When I hear myself

I heard myself say the things I never thought I’d say. Again.

I heard myself say the things I thought I’d never say again.

I heard myself say the things I never thought I’d say. Ever.

I heard myself say the things I never thought I’d ever say.

I was this close.

But I’d like to think of myself as strong.

I tell myself I’m strong.

But I don’t hear it.

Oh shut up.

I Wanna Be The Very Best

I don’t know when or how I fell in love with the Quran and its contents. It’s recent, maybe a couple years back. Obviously, I don’t know how Allah works but I just fell in love with it. Maybe it was because I was trying to figure out what I want to do with my life, and I wanted to figure out what Allah wants from me, and how I can be the Best Muslim I can. Aaaaaaaaaand then I was told about what the Prophet Muhammad (saw) said:

“The best among you (Muslims) are those who learn the Quran and teach it.”

Masha Allah, how apt. At first I was scared and confused when reading the Quran and its translation from the front, until I find its beauty reading it backwards. Yes, from Juz Amma. Because the Quran did not come down all at once like how it is beautifully arranged now; it came down verse by verse. But now the Quran is arranged according to its length. So my personal unqualified advice to those who want to experience the beauty of Quran translated: read it from the back.

That would be from #114 Surah An-Nas (The Mankind).

Say, “I seek refuge in the Lord of mankind,
The Sovereign of mankind.
The God of mankind,
From the evil of the retreating whisperer -
Who whispers [evil] into the breasts of mankind -
From among the jinn and mankind.”

Reading it from the first surah from the back already tells us that we are to submit to Allah, only He.

I’ve had people tell me they’re interested in reading the Quran but -spills a bucket of ice-filled excuses-. Here’s why you, a Muslim, should read at least a page of the Quran daily:

  • When your grave is opened for you (when you die), you will meet a man who will ask you, “Do you recognise me?” which you will reply “I do not recognise you.” He will reply “I am your companion the Quran who kept you thirsty on hot days and awake at nights. Every merchant benefits from his business and today you will benefit from your good deeds.”
  • Your parents will be clothed with priceless garments never before seen in the world. They will ask, “Why are we clothed like this?” “Because your son used to recite the Quran.” Then it will be said to him: ‘Recite and ascend in the degrees of Paradise,’ and he will continue to ascend so long as he recites, either at a fast pace or a slow pace .”

Amazing isn’t it?

We make investments for our current temporary, destructive life but not for our permanent abode. #rethinklife

Spend your life going crazy over song lyrics and maybe a man in the form of song lyrics will come too, haha. (I am one of them lolz maybe I will have two men coming to me woo hoo)

If you are interested in learning how to read the Quran, insha Allah I can teach you the basics. Feel free to contact me.

———–

Here’s my mom’s Quran I call a “baby” Quran because it has all the tajweed rules highlighted for the reader which is a great idea. I use this because sometimes I forget the rules as well.

BABY QURAN

Here’s my personal Quran which I love very much, bought it when I was 12:
NORMAL QURAN

Anyway I don’t know if I’m getting my ijazah in Quran this term, because I am being tested with difficulty in pronouncing the Arabic letters from the throat with this taking-a-long-time-to-recover flu. The throat letters are what I’m having difficulty pronouncing: ق ع ح ة

Okay maybe the WHOLE Arabic letters especially with the nasal sounds etc it can be really uncomfortable reciting with this flu ya Allah forgive me.

Personal story: I read somewhere that if you have difficulty sleeping at night, pray that you’ll meet the Prophet (saw) in your dreams. It is a great honour to meet the Prophet because the Syaitans cannot take after his face in dreams. If someone in your dreams told you you’re looking at the Prophet, it is the Prophet. It can vary in dreams because if you had messages from “your mom” or someone you can’t be sure if it’s really from your “mom”, you see. Get what I mean?

