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Oh Allah




Oh Allah, make us among those you described in your Book,
Those who have khushoo' in their prayers,
Those who are continually observing their prayers and are heedful of them,
Those who are among of those that you love and bless.

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Doa-doa yang sunat dibaca ketika berwudhu'


taken from: http://www.alquran-indonesia.com/index.php?option=com_fireboard&func=view&catid=19&id=29

Oleh : H. Mohamad Fatoni Asyhari, S.Ag


1. Membasuh dua telapak tangan.

اَلْحَمْدُ ِللهِ الَّذِي جَعَلَ اْلمَاءَ طَهُوْرًا

Segala puji bagi Allah Yang Menjadikan air ini bersih/suci.


2. Berkumur.

اَللَّهُمَّ اَسْـقِـنِى مِنْ حَوْضِ نَبِيِّكَ مُحَمَّدٍ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ كَأْسًا لاَ أَظْمَأُ بَعْدَهاَ أَبَدًا

Ya Allah, curahkan segelas air dari telaga Nabimu Muhammad SAW yang tidak akan kehausan setelah itu selama-lamanya.


3. Membasuh hidung.

اَللَّهُمَّ لاَ تَحْرِمْنِى رَائِحَةَ جَـنَّتِكَ

Ya Allah, janganlah Engkau haramkan aku mencium harumnya surgaMu.


4. Membasuh muka.

اَللَّهُمَّ بَيِّضْ وَجْهِى يَوْمَ تَبْيَضُّ وُجُوْهٌ وَتَسْوَدُّ وُجُوْهٌ

Ya Allah, putihkan wajahku pada hari terdapat beberapa wajah menjadi putih dan hitam.


5. Membasuh tangan kanan.

اَللَّهُمَّ اَعْطِنِى كِتاَبِى بِيَمِيْنِى وَحَاسِبْنِى حِسَاباً يَسِيْرًا

Ya Allah, berikanlah kitabku dengan tangan kananku dan hitunglah amalku dengan perhitungan yang mudah.


6. Membasuh tangan kiri.

اَللَّهُمَّ لاَ تُعْطِنِى كِتاَبِى مِنْ يَساَرِىْ وَ لاَ مِنْ وَرَاءِ ظَهْرِىْ

Ya Allah, janganlah Engkau berikan kitabku dengan tangan kiriku dan jangan dari belakang punggungku.


7. Menyapu rambut kepala.

اَللَّهُمَّ حَرِّمْ شَعْرِيْ وَبَشَرِيْ مِنَ النَّارِ وَاَظِلَّنِي تَحْتَ عَرْشِكَ يَوْمَ لاَ ظِلَّ اِلاَّ ظِلُّكَ

Ya Allah, haramkan rambutku dan kulitku dari neraka dan lindungilah aku dari ArsyMu pada hari tidak ada perlindungan kecuali perlindunganMu.


8. Membasuh dua telinga.

اَللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْنِي مِنَ الَّذِيْنَ يَسْتَمِعُوْنَ اْلقَوْلَ فَيَتَّبِعُوْنَ أَحْسَنَهُ

Ya Allah, jadikanlah aku termasuk orang-orang yang mendengarkan kata dan mengikuti sesuatu yang terbaik.


9. Membasuh dua telapak kaki.

اَللَّهُمَّ ثَبِّتْ قَدَمَّي عَلَى الصِّرَاطِ يَوْمَ تَزِلُّ فِيْهِ اْلاَقْدَامُ

Ya Allah, mantapkan kedua kakiku di atas titian (shirothol mustaqim) pada hari dimana banyak kaki-kaki yang tergelincir.


DOA SESUDAH WUDHU

أَشْهَدُ اَنْ لاَ اِلَهَ اِلاَّ اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيْكَ لَهُ وَ أَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُوْلُهُ اَللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْنِي مِنَ التَّوَّابِيْنَ وَاجْعَلْنِي مِنَ اْلمُتَطَهِّرِيْنَ وَاجْعَلْنِي مِنْ عِبَادِكَ الصَّالِحِيْنَ.

Aku bersaksi bahwa tidak ada tuhan selain Allah yang tidak sekutu bagiNya dan aku bersaksi bahwa Muhammad adalah hamba dan utusanNya. Ya Allah, jadikanlah aku termasuk orang-orang yang bertaubat, jadikanlah aku termasuk orang-orang yang mensucikan diri dan jadikanlah aku termasuk hamba-hambaMu yang shaleh.

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Doa Penggerak (Dihindarkan dari Mudharat)


From a forwarded email:

Oleh Ismail bin Abu Bakar

Ada satu doa yang pendek tetapi sangat besar manfaatnya sekiranya diamalkan dalam kehidupan seharian kita. Doa yang dimaksudkan seperti sabda Rasulullah s.a.w seperti berikut:




Rasulullah s.a.w. mengajarkan kepada umatnya satu doa yang jika dibaca tiga kali diwaktu pagi dan tiga kali diwaktu petang akan terhindar lah kepada yang membacanya daripada segala kemudaratan disepanjang hari tersebut. Maksud hadis tersebut adalah seperti berikut:


Rasulullah s.a.w. bersabda: Tidaklah seorang hamba berdoa disetiap pagi dan petang "Dengan nama Allah, yang tidak memberikan mudarat sesuatu di bumi juga di langit dan Dia maha mendengar lagi maha mengetahui" baca tiga kali, maka tidak akan ada yang memudaratkannya, (Hadis riwayat Tirmizi)


Perlu diingatkan disini bahawa insya'Allah kita boleh terlepas daripada kemudaratan yang dinamakan Qada' Muaalaq iaitu ketentuan Allah yang boleh berubah dengan kita berusaha melalui berdoa kepadaNya. Bagaimanapun jika ianya Qada' Mubram iaitu ketentuan Allah yang tidak boleh berubah seperti mati maka kalau ajal telah tiba kita membaca doa ini seribu kali sekali pun pasti kita akan mati.

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We Can Read The Quran





Copied from a friend's email:


Dalam hal ni boleh rujuk buku '" Darah Wanita, Pandangan Ulamak dan Pakar Perubatan" oleh Ustazah Anisah Ab. Ghani.

Sila rujuk dalam mukasurat 99 dan 100.

1. Mazhab Shafi'e, Ahmad dan Hanafi berpendapat wanita haid dan nifas HARAM membaca Al Quran. Mereka berhujah dengan hadis riwayat Ibnu Umar r.a.a. Rasulullah s.a.w. bersabda: maksudnya " Janganlah orang yg berhaid dan berjunub itu membaca sesuatu daripada Al-Quraan". (At-Tirmidzi [131] dan lainnya). Terjemahan ini ana merujuk kepada Kitab Fikh Mazhab Syafie- Jilid 1 m/s 82, Pustaka Salam.

2. Mazhab Maliki dan Ibnu Taimiyyah berpendapat wanita haid HARUS membaca al-Quraan. Antara hujah mereka ialah:

a] Hadis yang di pegang oleh fuqaha' yang mengatakan hukum HARAM membaca al-Quran bagi wanita haid iaitu hadis riwayat Ibnu Umar seperti di atas adalah dhaif. Oleh itu hukum haram membaca al-Quran bagi wanita haid tidak ada dalam sunnah yang sahih.

b] Wanita pada zaman Rasulllah s.a.w. juga didatangi haid. Jika membaca al-Quran hukumnya haram ke atas mereka sebagaimana menunaikan solat, sudah tentu Rasulullah s.a.w. menerangkan hukumnya dan mengajar isteri-isterinya sebagaimana baginda menerangkan hukum menunaikan solat dan puasa bagi wanita haid. Sedang hukum ini ( haram membaca al-Quran) tidak pernah dinukilkan daripada Rasulullah s.a.w. Oleh kerana hukum haram membaca al-Quran bagi wanita haid tidak pernah diterangkan oeh Rasulullah s.a.w., sedangkan wanita sentiasa didatangi haid sejak dulu. Ini menunjukkan Rsulullah s.a.w tidak mengharamkan pembacaan al-Quran di kalangan wanita haid.



