my ramblings... just bear with it!

Being a muslim- Part 2

Saturday, June 23, 2007 | wardah bajrai

And why I choose Islam as a way of life to be embraced? For an easy answer, I shall say because I was born to be a Muslim but I prefer to give different answers. I choose Islam because Islam gives meaning in my life as it provides me with rules- to guide and protect me rather than to thwarted my wants and desires, it provides me with peace - as I always feel calm when I pray to the Almighty and it gives me comfort as I know I have lots of brothers and sisters (all muslims are in one big family).Islam is not a barbaric religion as some people say, but it is rather a peaceful religion and it brings no harm- be it to muslims or to non-muslims. I write this post just to remind myself and my fellow muslims on why we choose Islam as our way of life. I also write this to remind my brothers and sisters about our responsibility to defend and protect our religion as nowadays we could see and hear how people talk nasty things bout Islam and muslims. The main question -Why we choose Islam?

Firstly is because Islam is a Complete Way of Life

Islam is not a religion in the common and distorted sense, for it does not confine its scope to one’s private life. It is a complete way of life and is present in every field of human existence. Islam provides guidance for all aspects of life - individual and social, material and moral, economic and political, legal and cultural, and national and international. The Qur'an enjoins man to embrace Islam without any reservation and to follow Allah's guidance in all areas of life.

In fact, it was an unfortunate day when the scope of religion was confined to the private life of man and its social and cultural role was reduced to naught, as has happened in this century. No other factor, perhaps, has been more important in causing the decline of religion in the modern age than its retreat into the realm of private life. In the words of a modern philosopher: "Religion asks us to separate things of God from those of Caesar. Such a judicial separation between the two means the degrading of both the secular and the sacred ... That religion is worth little if the conscience of its followers is not disturbed when war clouds are hanging over us all and industrial conflicts are threatening social peace. Religion has weakened man's social conscience and moral sensitivity by separating the things of God from those of Caesar."

Islam totally denounces this concept of religion and clearly states that its objectives are the purification of the soul and the reform and reconstruction of society. As we read in the Qur'an: (We verily sent Our messengers with clear proofs, and revealed with them the Scripture and the Balance, that mankind may observe right measure; and He revealed iron, wherein is mighty power and (many) uses for mankind, and that Allah may know him who helpeth Him and His messengers, though unseen. Lo! Allah is Strong, Almighty. ) (Al-Hadid 57: 25) Allah also says: “The decision rests with Allah only, Who hath commanded you that ye worship none save Him. This is the right religion, but most men know not..” (Yusuf 12: 40)

Thus even a cursory study of the teachings of Islam shows that it is an all-embracing way of life and does not leave out any field of human existence to become a playground for the forces of evil.

Secondly is because the of the balance between the Individual and Society

Another unique feature of Islam is that it establishes a balance between individualism and collectivism. It believes in the individual personality of man and holds everyone personally accountable to God. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) says: “Everyone of you is a guardian, and responsible for what is in his custody. The ruler is a guardian of his subjects and responsible for them; a husband is a guardian of his family and is responsible for it; a lady is a guardian of her husband's house and is responsible for it, and a servant is a guardian of his master's property and is responsible for it." I heard that from Allah's Apostle and I think that the Prophet also said, "A man is a guardian of is father's property and is responsible for it, so all of you are guardians and responsible for your wards and things under your care.""(Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Islam also guarantees the fundamental rights of the individual and does not permit anyone to tamper with them. It makes the proper development of the personality of man one of the prime objectives of its educational policy. It does not subscribe to the view that man must lose his individuality in society or in the state.

In Islam, all men are equal, regardless of color, language, race, or nationality. It addresses itself to the conscience of humanity and banishes all false barriers of race, status, and wealth. There can be no denying the fact that such barriers have always existed and continue to exist today in the so-called enlightened age. Islam removes all of these impediments and proclaims the ideal of the whole of humanity being one family of God.

Islam is international in its outlook and approach and does not admit barriers and distinctions based on color, clan, blood, or territory, as was the case before the advent of Muhammad. Unfortunately, these prejudices remain rampant in different forms even in this modern age. Islam wants to unite the entire human race under one banner. To a world torn by national rivalries and feuds, it presents a message of life and hope and of a glorious future.

