Monday, February 27, 2006

The Prayer for the Forgetful


Ya Allah , I did not care about you in my ease and comfort, Ya Allah I am careless in my responsibilities towards you ( which includes all my obligations to my fellow creatures)My problem Ya Allah is when I meet with you. The faults in my life's journal I dare not face Ya Allah. What more my Lord, if my deeds were shown to all of creation , surely it terrifies me and embarasses me until I know not where I will hide my face.Ya Allah , you are always providing for me and increasing my blessings but I have reciprocated with my misdeeds and wrong doings which are increasing daily. Ya Allah I seek protection from you to whom I surrender and I worship. Ya Allah I do not deserve your paradise but I plead with you with your generosity and compassion and your love that you may forgive me and take pity on me,and my parents my spouse, my siblings and my offspring. Ya Allah , Thee alone should I worship , Thee who constantly forgives thy creatures who turn to you in repentance.
Amin , and peace and blessings on the Prophet SAW

Ya Allah S.W.T. , Aku tidak menghiraukanmu ketika aku dalam kesenangan. Ya Allah, aku sentiasa lalai tanggungjawabku padamu Ya Allah. Kesusahan pada diriku semasa aku bertemu denganmu Ya Allah. Keburukan pada lembaran catatan amalanku tidak sanggup aku hadapinya Ya Allah. Ya Allah apatah lagi jika amalan aku ditayangkan kepada segala mahklukmu tentu menakutkan sekali Ya Allah, hingga aku tidak tahu dimana harus aku sembunyikan wajahku Ya Allah. Ya Allah, engkau sentiasa berbuat baik dan menambahkan nikmat padaku, tetapi aku membalasnya dengan kemungkaran dan dosa yang sentiasa bertambah setiap hari. Ya Allah, hanya padamu aku berlindung, aku berserah dan aku menyembah. Ya Allah ! Sesungguhnya tidak layak bagiku untuk mengharapkan syurgamu, akan tetapi aku mohon padamu dengan kemurahan dan kurniamu serta belas kasihanmu, Ya Allah agar engkau ampuni dosaku dan kasihani diriku, dosa ayah,ibu adik-adikku, anak-anak dan isteriku. Sesunguhnya, Ya Allah engkau tuhan yang patut aku sembah dan sentiasa memberi ampunan kepada makhluk yang sentiasa bertaubat.
Amin Ya Rabbil Alamin berkat Selawat Keagunggan kepada Rasullullah S.A.W. yang tercinta.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Hana oh Hana

When she was about 10 years old
Hana is the one with glasses , picture taken last year , before going for an anatomy practical

Yesterday my son came upstairs and announced Hana lost her ticket . It did not register for a second..then it dawned on me Oh ! her ticket to come back home? After some frantc calls to her she finally replied..she is in Manipal India ...and I managed to tell her to go to the ticket office and make a report and get a new ticket issued. This afternoon I was feeling really low and I did not have a clue why and then at 6 pm , a call on my handphone from Hana!
Maaaaa they can only issue a ticket 15 days from now..she had booked a flight on the 24th of Feb , which is day after tomorrow..I could hear the despair in her voice ...I knew she was probably very teary. She was at the ticket office at that time.
I may as well not go home...she only had a month's break...
Calm down dear..just use your credit card to buy a new ticket , we can sort out your lost ticket later , get a reimbursement or something...
With that she hung up and I proceeded to talk to a patient of mine who was relating that her endometriosis is almost gone..yes I know it is hard to believe , but I use homeopathy and a food supplement called TF ..and it has produced amazing results...She had been to see the Obgyn who confirmed there was only one tiny cyst of 2 cm left and she was symptom free!
So tonight I called Hana again to find out what was happening. The guy at the ticket office will do his best to get her on the same flight she had booked earlier or, book her on the next earlierst flight and in the meantime my daughter will make another search for her lost ticket. He must have taken pity on Hana for her great distress. I had been to India , Bombay specifically and I vouch for the kindness and caring of most of the Indians I met and hubby told me Manipal is the same, they are very caring there.
So each of us family members have an assignment tonight , solat Hajat for Hana's safe homecoming and if possible with the least hassle and cost.

Enjoying my diet!