English sources:

http://forums.islamicawakening.com/showthread.php?t=2000

Recitation of the Quran During Menses and Post Natal Bleeding

First of all, the Shariah deals with the sexually defiled and menstruating women in very different matters and ways. There are lots of differences between them:

1. The sexually defiled (impure) can at any time he wishes remove that state. He/she can make ghusl (wash) if there is no water then tayammum.

2. Menstruating woman can not do such, she is in that state for as long as Allah (SWT) wills, until her period comes to an end.

Recitiation of the Quran by menstruating and post-partum bleeding women has been made permissible by the Malikis, Shafis, Hanbalis, Abu Hanifa and a number of other scholars. The proof being:

1. Hadith of Bukhari and Muslim concerning the Eid prayer. Narrated Umm `Atiya (RA):

"I heard Allah's Messenger (SAW) that the unmarried virgins and the mature girls and the menstruating women should come out and participate in the good deeds as well as invocations of faithful believers but the menstruating women should keep away from the Musalla - praying place [Salat (prayers)]. Someone asked (Umm `Atiya) (surprisingly) , "Do you say the menstruating women?" She replied, "Doesn't a menstruating woman attend `Arafat (Hajj) and such and such (other deeds)?"

Takbeer is a type of remembrance of Allah (SWT) an supplication is not any different from dhikr.

2. Hadith of Bukhari regarding Aisha (RA) when she got her menses on the way to Mecca. Narrated `Aisha (RA):

"We set out with the sole intention of performing Hajj and when we reached Sarif, (11 k.m. from Makka) I got my menses. Allah's Messenger (SAW) came to me while I was weeping. He said "What is the matter with you? Have you got your menses? I replied, "Yes." He said, "This is a thing Allah (SWT) has ordained for the daughters of Adam. So do what all the pilgrims do with the exception of Tawaf (Circumambulation) round the Ka'bah." `Aisha (RA), added, "Allah's Messenger (SAW) sacrificed cows on behalf of his wives."

Pilgrims make dhikr and read Quran. There was no objection from the Prophet (SAW) and he (SAW) actually "told" Aisha (RA) to do so.

3. Another reason being hardship. A woman might forget what she memorized.

So therefore if there is no text forbidding such an act, one can not conclude that the act is not allowable. The burden of proof is on those who claim that such women can not recite the Quran, and they offer no clear or direct proof.

There is no harm whatsoever in a menstruating woman or post-partum bleeding woman reciting the Quran from their memory without actually touching the Quran.


Touching The Quran During Menstruation and Post-Partum Bleeding

The most often quoted evidences, is an Ayat from the Quran:

"…none can touch but those who are pure…" (Al-Waqi'a 56:79)

A common mistake, is people taking verses and applying it to a particular Fiqh (point). Yet when you study the verse in more detail you will find, in fact, it is not related to the point whatsoever.

"That (this) is indeed an honorable recital (the NobleQuran). In a Book well-guarded (with Allah in the heaven i.e. Al-Lauh Al-Mahfuz). Which (that Book with Allah) none can touch but those who are pure from sins (i.e. the angels). A Revelation (this Quran) from the Lord of the `Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists). (Al-Waqi'a 56:77-80)

Put into context this Ayat refers to "…a Book well-guarded, " and this means a Book with Allah (SWT). It is not talking about the physical Quran we have in our presence here.

Ibn Abbas (RA) and others, along with the early scholars, agree that this verse is not talking about the Quran that we have in our hands. A Book well-guarded refers to something that is hidden (Maknoon). It is not referring to the Quran we have in our presence. Early scholars all agree to this conclusion.

"...In a Book well-guarded (with Allah in the heaven i.e. Al-Lauh Al-Mahfuz)." (Al-Waqi'a 56:78)

According to the Tafsir of Tabari and Kathir and also according to Jamal al-deen al-Qasami, this Ayat is not in reference to humans having to be free from impurities.

"Which (that Book with Allah) none can touch but those who are pure from sins (i.e. the angels)." (Al-Waqi'a 56:79)

This verse in reference to the Angels and not mankind. In a Hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah (RA), the Prophet (SAW) states, "a believer never becomes impure."

"The Prophet (SAW) came across me in one of the streets of Medina and at that time I was Janab. So I slipped away from him and went to take a bath. On my return the Prophet said, "O Abu Hurairah! Where have you been?" I replied, "I was Janab, so I disliked to sit in your company." The Prophet said, "Subhan Allah! A believer never becomes impure." (Sahih Bukhari)

There are four possible meanings of Taher (pure) in this Hadith:

1. specifically it means "pure."
2. free from major impurity where it is necessary to make ghusl.
3. free from minor impurity where it is necessary to make wudu.
4. no impurities on physical body

What does Taher mean in this Hadith? How we determine what it means is we look at other evidences that relate.

Evidences

1. A letter sent to the Emperor of Rome by the Prophet (SAW). The Prophet (SAW) had good reason to believe that the Emperor would touch it. Some will argue that a piece of paper is not Quran so this may not be such a strong argument.

2. In Sahih Muslim the Hadith about when Aisha (RA) was sent, by The Prophet (SAW), to go into the Masjid to get a mat. The Prophet (SAW) said to Aisha (RA), "Menstruation is not in your hands." A woman's touch can not be considered impure even while on menses.

"The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said to me: Get me the mat from the mosque. I said: I am menstruating. Upon this he remarked: 'Your menstruation is not in your hands.'" (Sahih Muslim)

1. Hadith that states, "A believer does not become impure." A clear text by The Prophet (SAW). A believer is considered Taher under ALL circumstances. Therefore, believer in this Hadith means Taher. The only one who should touch the Quran is a believer (i.e. A Muslim).

2. Take the Ayat: "None can touch but those who are pure (Taher)." There is no record whatsoever of Prophet (SAW) telling believers not to touch Qu'ran.

Therefore, Taher means believer (Muslim).

There is NO evidence whatsoever that says that a woman who is on her period or a woman who is having post-natal bleeding that she can not touch the Quran. This is a minority opinion, however it is the strongest opinion.

A WOMAN WHO IS ON HER PERIOD MAY RECITE THE QURAN AND A WOMAN WHO IS ON HER PERIOD MAY EVEN TOUCH THE QURAN AND READ IT DIRECTLY FROM A MUSAF (ARABIC). THIS IS A MINORITY OPINION YET IT IS THE STRONGEST OPINION.

There is no evidence to the contrary and the burden of evidence is upon those who say that such women are not allowed to touch or recite the Quran.

The scholars who say the Quran is forbidden to touch in the state of menses and post-partum bleeding, quote a weak Hadith which has in it's chain a person declared a liar by the scholars of Hadith.

"Neither the menstruating woman nor the sexually defiled person is to recite anything from the Qu'ran."

Information from "Fiqh Rulings on Women's Issues" a lecture by Jamaal Al-Din Zarabozo


Reading the Quran During Menses

There is no prohibition from the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) prohibiting a woman from reading the Quran in the state of her menses.

There is no prohibition. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) did not prohibit it. All we have is the statement of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) that he used to recite the Quran under all conditions except when he was in a state of Janaba that is after having sexual intercourse when it was necessary for him to take a bath.

This is the basis, this is the foundation, from which all of these different opinions are derived. So, some scholars made a comparison between this state of Janaba with that of menses. But of course, they are not the same because the state of Janaba you can remove by merely washing yourself. Taking a bath your state is over. Now you can now read the Quran. Whereas in the state of menses, a woman can not just wash herself then go and read. She is still in that state of menses.

