Laylatul Qadr; I Note: 4 May 2021

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

Now that Ramadan is coming to a close, you will notice more panda-looking Muslims around. Muslims believe that on one of the odd nights in the last ten nights of Ramadan, is a special blessed night. On that night, a single good deed bears rewards multiple times more than when it was carried out during any other times.

There is a chapter in the Quran that talks about that blessed night: Al-Qadr. It is a very short chapter. It consists of only five verses. It addressed our question as to what exactly is Laylatul Qadr, also known as The Night of Glory, The Night of Power, or The Night of Decree. The Night of Decree seems to be the most apt as the angels and the spirits descend many times with God’s permission to fulfil their task. Throughout that night, there is peace until the dawn breaks. That night is explicitly expressed in the Quran as being better than a thousand months. However, I personally like to call it the Night of Power as it is the night where you have the highest chances of having your prayers answered, which subsequently allows you to be empowered by your prayers. It’s like one of the best chances you can get to be close to the King of the dominions so you definitely want to offer the best worship you can muster to Him.

This is my form of worship for tonight; seeking and sharing knowledge. Worship is not necessarily ritualistic. It takes on many forms but the intention is the same: everything is done in the name of Allah and to solely please Him. Lillahi ta’ala. So even if a surgeon is performing a surgery while his Muslim brother and sisters are performing acts of worship on the prayer mat, his good deed of helping his patient for Allah’s sake is also considered an act of worship, only that it’s done on the operating table instead.

So I hope that those who find themselves in a situation where they can’t perform the usual prayers or touch the Quran, such as a woman in menstruation, will still strive to worship in a different manner such as giving praises to Allah or reading the translation of the Quran.

May Allah accept our deeds and may we get to experience the blessings of Laylatul Qadr.

And Allah is Ar-Rahim, The Most Merciful. -MM

I Note: 18 January 2021

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

I think videos like below are still good to watch to help people like myself introduce Islam to others should they ask me to tell them what it’s all about in less than five minutes.

So here are some pointers from the video:

1) Islam literally means submission. Contextually, it refers to the submission of oneself to God, which places everyone in equal standing.

(Not in video: For example, I may be literate but it doesn’t place me on a higher pedestal when compared to someone who is illiterate because that person may be better than me in terms of his kindness and goodness.)

2) Islam’s followers are mostly into two general groups: Shia and Sunni. I am categorised under Sunni.

(Not in video: Shia Muslims believe that ‘Ali, Prophet Muhammad’s cousin, should be regarded as the rightful last leader of the Muslim community. Sunni Muslims on the other hand, believe that Prophet Muhammad, the last Prophet, should be regarded as the only last leader of the faith. The Final Messenger.)

3) Even within these two groups, there are different schools of thought.

(Not in video: I’m not well-versed in Shi’ism so I’m unable to go into detail. The four main schools of thought within the Islamic Jurisprudence in Sunni Islam are taught by four Imams: Hanafi, Hanbali, Maliki, and Shafi’i. Singapore is largely influenced by the Shafi’i school of thought, which relies mostly on the Quran and the Hadith in executing day-to-day Islamic practices. The Hadith is a record of actions and words of the Prophet Muhammad. In cases where the Quran and the Hadith both did not specify on a ruling, Shafi’i posits that the consensus of Islamic scholars, also known as ijma, is needed. And where no consensus is met, qiyas is employed. Qiyas is analogical reasoning. To me, the Shafi’i school of thought makes sense as what better way to live your life as a Muslim than to follow the direct words of God and the examples set by His Messenger? But to be honest, living in a contemporary world and as a city Muslimah, I find myself following the other schools of thought sometimes. For example in the treatment of dogs. You can read about it here and see: https://www.muis.gov.sg/officeofthemufti/Irsyad/English-Advisory-on-Guide-Dogs)

4) Despite the differences, all Muslims believe in the five pillars of faith:

i) Proclamation of faith

ii) Praying five times a day

iii) Giving charity

iv) Fasting during Ramadan

v) Pilgrimage to Mecca

So that’s essentially the basics of the faith. It’s a lot to take in if I were to go on and on. I mean, heck, even my not-in-video notes are too much to condense. I tried my best but there is a lot to know about the faith and even for myself, I’m still struggling to get a good grasp on it and I’m always learning about it.

And Allah knows best. – MM

I Note: 10 January 2021

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

Here is another video I want. It’s super short but super meaningful to me.

Takeaways from the video:

1) Pay attention to your surroundings. I have always been an aloof person. It’s partly the effect of having been bullied and socially ridiculed. Also partly the result of having low self-esteem. I just tend to shut off the rest of the world so I don’t see details in my surroundings. Since both the author and the Indonesian lady maintained awareness of each other, it helped the author in the end.

2) Always inform someone of your whereabouts, even as you’d like some time alone. I think it’s important that someone you trust is made known of where you’d be and what you’d be doing so that it’ll be easier for them to check in on you. Really helps during times of emergency.

3) As Muslims, we are the ambassadors of our religion. As evident, the author has attached the Indonesian lady who helped her as her face of Islam. Hopefully, I can be someone’s face of Islam at one point in time because that means I have successfully shared the message of Islam.

And Allah knows best. – MM

I Note: 8 January 2021

This was supposed to be posted on Sunday, I believe, but I had been busy with trying to book a bridal henna artist for my sister, Hazwanni and working a bit on the side for SG.

I think I’ll change my goal from watching Islamic lecture to watching videos about Islam. Far more interesting to be honest. And random knowledge is always exciting and easier to remember. Hahaha!

I’ve been pretty morbid lately. I think I’ve kinda given up on life but my sins are blocking my way to the Kingdom of Heaven. (I just mean heaven but I just gotta make it sound glorious like that). What little time I have left on this earth, I might as well try to do as much good as possible.

I found this video to be interesting:

Takeaways from it:

1) It’s good to have our children involved in preparing our dead bodies as it’s the last physical contact they can make with us.

(Not in video: Nothing else can help us when we are dead so only the prayers of our children can help us.)

2) The video mentioned three good signs and three bad signs when a person passes on. But only one of each was explained. One of the good signs when someone passes on is that their eyes are open, watching their life in reel form. One of the bad signs is when they make a gluttoral noise similar to a camel or a cow being slaughtered.

3) However, regardless of the signs a dying person shows, we are not allowed to judge him. We should instead pray for the best for him.

4) After we are buried in the grave, two angels will approach us and interrogate us. The questions include:

i) Who is your god?

ii) Who is your prophet?

iii) What is your religion?

iv) Who is your imam/leader?

v) Who are your brothers and sisters?

(Not in video: The names of the two angels are Munkar and Nakir. Your ability to answer the questions relies on your beliefs and practices while you were still alive. When asked about your deeds, it will be your body parts that answer. You have no capability to lie for your body answers truthfully for you.)

5) You cannot bring your worldly possessions with you. Only your deeds.

6) Basically, when a Muslim dies, his body will be showered, shrouded, prayed for, and then buried.

7) There are classes one can attend to learn about the funeral rites in Islam. I think as the eldest and as the wife, I need to learn so that when the time comes, I’ll know what to do.

8) “Think of death. When you think of death, you become a good man.”

And Allah knows best. – MM