Thursday, October 9, 2014

Yasmin Mogahed- Reclaim Your Heart

Assalamualaikum wbt,

I want to share with you this video. To be honest, I really want to be like her, Yasmin Mogahed. She is truly one of my idols. So anyway, enjoy!

A Very Productive App- Qamar Deen :)

  Assalamualaikum wbt,

    Subhan Allah, Alhamdulillah! Praise be to Allah for giving me the will and the strength to finally, finally post something here. My hands are literally trembling with anticipation and excitement! Seriously, have you felt compelled to write (type in this case) with your heart thumping to just share something you've just come up with to Ummah, ready and wired to tell your story, only to end up staring at the white screen and flashing icon, the blankness before you mirroring your creative flow? ( How to Fall in Love, by Cecelia Ahern). Yeah, -lol- it happens to me all the time and really, it is frustrating. But, Masha Allah, with His Compassion and Will, I finally get to achieve my target!
       Unfortunately, I still don't have the strength to tell you (and fill you in) about my life so far. For this post, my only purpose and aim is to share with you this incredible app I just came across in iTunes store. It happened when I was bored and to just kill the time, I took my iPhone and just skimmed through the new apps (I wanted to install something new that time so that's why). I typed 'Islam' in the searchbox and there were like thousands of productive apps popping up. Trust me, they are a lot of them and most of them are the Quran Apps where you can install them to your phone and read. But then, one app caught my attention and it totally was the app I've been searching for all this time.

        Its called Qamar Deen, and to be honest, what made me attracted to it was the name itself as it has 'Deen' in it -lol- my lil bro nearly believed me and fell into the joke trap when I told him I made this app myself (clearly I didn't) just because of the name. Ha Ha. So anyway, it was a really cool app as it is like a 'mutabbaah amal' for me. It helps keeping track of my productivity in my ibadah such as my salah, my Quran reading progress, sadaqah and fasting. As it clearly points out in its own website, qamardeen.com, this app lets you track all your daily spiritual efforts to help you measure your status and continues to improve. Subhan Allah, Alhamdulillah for this nikmat that truly helps the Muslims to be closer to our Creator, Allah SWT.

          To wrap it all up, I hope my post here will enlighten you about the beauty of this app and wills you to install and use it in your daily life. I hope this app will help you taste the sweetness of our faith. :)

 يَا مُقَلِّبَ الْقُلُوبِ ثَبِّتْ قَلْبِى عَلَى دِينِكَ 

Ya Muqallib al-Quloob, Thabbit Qalbi Ala Deenik
"Oh Turner of Hearts, keep my heart firm on Your Deen."
 credits to: qamardeen.com 

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Wonders of our Brain

Assalamualaikum wbt...

Hey there! Omg, it's been a month I haven't updated anything here. -sob sob- my deepest apologies from the very core of my heart. Seriously, there's a lot to think about now ( university offers, family, friends, books, love etc) but Alhamdulillah, finally Allah has granted me the opportunity to post something here. To be honest, proscrastination is the enemy behind all of my doings lately and yeah, I really really hate it to become its trapped victim. Well, I'll try my best to keep updating, in shaa Allah ;)

Now, the topic of today is The Wonders of our Brain. I've read this article from Productive Muslim and I thought I wanna share it with you.

The capacity of memory in the brain to store, process and recall information is truly a wondrous and amazing gift and blessings of Allah. We use our memory to gain knowledge, recall the mistakes we've made in the past and learn them to become a better muslim and muslimah. For instance, remembering the sins we've made may motivate us to utilize fruitfully to repent and make taubah- asking forgiveness from Allah.

Many associate aging with memory loss, but it doesn't have to be that way as demonstrated by 80+ grandparents who complete memorization of the Qur'an! So, the following are the useful tips to strengthen your memory!

  • Use it or Lose it
Treat your brain as a muscle- if you want to keep it fit and agile, you have to use it always. For example, reading books and novels, memorizing the Qur'an, memorizing supplications and du'a are the best ways for Muslims to exercise their mind. The sense of being closer to Allah (The Exalted) will also protect us from depression which has negative effects on the mind. For instance, I'm trying to memorize short surahs right now and also correcting my tajweed. This way is also one of the effective ways to practise using your memory.
  • Brain Food
A well-balanced diet is benefial to keep your memory at its best. A recent study conducted in France has found that the use of olive oil improves visual memory ad verbal fluency. The virtue of the olive oil is also mentioned in the Qur'an, and Allah (The All-Wise) takes an oath by this special food (95:1). Foods that contain high omea-3 content, such as salmon, are also important for the memory and brain function. Furthermore, your memory needs the right amount of sugar and vitamins that most of that will naturally be in your diet (if it's not, try honey, dates, blueberries and almond).

