Jan 20, 2016

Hadza Qalbun Jadid


The first time I've imagined to attend 2015's Muktamar, I could not think how would I feel. It would be so different compared to when I joined last time when I was unmarried with no child, so carefree to go anywhere. Plus I am now one of the super seniors among the Malaysian students. 

It IS different. Time changed.

Last week when I hold my usrah Qalbun Jadid, we shared our reflections during winter break. Some of us did not go anywhere (I mean, travelling), some did go from east to west of the States (like there's no other time to go to the other side of the world :P)

See, now we bring our kids to Muktamar!

Beginning with Muktamar, most of us helped volunteering for the event. Becoming a PA for the speaker, cik N1 learned a lot - from handling things technically and formally until getting a lot of personal sharing from the speaker. It's one of the chance that you can be very close to a well known person to gain as much as you can. And all the chaos happened during the muktamar - haha.. it's common to have such things (or maybe it's just me who always feel 'gelabah' when things don't work the way it should haha..)

Traveling is not just driving or riding a vehicle and sight-seeing when you go with a group of people. And imagine going with 5-6 cars together to the same place! It's fun, but yet can be a hassle if not handled properly. :p Cik M and Cik N2, even myself realized that having different opinions to make a decision is an art (eh yeke?) or decision making. Cik M learned that even if you are a peacemaker, you still need to contribute something to your travel-mates - not just agree and follow. hehe.. And being a group leader, cik N2 finds that it is a challenge for her to satisfy each person in the group. 

There we learned. Musafir is where you learn who our sisters really are. 

And by staying at home too, cik A1 and cik A2 actually did something about themselves and people around them. We were (and are now... :) ) so busy struggling with our studies, job, and DnT, sometimes we don't have time to get to know our true selves and people. Somehow when there's an event happened, only then we realized that we still don't know a simple thing.

Cik L, finally, had a diverse experience where she spent her winter break tadabbur-ing the 'alam on an island. Seeing how a volcano 'lights up' like a flood of lights at night, it's not exaggerating to say how can you deny Allah is the Creator of the universe? 

Wherever we go, whatever we do, apart from your normal schedule, there is so much things to learn and improve yourselves. We have guidelines from the Quran and Sunnah - check the 10 Muslim characteristics, aim what you want to achieve.

Being a da'ie/ah, who says you can't get a productive winter break? It's actually in you ;)

Jan 3, 2016

2016's resolution

It’s January 3rd. wanted to share something but I think I forget the point. Nvm smile emoticon

We had a rough year last year, lots of ups and downs. We moved like a nomad in the summer, struggled with research when you have a toddler (can’t even imagine having 2 kids yet :0).

And at the end of the year, I learned that my thoughts are now different compared to when I was an undergraduate. Perjalanan hidup bermusafir benar2 mematangkan kita. 

And that’s how life is. What we want to focus is why do we live here on Earth, it’s not just being born and live until you die. And I believe that Allah didn’t just create me for nothing in this world. 

And that is why I keep moving on. 

Whatever year it is, renew your niyyah and goals always. And keep going!

The only picture of us together during muktamar trip. Taken at the Bookloft, German Village, Columbus, Ohio

Jun 11, 2015

How does it feel to be a US graduate student?


I was asked several times,

Why US?
Tak susah ke? (Isn't it hard?)
How does it feel to be a US PhD student?

I do expect these kind of questions. US is known to be one of the challenging places to get a PhD.

Here's why.

  1. You are required to take graded technical courses, in my case, total of around 36 credit hours (around 12 courses). You have to make sure you do study like undergraduates - finish the homework, do your best in exams and get good grades. Definitely to maintain your CGPA above 3.
  2. You need to pass a preliminary exam. The system is different across schools and departments. Once you pass the exam, then you are officially a PhD student. Now you can work with your research seriously.
  3. Your professor might hold you longer than you should be to help him/her on the research. Well, it depends. But the normal length of PhD here is 5-6 years full time. 
Plus additional on myself
  1. Having a toddler while doing PhD is a big challenge already. Times to study at home is like none. She will grab my attention while I'm on my laptop, reading papers, or even when I'm on the phone browsing things.
  2. Living overseas limits you to find a baby sitter. A daycare here would cost about $500-$800 per month. That's the same as our monthly rent! So my husband sacrifice his daytime to take care of her and working remotely to Malaysia during nighttime.
While I am still struggling searching for the best topic for my research, I could not comment more until I get it on track and feel more peaceful later on inshaAllah. For now, I'm fully thankful to Allah for allowing me to survive the first year of my PhD journey, and keeping me alive and energetic for my second year. Ameen...