The historian, A. J. Toynbee, has some interesting observations to make in this respect. In Civilization on Trial, he writes: "Two conspicuous sources of danger - one psychological and the other material - in the present relations of this cosmopolitan proletariat, i.e., [westernized humanity] with the dominant element in our modern Western society are race consciousness and alcohol; and in the struggle with each of these evils the Islamic spirit has a service to render which might prove, if it were accepted, to be of high moral and social value.

The extinction of race consciousness between Muslims is one of the outstanding moral achievements of Islam, and in the contemporary world there is, as it happens, a crying need for the propagation of this Islamic virtue ... It is conceivable that the spirit of Islam might be the timely reinforcement which would decide this issue in favor of tolerance and peace.

As for the evil of alcohol, it is at its worst among primitive populations in tropical regions which have been 'opened up' by Western enterprise. The fact remains that even the most statesmanlike preventive measures imposed by external authority are incapable of liberating a community from a social vice unless a desire for liberation and a will to carry this desire into voluntary action on its own part are awakened in the hearts of the people concerned. Now Western administrators, at any rate those of 'Anglo-Saxon' origin, are spiritually isolated from their 'native' wards by the physical 'color bar' which their race-consciousness sets up; the conversion of the natives' souls is a task to which their competence can hardly be expected to extend; and it is at this point that Islam may have a part to play.

In these recently and rapidly 'opened up' tropical territories, the Western civilization has produced an economic and political plenum and, in the same breath, a social and spiritual void.

Here, then, in the foreground of the future, we can remark two valuable influences which Islam may exert upon the cosmopolitan proletariat of a Western society that has cast its net around the world and embraced the whole of mankind; while in the more distant future we may speculate on the possible contributions of Islam to some new manifestation of religion."

adapted from

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I miss my two-week holiday

Thursday, June 21, 2007 | wardah bajrai

Been very busy lately. I miss my two weeks holiday- just stayed at home and away from any thought about schoolworks. Two weeks after the school re-opened and I have yet experienced any day without doing or thinking bout schoolworks. And I’m praying and hoping that these hectic-ness shall end by the end of this week. Today, for instance, my school held an opening day and ‘hari kantin’. The unfortunate me who was selected to be a form teacher had to entertain 41 parents with different opinion and attitudes. One parent even scolded me for he had to wait for his turn (not that he had to wait for one hour! Huh!). I know, he was so eager to see me but come on, be patience dude or shall I say "nuncle". I forced myself to be calmed but inside, there was a burning flame. No wonder his child was rude – as parents are child’s first role models. Besides that superfluous moment, everything went perfectly normal. Throughout the 3 hours dealing with these parents, I managed to collect few events and experiences that managed to tickled my heart. I managed to see how disappointed parents scolded their children when they saw their children’s not-so-good results, how my students who normally were so loud became extremely passive in front of their parents, and how hopeful some parents to see their children to be success in the future – not to follow their path. Truly, I learned a lot today. Indirectly, I can say that my interpersonal skills have improved (hmm). Teachers, we are not merely an educator but we also a motivator, a problem solver and also an observer. And yes we a good cook too ( as I was in-charged for nasi ayam stall, I only slept few hours last night to fry the chicken). I’m tired but I’m grateful that I was learning something today. But I need a break too!

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My big fat arabic wedding

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 | wardah bajrai

Attended my cousin wedding last weekend. Remind me of the movie 'my big fat greek wedding'. First, we were loud-of course because everyone was so excited. We danced (we really did) and we eat lamb (but we're not roasted the lamb at the lawn). It was a tiring affair but at the same time it also was a thrilling experience. Below, I attach a short video of the wedding.

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I looooooooove beaches..

Tuesday, June 05, 2007 | wardah bajrai

I had a blast last week, -in a good way of course-spending precious but short time with my besties, was really a thing that i extremely need in order to mend my not-so-miserable life and to clear the turbid mind of mine. Even if the meeting means spending 4-5 hours trapped in traffic jams and another hours finding the right roads to go back to the hotel. I didn't mind with all that, as being with the friends that I know will always be there for me, was really a comfort.

