Wednesday, October 12, 2011

How to Clean Your House in 30 Minutes or Less

Cleaning house can feel like a gargantuan task, especially when you’ve let things slide for a few days too many. But it doesn’t have to be such a time-consuming undertaking. By incorporating these easy tips into your daily routine and prioritizing the areas that have a knack for getting the messiest the quickest, you’ll find that keeping the house in order is as easy as pie. The only drawback is that now you’ll have to figure out what to do with your new-found free time.


•Do the dishes or place them in the dishwasher after every meal. (5 minutes)
•Wipe down counter tops and stove with an all-purpose cleaner after cooking. (2 minutes)
•Wipe up any spills and sweep up any crumbs after eating. (2 minutes)


•Keep sanitizing wipes under your bathroom sink so you can quickly wipe the countertop after each time you wash your face or brush your teeth. (2 minutes)
•Once a week, wipe the toilet and seat rim and clean the toilet bowl. By keeping the cleaning products within reach, you’ll be more likely to reach for them even if you’re not doing a major cleaning (2 minutes)


•If you’ve already started a load of laundry, don’t consider it finished until you fold and put away clean clothes. Doing it right away ensures you’re less likely to have piles of clean clothes on your bed. (5 minutes)
•Each morning, clear bedside tables of dishes, books, and reading glasses from the night before. (2 minutes)
•Get into the habit of making your bed every morning, the moment you get out of bed. You’ll be happy you made the time when you come home that night. (2 minutes)

Living Room:

•Every few days, wipe the tables with a microfiber cloth to pick up dust while you watch TV. (2 minutes)
•Break out the Dustbuster to swoop up crumbs on the floor and in the couch cushions. By doing this while you watch TV, you’re integrating the chore into your daily routine, instead of waiting for a deep-cleaning session. (2 minutes)
•Before retiring for the evening put away all entertainment gadgets, DVDs, newspapers, and games that have been left out. (4 minutes)


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wifehood & Motherhood are not the way to Paradise

Why are you majoring in that field?” I asked a sister in college. She sighed, “To be honest, I just want to get married. I don’t really care about what I’m studying right now. I’m just waiting to get hitched so I can be a wife and a mother.”

“It’s awesome that she wants to be a wife and a mother, but why would she put her life on hold?” I wondered. Why would a skilled, passionate young woman create barriers to striving for self-improvement and her ability to be socially transformative when she doesn’t yet have the responsibilities of wifehood or motherhood? Being a wife and a mom are great blessings, but before it actually happens, why exchange tangible opportunities, just waiting for marriage to simply come along—if it came along? I didn’t have to look far to find out.

“I’m already twenty-six,” another sister lamented. “I’m expired. My parents are going crazy. They think I’m never going to get married and they pressure me about it daily. My mom’s friends keep calling her and telling her I’m not getting any younger. She keeps crying over it and says she’ll never be a grandma. It’s not like I don’t want to get married; I’ve been ready since college! I just can’t find the right guy,” she cried.

Why, as a general community, are we not putting the same pressure on women to encourage them to continue to seek Islamic knowledge? Higher education? To make objectives in their lives which will carry over and aid them in their future familial lives, if such is what is meant for them? Perhaps it’s because we’re obsessed with the idea that women need to get married and become mothers and that if they don’t, they have not reached true success.

We all know the honorable and weighty status of wifehood and motherhood in Islam. We all know that marriage completes half your deen1 and that the Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) has told us about the mother, “[…] Paradise is at her feet.”2

But getting married and becoming a mother is not the only way to get into Paradise. And not every grown woman is a wife and/or mother, nor will ever be. Some women will eventually become wives and/or mothers, if Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) blesses them with such, but for others, Allah (swt) has blessed them with other opportunities.