The little brother has recently graduated from his Bachelor degree. Congratulations, mabruk alaik ya akhi!

Jan 1, 2015

2014 - another memorable year, ahlan 2015


2014 almost ended in an hour here in Nashville (I have yet to update my life though).

I would probably make a short summary of 2014 knowing this is going to be very hard to continue if I stop writing.

End of 2013 was a new beginning to me as a mother, thus the big challenge really came this year. Juggling time between handling house, a child, and tarbiyyah is really a BIG challenge.

Going to usrahs is not that bad, but when other events came.. Subhanallah, sometimes I will be in dilemma whether I should go or not. Making sure all the facilities are infant-friendly, others are comfortable having infants at the event, and the list goes on and on. But, Allah is the Most Merciful, He guided me, provided me the best husband to motivate and never slip to miss his responsibility as a husband and a father.

Now that I am studying, it drives me crazy a lot more in addition to that I have to work as a teaching assistant as well. Only Allah and my husband know how my first semester looks like.

And hey, Allah won't give things that you can't handle, right? :)

Alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah... I manage to get busy as before, though a bit limited, but my time is mostly occupied. I now miss my Gombak & IIUM, for they have built my strength and always keep me motivated whenever I feel down and challenges came by.

Allahu akbar!

The daughter
Our beautiful daughter grows well, mashaAllah.... From not being able to do anything other than crying out loud (and smiles and giggles sometimes), Aufa is now able to wear a winter cap by herself, and help to put her toys in the box.

Subhanallah, she's a grown up. A year old, she can do a lot more than I can ever imagine. Really, human beings are the best creation as Allah said.

And I am eager now to wait until she can walk well, and able to talk. She surely make me cry when she's able to do that. *I believe my mother must be excited when I was very small back then :')*

The future
I finally have the courage to apply for graduate school again. My long-term plan to have a doctorate degree, I thought I should pursue it very soon. And so I did, only to a school. And I got the offer, alhamdulillah. Allah made it easy.

The hard part was the money to fly. I have the teaching assistantship that covers only tuition fee, insurance, and monthly allowance. But Allah guided us through all the challenges. It's true, when we do things with good intention, Allah will guide and help inshaAllah.

Trust Him. :)

And here I am back in Nashville, Tennessee, but now with the best husband and daughter, for more or less 4 years I guess.

More challenges, more fun I guess. hehe.

Deciding to take a PhD is not an easy decision. It will take your 4-5 years of life stuck in the class and piles of journal papers. You will not have a good salary as other experienced employees like your friends do. And time with your children (but those who work face the same thing though.. :D)

But Allah knows best. My intention to pursue this is to become a professional in my field. Personal reasons and wider missions inshaALlah!

The family
My youngest sister finally graduated from high school last few weeks. Subhanallah, time flies so fast, I might still treating her like a baby sis (Nazirah, you now have a child! duh~). My parents are busy looking for her post-school plans, inshaAllah the best will come. More US grads? haha.

My only brother finally done with his undergraduate last week, and so his commencement will be on May inshaAllah... Congratulations brother! Now I have an EE gang in the house hehe.

And Angah, of course, making money now. :p

Subhanallah, all have grown up. I don't know how Mak and Ayah is feeling right now, probably happy with the achievements of their children (alhamdulillah). In the other side, they might feel sad when everyone will have their own life to go on, if not now, will be soon.

For my dear Mak and Ayah, we will always be your children and both of you will always be our Mak and Ayah. Nothing will replace that until even we enter Jannah inshaALlah. :') O Allah, forgive our parents and love them as they have love us since we are born. Ameeen...

As for my in-law side, my sister-in-law got married early 2014. And Aufa now have 2 cousins, alhamdulillah! Welcome Samir Salahuddin and 'Iffah! We will meet if Allah permits for sure, Aufa is surely eager to meet her cousins. :)

And of course, we have entered our third year being together. I thanked Allah for giving me this ni'mah - a husband who is very patient, caring, and loving for who I am. We are still learning towards a blissful marriage and building a great baitul muslim, may Allah guide us. Ameen...