Diet start:
1 hb Feb: start weight 69 kg, weight today 64.5 kg, my long lost chin is back

Yesterdays menu
Breakfast 2 boiled eggs, 1 breathru slice 1 teaspoon butter 200 cals

lunch , Herbalife shake, salad with no dressing, roasted ikan bilis ( anchovies) with cili sunflower seed and pumpkin seed roasted peanuts with some chilli powder for flavour and kick...1 and 1/2 oz 350 cals
dinner, brown rice half cup , 3 shrimps . we piece of fried fish , 1 cup saute'ed spinach 300 cals
Drinks green tea all day long 0 cals
1 cup coffee with 1 teasp brown sugar and 1 sudu besar evaporated milk 65 cals
1 kiwi fruit 50 cals
1 Chinese pear 50 cals
total calories about 1015
supplements spirulina , cell u lose and total control
exercise, aerobics with weights 30 mins

My moto Enjoy the diet : no hunger , no deprivation, no tiredness , no cravings , no boring menus

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Living in the present moment

Some time ago , I wrote about being a healing presence and the difference between a wounding presence and a healing presence.

Today I 'd like to touch on another kind of presence, presence of mind.To be living in the present.

Does this mean not to study history or muse about our past deeds, no,but the past has gone,what's done is done We 're to learn from the past and we' re to use the lessons of the past in the present. As for the future, it is the present and what we do in the present that shapes the

I was treating a lady who has a regular job as a clerk in a large company. She has a stable and steady job, she has a lovely family , a good husband and averagely nice children.

Yet , while still in her mid thirties, she had developed hypertension and had a gall bladder stone . She was also overweight, a common problem with people having a desk job that bored them to tears, a home and family that also bored them to tears and they found pleasure in eating!
What seems to me is that they practised the enthusiasm and living in the present, only as related to food!

Boredome with routine, boredom with a job that is done with drudgery only to earn a living which then carries and spills over when she reaches home, more work, housework , the kids cooking cleaning...and a repetition the next morning!

I had a question for her...does she pay attention to what she is doing or, does she live in the past, does she live in some niggling worry that occupies her mind, does she live in the If only land..if only I had a bigger house , I d be happy, if only I could have a handbag like that lady's..or for a man, if only I could have that gorgeous woman as my second wife.......(but it is not possible because I can barely afford my own family although they bore me).

I had one piece of suggestion for her...Live in the now and here. Pay attention to what you re doing, try to do it well, use your spare time to plan or to engage in something beautiful and creative, if you really do not have the time, then do your work in as good a manner as you can,
get a satisfaction from the work.

I can hear an objection from a houseproud overworked housewife who is clearing and cleaning and clearing and cleaning and finding it exasperating to cope with some energy guzzlers wh' re also waste producers and mess makers but otherwise almost totally unproductive and
uncontributive at home..they go by the names of hubby and kiddies...I cannot offer any answers here because my houseproud episodes are few and far between ;-)

What I could recommend is for you to be a healing presence to your own hurts, your own anger and frustrations. How to do this. For me it is to be aware of the emotion, not throw it to the background and trudge on being irritable all day.
I practise a self awareness that clues me in to my feelings and the reasons for them. And then, when I can spare five minutes, I spend the quiet moment breathing deeply, slowly and being aware of Allah's love and compassion. I concentrate on my heart centre, allow my feelings full
expression, shed a few tears if I need it...and I watch as my emotions get digested and changed into a spirtual nourishment that sustains and strengthens me till the next episode....for what are these irritations and troubles and hurts but God's training for our spiritual development.

As to being bored, I think being grateful and counting the blessings in one's life, savouring each passing moment and making the most of it will cure this boredom..

The Self Again

I am still reading about Stations or Levels or Patterns of the self.
It is becoming clearer to me now why in certain ways so called religious people put me off even though I could be called religious myself since I quite concientiously do my prayers and cover my aurat as well as discipline myself to stay within boundaries I set myself based on teachings of Prophet Muhammad.