Allah (swt) did not create women for the sake of wifehood or motherhood. This is not our first goal, nor our end goal. Our creation was to fulfill our first and most important role—to be His SLAVE. As He tells us in Surah Dhaariyat (Chapter of the Winnowing Winds), “And I did not create the jinn and humankind except to worship Me.”3

Worship comes in such a variety of forms. Being a housewife (a.k.a. domestic engineer!) can be a form of worship. Being a stay-at-home-mom can be a form of worship. Being a working wife and mother can be a form of worship. Being an unmarried female student can be a form of worship. Being a divorced female doctor, a female journalist, Islamic scholar, film director, pastry chef, teacher, veterinarian, engineer, personal trainer, lawyer, artist, nurse, Qur’an teacher, psychologist, pharmacist or salon artist can each be a form of worship. Just being an awesome daughter or house-fixer upper can be forms of worship. We can worship Allah (swt) in a variety of ways, as long as we have a sincere intention, and what we do is done within the guidelines He has set for us.

Unfortunately, however, that is not the message our community is sending to single sisters – both those who have never been married, and those who are now divorced. When I speak to many women and ask them about the ways they want to contribute to society and the ways they want to use their time and abilities, a number of them will tell me that they have no idea and that they’re only going through the motions of school or work while they’re waiting for Prince Muslim to come along and with whom they can establish parenthood.

However, Prince Muslim is not coming along quickly or easily for many awesome, eligible Muslim women. And for some, he has come along, and he or the institution of their relationship turned out to be more villainous than harmonious. Single and never married or divorced — very capable and intelligent Muslim women constantly have to deal with the pressure of being asked, “So…when are you getting married? You aren’t getting any younger. It’s harder to have kids when you’re older.”

The amount of tears, pain, stress, anger and frustration which these awesome women are constantly dealing with because of a social pressure to get married (especially when many already want to, but are just not finding the right person!) and have children is not from our religion.

Islam gave women scholarship. Our history is filled with women who have dedicated their lives to teaching Islamic sciences. Have you ever heard of Fatimah Sa`d al Khayr? She was a scholar who was born around the year 522. Her father, Sa`d al Khayr, was also a scholar. He held several classes and was “most particular about [his daughters] attending hadith classes, traveling with them extensively and repeatedly to different teachers. He also taught them himself.”4 Fatimah studied the works of the great al-Tabarani with the lead narrator of his works in her time. You know who that lead narrator was? The lead narrator of Fatimah’s time was not named Abu someone (the father of someone, indicating that he was a male). The leading scholar of her time was a woman. Her name was Fatimah al-Juzadniyyah and she is the scholar who men and women alike would study under because in that era, she was the greatest and most knowledgeable in some of the classical texts.5 Fatimah Sa`d al Khayr eventually married and moved to Damascus and eventually to Cairo and she continued to teach. Many scholars travelled specifically to her city so they could study under her.6

Fatimah was brought up in a family that valued the education and knowledge of a woman to the point that her father was the one who would ensure she studied with scholars from a young age. Before marriage, she was not told to sit around and be inactive in the community out of fear that some men would find an educated woman unattractive or intimidating and would not want to marry her. She was not going through the motions of studying random things in college because she was stalling until she got married. She sought scholarship and Allah (swt) blessed her with a husband who was of her ranking, who understood her qualifications and drive, and who supported her efforts to continue teaching this religion even after marriage. She left a legacy we unfortunately have most likely never heard about because we rarely hear about the over eight thousand female scholars of hadith who are part of our history.7

Why do we never hear about Fatimah Sa`d al Khayr and the thousands of female scholars who were like her? I think that one of the reasons—and it’s just a personal theory—that as a community, we are so focused on grooming our women to be wives and mothers that we lose sight of the fact that this is not even our number one role.

Servitude to Allah (swt) is our number one role. We need to use what He has given us, the means that we have at the moment we have, to worship Him in the best of ways.

We call for revival of the Sunnah through encouraging marriage and populating the Ummah—let us follow the sunnah (tradition) the Prophet ﷺ has left for us through his wife, Aisha (may God be pleased with her)!

Who was Aisha? Was she a mother? She was never a mother. She was a scholar. She was versed in medical affairs. She was the commander of an army. She was a leader, an educator and a devout worshipper of Allah (swt). She was not known to be a great cook—even though she was the wife of the final Prophet of God! And where do we see the Prophet ﷺ admonishing her because of that? He loved her and he trained her in scholarship.