If we are dealing now with the translation of the Quran, translations of the meanings of the Quran, then all this is of NO importance at all because translations of the Quran are not considered to be Quran. So no matter what state you are in, you can read it, you can pick it up, you can touch it, there is no problem at all because the Quran that we have, even if the Arabic text is there too, is still not considered Quran.

The general position which is held in determining what is considered Quran and what is not, is that whenever the words of other than Allah (SWT), in a given text, is more than the words of Allah (SWT), that text is no longer considered Quran because Quran refers to a single verse if we take a verse of Quran by itself this is called Quran also. But if there comes along with this verse, other words, you have given an explanation of it which is more than what constitutes the verse, then this is no longer considered Quran.

This is the juice from the fact, that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) sent messages to the kings of Bizantium and Persia, etc. which had verses of Quran in it. He (SAW) knew full well that these people were going to be in a state of Janaba, that they were kafr and that they would probably tear it up, maybe step on it or whatever.

So we know that it is permissible that once the words of Allah (SWT) are drowned out by the words of other than Allah (SWT), which is the case of the translations of the Quran, then in such case this is not considered to be Quran and as such it is perfectly allowable for a woman to read it under any state.

Information from "Duties of a Muslim Husband" a lecture by Shaikh Abu-Ameenah Bilal Phillips

other source:
http://www.islamqa.com/index.php?ref=5048&ln=eng&txt=recite%20period 

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Ramadhan & Syawal


Ramadhan

It's been more than a month since the last update. Well, it has been quite a hectic month-or-so for us. Even with the days were longer than the nights, it felt like the other way around. Let me tell you all about it:
Ramadhan came in late Summer. That means the day starts at around 4.15am (Suboh) and ends around 8.30pm (Maghrib). So that's about 16 hours of fasting. It may sound a bit hard but with God's will, we got thru it with so much ease...Alhamdulillah. With Maghrib at 8.30pm, Isyak is at about 10pm. So by the time we finished terawih, it was already almost midnight. After going straight to bed, we would wake up at around 3.45 for quick sahur (usually it's cereal or heated bubur or nasi with sup. After suboh prayer we'd try to catch some sleep before getting up for school at around 8am (school starts at 9am). We'd reach home from school at around 4-5pm (depending on singgah kat mana2 along the way home). then I'd start cooking for berbuka at 6pm. terawih was done either at home or at someone else's home for jemaah with others and moreh. terawih at the mosques are usually 20 rakaats.

With the changing season, everyday the day starts 2-3 minutes later than yesterday and the nights starts 2-3 minutes earlier than yesterday. So by the end of Ramadhan, Suboh is at 5.10am and Maghrib is at 7.15pm. It was getting almost like in Malaysia.

Although it was still summer, English summer means sunny day with light breeze or sometimes with gusty winds or sometimes light rain. That's good weather for fasting, not too hot or humid, which could dry you up, or too cold, which could make you feel hungry all the time. Masyallah. With that I thank Allah. 
Alhamdulillah, Iman has also successfully managed to fast for the whole of Ramadhan (well, 1 day short, kecundang dek ajakan Akif) even if he was the only one fasting in his class. Iman even woke up for Sahur almost every night, makan nasi lagi!

Iftar were mostly at home, which means home-cooking everyday! Sini takde bazaar ramadhan... :-(
There was actually a one-off Bazaar Ramadhan, held by the malay community in Manchester on one of the Saturdays but since every Saturday we would have Iftar with all the malays in Sheffield, where we would cook together, eat together, jemaah maghrib and terawih together and have moreh together at the end, we had to pass the bazaar.

With no bazaar ramadhan, all kuih-muihs and desserts were almost definitely homemade. I tried my best to make as variety as possible kuih-muihs for berbuka. I am myself not a good cook and also not so rajin to cook, so it's quite an accomplishment for me to be able to prepare kuih-muihs for berbuka. Some I did were kuih sagu kelapa, puding jagung, krim karamel and also kuih cara manis, which i have never done before. Inilah buktinya:




Rumah Baru

Sometimes in mid-Ramadhan, we moved to our new house in Firth Park area which is about 10 minutes drive from the University. Tukar angin orang kata...plus the house is bigger with cheaper rent. We haven't got time to take photos of the new house plus it is still in a mess with all the things still in boxes. But here are photos of the living room with the kumpulan takbir raya that came to takbir at our house on the eve of Syawal (well, it was actually 1am when they reached our house and still continuing with 2 more houses after us):



Here are Iman and Akif having breakfast dipagi raya before leaving for solat AidilFitri at the Pakistani Muslim Center (PMC):



The rendang ayam was more like ayam masak merah coz it was RED. Rendang daging was a cepat one (instant ;-)). Kuah kacang was done for the raya beramai2 with the sheffield-malay community. I had to cook 1kg of kacang for the kuah.

Syawal







Very nice weather. No jackets needed. So everyone got to show off their baju raya (new and not-so new ones). We had solat sunat AidilFitri, khutbah, berkenalan with warga baru and makan2.

And then came the open-houses.... So many open houses to go, it was really impossible to go to all. At last we only managed to go to 6 houses. It really felt like in Malaysia. Even better than Malaysia if you compare it with raya in KL where it's almost quiet and lonely on the 1st day of Syawal with everyone has left for the kampungs.

Above all, I thank Allah for this blessed and joyfull day. A day of Victory.

To Tok Abah, Opah, Nenek and all adik-beradik, saudara-mara, rakan-taulan, jiran-tetangga dan yang mengenali kami,
Salam AidilFitri, mohon diampunkan segala salah dan silap.
Semoga Allah menerima (amalan) dari kami dan juga dari kamu. Amin.

Ramadhan, semoga dapat bertemu lagi di tahun hadapan, insyallah...

Salam rindu dari Sheffield,
Manan Mudzaffar b. Kasri
Rita Zaharah bt. Wan Chik
Muhammad Ridzman Zidaine b. Manan Mudzaffar
Muhammad Akif Hassan b. Manan Mudzaffar


more photos @: http://ritzawchi.fotopages.com/?entry=1927666&back=http://ritzawchi.fotopages.com/

Gratitude



 
Opah dah balik Malaysia. Her 6 months visiting visa was up last Sunday. To cut the risk of being deported or banned from visiting UK (for 5 yrs!) for overstaying, Opah balik dulu and hopefully ada rezeki to come back again next year.

For whatever it's worth, I am sincerely and trully thankful to have both of my parents around, to help with the kids, for all their guidance and support, and most importantly for being there (and here). Jazakum Allah Khair...

Us sending off Opah at Manchester airport on Sunday 2nd August 2009:

Us + Inez  Opah & cucu2nya
K.Zaila & Inez pun ikut hantar Opah

Bye Opah...nanti datang lagi ye...we miss u!
 

Oh yes...2 days before Opah balik, K.Zaila and Inez came to Sheffield from London. We also had some small makan2 with our nearby jiran2 Melayu to feast on Opah's cooking for the last time (utk tahun 2009) before Opah balik. There were around 4 families with lotsa kids around. And kids being kids, seronok sangat main sampai accident...Inez fell from the stairs and broke her arm! Well, it was actually a small fracture on her upper arm bone, very close to the elbow, but according to the bone specialist fractured bone is also broken bone. Luckily Inez's case is not a very serious one where her bone would heal very fast (because of her young age, she's only 4!), Alhamdulillah....
She needs to be on cast for 3 weeks though. Poor baby. Hope she rocovers super-fast!

 
THE patient...after seeing the specialist.    rakan seperjuangan
mummy & inez posing at the children's hospital...sakit ke tak tu sbnrnya?
 

With Opah's end of holiday here in UK marks my 7th month being here as a student (Opah came a month after our arrival).
That means I have past the half-year mark and should have done my first semester here in U of Sheffield. How did I do? Well...I passed both of the subjects I took (I've also got one of the two highest marks for one of the subjects, which is very motivating! :-)). Research progress wise, according to my supervisor I am right on track and is doing fine which is very contrary to my own feeling. I feel like I'm moving very slow and am always in clutter and always panicking over nothing. But then, what your spvsr say is more important than what you think. So, I guess I should stop panicking, get myself organized and work harder. Above all, I'm thankful that it has been smooth up to this point.

