Tuesday, November 24, 2015

School holidays and achievements thus far

Again.. the hectic schedule of running around with work and activities for the children had made me neglected my blog this last 2 weeks. Honestly, i totally have forgotten about continuing to write about my hajj journey!! Haha 
Its the end of the year and kids were at their busiest schedule. From Marissa's end of year concert to Qayyum and Qaisya's Hari Anugerah. I try as much not to miss their thingy in the midst of my hectic oncall. 
 Qayyum surprised all of us with his achievement in SRA. At first when he came back and told me that he was 2nd in class, i was very sceptical. I could only attend Qaisya's report card day and not his. Ustaz had to call to inform that it was true that he will be getting his prize on Hari Anuegerah. Haha That is as bad as it can get. Alhamdulillah, it was his rezeki. I guess the drill we did during the haze "holidays" improved his grades. As proud as I can be, i thought it was good for his motivation. This was his first time unlike Qaisya and I am sure it will spur him on to achieve better things in the future. 
 I missed Qaisya's SKBJ hari penyampaian hadiah though due to work. It was not possible to take short notice leave and we had a busy list that day. I must thank my auntie, AUntie Nor who volunteered to be at the school to celebrate Qaisya's first place in class! Kudos! 
 Last weekend, both Qayyum and Qaisya took part in the SKBJ close chess competition. It is a yearly thingy for the club - in seeing how much those coming for the weekly chess club had progressed. It was Qaisya's first tournament and I was interested to see how she would cope and fare in a more competetive environment. She got 3rd and hence the medal and I am beginning to sense her longing to win things. Haha I'm just not sure how would she cope with dissapointments later :) 

Friday, November 06, 2015

My Hajj journey Part 3

The flight to KLIA to Jeddah took 9 hours, I've not been in a flight that long for quite sometime and probably realized that fact when it was announced by the captain. I am with Tabung Haji's Topaz package and with me were about 30 couples. We only knew one couple at first, Yuzaini from Petronas as we were once facilitators for Projek Tekad more than 10 years ago! We met them earlier during the Kursus Intensif package in KL few weeks before departure. Its nice however to be in a group where you do not really know other people as it gives you the chance to obtain more friends and contacts from all ages.
Our flight were shared by a few other Malaysian package groups. Most significantly, a group which was invited personally by King Salman - the chief of Malaysian Police Tan Sri Khalid  and Dr Maza, Perlis Mufti was in that group too. It was with this group that I met Fadzil - an acquaintance from my Perth days! We managed to catch up a bit, its good to meet up old friends in this journey of ibadah. 
We were in our ihram and slowly building the momentum towards niat in miqat which means having to confirm our intention at the place designated for us to do so. This would be one of the pillars of hajj. It is haram to enter Makkah if not to worship him ie either umrah or hajj as planned. Since our flight was from Malaysia our miqat was Qarnul Manazil. Obviously being high up in the sky we would not know but we were informed by the flight authorities to confirm our intentions when we passed the area. And from there on, we are bounded to the 13 don'ts of ihram. Bismillah. 
I guess it was the niat to ibadah that made me uncharacteristicly not taking as many pictures during this earlier part of the journey as I would have if travelling elsewhere.I was more comfortable after masyair and did take my chance to snap typical jemaah pics! haha The talbiah was recited again and again. My heart went racing as this is it. I am on my way to Makkah. I am on way to the holy land. The last i was there was when i was 16. A lot have changed i guess based on the stories which were told to us by fellow Hajj who went on previous years, 
This is a journey where we were advised to be patient all the time. A lot of test will be encountered and one has to be true to one's intention. Being a "pendosa tegar", i was a bit worried if I am to be facing multiple dugaans haha But i guess this is the time to be tested. It was talbiah, zikr, talbiah zikr on my lips and in my heart. 
Allahumma yassir Wa la Tu'assir.
Our arrival in Jeddah was on time and surprisingly the immigration wait was not too bad. It was not too long and made easy with the efficient movement by the authorities. 2-3 hours waiting was not too bad as compared to the experience of 8-14 hours by previous jemaahs. We arrived at 9pm and by 12am we were on our bus to Jeddah.
The true heat of Saudi was felt when we went out of the airport to the bus station area. Our Tabung Haji Travel CEO, Dato Yasmin was there to receive us and with her staff, making our journey experience as comfortable as it can be. Honestly, in my mind i was ready for any worst scenario.. as I've always been ready in my past travels. This time around it was different because my mind was then focused on my task ahead. The palpitation was getting more obvious as we were approaching makkah.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

