparents weren't rich. My late grandpa was a carpenter and his wife was a housewife. The only person he could depend on was his uncle. That fifty ringgit cash given by his uncle was for his one-month spending. And he wouldn't have done it if it wasn't because of his dream to change the life of his family. He was a responsible son and brother. Something that I look forward to in my future husband someday.

Dream of something and make it happen.
My cousin was a brilliant student and was offered to further her studies in Medicine in Russia. She was my inspiration. I wasn't sure of what I wanted to become in the future but one thing that I was so sure about was that I wanted to study abroad. I often dream of studying in a university abroad when I was a teenager. I'd do anything to achieve it. So, I took 13 subjects before finishing high school including science subjects, Arabic Language, The Studies of the Qur'an and Sunnah, The Islamic Law and Tasawwur Islam. I succeeded, had a chance to further my studies in Australia, and graduated with a degree in Psychology. When I look back at it now, I realise that I've always been a risk taker since then.

My life in Australia has taught me valuable lessons.
It was the best chapter in my life!

Good things come to those who wait.
Turning a year older also means that you are one step ahead towards a new life chapter. Remember when I said I've gone through a lot emotionally? Well, this is life. It's like a roller coaster, it has its ups and downs. But it's your choice to scream or enjoy the ride.

Many years have passed since my last relationship. Of course, I've been asked many times about relationship, marriage, boyfriend, et cetera. It gets to a point where my mother would try to match me with her friend's son. To me, relationship is precious and I want it to be special. I've always wanted to marry a man who can be a great father to my children but if now is not the right time, then I'll wait until the right time comes. I'm blessed to have a friend who understands me well.

Allah knows best. You deserve better and Allah is saving you for him,” she says.

I never made promises lightly. I mean it when I say I'll wait for the best one.
He knows best and I have faith in Him.
A great man is on his way.

Happy 24th birthday to myself.
A year older, a year wiser.

Good night.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

My Ramadhan

Ramadhan mubarak, everyone!
This Ramadhan is special to me because I finally get to take my beloved ones out for iftar at the hotel today.

I made the reservation about a couple of days ago for my family and friends. Sabah Oriental Hotel was one of our favourite places to break our fast when we were still in primary school. So since it means a lot to us (or just me lol), I decided to choose the same hotel for this occasion. And of course, I invited my friends to come along so that we can share the joy with them too!

It's been a year and four months since I started my business Pastels by Ieka Ahmad and I sincerely want to share with them what I have achieved so far. And nothing beats that feeling. Alhamdulillah. In fact, I would never be in this place without their supports. May Allah reward them. My business is progressing and slowly growing bigger at a time. Alhamdulillah. Just recently, we've signed a contract with a local boutique in Kota Kinabalu to join vendor and was also featured in Utusan Borneo a few weeks ago! No words can describe how grateful I am for this opportunity except alhamdulillah. As much as it sounds exciting, I can't wait to unfold the future and see what it has to offer for me. Insha'Allah.

Until next time!

Monday, March 21, 2016


Hello, there.

As I said in my previous post, I'd like to share some of the stories mentioned by our mutawwifs while we did our ziarah in Madinah and Mekah. We had our first ziarah in Madinah followed by Mekah a few days after.

May Allah increase us in knowledge. Ameen.
I hope we all can benefit from this.

Masjid An-Nabawi
Masjid An-Nabawi is located in Madinah Al-Munawwarah. This is the Masjid of The Prophet Muhammad SAW. It was built by The Prophet SAW himself and also known as the second Masjid built after Masjid Quba. The Masjid was originally adjacent to Muhammad's house. Our mutawwif also mentioned that the old building was ten pillars from the left to the right, and eleven pillars from the front to the back.

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Messenger SAW said, One prayer in my Mosque is better than one thousand prayers in any other mosque excepting Al-Masjid Al-Haram.
— Sahih al-Bukhari

The original Masjid is located further inside the new building. The Prophet's SAW tomb is located in the old building along with his companions', Saidina Abu Bakr RA and Saidina Umar Al-Khattab RA. In the old building is also where the Raudhah is located. Raudhah is described by Rasulullah SAW as one of The Gardens of Paradise.