Thank you Allah for giving me a smooth ride and for all the inspiration You have instilled in me.
Thank you very very much Abah and Mama for your help, guidance, support and most importantly, for everything.
Thank you husband for your restu, support and always being there for me.
Thank you sons for being here with me and staying healthy and sometimes, behaving good :-p.

Thank you all for your doa and support.
Thank you.

Iman Zidaine


Muhammad Ridzman Zidaine
 
Iman celebrated his 9th birthday last Wednesday, 01/07/09.
"Happy belated birthday to you my dearest son. I will always pray for your good health and to succeed in life and the hereafter. I will especially pray that you'll become a good son, anak yg soleh."

"kek" pulut kuning - Opah buat especially untuk Iman  Acara memotong kek



Solat khusyuk




Seorang ahli ibadah bernama Isam Bin Yusuf, sangat warak dan khusyuk solatnya. Namun, dia selalu khuatir kalau-kalau ibadahnya kurang khusyuk dan selalu bertanya kepada orang yang dianggapnya lebih ibadahnya, demi untuk memperbaiki dirinya yang selalu dirasainya kurang khusyuk.

Pada suatu hari, Isam menghadiri majlis seorang abid bernama Hatim Al-Assam dan bertanya, "Wahai Aba Abdurrahman, bagaimanakah caranya tuan solat?"

Hatim berkata, "Apabila masuk waktu solat, aku berwudhu' zahir dan batin."

Isam bertanya, "Bagaimana wudhu' zahir dan batin itu?"

Hatim berkata, "Wudhu' zahir sebagaimana biasa iaitu membasuh semua anggota wudhu' dengan air".

Sementara wudhu' batin ialah membasuh anggota dengan tujuh perkara :-
* Bertaubat
* Menyesali dosa yang telah dilakukan
* Tidak tergila-gilakan dunia
* Tidak mencari/mengharap pujian orang (riya')
* Tinggalkan sifat berbangga
* Tinggalkan sifat khianat dan menipu
* Meninggalkan sifat dengki.

Seterusnya Hatim berkata, "Kemudian aku pergi ke masjid, aku kemaskan semua anggotaku dan menghadap kiblat.

Aku berdiri dengan penuh kewaspadaan dan aku rasakan:
1.aku sedang berhadapan dengan Allah,
2.Syurga di sebelah kananku,
3.Neraka di sebelah kiriku,
4.Malaikat Maut berada di belakangku, dan
5.aku bayangkan pula aku seolah-olah berdiri di atas titian 'Siratal mustaqim' dan menganggap bahawa solatku kali ini adalah solat terakhir bagiku, kemudian aku berniat dan bertakbir dengan baik."

"Setiap bacaan dan doa didalam solat, aku faham maknanya kemudian aku rukuk dan sujud dengan tawadhuk, aku bertasyahud dengan penuh pengharapan dan aku memberi salam dengan ikhlas. Beginilah aku bersolat selama 30 tahun."

Apabila Isam mendengar, menangislah dia kerana membayangkan ibadahnya yang kurang baik bila dibandingkan dengan Hatim.


Semoga kita semua ditetapkan iman, dikurniakan nikmat solat yang khusyuk dan segala amal ibadat kita diterima Allah....amin.

Tags:

Sono apprendimento


Saya Sedang Belajar

The ex-convent we had as hotel and venue for the summer school

I attended a summer school for the whole of last week in Pisa, Italy. It was actually a 5-day course on Multilingual Information Access where we get to hear lectures and presentations from experts in multilingual and cross-language information access and infromation retrieval. The event was organized by the National Research Council of Italy  and TrebleCLEF. As the name implies, it was multilingual nevertheless! Well, the lectures were all in English (thankfully), but it was a meeting place of people from all around the world, which speak all kinds of languages of the world. The presenters were a mix of experts from Italy, UK, Switzerland, Spain and the Netherlands. More interestingly, the participants, which were a mix of phd students, researchers and IT practitioners, were the ones who made the event really 'multilingual'. We have one from Vietnam studying in Prague, one from Egypt studying in Dublin, an Iranian in Italy (who also did his Masters at UM, M'sia!), a Romanian in Spain, a Greek, Jordanian, Spanish and of course Malaysian in UK. There were also some from Finland, Hungary, France and of course Italy. Boy, did I learn a lot of languages in 5 days! :-p

Rombongan menghantar peserta summer school dari Malaysia...2 van...mengalahkan orang Italy!
 
in the 'classroom'

The lectures took most of the time and almost everyday we ended our 'lessons' at around 6pm. Luckily it is summer now, so we have daylight until almost 10pm. On the first night, we had a social dinner in an Italian restaurant up on the hill overlooking Pisa. The view was breathtaking and it was all worth it for the 'scarry' ride up the hill. Well, the road was so small that we thought it was a one way road! Half-way up, our bus met another bus coming down and there was no space at all for both busses to pass each other thru. It took a good 15 minutes to decide who needs to reverse and it was the other bus as ours was bigger :-)).

the road up the hill of monte serra for the dinner   head-on with another bus  View of Pisa in the background

With the multi 'racial' gang

Eating in Italy, although it's a food haven, is not really a good place for vegetarian or Muslims. Italians really love their meat, pork especially, and would take wine and champagne anytime of the day! So it was quite a challenge for some 3 of us who are Muslims and another 2 who are partly-vegetarians (?!) to try to explain to the Italians. Even the organizers couldn't handle us in the first days. They don't even know what vegetarian means what more, halal food! But they tried their best and managed to serve us some meat-less dishes. Tawakkalullah je la...


On the second day, it was the day where Pisans celebrate San Ranieri, the patron of Pisa. They call it the Luminary. They had candles lighted on building walls along the Arno river that runs across Pisa. At around 11.15pm, they had fireworks. And this would happen every year on the 16th of June. It was a planned-coincidence of the organizer to have the summer school held during this time.

Luminari

On the third day, the program for the afternoon was for the participants to present their research works to the experts to get expert feed backs from them. I had a major nervous wreck as it was the first time ever I presented my research plan to someone else other than my own supervisor. But it went well and I got some really good feedbacks and suggestions from the experts. After that, I went to Firenze (Florence) for some 'melepaskan tension'. haha.

The famous view of Florence

On the forth day, we had a boat ride along the Arno river. Nothing great but we got to know the strory behind each building along the river, thanks to the very-Italian tourist guide, and took some good photos.


After 5 days of listening to lectures from 9-6, back-to-back, I was ready for some good holiday! So, after the summer school ended and after saying goodbyes to the new friends I made during the course, I took the train to Milan. Fortunately enough, I have a cousin staying and working in Varese, some 30 minutes away from Milan. Opah, Paksu Najib and the boys were already there spending their early summer holiday in Varese.

We were again very fortunate because Varese is about 20 minutes to the boarder of Italy-Switzerland. On Sunday, our lovely host, Kak Eda (my cousin) and her husband, drove us to Luzerne and then Lugano in Switzerland.


After 10 days in Italy, it was about time we head back to reality: Sheffield. And today, we are back to work. Me and the boys are at school! ;-)

...and as always, more photos at: http://ritzawchi.fotopages.com  (although some are still yet to be uploaded...sabar ye :-) )

What I've been up to these days...