My Hajj Journey Part 2

To tell you the truth, I don't really have that much of pictures to share. Somehow along the trip, it did not trigger me to snap pics here and there as how i would usually do. Brought my selfie stick but almost did not use it as i felt wrong doing that.
 My initial plan was to do a video log of what I do everyday from arrival till departure. It was not doable because once you are there, it did not become a priority. What was more important was the submission to Allah. And that feeling is totally unexplainable. I reckon to those who have gone through this journey may understand what i mean. As how i began to understand the magical wonders of hajj in this trip as it went.
1 Zulhijjah 1436 - 10 days before wukuf; the date of my flight from Kl to Jeddah. We were scheduled to fly on the commercial flight instead of a chartered flight. It was via Saudi airlines thus our departure point was from KLIA instead of Kelana Jaya. Thus we were known as SV 12 as compared to the standard Tabung Haji fellas of KT (I had a hard time to describe to our fellow jemaah in Mekah when we met haha) 
In terms of experience, we missed the crowd, the atmosphere in Kelana Jaya that is knwon to be very festive  and the police escort to KLIA. What we appreciated was it was possible for the kids to see us till the boarding gate. If the check in was in Kelana Jaya, we don't think it was suitable to bring the kids to the crowded area. Alhamdulillah. Anyway, it was a small affair, both of our parents and siblings came to the house before we left. 
                                   classic picture - must find my grandpas pic posing as such.
 After putting on the ihram it felt different. My mind was focused towards what I will be going through. The last few months was about consolidating my knowledge about hajj. Eventhough i learnt about it in school. it was different pondering on the knowledge as it was the ibadah i was going to perform. Papa recited the doa for us.
 And at that moment when my eldest son recited the azan before our departure, it hit me. Labbaikallahummalabbaik.. Labbaikkalasharikalakalabbaik...
 Felt proud of Qayyum as he has been trained to stand up to his role on this day that he will remember for the rest of his life. I saw the tears in his eyes which translated to his quiet cry while in the MPV to KLIA. 
 Kids were as usual jovial. Perhaps only the elder 3 understood what was going on as we were leaving them for a month. Perhaps their previous experience sending and picking me up at the airport gave them a bit of comfort of not feeling the temporary loss. 
"See you in October Ummi.." Qaisya yelled as we were proceeding to the immigration counter. Typical of her personality; few days before the departure, Qayyum n Marissa would be sobbing and crying while going to sleep. Qaisya went" Why is everybody crying?" haha typical. 
We did not feel too sad leaving them ( as for me mmg takde perasaan la.. haha I've left them too many times) because i guess our minds were directed towards the bigger task at mind. For Allah to accept our humble ibadah. 

My Hajj journey Part 1

After all the kursus haji that we have attended, it was the real thing now. Honestly, despite people giving lots of advice, Ustaz and his teachings, we still did not know what to expect. Ihram, Mashair.. etc.. Ya Allah, every night was filled with what ifs. 
We held a small kenduri doa selamat a few days before we left for Hajj. It was 2 days after the crane tragedy happened in Makkah. Everybody was shocked with what had happened and figured that this year would be a challenging one. This was our first ever kenduri event at the house. It was a good one as we managed to invite the neighbours around us. Those who did not make it came earlier or later to meet us personally wishing us mabrur for the trip. Alhamdulillah, we were glad that the weather was convenient for all our guests.  
Dr Anwar had earlier agreed to lead the Maghrib prayers and Yassin recitation with doa at the end of it. Thank you bro! I really do appreciate it. His recitation of the quran was wonderful. Luckily i managed to get our own PA system for the event. And guess where i bought it? Rawang! Where you can find anything at a cheaper price! haha  

Alhamdulillah we had a good crowd with closest family and friends came to pray du'a for me and wifey. I am grateful of the attendance at at times was worried if the food we catered was enough!It was a very busy night as everyone who came had something to tell us. Most of the relatives shared their own experience and gave us handful tips. Thats why this event was different from any other event that we have organized before. We had more close conversations with the guest compared to if it was raya/birthday or gathering. 
 Alhamdulillah, the night ended well and we were very pleased that everything went as planned. Now the palpitation will be of waiting for the day we were scheduled to depart for Jeddah. 