So one night I couldn’t sleep and prayed to meet my beloved Rasullulah (saw). After a bit of tossing and turning I finally slept and dreamt of a man trying to teach me how to pronounce the ق. He was dressed in white, looked big and Arabic with a beard and trying to teach me how to pronounce the ق!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (the one I have a lot of difficulty pronouncing. The ق point of pronunciation is somewhere near your tonsils at the back of your throat or something, my non-native Arabic tongue is not trained). The Quran is not Arabic as in it originated from Arab, it had its own uniqueness that even the Arabs then were amazed and learnt it. The Quran language is language from Allah swt, taught to Jibril a.s and then taught to Muhammad saw. Muhammad (saw) then taught his companions who taught their families and that’s where we’re at. I don’t know if that dude really was the Prophet, but that dude whom I’ve never seen before wanted to teach me proper ق pronunciation.

 And then this orange boy woke me up:

BABY CATS

Pippi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Meeting an Old Friend

Last Friday someone cancelled on me, and that’s the amazing thing about having faith that things happen for a reason: an old friend of fourteen years asked me if I received her message regarding her invite to her mini tea party that day.

Of course I received the message. But what happened was I didn’t read it. Her school is all the way at the other end of Malaysia (Perlis) and I thought “Why not?”

So I brought my only other sibling left in the country, my brother, on a 30 kilometers highway journey to her house.

My friend’s name is Nadia Shahira, and we were primary school friends in my old (full) Islamic School here in Johor. Yes, I actually have a background in Islamic education – it’s not something new that I just adopted ha ha ha ha just kidding.

We were also neighbours. To get to her house I would need to climb down an elevated drain across a park. Once my parents had some errands to do in Singapore for a couple of days so they left me at Shahira’s place.

Basically, she’s my childhood friend. When I moved back to Singapore we kept in touch through snail mail, and then I downloaded the Y! Messenger just because she had it and then we lost touch. When I came back to Johor in 2010 we met for a short while, but it was really really brief (just lunch) that nothing really happened.

So last Friday, for the first time in my life, with no sense of directions at all….I relied on Sheikh Google Maps to show me the way, and we safely arrived.

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Here’s my date:

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It was really nice to finally see her again. She was in Med School in Egypt, but her parents took her out when the whole chaos went on. She continued her education in Malaysia. Her older sister’s an intern doctor, her younger brother is a med student as well and her parents are doctors. It really runs in the family.

My cutie friend:

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She then told me she still keeps the letters I sent to her. I felt kind of guilty because having moved so many times, I don’t know where I kept hers! I do have a box where the Valentines’ Day cards and letters are around, so I think hers is somewhere there too. #badfriend

I love receiving and sending handwritten letters. Took this picture below because I thought it was funny I wrote “Friends Forever!” to her. Ten years ago when I wrote that, did I know that I would actually drive up north to meet her? Ah, adulthood. (my terrible handwriting remains)

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We went outside to her garden to take pictures. She even took out a chair for me to sit on.

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When I saw her trying different filters for our picture, I saw that she used a picture of us from afar. I asked, “Why did you choose the one which our faces can’t be seen?” “I like details.”

I think this is beautiful. Because I’m always around people who have the same interests as me, and being apart for so many years obviously made the distance in similar interests even more distant. She likes details of the sceneries while I like the details in the uniqueness of our faces. Ah, being human.

The three of us (plus her brother who is in uni) used to play together as kids. Ah so nostalgic.

10635797_10152692727317608_6351010237341539924_n And then it’s time go back home..

Till next time, insha Allah.

Story of a Ruler and Social Anxieties

I was telling my mom an incident that happened to me during childhood in Melaka, where my mom bought me a really pretty and big plastic Minnie Mouse ruler and I even kept the plastic because I liked it so much when a 12 year old girl came up to me, asked to look at my pretty pencilcase and took it away from me. Not to mention I actually walked on foot to another village in search of this girl. I was 7.

So it goes a friend of mine had a Mickey Mouse ruler, and when I went out shopping with my mom I saw a Minnie Mouse version and mom got it for me. I was so happy (I’m a girl I love stationery) and brought it to school. Carefully I kept it back in its plastic cover after using it. That afternoon after school I packed my whole pencil case and walked in the Sun to my neighbour’s house. Her house and my house were separated by a huge drain which the rowdy, tough chick like I am used to cross via the drainage pipe but that day, I was carrying my beloved pencilcase (I am a girl).