Masjid An-Nabawi

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet SAW said, There is a garden from the gardens of Paradise between my house and my pulpit, and my pulpit is on my Lake Fount (Al-Kauthar).
— Sahih al-Bukhari

Jannatul Baqi' (The Garden of Baqi')
We didn't have the chance to actually visit Jannatul Baqi'. While doing the ziarah, we were on the bus and didn't stop at the exact location for some reason. But the mutawwif did mention a story of this place. Jannatul Baqi' is a cemetery located in the east of Madinah, in the suburbs. The Prophet's SAW relatives and companions were buried there including his wives and children.

Jabal Uhud (Hill of Uhud)
This place is located approximately 12 kilometres from Masjid An-Nabawi. The Battle of Uhud during the time of The Prophet took place in Jabal Uhud therefore explains the name of the hill. It was the only battle where The Prophet and his companions had lost. During this battle, Rasulullah SAW was attacked. He was hit with a rock and fell on his side breaking his front teeth, slashing his face and splitting his lips. He was stabbed on the shoulder too. As a result, he had to bear the pain for a month.

I found this useful video explaining about The Battle of Uhud. You can watch this video to know more about the battle insha'Allah. The story of The Battle of Uhud.

The tomb of Saidina Hamzah ibn Abdul Mutalib RA, one of The Prophet's companions, is located near Jabal Uhud. Another two companions who were buried here are Saidina Abdullah ibn Jaysh RA and Saidina Mus'ab ibn Umair RA.

It was mentioned by our mutawwif that the blood of Rasulullah can still be smelt on the hill until today. Subhanallah.

Jabal Uhud

Masjid Quba
This mosque is located about 4.8 kilometres from Masjid An-Nabawi in Madinah. It was the first Masjid built by Rasulullah SAW and his companions on the basis of taqwa. It is the fourth-famous mosque after Masjidil Haram in Mekah, Masjid An-Nabawi in Madinah, and Masjidil Aqsa in Palestine.

The merits of Masjid Quba are mentioned in nineteen Sahih al-Bukhari hadiths, thirteen Sahih Muslim hadiths, two Sunan Abu Dawood hadiths, and six Al-Muwatta hadiths.

Rasulullah SAW used to go to the Masjid frequently every Saturday. This is referred to in a hadith:

Narrated 'Abdullah bin Dinar: Ibn 'Umar said, The Prophet used to go to the Mosque of Quba every Saturday (sometimes) walking and (sometimes) riding.
— Sahih al-Bukhari

Masjid Quba

Jabal Rahmah (Mount of Arafah)
Mount of Arafah reaches about 70 metres in height and is also known as the Mount of Mercy hence the name Jabal Rahmah. This is the place where The Prophet Adam (AS) met his other half, Hawa' according to many qaul. Our mutawwif also mentioned that The Prophet SAW also did his wukuf here.

My mother, sister, and I managed to climb up to the top. Alhamdulillah.
We recited du'a and left Jabal Rahmah soon after.

Jabal Rahmah

Masjidil Haram
Masjidil Haram is located in Mekah Al-Mukarramah and it is the oldest Masjid in the world since the time of The Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) AS until today. This is also where the Kaabah is located, the qibla of Muslims around the world. The Kaabah was built by Prophet Ibrahim AS with his son Prophet Ismail AS along with the malaikat (angels). It was mentioned in a hadith that one prayer there is equivalent to one hundred thousand prayers.


Ibn Az-Zubair (RAA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah SAW said:
Offering prayer in my mosque (in Madinah) is better than one thousand prayers elsewhere, save for those offered prayer in al-Masjid al-Haram (in Mekah). And prayer offered in al-Masjid al-Haram is better than prayer offered in my mosque by one hundred prayers.
— Related by Ahmad and Ibn Hibban graded it as Sahih

Jabal Nur (Hill of Light)
The hill is synonymous with the Cave of Hira, the place where The Prophet Muhammad  SAW is said to have spent a great deal of time meditating in the cave. It is located about 6 kilometres from Mekah Al-Mukarramah. It does however, take two hours to make it to the cave and is extremely strenuous on the individual. The cave is quite small and can fit two persons in it. Siti Khadijah RA, the wife of The Prophet Muhammad SAW, used to climb up to the hill twice a day to feed her beloved husband. Rasulullah SAW was at his 40s during that time meanwhile Khadijah RA was at her 60s. She was clearly a strong woman. Masha'Allah.