CIkgu garang

My children is getting bigger and wifey can't really manage the elder ones as how she would like to. Especially during the exam week as too often i will hear her shout and scream..(haha, stress) during the revision. So this time around I've decided to take over that role. Anyway, wifey was occupied with her ill cousin that I had to step in anyway. 
It was supposed to be only during the exam week but the haze messed the arrangement. In the end they had to take exams for both sekolah kebangsaan and sekolah agama in the same week. Usually it will be one week after another.
Kids will be kids. Their ability to absorb and handle everything at the same time is better than adults. So we proceed for the 2 weeks full revision with me mentoring. It had been quite sometime since i last did this. I have always enjoyed teaching and i will have my own unique technique. When i got angy then i realized, ooo patut pun wifey stress haha Anyway, with rotan on one hand it did help as the children were always more afraid of me because of my action first talk later. Haha Managed to discipline them for that 2 weeks with the worksheets I've asked them to do. We went over it after and Insha Allah, i guess the children somehow appreciate it. As by the 2nd week they were ready asking what they were supposed to do on that day. 
I guess its not easy for the teachers in school to handle these kids. Especially if the kids had varying abilities. 40 students in 1 class can be too much for the teacher to really concentrate on everybody. However, i do believe that a good teacher would try his or her best to sort the kids to the best of their ability. Indeed a very noble profession. 
This week we are waiting for their results, I must say Qaisya's has been encouraging as how she has been. For Qayyum, i do hope that there will be some improvement to his grades as the mid year exams showed us how bad his understanding was with what is being taught ( or was it even done?). Insha Allah, the super drilling i gave them last week would help and i guess towards his UPSR or whatever they may call it then. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

To live and to die

It has indeed been a busy week at work for me. It was also a crucial week for a close friend as the the diagnosis was confirmed. The big C. The unwanted C. The vicious C. When it smacks at somebody close to you, one would realize how fragile one is in knowing what the future holds. It is never ours to know or predict and the acceptance of such qada and qadar can be easy to be uttered, yet hard to be realized. 
It is common to hear sermons demanding to make death as one's ultimate motivation. It is the best motivation but in the midst of our daily lives sometimes it becomes the thing one wants to avoid to hear. Having a young family, young children with life thought to be ready full ahead is disrupted. Insha Allah, it is a blessing. The chance of actually knowing one's life expectancy. You and me, we will never know when it can be. As for me, perhaps after blogging this entry, i might just slip and have hard fall causing a massive intracranial bleed which can take my life instantly. That is much scarier to think about. Life is just to short to not be satisfied with. Carpe Diem.
Insha Allah, i pray to god for what is best. Of course, despite being at Stage IV it does not mean one should just let it be. A certain effort is needed to not cheat death but to realize how powerful Allah's will is.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