2015.... What's coming up?
I rarely succeed in achieving my annual goals, usually maybe around 20-30 percent. But, one thing for sure, I don't want to give up giving hopes to myself. Allah has never close the door of taubah to us, why would I give up now?

One of the video that I listened just tonight, gave me motivation to do this continuously. My dream to memorize the whole Qur'an since I was in school - I shall never give up. InshaAllah :)

(focus on the 6:25 onwards)

Here we go, new chapter of life. Never never never stop praying for Allah guidance towards a blessed life.

Allahumma ameen.

Mar 3, 2014

Stop sign?


I know I haven't finished my 2013 roll-up. Searching for some time to do it.
Will do it somehow inshaALlah.

Saying that,

These past few weeks were a hectic one. I can say almost weekdays and weekends are totally full. If not having programs, we'll be away in either parents' house. Nights are filled, days are the only time I have to do house chores.

Until last 2 weekends, my husband and I talked about thinking to have a getaway. Nak lepaskan lelah. Seriously we were so exhausted at that time with 4-5 events in 2 days.

But not having to think and plan, we almost forget about it and continue our normal tasks.

And yesterday, my husband suddenly said something while we were in the car... Since he joined this path, he is rarely in a complete rest. Always busy with events and tasks. SubhanaLlah, Allah has not let him to stay put so he will stay in pace doing da'wah.

And I myself, reflecting, Allah has located me in places that are still struggling too. Wherever I run, there are still lots of jobs need to be done.

And we both reflected. We need rest to gain back our energy, but there is no stop sign in this path until we meet Him in the Hereafter.

Feb 3, 2014 Part 2

Story 3
Leaving Intel is part of the things that I have to do to leave Penang for good. Leaving my usrahmates and the kids (are they really kids? ^_~ ) are totally hard. I have built the love for almost 2 years, it's hard to leave them.

My usrahmates and murabbi were the awesomest usrah. I was the youngest of course in the group (perasan muda lah saya :p ), the others are ranging from 2 to 4 years older than me and all of them are form Northern states. So of course the slang will be northern, but not too thick. Which I kinda like it. :)

But the most important thing was I learned a lot about tarbiyyah system in Malaysia. When I came back from US last time, I kept thinking myself whether I'm able to cope with Malaysian style or not, whether I choose the correct path, and even whether I will not 'run' away again. My Penang sisters really helped me to change my views and feels, Alhamdulillah...

Qiyam together
Food time in every usrah (eh?) 
Daurah murabbi - helped me a lot rather than approaching ppl out of nowhere haha~
Discussing on mutarabbi issues during usrah
Mukhayyam with cool and 'sempoi' kakaks and makciks

Subhanallah, I feel refreshed every time I came back home! ^_^

Adding on, having a liqa with teens made me feel younger. And they have made me feel hard to leave Penang!

It's hard to find teens like them nowadays, who are seeking tarbiyyah everywhere. They are the one who always ask me when to have usrah, when is the next ikramteens event, and even volunteering to help organize one.

My adik2 who always keeping me awake every time I almost falling 'asleep'. :)

Another liqa' with young adults (saya lah juga) also was a fun one, alhamdulillah. :) :) :)
They are around the same age as mine, but they share different life stories. To be truthful, I can see they appreciate their tarbiyyah life more that I do.

The sisters that made me left in tears. I love all of u fillah!


Thank you to my husband, for being patient and willingly to travel back and forth every 2 weeks for 4.5 months. And willingly to stay at the Queensbay until midnight waiting for me to finish usrah.


And so... I left Penang with lots of memories.
I pray it was the best decision for all of us, and moving forward, we will become better people, better servant of Allah. Ameen... :)

Jan 2, 2014 Part 1


I know 2013 has been the slowest updating year for this blog as I keep all my daily lives update somewhere else, and have no time motivation to write for people.

But on these few entries, perhaps I could write something about my life in 2013 that could benefit others, inshaAllah (assuming people are reading this blog for sure.. haha). :)

Story 1

After the biggest event so far of getting married at the end of the year before, living far apart felt so hard... Like people always said, the the honeymoon mode. But we were back to work few days after walimah. My husband (later to be said as zauji) is the one who always traveled to Penang for almost 2 weeks, while I was only back in KL once a month.