As I was walking (it’s a long walk) a big girl, about 12, on her bike stopped me to admire my pencilcase. She asked if she could see it. I said sure, the point of pretty stuff is to be seen anyway. And then she took out my beautiful Minnie Mouse ruler. She told me she needed a ruler and she wants to borrow mine and will return it. What do you say to a girl three times bigger than you on a big bike? You don’t say no, you just say yes.

She never returned it. I remember waiting for her outside my house (she usually cycles outside) but she never came. Once I saw her cycling as usual, ran to her and asked her for my ruler, she cried “I left it at home!” So I waited and waited again. One day I couldn’t stand it anymore I, without knowing where she lived in the first place, set off to walk towards the village on my own. It was the year 1999 in Melaka, maybe a quarter of the place was developed and the others were still in kampong. I lived in the neighbourhood, don’t know what told me that girl lived in the kampong lol.

After that I only remember seeing her only once. We were outside and she said hi to my mom while ignoring me. I thought “How could you say hi to my mom while you took and never returned my ruler?”

The End. 

Mom asked me, “How come you never told me about any of this?”

I don’t know either, but then it occurred to me that that means I’ve always never liked telling people things that happened to me? Or did that incident make me sort of fierce? Or am I secretive?

I remember a girl hating me, for don’t know what reason either but I felt nothing. Again, my mom claimed that she knew nothing about it.

Could it be that I had no feeling therefore my mom didn’t see anything wrong, or have I always been great at burying my feelings deep down and then only getting them out here on her blog fifteen years later? That ruler was very pretty and I used to wish everyday I hadn’t lent her my ruler.

It’s like a Hatred Monster kept in a prison cell but its claws can still reach you and scar you, get what I mean?

The girl that hated me: I still remember her name and LOL just found her on Facebook. She looks the same.

———-

Suddenly, last night, I had panic attacks over the thought of going social. My breathing went from lub dub lub dub lub dub to lubdublubdublubdublubdublubdublubdub and my hands starting feeling cold and I don’t know why, a surge of worry just washed me like a bucket of water being poured over my head.

Thankfully (maybe), at the same time, I was talking to an old acquaintance and I told him about what I was feeling. I have never told anyone about my social anxieties because nobody ever gets it, but since I told that old acquaintance, I shall bring it up in this blog as well.

I suffer from social anxieties. I am the real socially awkward even though that term is old now, but I’ve never used the term on myself because I TRY to be social and I don’t want to be awkward.

But why am I using it on me now? Probably because I realise that that’s what I am now.

I get these anxieties because people like to leave me hanging. I’m the person people come to talk to every now and then when they have problems and then leave me when they don’t. I’m their unpaid and uneducated psychiatrist/consultant/sometimes-I-remember-you-when-I-need-you-friend. That part, I don’t really care about. I’ve just been lending everyone my heart and ears and eyes for a long time that they didn’t know I have a mouth.

What gives me the social anxieties is the fact people don’t know how to respond to me in times where it doesn’t involve their problems, NOBODY KNOWS WHAT TO SAY. Nobody knows how to respond to my jokes, nobody knows how to respond to my questions, nobody knows how to respond to my conversation: they like to leave me hanging!

Which leaves me with this two questions: Why? and Why?

I can come up with anything people say or tell me, as long as you don’t leave me hanging.

I rather have someone tell me with a “touché” to recognise my genius than not say anything. Yes, be aware and let me know you know of my ability to leave everyone literally speechless.

I feel unliked/disliked all the time over this that I prefer to just sit in my own shell and laugh at what a genius wordplayer I am.

The other day I saw an ask.fm question, “Do you think it’s humane to eat meat?” and that person replies “I think it’s okay once in a while.” I thought that wasn’t an in-depth, not well thought of answer at all! WHY IS IT ONLY OKAY ONCE IN A WHILE? Why would you be interested in asking someone who doesn’t think when he answers?

Just because he’s popular and takes cute selfies of course!

And then people will tell me they feel sad for me I don’t have friends.

It’s just that nobody knows how to handle geniuses like me. *flips my fabulous unfashionable tudung*

Languages!

A couple weeks ago I signed up for a private Quran class and alhamdullilah today was my first lesson.