Today is the last day in the exam week which also marks the end of Spring 08/09 semester. Most of the students have all gone away for their holidays. It's quite peaceful around the Uni now. But I think it's not so peaceful in the lecturers' rooms as they are now busy doing the markings. Urrgghhh....how I dreaded that part of the job! ;-P
Even both of my spvisors are now punctuating their every sentence with "...I'm busy with marking now...".
Oh how I could totally 'feel' them now, but am ever so grateful that I dont have to do any markings for the next 3 yrs!!! :-)) .
This cartoon strip is quite hillarious, maybe because it's all true, nothing but the truth....?:





End of the Spring semester would also mean I have completed my first semester here in Sheffield.
Am I happy? To be honest, I'm not so sure myself....
I should be happy because I did not have to sit for any exams...the two subjects I took were exam-free (wohoo!!).
I should be happy because I have completed some 30+ credit hours (out of 45) and I have successfully (I really really hope!) completed all the assignments.
I should be happy because in one of the assignments, I was forced to read some 50 journal articles and books (which in actuallity, the number should be 80, 40 was the min. and to create a full digital management of all the references (including annotations to almost each and every ref!)), and that should've helped me so much (at least by a quarter of the effort!) with the Literature Review chapter for my First-year report later and also THE thesis later on.
But I am not feeling (very) happy because it also means that it has been almost 6 months now, and that was all I have done! Well...research-wise.
I have been putting aside the research progress, other than reading the literatures, and were mostly focusing on the classes and assignments.
I just thot I could've done more than that...

So, being the guilt-stricken that I am right now, I have been doing a few things at the same time for the last two weeks.
I've got the 12 million query log data to look into and try to mine some interesting results out of it so that then I could start writing my first paper on this study (that's entirely my spvsr's idea btw, me....write a paper? now? what? how??).
I've also been compiling some questions for my online survey which I hope I could distribute as soon as possible. Watch out for announcement for this. You'll be one of my victims, thank you very much! ;-))
And there're those pile of articles and books which I am yet to get some reading into...
And I also need to go somewhere, again, for a week of summer school. Does that mean a week of holiday too? ;-P
Well, will update on that as soon as I arrived at the place. :-)

So until then, have a good one where ever you are and take care!
;-)

My first study-related trip



Last week I had the rare opportunity to be among the sifus of Web Search / Search Engine studies. I was of course, the one with zero knowledge, felt so much out of place. Nak cakap pun takut!

Anyway, it was a 2-day workshop on Query Log Analysis where all the experts from all over the place (UK, US, Italy, Germany) came for a sembang2 on the challenges and future directions of researches on QLA. It was organized by Dr Paul Clough from U of Sheffield, which happens to be my co-supervisor (tu sebab la I could tag along!), and British Computer Society. It was held in the BCS office in London. QLA will be one of the research methodologies I would be using in my current research.

Other than academicians we also had people from libraries and archives, Yahoo and Microsoft but unfortunately no Google reps. I realized now that although (or rather because) Google is THE number 1 and most popular search engine, they are very anti-social especially with the academic circle. Well, maybe because their research department itself is as big as a whole university, they do not need to 'talk' to academic researchers. They definitely do not believe in knowledge sharing. kedekut tul! And FYI, Google is not really THE only answer for web searches and it's not like Google supersedes everything else. I shall write about this and other search engines in my coming entries.

It was truly an amazing experience to meet, and sembang2, with all those experts. It was almost surreal! It's like meeting your favourite book's author only these are a bunch of geniuses who despite of their expertism, are truly down to earth. I have always imagined those people who write hundreds of journal articles and books are superhumans, where they dont talk to us mere mortals. But I was wrong. Some of them who have been doing researches in QLA for 10 years, with hundreds of published papers under their names, and still talk as if they were new and know only little about it.

The funny thing was though, I also got to meet a few people whom I had contacted earlier while looking for potential phd supervisor during my placement scouting. So I guess I was looking at the right places then. :-)

I was hoping that they would gather around for some group photos at the end of the workshop but no one seemed to care. They were already busy talking about the next workshop (follow up) and collaboration projects and publications, etc. I guess that's how great minds work. Nak kena belajar lagi nih!

So no photos of the workshop only photos of the building and the surrounding areas here.

Till the next entry...



Have a good day!
:-)

New blog(s)



I find it very hard to put interesting photos up on this blog with equally interesting stories to go along with it. So I have decided to separate those two. This blog will be of more writing with less photos and I'll put up all the photos in here.

Hopefully I'll get to write more on my studies and other things that would benefit us all.

This will be all for today though coz I've spent the whole day uploading photos to fotopages. Dah penat nak tulis.
But I'll leave you with this:



and this:



;-)

Hope you all have a good day!

See you in the next entry, InsyAllah.

-Rita
http://ritzawchi.fotopages.com/

The Beautiful (ghostly) Yorkshire


Sunday 3rd May 2009

Along the way to York, which is about an hour plus from Sheffield, the sun was bright but as soon as we stepped out of the car, the rain came down. Icy rain it was! Luckily, it ended in about 5 minutes but we got a bit soaked nevertheless.

York was really beautiful.

Welcome to York!   Akif poning tak tau mana nak pegi


The Castle Museum   The boys chasing them geese


    Checking out the old meriam

The Clifford's Tower at the back       Budak2 ni tak jumpa tangga

At the tower's entrance    Shortly after, the door was locked....and Iman trying to open the door

View from the tower (the king's-eye view) 


A park by the river    

  Checkout those terraced houses over looking the river. Nice...

Irresistable!! Those flowers  

  Cafes on pavements...sangat europe!


We only stayed for less than an hour because it started to rain again. Will definitely come back to York and have a full sight-seeing of the city. Oh, about being ghostly, here's where all the ghost live:
The York Dungeon! Scarynya....:-p
 
But on the way leaving the city, we took some more photos of the Clifford's Tower and it did somehow looked...ghostly
 

On Saturday 2nd May we went for some cheap shopping at one of the biggest carboot sales in East Midlands:
Twin Oaks, Chesterfield, Derbyshire.

Twin Oaks Carboot Sales  

Muka puas hati lepas membeli-belah 


Checkout akif's new stroller!   The boys pun tak ketinggalan bershopping sakan
 

Opah kepenatan...  The boys playing at the mega-slide

Berkelah makan lunch with other Malay friends "terjumpa" kat situ 

 

Lovely scenery along the way  

These are actually cowslip flowers. They farm the flowers to feed the cows and the sheeps. It has sweet smelling and those animals sure do love 'em! Sayang betul bunga cantik2 tu bagi makan kat lembu and kambing....:-).

Cowslip field

  

 

Easter break @ London


Last Thursday, while the boys were still on their easter break, we took a bus to London for a short cuti2 UK. We reached the City around 3.30pm and were greeted by our little miss hostess, Baby Inez, and her mommy (K.Zaila). Then it was a 40 minutes trip on the Tube to their place in East Ham. We stopped for a quick (and long mengidam) Chinese food lunch.


Iman, Opah, K.Zaila, Inez & Akif 

Then we headed to our host's house for some good rest after a long journey. First activity (wajib): Play BALL!!

Inez pun guling2 main ball dgn "abang"2  Iman sampai juling mata main ball

And during the house tour (cewah!), we found this in the backyard:

Are those tulips?   Opah with the giant tulips   Opah dah geram tu!

The day after, Friday, we were ready for some good sight-seeing around London. First stop: The (ever faithful) Poundland (kedai satu pound yg sgt seronok! :-) ).

 

Then we took the Tube to go to the Natural History Museum.

Wajib ambik gambar dalam tube!  Nampak macam laju je kan...?

With the Dinasours:

 

 

Then we were off to Hyde Park for a lunch picnic but as we got off of the tube, it was drizzling. So this was our penyelamat:

  

A wet stroll down the Hyde Park:



Along the way, we found this:

Teka kaki sapa tu..?

And then this:

The Buckingham Palace

And also this:

TULIPS!! 

More tulips!



Then it was time to go home...

Dengan rain coatnya, dengan payungnya...

Sebab ada org dah lentok



The next morning, Saturday, we went to a Petaling-Street-like pasar @ Barking:




Beli, jgn tak beli...satu pound je tu!