Islamic history is filled with examples of women who were wives and mothers, who focused completely on their tasks of being wives and/or mothers, and produced the likes of Imam Ahmed rahimahu allah (may God have mercy on him).8 We take those examples as a community and we reiterate the noble status of such incredible women.

But we also have examples of people who were not only wives and not only mothers, but those who were both of those, one of those, or none of those, and still were able to use the passions, talents and skills Allah (swt) blessed them with to worship Him through serving His creation, through calling His creation back to His Deen and leaving legacies for the generations to come. Some of these women were wives and mothers and dedicated their lives to focusing on their families completely and some of them continued to serve the greater society at large. It is possible to balance both; it just needs drive, stamina, support and planning.

Shaykh Mohammad Akram Nadwi mentions in his introduction to his Dictionary of women hadith scholars, Al Muhadithaat, “Not one [of the 8000 female hadith scholars he researched] is reported to have considered the domain of family life inferior, or neglected duties therein, or considered being a woman undesirable or inferior to being a man, or considered that, given aptitude and opportunity, she had no duties to the wider society, outside of the domain of family life.”9

Female scholars in our history were focused on being family women when they had families to whom they held responsibilities, and when able, they also had goals and objectives in life which extended beyond the roles of wifehood and motherhood. So what about someone who is not yet married? Many single women are using their time to the utmost, focusing on improving their skills and abilities to contribute back to the ummah (community) and society at large. They are loving worshipping Allah (swt) through investing in their abilities and using those for the greater good. Perhaps we can all take from their example.

God, in His Wisdom, has created each one of us differently and in different circumstances. Some recognize this, love any stage they are in, and develop their abilities to the fullest. Let us, too, use the time and abilities God has given us to maximize our worship to Him and work for the betterment of society and humanity as a whole. If wifehood or motherhood comes in the process, then at least we were using all of our ability to worship Him before it came and can continue to use the training and stamina we gained before marriage to worship Him with excellence once it comes along.

If there are parents, families and communities that are pressuring women to get married and have kids: Be grateful Allah (swt) has blessed you with daughters, married or unmarried, mothers or not, as the Prophet ﷺ has said, “Do not be averse to daughters, for they are precious treasures that comfort your heart.”10 We are putting more pressure on our sisters than they can emotionally and psychologically handle. Let us give them space, let them find themselves and establish their relationships with Allah (swt).

Allah (swt) created us to worship Him. That is our number one role. Now, let us do our part and figure out how best we can fulfill the purpose for which we’ve been created.


Monday, October 10, 2011

5 Things We Learned About Love From Steve Jobs

Learned about love from Steve Jobs [founder of APPLE, iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad: died at age 56 on 5 October 2011 of pancreatic cancer :

1. Don't give up on love. After getting fired from Apple when he was 30 years old, Jobs was clearly devastated. "But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over." Don't ever give up on love, even if things go wrong in one relationship.

2. Love can come during times of greatest adversity. Being fired from Apple freed Jobs to enter "one of the most creative periods of my life." During the next five years, he started two companies and "fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife." He and Laurene had a wonderful family together.

3. You have to find what — and who — you love. "I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do."

4. Don't settle for second-best. "Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it."

5. The most satisfying relationships get better as time goes on. "And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on."

[source: Written by Natalie Gontcharova for YourTango]

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Tazkirah – Penghayatan Ilmu, Hidayah Bentuk Peribadi Muslim

Assalamualaikum W.B.T. Salam Fitrah untuk semua pengunjung laman web ini. Hari ini saya ingin berkongsi sesuatu yang menarik untuk tatapan semua.

SUATU hari ketika seorang hamba membuka sebuah buku yang membincangkan mengenai iman, tanpa disengaja tajuk taubat menjadi pilihannya. Hatinya bekerja keras untuk menghayati setiap perkataan yang dibaca dan akal berfikir kebenarannya.

Akhirnya dia berkata: “Alangkah jauhnya penyelewengan yang sudah aku lakukan selepas Allah memberi petunjuk kepadaku suatu masa dulu.” Tetapi dalam penyesalan itu muncul satu kesyukuran yang terbit daripada hidayah Allah, bahawa betapa beruntungnya dia mendapat kembali hakikat ilmu yang lama hilang daripada jiwanya.