I signed up for the Level 5 (final level) “Advanced” Class when I didn’t even join their first class lol. The Ustazah said I performed better than expected, which is okay I guess. She said some of my letters pronunciations are weak – that’s because we don’t have the letters in the English language so my muscles were not trained. Hm.

She also said that while my pronunciations could have passed as a “non-native Arabic speaker tongue”, the graduate of this Level 5 course needs her pronunciations to be perfect. I signed up for the ijazah course since I’m practically at the same time teaching Quran without a certificate lol.

What’s an ijazah?

An ijazah (Arabic: الإِجازَة ‎) is the grant of permission or authority usually represented by a certificate to indicate that one has been authorized by a higher authority to transmit a certain subject or text of Islamic knowledge.

So just to write them here for future reference, I have Quran classes on:

Monday – Thursday mornings
Monday and Wednesday afternoons
Saturday nights

For the past whole month I neither taught nor learnt anything about the Quran, and I think that kinda explains my nonsense and disconnection from everything I think. Sigh oh Fifi, so weak.


I’ve been invited to teach. I don’t want to go into details yet but yeah lol, who would’ve thought? All my life I said I don’t ever want to be a teacher yet everyone asks me if I’m a teacher because I look like it and I get this opportunity I might take just for the experience.


I might want to take up Korean seriously. But for what? I haven’t found a good concrete reason for me to invest my time in this foreign language looooooooooooooooool.

Issues

When I was 6 my dad Photoshopped my birthmark off my K2 graduation picture and asked me if I wanted it removed. I hated how I looked and said no. I thought I looked like a stranger, someone I didn’t know. Someone who wasn’t me.  Six year old me didn’t like her.

Ten years later that same birthmark I didn’t want removed started giving me problems like bleeding,  as if begging to be removed.

For four years now I’ve been wearing that stranger’s face. Somehow I tapped on my six year old’s memory about not liking my face without my birthmark. Hey I’m okay with it being gone now, but I feel like I’m at the peak of my self consciousness and lack of self-confidence.

I wear a freaking surgical mask when I go out. I stopped smiling in pictures. I no longer look at people in the eye when we talk.

It’s not due to the fact that I’m not doing “anything”, I think. I’ve been approached by really cool people to do things I’ve only dreamed of doing and I have taken a few key steps towards my goal in life yet my issues with myself are mountains high.

An old friend asked me what’s wrong, and I told her I think I’ve no confidence. Her reply, “You’re Fifi. Where got no confidence. You always bounce back no matter what.”

I changed topics because I really don’t know how to react to that. Is that what she remembers me for? How come I don’t remember that about myself? If only people realised how serious this is. It is to me. Ha.

I’m also no longer articulate. I don’t even know how to complete a sentence in speech. That’s probably because I’ve found myself no longer bothered to argue or try to explain anything to people so I just leave it hanging.

Constantly trying to tell myself that I am great at what I do, I am an independent woman, life works for me and believe it or not I BELIEVE in them. Yes! I am great at what I do, yes I can do things on my own and Life Works For Me but I still don’t know why I hesitate to smile or think about how ugly I look when I smile etc.

I think I should start eliminating the BUTs in my life. Let’s try this again:

Dear Fifi,

A few hours Jakarta Trip

Flew solo to bring my siblings back home. I don’t want to reveal much so here are some captioned pictures:

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Cute plane

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Figured out the air in plane is bad for my skin

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Posted this on Facebook for security reasons. The cab number there lol.

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Destination

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Hall

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Girl’s Dorm

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My sister being my sister scolding people or smth

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My baby siblings

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So scary looking

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Sat alone in the flight throughout lolz

Bye

Four More Days

Honestly, this year was unfortunately not my best-performed Ramadan. There’s only four more days of Ramadan left, and insha Allah I will try to get up and do and do and do again.

I’m disappointed in myself. I really am. First day of Ramadan I tell my students not to waste their Ramadan idling. For me, I won’t say I was idling, but I was preoccupied with doing other things than focusing on and gathering my ibadah.