Before taking the bus back to Sheffield in the afternoon:

Beratur nak naik bas

Thank you very much (daun keladi) to K.Zaila and Baby Inez for their hospitality. Jazakallah.
Nanti datang rumah kita pulak ye Inez! :-)

Spring is here!!



 
The weather has been much better now although there are some showers occassionally and misty morning every other day. But we're not complaining. To me, Spring is the best season of all the four because this is when you can see flowers everywhere. It's amazingly beautiful! Can't wait for the roses to bloom, then it'll be heaven on earth. SubhanAllah...

These are some of the early-birds, the strong and brave (to face the winds) Mr. Daffodills:

Nampak tak Akif tu....    At the field 

12th of April was Easter Sunday. Schools are closed for almost 3 weeks starting from the 4th till the 23rd. And this time, there isn't much activities being planned for the boys so we just went strolling to the city and a lot of play at the field.

Barclay Bank's Branch Rebranding Party, Orchard Square, City Center

With the Mascot  With the "Guard"  Iman tak puas hati sebab the Guard tak gerak langsung!

A street show  Another street show

Hantu...??  Opah dah penat...

Fountain @ City Hall, City Center

The Peace Garden 

  Coming thru!! Woohoo!!

Winter Garden, City Center

It's actually a huge green house for the plants inside 

 

 

Weston Park Museum

Opah & TokAbah tunggu cucu2nya   Cucu2 spt biasa...main bola

 
 
TULIPS!!
 
Akif the frog?? :-)  Iman...bola tak tinggal punya

City Center

Iman the double-biker!        Akif in a Fire engine

 

 
  Stripy orange Tulips

Akif malu2 kucing  Iman stealing a kiss!
 
In their best pose :-)

 
...and just more flowers...
 
 

 
 

 
  
 
 

Introducing....The Faun!



Iman performed at his school's musical play last night. It was the classical 'Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf'.
Well, you know what it's all about....


 
Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take any photos or video shoots of the play. So here are some photos which we managed to curi2 ambik pre-show. The children/performers sat down while waiting for parents/guests to take their seats:

We've got the front row. Yeay!   There's Iman, dressed in a guni.

Oh, Iman was the faun. There were two fauns actually but the other boy could not make it to the play. So when it was time for Iman to read/sing his line, he was all alone. And he did it very well! Caya la Iman! Rilek je...

The faun and the rest of the forest animals. In the back, there was the Granmother, Snippet the dog, Red Riding Hood and the pigglet squad.  Iman duduk senyap2 je. Very behaved! Tapi maybe sbb tgh kontrol nervous...:-)
 
Ms. Lennox, Iman's class teacher, tgh bagi last-minute pep-talk to the boys.
 
At the end of the play:
 
All the performers gathered at the stage for the end part  

Post-play:
 
Akif pun nak perform jugak...  Adik faun
 
Overall, it was a good 1-hour performance. Lots of songs. Akif really enjoyed the show that he was asking if there's anymore show again tomorrow....kesian Akif. Maybe it's about time to bring them to the cinema for some movies....

Let's get down to business....



I’ve been thinking…for the benefit of my colleagues and friends and relatives who may be going down the same lane of doing their PhDs or Masters, or any kind of studies for that matter, let me give some insights of my own (little) experience that I've gained so far (baru 2 bulan je pun...:-)). Semoga ia memberi faedah/pengajaran and would inspire you to start with your own studies. InsyaAllah.

The University of Sheffield


For a start, I am currently in my first year of doing my MPhil/PhD in Information Studies with the Department of Information Studies at the University of Sheffield, UK. It has the MPhil (Master of Philosophy) as the first year requirement with a first-year report to be submitted upon gradually being confirmed as a PhD candidate. MPhil meaning, I am still a Masters student having to take up some hours of subject credits, which for my case is 45 crd hrs in one year. Each subject varies with its crd hrs. Ada yg as small as 5 and as big as 20. So u just have to pandai2 susun la. As for me, I’m taking 1 core subject, an Info. Retrieval course with 15 crd hrs, taught by my own supervisor. We meet once a week for lecture.  Another course, a Research Training Programme, is a collection of seminars carrying around 0.25 to 1 crd hrs totalling up to 10 crd hrs. There are about 11 seminars that I need to attend in a 1-year time span. Some good seminars I must say, like ‘How to do a PhD and Still Have a Life’, ‘Getting the Most from Supervision’, ‘ Get Motivated’, etc. Hope I could gain so much help in doing my research from these seminars. Then there’s another subject, Information Skills, a general research course which is done online. So, all and all, I’m doing around 30 crd hrs for this semester and would take another course with my spvisor next sem.

The Department

 

Then, there’s the supervision/discussion time with the MASTER himself. Well, I don’t really see much of my spvisor, except for the weekly classes (which sometimes he would get other lecturers to talk on some specific topics). The 2 months plus that I’ve been here, we have only met twice to really discuss on my research plan/progress. But we emails a lot. And from my observation and little chit-chats, that’s normal. You don’t really see much of your spvisors in the early months. So, that’s ok.

 The Regent Court Building  Inside view

Progress-wise, I’m doing a lot of articles/journals/book searching for my reading and should be doing a lot and a lot of readings. The advice was to go a bit broad and general in line with my research topic in the first year and then start to focus on the real problem in the 2nd and 3rd

year. And as I read, I got more confused with my own research. Now I truly understand what it means by ‘Lost in Translation’. It’s normal, again they say. I just need to keep on reading!

I get my own study area, they call it 'the office' (obviously!)      View from my desk

One thing I learnt from the little readings that I’ve successfully managed to do, I can see that there are so many, I repeat, so many topics out there one could pick to research on. Each new (or even old) research would open for a few more ideas. Some would even suggested ideas for further researches. You know, there’s only so much one (or even a group of people) can do/research at one time. Even your everyday life’s issues/problems can be turned into a scientific research problem. And that’s how most of the researches started anyway. Mine is included. How do you think the world’s technology  progressed? True, by research.

So, for those yang masih tercari2 topic to research on, you don’t have to go too far. Just look inside yourself or maybe around you and see what needs to be corrected/changed/created to make your life easier/better/more efficient? Otherwise, you can always go to Google Scholar and knock yourself out!

 

Good Luck!

Hope I did inspire at least one of you…:-)

An old church infront of the department      Complete with old graves!

...which has been turned to lecture halls! the church, not he graves la (serammm!!!)
 
Pray that Allah would permudahkan segala urusan, mine and yours. Amin.

Field Trips



Submarium - The Deep @ Hull

On Tuesday, Akif went for a school trip to Hull, about an hour drive from Sheffield. He went with his classmates, teachers and parents/guardians on two big busses. They went to see the sea animals in a big aquarium (macam Aquaria kat KL tu). Opah were there to accompany Akif.

At the entrance 

 

 

  Dah penat la tu

With another malay friend, Ajmal 

The grand-companion...kepenatan


Weston Park Museum

Last Sunday was a bit warm. The spring has arrived! So we went for a walk to nearby park (baru tau) about 10-15 minutes walk.

Crookes Valley Park  

The park is almost like our own Lake Garden in KL but only smaller. It's actually an old park. It has kids playground, fields for football or cricket and a fish pond for fishing and for the ducks to linger around.

The playground 

 

Then we found a Museum very closeby! It's a small museum, showcasing the animals and history of Sheffield. But a fun-filled museum nevertheless. It's all very interactive and hands-on. There are multimedia shows everywhere and even live-show-slash-science-lab-tutorial where you can see and touch live insects and small creatures. You can stay there all day long and get to absorb all kinds of information. You can just let your children run loose and explore things for themselves without fearing for them to get lost of breaking things up. It's very lively and safe. And it's FREE!