  • Healthy Body for a Healthy Mind
Physical exercises, especially aerobic ones, are beneficial to keep the mind alert and healthy. If you can't do aerobic exercises, the good news is that a moderate amount of walking on daily basis can keep the mind healthy too. 

  • Rest
Taking a nap improves memory and mood, promotes physical well-being and sharpen senses. Napping has many benefits so taking a 15-30 minute before or after Zhuhr should significantly affect your intellectual performance, energy level and plus- its sunnah!

  • Get a Nice Amount of Sleep
According to a recent German research lab, sleep helps memory shaping. Sleep is needed to clear the brain's short-term memory storage and create space for new information. Sleep and nightime is yet another gift and mercy from Allah, The Most Gracious. Imagine the whole day without nightime! So, place your hand to your heart and zikr "Alhamdulillah". :)

"It is out of His Mercy that He has put for you night and day, that you may rest therein (i.e. during the night) and that you may seek of His Bounty (i.e. during the day), and in order that you may be grateful." (The Qur'an 28:73)

  • Ask for it
If you want a good memory, ask Al-Mujib (The Answerer of Prayers). Ask Allah (Subhannahu wa Ta'ala) for what you need- knowledge, understanding, good memory. The Qur'an also states that "Allah is He on Whom all depend" (Suras Al-Ikhlas, 2) 

Our memory is indeed a true blessings of Allah and we should be grateful for it. To show our appreciation, let us keep it healthy and use it for better purposes that lead us to get closer to our Creator Allah, The Most Gracious.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Marble Chocolate Muffins!

Assalamualaikum wbt...

Heeeyyy! Back again for some more recipes specially for you :) So anyway, a best friend of mine WhatsApp me, saying that she had baked those chocolate chocolate chip muffins I've posted and complimented that they were delicious! I was definitely on cloud nine! -laughs- Then, I thought of sharing more recipes and she was like agreed on my suggestion 100 percent! Yeah, without her very helpful support, I wouldn't be able to post this entry. So, thank you Tera! ❤

Now, up next is Marble Chocolate Muffins! I think these muffins are my latest favorite of all. My whole family LOVE them sooo much so that's why I thought of sharing them with you. A word of caution: It was a little tricky but if you just follow these steps one by one, In Shaa Allah you will be having them for your breakfast or tea party for sure! ;)

So here are the ingredients!

Marble Chocolate Muffins

Ingredient A

  • 1 and 2/3 cups (210g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Ingredient B
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted
Ingredient C
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
Ingredient D
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk*
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract (essence)
Ingredient E
  • 1/4 cup (32g) unsweetened cocoa powder

1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease up 12 muffin cups.
2) Sift Ingredient A twice.
3) Whisk Ingredient B and C in a bowl until creamy. Put the bowl in the fridge for about 1 minute.
4) After about 1 minute, take out No. 3 and whisk it in Ingredient D.
5) Whisk until the batter is extremely thick.
6) Transfer 3/4 cup of the batter into another bowl.
7) Add Ingredient E into No.6 and add in 1 tablespoon of milk. 
8) You will have two bowls: vanilla batter and chocolate batter.
9) Spoon 1 tablespoon of vanilla batter into muffin cups, then pour 1 tablespoon of chocolate batter on top, then more vanilla batter on top. 
10) Swirl the batter using a toothpick to make a pattern. 
11) Bake the cupcakes for approximately 20 minutes.

* Buttermilk is pretty expensive. You can make your own by pouring 1 cup of milk and 1 and 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice. Let it sipped for half an hour. 

There you go! Pretty tricky huh? Well, like they always say, when there's a will there's a way! Remember to follow these steps ONE BY ONE! So, goodluck baking! 

Here's the pictures!

Look delicious huh? What are you waiting for? Grab a whisk and start baking! -laughs- ;)


Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Beauty of Salam: Did You Know?

Assalamualaikum wbt...

"Whoever commences Salaam is very close to Allah and His Messenger, Muhammad" 
Said the Holy Prophet,  narrated by Abu Umamah

About 97% Muslim and Muslimah that I've met always come across this one particular problem. For example, I stumbled across a friend of mine. Let's just say her name is N.

Me: N, my mother sends her salaam to you.
N  : Oh, really? Well, waalaikummussalam.

Okay, yeah I know there's nothing peculiar about it because most of you did this, right? Well, allow me to enlighten you what is the meaning of this beautiful greeting.

Assalamualaikum= Peace be upon you
Waalaikummussalam= Upon you be peace

Now, let me share with you this hadith:

A person from (the tribe of) Banu Tameem narrates from his father who narrates from his paternal grandfather that he arrived in the presence of the Holy Prophet and said, "My father sends salaam upon you."
The Holy Prophet replied, "Wa Alaika Wa’alaa Abeekas Salaam (Peace be upon you and your father)." Imaam Abu Dawood, Nasai and Ibn Sunni have narrated this.