It was on this hill where The Prophet Muhammad SAW had received his first revelation from malaikat Jibril. The first revelation was Surah Al-Iqra. It was also Rasulullah's first time confronting malaikat Jibril. Our mutawwif also mentioned that Jibril spreads its wings from one end to one end, and one was named The Hill of Jibril because of the wing reaching the hill. Rasulullah SAW returned home to Khadijah RA soon after with a trembling body.

Jabal Tsur
This is the place where Rasulullah SAW was hiding with his beloved companion, Saidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq RA. During this time, The Prophet SAW was hounded by the Quraisy. Hiding in this hill does not indicate that Rasulullah was a coward but rather it was his strategy. Rasulullah SAW knew that the Quraisy would try to find him outside the city of Mekah. Therefore, he had planned to hide in the city which happened to be in Jabal Tsur.

However, the Quraisy did not give up. They announced a reward of 100 camels for anyone who tracked Rasulullah SAW and Abu Bakr. Suraqah ibn Malik, who was the best tracker of that time, was enticed. So he went to track The Prophet SAW and his companion. He easily tracked down the two-man caravan of The Prophet Muhammad on its flight to Madinah but as soon as he caught sight of the duo, his horse got stuck in the sand, and nothing could extricate her. The Prophet SAW and Abu Bakr were visible within range of his arrow, but as he lifted his bow to shoot them, his hands became paralysed.

He cried out, Ya Muhammad, pray for me in order that my horse could get out of this mess. I promise, I will retrace my steps and give up the pursuit.

Rasulullah SAW prayed, and Suraqa's horse freed herself from the sand. Such was the size of the reward, however, that Suraqa went back on his word and resumed pursuit of the duo. As he approached Muhammad, the horse got stuck into the sand again.

Suraqa again prayed: Ya Muhammad, if I was released again, I would surrender my arms and return to Mekah never to pursue you. I would dissuade even others from pursuing you.

Rasulullah SAW prayed again, and the horse again freed herself. Suraqa then declared that The Prophet Muhammad’s religion would prevail one day and requested Rasulullah to hand him a written promise that he would be honoured whenever Rasulullah SAW became the head of the Islamic state. Abu Bakr wrote the promise at the behest of The Prophet Muhammad on a bone and handed it over to Suraqa. Even as he began to return, Rasulullah SAW told him that he would one day wear the bangles of Khusrow of Persia. He asked in wonderment if Rasulullah SAW meant the bangles of Khusrow bin Hormuz, the Persian king. Muhammad nodded in acknowledgement.

Years passed. Persia was conquered during the caliphate of Umar ibn al-Khattab. Umar received a missive from Saad ibn Abi Waqqas, commander of the Islamic forces about the conquest of Persia. A fifth of the booty was sent to Umar in Madinah. It contained the famed crown of Khusrow studded with rubies, a gold belt studded with pearls and the gold bangles. Umar was looking at each of the items sent by the Commander of the forces. Suddenly Umar called Suraqa to him and put the crown on his head, helped him don the gold embroidered dress and gold bangles.

Suraqa felt uncomfortable in the royal outfit.

He raised his hands towards the sky and prayed: Ya Allah, how could I put on something which your Prophet deserved far more than I? I smell the air of punishment in it.

He then turned towards Umar and asked him to distribute all those royal appendages among the Muslims.

Masjid Ji'ranah
The Masjid is located about 16 kilometres outside the city of Mekah. It was where Rasulullah SAW and his beloved companions took their miqat for umrah. The name Ji'ranah derives from a woman's name, Ja'ranah. Her name was mentioned by Allah SWT in the Qur'an.

Ja'ranah's story caught our attention.

She was a woman who came from a wealthy family but was less intelligent. Both of her parents had died earlier before her. Ja'ranah then married a man whom only loved her for her fortune. After marrying him, her husband took all her wealth and left her alone by herself. Ja'ranah waited for days, months and years for him to come home but he did not return. Since then, she became an insane woman.

Masjid Ji'ranah