Ada sedikit kebenaran pada perkataan sebahagian ahli makrifah yang bermaksud, ketika seseorang itu jatuh melakukan dosa, janganlah dia berputus asa dari rahmat Allah, tetapi bersyukurlah kerana daripada perlakuan dosa yang disedari itu, lahirlah penyesalan dan taubat.

Kerana dosa yang disedari ini manusia boleh mendekatkan diri dengan Allah. Dosa itu membuatnya menjadi hamba yang cepat bertaubat dan mengakui kelemahan diri di hadapan Allah. Lalu dia sentiasa berhati-hati dalam segala perbuatannya.

Berbanding dengan seseorang yang berasa tidak pernah berbuat dosa dan sentiasa berasa dirinya betul, sungguh orang seperti ini bertambah jauh dirinya daripada Allah akibat kesombongan melampau atas nama ilmu dan amal.

Selepas menyedari keadaan seperti itu, barulah kita sedar betapa kita perlukan ilmu yang boleh membawa kepada kefahaman dan penghayatan sebenar mengenai diri kita, Allah dan tabiat dunia yang fana ini.

Hakikat ilmu itu, ia datang dan pergi, sehingga Rasulullah SAW pernah mengingatkan sahabat dengan satu perumpamaan yang bermaksud: “Ikatlah ilmu itu kerana ia terlalu cepat hilang berbanding unta yang terikat.”

Maknanya setiap insan mesti menyediakan masa untuk hati dan akalnya berinteraksi dengan ilmu. Sesiapapun yang meninggalkan ilmu dalam masa satu hari saja boleh jadi dia akan mengalami gejala kelalaian hingga mungkin jatuh ke lembah kesesatan apabila hal ini berlanjutan sekian lama.

Matlamat manusia mencari ilmu ialah untuk mencapai satu keyakinan mengenai kebenaran, selepas yakin barulah timbul penghayatan yang membawa kepada ketundukan jiwa.

Ada orang berkata: “Tak payah bacalah, sebab kami sudah membaca dan mengetahui ilmu ini.” Memang benar kita sudah faham dan tahu hal itu tetapi apakah kita sudah mencapai penghayatan yang sempurna? Apakah boleh dipastikan ilmu itu sentiasa melekat di hati dan memacu diri untuk sentiasa merapatkan diri dengan Allah?

Seseorang pasti memahami perbezaan dirinya ketika dia sedang minat membaca atau ketika suka membuang masa. Tentulah berbeza keadaan jiwa dan perasaan orang yang suka menelaah, mengkaji dan membahas ilmu berbanding orang yang suka termenung dan mendengar hiburan.

Mungkin kita perlukan pendedahan tajuk ilmu yang sama pada masa tertentu, seperti saat kita sedih ditimpa musibah, tajuk sabar dan syukur adalah sesuai di kala itu. Jika rezeki bertambah atau naik pangkat, pendedahan mengenai alam akhirat mesti lebih difokuskan supaya diri tidak tenggelam dalam nikmat dan tipu daya dunia.

Apabila kurang nikmat ibadah, tidak khusyuk dan rasa keras hati eloklah ingat ilmu zuhud dan mengingati mati. Namun demikian, segala ilmu berpusat pada induknya iaitu al-Quran dan hadis. Barang siapa menginginkan kesempurnaan ilmu mestilah mendekatkan diri kepada keduanya.

Firman Allah yang bermaksud: “Wahai ahli kitab, sesungguhnya telah datang kepadamu Rasul Kami, menjelaskan kepadamu banyak dari isi al-Kitab yang kamu sembunyikan, dan banyak (pula yang) dibiarkannya. Sesungguhnya telah datang kepadamu cahaya dari Allah, dan Kitab yang menerangkan. Dengan Kitab itulah Allah menunjukkan orang yang mengikuti keredaan-Nya ke jalan keselamatan, dan (dengan Kitab itu pula) Allah mengeluarkan orang itu dari gelap-gelita kepada cahaya yang terang benderang dengan izin-Nya, dan menunjukkan mereka ke jalan yang lurus.” (Surah al-Maidah, ayat 15-16)

Bagaimana halnya dengan orang yang sudah mencapai darjat alim yang tinggi? Adakah perlu baginya membaca dan menuntut ilmu lagi selepas kedudukannya itu? Alangkah baiknya jawapan al-Imam Sufyan bin ‘Uyainah, ulama Tabi’in tersohor pada zamannya apabila ditanya hal ini: “Siapakah manusia yang paling berhajat kepada ilmu? Beliau berkata: Orang yang paling alim di kalangan mereka. Beliau ditanya lagi: Mengapa begitu? Dijawabnya: Kerana kesalahan orang yang alim dalam ilmunya lebih jahat dan teruk berbanding orang jahil.”