The Weston Park Museum 

Akif in a bee costume  At the bug light-n-show playarea

  Putting on the medieval war ware 
Playing frisbee outside of the museum  Opah resting in the park

New Home 2



We have only been here 2 months and yet we have moved twice already.
Well, the first house was actually a very a good house. It was a fenced semi-d house with a nice back yard, nice big rooms (except for the 3rd room which was too small for anything), nice kitchen and living room with wide hall ways. Only that the house was actually a council house. The "landlord" (if you can even call her that) pays a meagre weekly rent to the local council (i.e. DBKL, MPSJ, etc) and at the same time subletting the house to us (and also to the previous Malaysian family tenant) with a higher rent. Smart way of making money huh? But no, I guess the landlord is not really that smart after all. She has a bad record of payment with the council (rent seciput pun nak buat hal) and has been trying to conceal the status of the house from her tenants. In the end, the authority caught up with her and thus making the house a very hot seat now. So, we decided to move out from her mess and luckily we found an immidiately available flat (apartment) not too far away. It's still on the same road but a bit further up (jauh la sikit dari Tesco yang belakang rumah tu and masjid yang tepi rumah tu).

We had some good helping hands (and vehicles) for the house-moving from the Malaysian families living in the same neighbourhood. Thank you very much to Khir & family (and for the late dinner too!), Zaini & family, Mail & wife and another family whom I still couldn't catch their names. Jazakallah!

Iman posing in the living room

 
This time around it's a double-storey apartment with 3 bedrooms plus a small backyard. The rental is a bit more expensive but it's closer to the Uni and to the tram station. So it's of higher market value I guess.
 
View of the backyard entrance
 

The unit is in a 4-storey apartment complex in a chain of a few other complexes with some 10-20 flats in each complex. Some flats are single-storeys and some are like ours, double-storeys. We were lucky enough to get a ground unit (hence the back yard), otherwise we'd get a balcony instead. Those other Malaysian families are also staying in similar flats but not in the same complex but they're close enough (tak sampai setanak nasi pun). Our immediate neighbour is a nice British lady, a Muslim revert, living with her Muslim-Jamaican husband and some cats.
 
View of front entrance

Iman at the front door

There's also an old playground in the middle of the complexes for the kids to play. When it's too cold to go to the field, this would be their savior.

Iman & Akif at play


Will try to upload some more photos of the house. The house is currently in a mess so tak boleh nak ambik gambar banyak2 sgt. InsyaAllah later.
 
Opah at work

And these are photos of Iman and Akif at school.
(Last Wednesday parents were invited to join Year 4's and Year 5's Science class/workshop. It was a 2-hour event where parents and children were seated in the library/activity room. We were entertained by an assistant teacher/MadScience tutor with some interactive/hands-on lecture on magnets and polymer (ya-ha!!). We ended up bringing home the slimy-thing that we made ourselves from scratch at the workshop.)

Making the slimy-thing
Making the slimy-thing

Who has the longest slime wins!
Obviously Iman is not the winner :-)
 
And here are some photos of Akif tengah belajar. As you can see, these are curi2 photos. The center of attraction must not see the photographer as it would ruin the natural and calm emotions on display ;-).
 
Nyanyi     ...dan nyanyi lagi    dan nyanyi lagi!!
 




Have not been able to post any exciting entries with photos and all.
Have been quite busy with Iman's & Akif's school activities.
Have been busy with my own studies.

Have been busy with moving to our new house (flat) AGAIN.

Hope to be able to put up some new photos and stories when things are sorted out.
InsyaAllah.

TokAbah & Opah



Alhamdulillah. I am very lucky to have both of my parents here with me. TokAbah and Opah (as the cucu2 call them) arrived here on the 8th February 2009, about a month after we got here. It was still very cold when they arrived and the snow was still visible on the ground. But luckily the weather kept going better and better. It's almost the end of winter now. Hope spring comes early this year...

Afternoon stroll - City Centre

Just us, without the kids. They were at school. Peace & harmony!
 

I am especially very lucky because now I get to eat Mama's cooking everyday (yay! & yum!). I am very sorry to my other siblings. I hope you guys understand. Kejap je pun....:-)

Lunch on one Sunday afternoon         The famous Kari kepala ikan! (Siap ada sambal belacan & kicap lagi)

And kadang2 Opah would make desserts or kuih2 for minum petang. This was popia-slash-samosa sebab isinya was actually for samosa, but because of technicalities, it was turned into popia. Voila!

Checkout the Lingham sauce. Cool eh!
 
During the day, after sending Iman to school and when I'm at school (department/lab/office, whichevere you want to call it), Akif is all by himself with Opah and TokAbah at home. According to Opah, Akif is the sweetest during this time (?!). Tak mengada-ngada langsung. He would watch the tv or play by himself or eat or even go to the loo without any hassle whatsoever. And when it's time to go to school, he'll be all willing and smilling! Siap nyanyi2 along the way or recite some ayat2 Al Quran (i.e. Al Fatihah) with Opah's help. Aaawwhhhh....isn't that lovely! I wish Akif could be that sweet and hassle-free when I'm around....guess I just need to pray harder.

*Sorry...no photos...cameraman was not available during this sweet moment (what a waste! :-)).

Here are some photos during our morning stroll (to the halal grocer) last Sunday:
 
Notice the name of the garden!

The couple, having some quality time...;-)

Greeting some kids playing outside. Notice the girl's simple dressing (it was still winter!) compared to our own.

Sultan grocery shop
 
Note to Mama & Abah: thank you so very much for being here and for all the help. This means so much to me. Will always pray for your good health. Love you both.

Sekolah



The boys, Iman & Akif, are both registered at the Netherthorpe Primary School. Iman is in Year 4 (= Year 3 in Malaysia) and Akif is in F2 (Playschool, 3-4 yr-olds). Iman’s classes start at 9am and finished at around 3.15pm. He gets a 1 hour lunch break (mcm org keje pejabat pulak). There are no fees to pay (annual, book, equipment, library, computer, etc. NONE). The only thing we need to pay would be things like pre-ordered meals for lunch (they have variety of choices like English, Vegetarian, Muslim, etc), milk for snack and any school trips. Lunch meals are £1.80 each and milk £4 for half term (afternoon snack). Sometimes Iman would bring bekal from home when the menu is not something he likes or just sound too foreign for him (we get a list of menu to choose from on the first day of class). But he would never bring nasi with lauk or any kind of mee coz he’ll be the only one at school eating that kind of food. So usually it’ll be roti with choc spread.
 

Opah hantar

All public schools in UK now are forcing their pupil to wear uniforms to school. It shoud be a specific white shirt with specific dark trousers and a sweater bearing the school color and the school name on top. But enforcement would vary from one school to another. So most of the time you’ll see the students would wear any white shirt, with any dark trousers and you’ll be lucky to see anyone wearing the school sweater on top.
 

Iman in front of his school

Akif’s classes (or playtime) start at 12pm and end at 3pm. Or if we choose the morning session, it’ll be 9-12pm. Opah & TokAbah would send Akif off to school around 11.45am. It only takes about 5 minutes walk to the school.

View of the School
 
Cuti Sekolah

Last week  was mid-term break for public schools. We registered Iman for a Sports-and-Art School Break Activity organized by a community club. It was all free of charge and the children would be able to spend their time playing some sports (Futsal, Basketball, Handball, Pinball, Table-tennis), video games and doing some arts. It was from 10am-3pm on Monday, Thursday and Friday. But only for children 8-11 years-old. It was held in a ... church!  (gasp!!) But there were no religious activities done. So ok la. They even had Muslim volunteers watching after the kids.

