Saturday, May 12, 2012

Trying to be Muslim. And a terminally ill friend.

Norhafsah Hamid is one of the co-founders of Nadi Annissa, a Muslimah clubhouse in Taman Paramount, PJ.

The address:
No.2, Jalan 20/6, Taman Paramount, 46300 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. 
If u have not check out the place, please do so. They have swimming pool, gymnasium, and loadss of activities. Tafseer, usrah, lectures, jazzercise, self defence class etc etc. There's a nice review on the place here.

Hafsah has just written a book.
I bought the book from the author on the first day it was out. Piping hot from the publisher's oven. We just happened to have a small chat after our regular Saturday tafseer & Arabic class. And Hafsah just came back from seeing the publisher with a stack of books. So I gladly snapped a copy ;-) Just another noble excuse to fulfill my book craving.

You can get the book from;
1) Pustaka Mukmin – Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman
2) Kinokuniya – KLCC

It's a light book. U can finish it in a day. It's about her journey trying to understand her religion and learn to be a Muslim. What I like most is her honesty. Not many people has the guts to spill all. It's always easier to talk about the good stuffs. But I guess that's the strength of this book.

Hafsah was nervous. She think she's "not there yet" to write an Islamic book. I can totally understand. We had quite a lengthy chat. I personally believe she has the advantage in conveying the message. Simply because she had been there and done that. Hence she will be less judgmental and more familiar with the struggles most people go through in being a Muslim. I think more people can relate to her struggle.

She talked about hijab, her turning point in Mecca during umrah and her hajj experience. Although the book is written in a very casual language, there are loads of stuffs to learn. At least for me. I especially like her sharing on her preparation before hajj. And her efforts to continue the momentum of improving herself after she came back from hajj.
Year after year, I yearn to go to Mecca. The yearning got stronger every year. I pray hard I will be invited soon. But there's no excuse not to start preparing from now. I saluted her for being very upfront with her weaknesses. Her struggle to manage her fiery temper. Her effort to hunt down people that she has wronged and seek forgiveness. Her determination to forgive. Reading about her preparation for hajj, I feel so midget. I don't know whether I can reach that extent. May Allah grant me the strength. Amin.

Her story is a perfect example of religion is not inherited. Being born a Muslim doesn't make u a good Muslim. U need to acquire the knowledge and learn to be one. Everybody has their own struggle. We has no right to judge others. Only Allah knows. So we try our best. And we pray that Allah will show us the right way. And reward us with jannah.

I have been wanting to write the book review for quite some time. I promised Hafsah I will let her know my thoughts about the book. But me, living up to my Queen of Procrastinator title to a tee, shall procrastinate. Today, I just had the urge to revisit the book. Hence the write up.

I just need to reinforce certain things to myself. It has been a difficult day for me today. Melancholy is probably an understatement. I visited a terminally ill friend yesterday. A dear friend. She used to be my next door neighbor when we were in Tasmania. Her condition has deteriorated drastically over the last month. To see her so frail, just skin and bone breaks my heart. Deep down, I know she is still the strong woman that I know. I can tell.

I am pathetic when it comes to expressing my feeling. I can be really awkward.  I thought I will breakdown when I see her. Which is why I was quite reluctant to visit her initially. But sitting there with her, holding her hand, comforting her while whispering zikrullah to her ironically gives me strength. My friend had a tough life. But through her hardship, she has blossomed into a better person and touched so many people's heart. Just when she found her passion and things seems to be doing great in her life, she found out the cancer has metastasized.

After the visit, I cannot get her out of mind. So I spend my sleepless night yesterday looking at her FB photos. It might be a selfish thing for me to do. But I need to erase the image that I have just seen. It's too heart breaking for me. I want to remember her as the sweet loving friend that I know. And I pray Allah forgive her sin. And give her strength to persevere. And may the test bring the best out of her. May Allah makes it easier for her and her family. May Allah grant her jannah. May Allah grant us jannah. Amin.

Be strong my dearest friend. We are all praying for u :'(

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