Orang yang pandai membeza antara hak dan batil tetapi memilih yang batil kerana hawa nafsunya tentu amat besar dosa diperolehnya akibat melanggar larangan Allah. Bukan kerana jahil tetapi ‘terlalu cerdik’ sehinggakan akalnya mahu berdolak-dalih untuk menghalalkan apa yang nyata haram di sisi agama, semata-mata menurut hawa nafsu manusia.

Bukan setakat itu saja, dia pula mengajak orang lain melakukan jenayah sama atas nama kecerdikan dan kewarasan palsu. Jelaslah bahayanya orang alim melakukan kejahatan dengan jenayah ilmunya yang tidak dipraktikkan semata-mata kerana mahu mengikut hawa nafsu manusia.

Sungguh pelik, orang yang jauh dan mendalam ilmunya mengenai Allah tetapi sekelip mata boleh berpaling daripada-Nya. Mereka adalah orang yang mengenal kejahatan syaitan tetapi sebaliknya boleh terpedaya menjadi pengikut syaitan.

Mereka adalah orang yang mengenal tipu daya dunia tetapi rela menjadi hamba dunia yang hina. Di situlah letaknya kelemahan manusia, setinggi mana ilmu diperoleh namun jika hidayah Allah tidak bersamanya maka segala kefahaman agama dan penghayatan hakiki menjadi sia-sia. Dalam keghairahan menuntut ilmu, jangan lupa memohon petunjuk dan hidayah Allah supaya ilmu itu bermanfaat untuk dunia dan akhirat.

Kerana ilmu yang sudah terpahat dalam ingatan dan hati sanubari tidak dijamin dapat kekal selamanya melainkan atas kuasa Allah. Adakalanya seseorang itu tidak mendapat hidayah daripada ilmu yang dituntutnya, belajar mengaji bertahun-tahun tetapi perangai tak berubah-ubah, akhlak dan ibadatnya masih seperti ketika dia tidak berilmu. Jadi untuk apa letih-letih mencari ilmu jika tiada penghayatan?

Ada pula orang yang belajar hanya setakat ilmu Taharah, selama bertahun-tahun diulang-ulang lagi tanpa ada peningkatan. Takkan nak main air saja, bila lagi masa untuk belajar sembahyang yang khusyuk, memahami doa yang dibaca, belajar tafsir al-Quran dan mengikuti al-Hadis? Akhirnya orang ini tak sampai pada tujuan sebenar kerana hampir tiada peningkatan iman yang ketara.

Al-Imam Ibnu Abdul Barri meriwayatkan daripada Abu Ghassan, katanya: “Kamu sentiasa menjadi alim selagi mana kamu tetap menuntut ilmu, apabila kamu merasa cukup maka sesungguhnya kamu telah menjadi jahil.”

Perjalanan mencapai reda Allah tiada penghujungnya. Bagaimana mungkin seseorang boleh berkata: “Telah cukup ilmuku dan telah baik amalanku.” Padahal perkataan itu umpama rantai yang mengikat kakinya ke bumi sehingga dia tidak akan sampai ke destinasi yang dijanjikan Tuhannya.