One year after hijrah

It has been a year after i made the move. Alhamdulillah, it has been a fulfilling journey so far. The many things I thought it was not possible to do if one is in the private, I did it. It is possible to take leave and do charity work and of course, the journey of hajj. I guess it was my rezeki as the hospital I am now is relatively new. Therefore, the workload would not be as intense as established private sector. Despite that, the remuneration I made is sufficient and I am happy with what i am earning now. I have an understanding colleague and a healthy atmosphere with my surgical colleagues. What more do one wants kan? 
Is there any regrets? NOPE.. Insha Allah it will never be that way in fact a move forward with the hijrah. Honestly, it was never in my long term plan to join the private sector. I was a loyal servant especially to UiTM as I see great things that my faculty and University can achieve. I have always been a strong supporter and as much as possible, brought the UiTM tag with me wherever I go around the country. People knew me as the Dr from UiTM. I recruited a number of doctors and jurses to join the university. I had dreams to grow with Faculty of Medicine UiTM. We started the Cardiothoracic services and that is the highlight of my job with UiTM. A small new faculty and department but we did wonders to be able to do open heart surgeries in our humble centre, CTC. I learnt the off pump technique from a very distinguished surgeon, and i owe him the wisdom of clinical and maturity. 
So why did i leave? Soalan cepumas!! Tak puas hati dengan gaji? Problem dengan admin? Dizalimi roster? Haha Maybe few of the typical reasons of why doctors from the government decide to go private practice.Insha Allah, none of that is my reason in fact i wish i did not have to leave if it was possible. I enjoy the chaos and the rifts of emergencies that occur in government hospitals. Memang best despite when at that moment in time, we just had to do what we had to do. The environment in UiTM is condusive. Politics? well.. mana2 pun politics as that is part and parcel of life. One has to be cunning to realize one's potential. Of course, teaching the students. I miss that the most. To see the innocent young at their enthusiastic idealistic stage being nurtured into becoming complete doctors for ummah. Its a joy to see their faces as you share your knowledge with them and I do hope i would have the chance to contribute like that again in the future. 
SO what was my reason? Its our teaching hospital. The delay and frustration of the dream project for hopefuls like me really would be my reason. When i joined the faculty back in 2005, we had this vision of a medical city. An idea which inspired many others to have similar visions. I have always looked forward to the dream and motivated myself on it during my post graduate studies. It was not meant to be but we were promised our own teaching hospital circa 2015. I was really looking forward to that. Psyched my team on the dream to form our own department and unique hospital. 
Unfortunately, the project got delayed many times and the timeline moved with it. Early 2014, in a discussion with the new faculty management I found out that the project status was as how it was earlier planned. I was shocked and that made me rethink of my goals and aims.  Of course there were meetings, seminars , "FINAL" meeting etc but unfortunately it never got off to whatever reason. The VC announced regarding our teaching hospital in 2010, but as it stands now,. nothing conclusive on this project. 
My unfulfilled journey in the GAZA mission later in 2014 changed a lot of my beliefs and perception. I saw with my own eyes how weak the ummah is and how we are all gullible to the powerhouse. We can all just complain but can do nothing at all. We do not have the means to help the Gazans really. The only thing that they need and really plead if we wanna really help is to fund them. How can we fund them if we do not have the means? 
And i made my decision to part from UiTM despite my love for the institution. I still believe that the faculty and university will thrive. Perhaps not in my time and my rezeki. It will come and i guess i am the person who won't wait for things to happen. I try to make things happen! 
And here I am.. a year after. Insha Allah, prayers for better years to come in fulfilling my duties.

Monday, October 26, 2015

And I am 39

A belated birthday post for me! Alhamdulillah, I turned 39 last Saturday. The 24th of October. There was not so much of celebration this year, i guess because I was oncall. It was a nice feeling to have friends from all over wishing you from all social media platforms. Nowadays you don't really receive the old school birthday cards anymore, even from your closest family members! 
It was a cool Saturday. I spent my time mostly at home. Tutoring (more of drilling!) haha my elder 2 kids on their coming exam this week. The hospital  did not have any case though and all day i was reflecting on my life so far, of what has happened, what I am now and what my future will be...
Significantly, I am one year short before turning 40. Life begins at 40 they say. I read in an unnamed whatsapp message about the significance of the age 40 for man. And i was astonished with the fact of a verse in the Quran, Al Ahqaaf 15.. 

"We enjoined the human being to honor his parents. His mother bore him arduously, gave birth to him arduously, and took intimate care of him for thirty months. When he reaches maturity, and reaches the age of forty, he should say, "My Lord, direct me to appreciate the blessings You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and to do the righteous works that please You. Let my children be righteous as well. I have repented to You; I am a submitter." 46:15

Subhanallah. It is being mentioned about the Quran how significant age 40 is. AN age of maturity: the prime of life. The best of times for Allah's creation. 
And it was this fact that became the theme during my recent hajj. Of how, a reflection of what i have achieved so far and an evaluation of whether my so called achievements are tallied to the ultimate aim as the servant of Allah. 
I have never been a perfect servant. Perhaps maybe committing sins more than the supposed deeds. Masha Allah. 
I pray to Allah that he will keep me in the right path, the path of the righteous. And I pray really hard , that this realization i have before turning 40 would be constant and perhaps towards the penultimate goalof any muslim. Insha Allah. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I'm back

The journey of my lifetime. Alhamdulillah, I'm back home now after a long absence on the blogging scene. I went to Makkah on the 12th of September and came back on the 13th of October. One month of my direct dedication to Allah and it was a wonderful experience.I will share with you guys in my coming postings. It was not possible somehow though to blog it in realtime. I guess, I was more keen to be in direct communication with god than with mankind.I twas my only opportunity which should not be wasted in the holy land. 
Am I a changed person/man now? Only time will tell. As the challenge now would be to maintain my istiqamah :) Pray that it'll be easy for me though i know that it will be a challenge!!