Yes, I had my truly holiday during the weekends with Cj and AS. We travelled from KL around 7 pm but we only reached Melaka at 12 am (thanks to the massive traffic jam--and I wonder, apart from 367 days in a year, why on earth the kl-ites (and singaporeans too) chose that day to go to Melaka..huh). But during the 5 hours journey, I didn't feel bored at all(ok maybe because it wasn't me who drove the car, and they did highlight this fact --countless time :D-) but seriously, I really enjoyed every minute of it. Finally, when we arrived at the hotel, I was half shocked to see how grande the hotel was (and also the deposit that we had to pay-- I do realize lately, I become extra conscious when it comes about money, maybe because I haven't received my salary yet...) but at the end, I didn’t mind bout the rates..nothing could trumps the sweetest moments I had with them. Plus, I loooooove the hot tub! We did go to Tg. Bidara, the famous A’Famousa and other interesting places. But what we enjoyed the most is the ‘heart-to-heart” chit chat session. We exchanged stories and gossips, and updated ourselves with current issues (particularly juicy stories bout our ex-coursemates). Seriously, I enjoyed every second of it.

In the future (August), we planned to out for another trip again. This time around, we choose to laze around at the beach. Hopefully we could make it…

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Being a muslim..

Friday, June 01, 2007 | wardah bajrai

Being a Muslim means to always smile, no matter how difficult life gets, for it will last a while
It means greeting people of all ethnicities and races, with a salutation of peace, smiling at all faces
It means helping the elderly, and the one in need, and to give in charity, not to be overcome by greed
It means, to desire perfection, in piety and gratitude. Always be humble and not have an attitude
It means to obey your parents, not to raise your voice in their sight, and to walk away if someone wants to fight..

So am I a Muslim by action, or a Muslim by name, the first is a believer and the other is a shame
I must never become arrogant, boastful, or proud, nor utter silly words, or speak loud
I can't transgress in the earth, I know right from wrong, so I better correct my past, I won't live too long
Before I'm 6 feet under, and taking nothing with me but my deeds, no more things to worry about, no more needs
As I face my Lord, did I really prepare for that day, from the way I lived my life, it seems I was astray
So even as a Muslim, I will be punished for my sins if I fail, by going to hell, which ain't nothing like jail...

So I'm not special for being a Muslim at all, if my actions are on the down fall
If people don't see Islam in my actions, then what do I have to propose, nothing good in my image, which people oppose
So I stand up in prayer, asking God to give me His light, to walk humbly on earth, and to make things right
God created us weak, and in distress, so we can always turn to Him when our life is a mess
God created us to worship Him, not that He is in need, nor will He ever be in need for us, for were only a seed
God taught us the way we should compose our life, to live in harmony and not cause strife
He taught us our purpose and gave us direction; He is tired of hearing everyone's objection..

Thinking that we can develop better standards of living than our Lord, if you live life this way, you won't get a reward
So I better stop hurting people, God even counts a woman's tears, while many other people remain in fear
Fear of dying with no shelter, nor food, many more are depressed, in a delusional mood
So I must extend a helping hand to establish goodness to humanity, because too many people are living in insanity
If someone wrongs me, must I retaliate and fight, can I just forgive them, if I have the light
The light of Allah that He gives to whom He please, the only one who gets it are those who bow on their knees
To acknowledge to the creator, that you are indebted to His service, to not get caught up in life, always feeling nervous

The world wasn't made just for me, we all have a share in its joys and sorrow, so let's focus on today, for nothings promised tomorrow
So a Muslim who preaches the message must resemble goodness and piety, and to acknowledge there is only one Deity
His name is Allah., He is the One and Only, if you don't worship Him, you will remain lonely
He is the One who brings life to what was dead, so calling on Him at night, while you lay in bed
And thank Him, o Muslims, for all of His gifts, for if you remain ungrateful, His punishment is swift
God put us in this world to see how we react, but we failed many times, that's a fact.

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