According to this hadith, our Holy Prophet  already taught us how to reply to a third person's salaam. Instead of Waalaikummussalam (Upon you be peace) {which we've done every time}, we should actually say Wa'alaika wa'alaihassalam. It actually means Peace be upon you and her.

Okay, I'll give you this one simple situation regarding this virtues of Salaam. I hope it will enlighten you easily.

If the sender of salaam is a boy and the one who wants to give salaam to you is a boy, you should answer: Wa'alaika wa'alaihissalam.
If the sender of salaam is a girl and the one who wants to give salaam to you is a girl, you should answer: Wa'alaiki wa'alaihassalam.
If the sender of salaam is a girl and the one who wants to give salaam to you is a boy, you should answer: Wa'alaiki wa'alaihissalam.
If the sender of salaam is a boy and the one who wants to give salaam to you is a girl, you should answer: Wa'alaika wa'alaihassalam.
Ka= sender of salaam is a guy(awak lelaki)
Ki= sender of salaam is a girl(awak perempuan)
Ha= giver of salaam is a girl(dia perempuan)
Hi=giver of salaam is a boy (dia lelaki)

I hope the bold letters might help you. It is sunnah for those who gives salaam but it is WAJIB for those who answers/commence it.

Nasai narrates from Hazrat Abu Hurairah that the Holy Prophet said, "There are rights of a Muslim over a Muslim: Responding to salaam, visiting the sick, following the bier (A platform upon which the corpse rests), accepting an invitation (to a meal) and blessing a person who sneezes."

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Trust ❤

'Surely, Allah loves those who place their trust in Him'
 [Surah Al-i-Imran(3):159]

Assalamualaikum wbt...

Greetings! It's been a few days I haven't posted anything here. Yeah, I've been procrastinating a lot nowadays and it has been weeks too for not touching the piano. O'Allah, where are all my spirits? Astaghfirullah! But, Alhamdulillah, my mood has returned eventually after performing Dhuha prayer. In Shaa Allah, this will give benefit to Ummah :)

Now, I wanna talk about Trust. With a capital T. I asked Mom about it and she was like "What trust, dear? Don't you think it's too general a topic?" I pondered for a moment, but to be honest there's nothing to ponder about for I already have a type of trust in mind. First things first, I wanna thank my dear good friend who gave me this inspiration. She was the one who gave me the idea of sharing what trust really mean. It had been a few days ago to be exact and I haven't had the courage yet to write about it. My apologies, my dear friend! May Allah bless you with sharing such inspiration to me. May my efforts here give you reward from Allah SWT. Amiin! :)

So, allow me to narrow the scope, to the most precious and beautiful trust of all: Trust to Allah SWT. In every stage of life, there's always happiness and also sadness. Sometimes we feel lost and alone, deprived by the very thought of knowing there's nothing here in Dunya that lasts happiness forever. It's hard when you fake a smile, laugh and seem to have a good time, but deep down only Allah knows your heart shatters and cries. Seems familiar to you?

In Surah Al-Fatihah, don't you know there's an answer to this situation? As we recite regularly to our prayers, 17 times at most and not counting the solat sunat every day, 'To You Alone we turn, and You Alone we ask for Help' [Qur'an: Chapter 1, Verse 5]. You see? Instead of turning your deepest problem to your family and friends (not that I discourage you not to seek their help since musyawarah with them also helps a lot) how about sharing them with Allah SWT? Allah says in the Qur'an: 'And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me- indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me' [Qur'an: Chapter 2,Verse 186] Subhan Allah! His Mercy, His Compassion, His Kindness and His Favors! You will find serenity and tranquility in your heart whenever you turn to Him. In Shaa Allah. We just have to remember that Allah tests us and we should just have to trust Him and be strong. 

For example, you are not completely satisfied with your SPM result. You turn around and see all your friends with their lopsided smiles with VICTORY shines in their eyes. You feel sad and disappointed in yourself. Stop! Dhikr and remember Allah. Think! There must be a REASON Allah gives you that result because everything happens with a reason behind it. Feel! If not now, maybe tomorrow? Maybe next week or another months or another years. Or better yet, in Jannah? Do not lose hope, because Allah says 'do not despair of the Mercy of Allah'[Qur'an: Chapter 39, Verse 53], so expect the best from Him. 

My good friend gave me this ayas and I feel it is a responsibility to share with you. Allah Himself says 'these will be given their reward twice over, because they are patient, and repel evil with good, and spend out of what We have provided with them'  [Qur'an: Chapter 28, Verse 54] Masya Allah! Good will come to those who are patient. ^^

Last but not least, fear Allah alone and have hope in Him. I assure you, you will fly in places you never thought you could. Have faith! In Shaa Allah, Allah SWT will always be with you :)

'The heart is like a bird: love as its head, and its two wings are fear and hope'
 [Ibn Al Qayyim Al Jawziyyah]