Please note that I have no intention of “boasting” (riak) whatsoever. So far alhamdullilah Allah has allowed me to not miss a terawih session, but somehow my alarm clock keeps not ringing when I set it in the middle of the night to pray. I’m sad maybe Allah didn’t want to give me the opportunity to tahajjud, or maybe these are just excuses. I’ll try again.

Another thing I’m bummed about is that I’m only 1/3 finished with the Quran, whereas we’re supposed to at least finish the whole of Quran in Ramadan. I’m really slow this month, and I wrote a bunch of excuses here which I deleted.

Muslims reading this: Please do not waste your remaining Ramadan like I did.

Amazing Loneliness Confession and Exclusive Popped Face

It’s been two weeks into Ramadan and I’m just plain bummed that I have not been able to enjoy its privileges for about a week.

Also, my siblings have gone to boarding Sufi School somewhere which means their chores gets handed over to me.

Which I admit is not at all stressful, just kind of tired and lonely lol. Okay fine maybe lonely at first because I really was all alone (I chose not to send them off to care for the cats at home) and then the loneliness became sorta a bliss.

Note: I’ve NEVER felt lonely in my entire life. I’ve watched people walk away from me, I’ve had people leaving me, and I eat and do things alone a lot. Even though I was alone and left alone, the “lonely” feeling never managed to pierce through my shiny dragon armour. This, however, was different. I felt lonely for the first two days so I kept myself really really super busy, and by the third day I was able to dust my hands and put them akimbo, standing on top of a pile of garbage called negative feelings.

Which means if Salamahafifi can do it, nobody should let the lonely feeling guide them through their emotions and reactions.

However, if I’m ignored, I will leave. I will not spend more time brooding over why I’m being ignored and I will just leave. Understand that people may have been brought up in an environment where ignoring people is an “okay” thing. Maybe I came from Planet Pathetic Pluto that I just cannot fit in.

But still, never mind. Really, move on with yourself. If people can’t deal with you, at least you can!

Despite all these, I am, still, upset with my face.

I am sad and ashamed of my face, and I find myself uploading it more often. I understand now, that girls upload a lot of selfies because they are insecure and needed to feel the security behind the filters and likes.

But then again, why should I be ashamed of my face?

But then again, why shouldn’t I be crying over these acne on my face?

It is only with falling that I can climb back up.

I dreamt I walked into a spa, and it was a big spa, and booked an appointment at 10 AM. I tweeted about it. Someone replied to ask me if my face felt dewy and moist when I woke up. It hit me that I was tired and I needed a break. I was in the shower and first thing I did after I walked out of the bathroom was to call the facial place to book their earliest slot. 11 AM. #yes

The trainee beautician did my face and she was a bit rougher than my normal beautician (who is the branch manager). My face now hurts when touched and it is swollen. It will get better insha Allah.

I have what are called Coloured Bumps. I went for extraction (popping!) to get them out and yes they hurt!!!!!!! They can’t be seen face-to-face but it is disgusting under the sunlight. I can see it, therefore it disgusts me.

I’ve been told to use at least a Toner (I don’t use anything AT ALL since these stupid breakouts) so I’m trying to get back into the routine of only using this Herbal Care Lotion by Dr Schrammek they recommended. The Branch Manager is also trying to sell me some Moisture Intense Ampoule (because my skin according to everybody including my beautician is DRY) but it’s like RM300. Would anyone like to sponsor me a box of ampoules for my dry skin? ha ha ha.

BTW, I’ve stopped using all The Body Shop skincare products.

schrammek herbal care lotion

My face fresh after facial.

My face fresh after facial.

My Forehead DAY 1 Post Facial (ew but for documentary purpose).

My Forehead DAY 1 Post Facial (ew but for documentary purpose).

My Right Cheek DAY 1 Post Facial (sigh)

My Right Cheek DAY 1 Post Facial (sigh)

My Left Cheek DAY 1 Post Facial (double sigh)

My Left Cheek DAY 1 Post Facial (double sigh)

Take care and till next time.

Random String

I really like the word string.

Strings.

You pull strings to get what you want.

Strings are pulled to be worn.

People string ideas to make a cause.

We string something to extend.

But don’t string someone along.

Do everything with no strings attached.