 
St Thomas Church Teaching Hall
 
No guessing what Iman would be participating in:

Iman_Futsal

Iman_Basketball

Iman tak nak balik

Iman with one of the volunteers, Steve


Kesian Akif kena balik rumah
 

Heavy snow fall


This was then, Winter of 1996, when I had just arrived in the US of America (I did my first degree in Philly):

Blizzard 1999 Temple Philadelphia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Blizzard_of_1996_Reading_PA.png


Philadelphia

Over 30 inches (75 cm) of snow fell in Philadelphia, the most of any major city in the storm's path. It was the city's all-time greatest snowstorm, compared to its previous greatest snowstorm which was a "mere" 21 inches. Most of those 30.7 inches, 27.6, fell in just 24 hours, a new record for the city for the most snow in 24 hours. The mayor declared a state of emergency, and only police and other emergency workers were permitted to drive on city streets leaving the city to pedestrians. It was a uniquely beautiful time to walk the quiet downtown streets without the usual drone of heavy traffic. On some blocks of Market, Chestnut, and Walnut streets there were only one or two people walking in the middle of the day. Christmas skis and sleds were in use everywhere on the flat streets of town.

Because of the ban on driving, there were also no restaurant (or other) food deliveries. The TGI Fridays on Benjamin Franklin Parkway offered a special souvenir "Blizzard of '96" menu. Meanwhile, workers at the nearby Wawa Food Markets

For three days City trucks loaded with plowed snow dumped their contents into the two rivers eventually causing major problems with the natural flow of the rivers. Disposal of snow became a major issue but temperatures quickly returned to normal and began to quickly clear the snow.

more...

And this is now, Winter of 2009, in the UK:

Snow in Chapeltown, Sheffield
http://www.bbc.co.uk/southyorkshire/content/image_galleries/winter_weather_gallery.shtml?26

Heavy snow fall disrupts UK transportation and communications

The heaviest snow to fall for 6 years has caused transport problems in some parts of the United Kingdom, especially in London, where it was the heaviest snow for 18 years. It was caused by cold air travelling westwards towards the British Isles from Poland and Russia. As showers moved across the North Sea towards the east coast of Britain, it fell as snow. Throughout Monday, weather fronts pushed in from the south east in Belgium and France towards the South East of Britain. The weather fronts pushed their way further north and westwards.

more...
 

And this is us, fooling around during and after the heavy snow fall:

In the back yard

At the nearby field

Akif with his new friend, the SnowBoy
 
Note: move your mouse to point on the photos to see caption (i.e. description of photo) :-)

One month later...



Alhamdulillah…

We have made it OK for the first 30 days here in Sheffield (and the UK). Got ourselve a decent home to live in. Some food to eat. And everything else is just within reach, either by walk or by tram/bus. Alhamdulillah.

The first week in Sheffield was spent in the cozy home of bro. Masoni & sis. Maziah in Tinsley. They homed and fed us well, not to mention, brought us around Sheffield for house-hunting, getting our personal things & supplies, and so many other things. For that, we thank Masoni & family and forever would be indebted with their kindness and hospitality. Not to forget, little Haziq, Fayyadh and Fahim for being 3-instant friends to Iman & Akif. Jazakallahu khair…

 A day before we move into our own little house, Kak Da (my SIL) and Anwar (K.Da’s son) arrived from London. They have been living in London for a year, where K.Da did her Masters at King’s College and Anwar is in an Islamic boarding school, Darul Uloom, in east London. K.Da will now be continuing with her PhD at Markfield Institute of Higher Education in Leicester, which is about an hour drive from Sheffield. They stayed for a week with us and helped a lot with the moving. Jazakallah…

We took the opportunity to send off K.Da to Leicester and Anwar to London as well as to do some little cross-country and sight-seeing for ourselve. So we rented a car. On Friday (just after 2 weeks arriving in the UK), we left home for some good jalan-jalan. First stop: Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester. Iman is “currently” an MU’s fan. We took some photos and bought some souvenirs from the shop. Iman was thrilled!

Iman
            
     Old_Trafford

Then we “hurriedly” left for Liverpool. To the the Anfield Stadium to be exact, because “somebody” was trying to catch the Museum Tour (we missed it anyway). Akif and Abah are both ardent fans.
 

Anfield

Museum Tour with Husnee

We also went to the Melwood Training Complex, where the Liverpool team do their trainings. It was quite heavily guarded with high fences and barbed wire all around the complex. They would only open the gate to let authorized people in. We were lucky enough to be there when the rare occassion of the gate opens happened.

This photo was taken very quickly

Even if the gate does open, you can't really see much (one can only hope and pray to see any of the players lounging around the entrance). But people can be very creative when in desperation. Some would climb and stand on fences across the street (there are houses around the complex, it's actually in a residential area) or stand on big rubbish bins outside the gate or peep through wholes along the high fences to catch a glimpse of their favourite players. If you are lucky, you'll find big enough hole to snap some photos of (or even video shoot) the training session inside. Or if you have a tall and strong friend who can lift you up, you can also do this:

Akif nak tengok jugak

Otherwise, you can always snap some photos outside of the gate:

Notice Iman's sign language

We spent the night at bro. Husnee’s and sis Sonya’s double-cozy house in Liverpool. The boys were very happy becoz their new friends, Emirul and Erfan, have got lots of toys and games to share with.

In the morning, we went for a quick Liverpool city tour before heading to Cheshire Oaks, a designer factory outlet, and did some “little” shopping. ;-P

Then we continued heading south and reached London around 10pm. We crashed at a friend of K.Da’s. The day after, it was icy cold, we took some walks in the city and also got on the Tube before sending Anwar off to his hostel.

London Underground            Nothing Hill Station
 

On the way to Leicester, we noticed that it was actually snowing! At some parts, it was quite heavy that we saw white everywhere. And so did Leicester, blanketed with 2-3″-deep-fresh snow! Iman & Akif were really happy (and jakun at the same time :-) ) to play in the snow even it was already very late at night.

Leicester

The 17 hours journey



We left KL on the 18th of January 2009. It took us 7 hours to get to Abu Dhabi (we were flying Etihad). The transit was just around an hour plus. It was 12 mid nite when we arrived. The airport was full to the brim so we had to lepak on the floor. It was a beautiful (and weird) airport, nevertheless.
 

 

Then it was another 7 hours of flight before we finally arrived in Manchester. We didn't stop at Heathrow or any of the airports in London. It'll be too much of a hassle I guess. We gathered around the baggage claim around 6.30am. The immigration declaration counter was still closed. So, we didn't "declare" anything (as if..!) and just went straight out. That means we get to keep all the meat, dairy and plant products that we brought along...haha. And all those medical records, X-rays and all...no one was interested to look at it at the airport. (Penat je, nasib baik buat satu je med check-up). We did not bring too many things, there were some clothes we hoped fit for cold weather (jeans, long sleeves, sweaters, a pair of long john each, and "baju rumah"), some food (rempah ratus, sekilo beras jasmin, susu Akif, ikan bilis, cili kering, instant mee, etc) and other essential items.

Someone from the Persatuan Pelajar Malaysia Sheffield, by the name of Mr. Tamrin, was already waiting for us.
 

 
On the way to Sheffield, we went along the The Snake Pass which crosses the Peak District (a big national park) between Manchester and Sheffield. Some breathtaking view I must say, walaupun it was still dark outside....dekat nak subuh time. And we could also see patches of snow on some of the fields. Terus excited! 

We reached our host's house around 8.30am (stuck in the morning rush traffic at several points) and were welcomed by Bro. Masoni and his wife, Sis. Maziah with their 3 little boys (oh no, 3 + 2 = 5 boys!).

My first journal (blog) :-)


This would be my first real attempt to blog (after so many other attemps to try to blog) .
Well actually, I'm writing journals now, not really blogging per se (tak nak ngaku gak tu...:-P).
As I'll be doing lots of researches from now on (InsyaAllah) and would be expected to write papers (articles) out of it, I guess I should be practising on writing (walaupun sgt takde kena mengena with my research :-)).
Anyway,I do have to start with something, don't I? 

So, here goes nothing.
Hope you'll enjoy reading my journal...