It was a very tiring period. But it left us lots of sweet memories. (Penang has such many places for short honeymoon. I mean short here is like a dinner time or midnight walk?)

What I got? Besides the hardship, hard feelings, Allah had given us times for us to build the love in His own plan. And that has made us strong, alhamdulillah. Don't complain much, seek opportunities between the hardships that you are facing.

Our first meal cooked together ^_^

Story 2

Making such a big decision to change such a good job is pretty hard. Good income (not as high as working in O&G for sure), great experience great working environment and friends - seriously these are hard to find anywhere else. Only the workload is not fun (haha really?).

But really, the decision has to be made. Pros and cons counted. InshaAllah it was a good move. :) But it is hard, yeah. I still keep in touch and ask them about work, friends so closely for quite some time.

There you go, my first job.

What I got? Great experience, good colleagues and friends. I do learn that something in this world is not permanent. People in my team come and go. I learned about life after studies, which I could say entering the 'real' life. Working life taught me to balance your work with family and other activities. I struggled this a lot, and still am. It's a challenge to me, and I learn some more things along the way. :)

40th Anniversary of Intel Malaysia :)

Will continue on the 2nd part, inshaAllah. ;)

Jun 24, 2013

sebulan mencari


Dah sebulan lebih aku bertukar tempat bermastautin. Alhamdulillah sebulan juga aku cuba sesuaikan diri balik dengan hidup 'orang KL' yang dah lama tinggal.

Urusan-urusan tanggungjawab di Penang baru saja selesai, cuma tinggal benda-benda kecil yang perlu ku pantau. Selainnya, sudah aku 'passdown' pada orang tetap di sana.

Dalam sebulan aku tinggalkan Penang, adik-adik sibuk bertanya..

A: Akak, kami dah ada naqibah baru ke?
B: Akak akak, bila kami nak sambung usrah?
C: Akakkk... ada budak baru nak join usrah ni. Macam mana?

Aku yang bergerak agak 'slow' ni dibuai diri cuba menyesuaikan hidup yang 'jam & sakit kepala' - baru terkial-kial nak buat kerja dengan lebih pantas. Dengan kudrat yang kurang bertenaga berbanding bulan-bulan lepas... huhu.

Maka adik-adik,
Naqibah-naqibah baru anda nampaknya dah bersedia, menanti masa adik-adik available saja.

Akak rindu semangat korang~

Apr 8, 2013

Pilih yang mana?


*Saya tahu saya dah lama tak meng-update blog ini secara berkala. Sedang mencari motivasi untuk kembali menulis inshaALlah - walaupun berapa kerat je yang melawat agaknya...

Kalau di Malaysia, bahang Pilihanraya Umum ke-13 sudah cukup terasa. Saya mengundi di Selangor walaupun sudah 2 tahun bertapa di Pulau Pinang (masih sayang tanah tempat membesar...).

Pastinya semua sedang berkira-kira mahu mengundi yang mana. Mahu pilih kerajaan sekarang atau pembangkang? Atau malas nak mengundi? Atau mungkin tak daftar langsung... -__-

Pada saya, juga pendapat kebanyakan orang hebat2, wajiblah anda yang layak untuk mengundi. Kalaupun anda fikir, "alaah.. satu undi je, tak ada kesan pun" - anda silap.

Anda mungkin:

  • Mengurangkan jumlah majoriti yang mungkin memberi kesan kepada kiraan semula atau kemenangan sebuah parti
  • mempengaruhi orang lain untuk tidak mengundi juga, maka bertambah la orang yang tak mengundi walaupun layak.
  • telah meninggalkan kewajipan anda untuk memilih pemerintah yang adil dan berwibawa untuk memimpin negara anda...

Yang penting, buatlah research sedikit dari kedua-dua belah pihak (parti pemerintah & pembangkang) supaya penilaian anda lebih telus dan meluas. Kemudian, sebelum mengundi, istikharah sebanyaknya. Tenang hati, pilihlah calon yang terbaik buat diri anda.

ps: Macam nak pilih calon teman hidup pulak rasanya...