Monday, October 03, 2011

Falling In LoVe

Once in a lifetime
An angel sweeps you off your feet
And everything I’m about
Dissapears before my eyes

You’re taking me higher when I hear you speak to me
It feels so familiar but I’m caught up in this fantasy

Now I can’t seem to find myself
Oh I can’t seem to ease my mind
Oh I think I’m falling I’m falling and I can’t stop falling
I’m falling in love with you

When I look into your eyes
I see your love that comforts me
Even now when I go to sleep
I wait to see you in my dreams

You’re taking me higher when I hear you say my name
I’m trying to tell you that I never want to let you go

Ulang Chorus

Over and over again
It plays out in my mind
I can see it clearly
You give me something new to believe in
Come take me away

Count On Me

If you ever find yourself stuck in the middle of the sea
I'll sail the world to find you
If you ever find yourself lost in the dark and you can't see
I'll be the light to guide you

Find out what we're made of
When we are called to help our friends in need

You can count on me like 1, 2, 3
I'll be there
And I know when I need it
I can count on you like 4, 3, 2
And you'll be there
'cause that's what friends are supposed to do oh yeah
ooooooh, oooohhh yeah yeah

[Verse 2]
If you're tossin' and you're turnin
and you just can't fall asleep
I'll sing a song beside you
And if you ever forget how much you really mean to me
Every day I will remind you

Find out what we're made of
When we are called to help our friends in need

You can count on me like 1, 2, 3
I'll be there
And I know when I need it
I can count on you like 4, 3, 2
And you'll be there
'cause that's what friends are supposed to do oh yeah
ooooooh, oooohhh yeah yeah

You'll always have my shoulder when you cry
I'll never let go
Never say goodbye

You know you can count on me like 1, 2, 3
I'll be there
And I know when I need it
I can count on you like 4, 3, 2
And you'll be there
cause that's what friends are supposed to do oh yeah
ooooooh, oooohhh

You can count on me 'cause I can count on you


Senyum senyum senyum
Senyum senyum

Kacak luar
Kacak dalam
Kacak dengar sini
Kalau saya senyum
Awak mesti senyum sekali
Kalau kita senyum
Semua orang berjangkit
Bila semua orang senyum
Dunia tiada penyakit

Tak perlu kata apa-apa
Tak perlu kata apa-apa
Tak perlu kata apa-apa
tak perlu kata apa-apa

Akhirnya sempurna tiga album pertama
Bunyi macam koleksi hits terbaik orang lama
Dah ku kata ku takkan henti sampai tua bangka
Kalau habis abjad aku rap dengan angka
Satu dua tiga anugerah diterima
Oh itu tahun lepas tahun ini cuma dua
Tersenyum tiap kali kalah dengan Nurhaliza
Ditertawakan oleh anakku Inca Medina

Oh Inca Medina orang secantik nama
Cantik luar cantik dalam cantik macam mama
Hati macam grandmanya anginnya macam papa
Kalau dah merajuk nampak muncung sampai sana
Sebelum jadi drama dah tahu nak buat apa
Nyanyi balik lagu ayat lama ayat mama
Wanita hari ini jaga sensitiviti
Kalau buah hati merajuk boleh cuba ayat ini

Ay cantik luar cantik dalam cantik dengar sini
Kalau cantik senyum cantik mesti cantik lagi
Senyum sikit nak tengok ada tak lesung pipit
Kalau tak ada pun aku masih mahu cubit

Ulang Verse
Ulang Chorus

Ay buai tinggi-tinggi sampai ke puncak awan
Dengan kumulus dan nimbus aku berkawan
Aku bukan rupawan aku bukan jutawan
Tapi aku punya satu senyuman yang menawan

Baru mukadimah nampak macam sudah tertawan
Dengar kata hati perasaan jangan dilawan
Kalau takut mula-mula kita boleh berkawan
Duduk dulu biar ku belanja kopi secawan
Apa rasa sentiasa jadi bahan perhatian
Apa rasa jadi cantik kacuk cina pakistan
Apa rasa jadi seksi suka tak diperhatikan
Apa rasanya terima bertubi-tubi puji-pujian

Tu boleh pun senyum cantiknya gigi
Sepuluh markah penuh seharusnya ku beri
Wanita hari ini harus pepandai puji
Kalau dia jual mahal boleh cuba lagu ini

Ay cantik luar cantik dalam cantik dengar sini
Kalau cantik senyum cantik mesti cantik lagi
Senyum sikit nak tengok ada tak lesung pipit
Kalau tak ada pun aku masih mahu cubit

[song by: Najwa & Malique]