I am sure all of us have heard stories about the Ustaz who had porn pictures in his handphone and other such tales.Actually I find this less reproachful than the religious person who when he/she opens his/her mouth , it is to slander somebody, to curse somebody , to criticize somebody , to say somebody is wrong or to praise and feel high and mighty about themselves. The reason that I say the Ustaz in question is less reproachful is because he only harms himself while the slanderer and curser send his/her negative venom far and wide.

Even so , they are better than those who rob and steal, lie and cheat, beat people up, kill people and generally do anything they feel like doing if they can get away with it without being themselves killed or otherwise hurt.

The "upright people" I mentioned above are in general in the second level of the accussing/blaming soul and the "bad" people are in the first level of the commanding soul.

I think we would like to believe if we find in ourselves characteristics of the second level that is is just a phase we are in , like when you are on a journey and it is a station you have to stop at for a while.

Mind you , it is important to be aware , even if we have moved on to a higher station that we still have the lower stations inside of us ready to pop itself out when we drop our guard.
Can you imagine not breathing? Dropping our guard is equivalent to not breathing and that means dying. Rumi the famour Sufi poet said forgetting his breath is dying. For the spiritually realised person, the breath is the key to rememberance which is , being on guard against the lower nafs that are within us and being in touch with God .

If you like to browse through books at newstands and small bookshops, chances are you would have come across a book called Tanbihul Ghafilun which means a Reminder for the Forgetful.
And if like a friend I know, you keep saying to yourself , oh dear I am soo forgetful, you might just pick it up and read and then find out it has nothing to do with helping you to be less forgetful or, if you are like my friend, absent minded.

The opposite of Rememberence is Forgetfullness yet how many of us are not merely not in a state of Rememberence but do not even know how to be in a state of Rememberence?
So now you may want to know, how do I get to a state of rememberence? Are the people I mentioned earlier never in a state of rememberence? If rememberence is about prayers , how about the Ustaz who keeps porn in his handphone and the righteous person who fasts and prays a lot more than the required . Are they in the foregetful category or do they remember?
Questions questions ....where does one find the answers?

Post script:
If you cannot wait for me to ev eventually get around to writing about rememberance you can go to Mushtaq's blog because he has written on rememberence..mind you , it is rather heavy stuff ....
Click on the word rememberence to get there.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Personal Coaching

Yesterday I had my first personal coaching session with Dr.Micheal Heah of Corporate Coach as part of my certfication course on my way to becoming a certified coach. I ha d been looking forward to it. I was thinking that to have someone listen to me talk about my life and my plans for 3 whole hours was an experience that was healing , affirming and motivating. I was not wrong indeed.
What is coaching you may ask. I do a lot of coaching in my work as a holistic doctor because I am interested in the wellbeing of the mind body and soul of the person I am treating. I have the thought that this person here in front of me should take responsibility over their lives and their health and I am here to help them do it . So I am a coach doctor already. THis is why I have decided to get certified in what I already do.
Here is a definition from Mike's website:
  • Builds The Person in Total;

  • Strengthens The Heart, Mind & Body;

  • Focuses People To Their Agenda;

  • Empowers People To Move Forward;

  • Drives Them To Achieve Much MORE;

  • Makes Them Accountable & Committed To Their Goals;

  • Creates Abundance Of Joy & Fulfillment.

It is my experience that I listen to people with all of their concerns and I hardly get listened to if ever so this experience was a great one for me.Not being listened to is not quite acurate actually . I do have some wonderful friends like Alastair and my guide who do listen to my ramblings and put up with it , even giving suggestions some times!

Yesterday I and Mike defined some goals and I now have some homework to do.
The first one is to get familiar with all the requirements of my certificate course
The next one is to define what I do in a 20 second statement ..there is a story behind this. I had a dream once in which I had namecards which were blank. I knew the reason behind this. I actually did not know what I actually am. I still do not know but in terms of my profession, I do have to define it so people know what it is . We settled on holistic doctor and life coach but perhaps I could refine it some more.
The other homework I have is quite revealing about the block that I have. I have to meditate on how to view and thus interract with my colleagues and compatriots without writing them off as people I do not jive with because of the very different vibes I think I have. It may be true I do have different vibes but what is more true is that I can adjust my vibes. So I found out that I am judgemental on certain levels and that is telling.
The last assignment is to meditate on how to get off my high horse Mike says it is a kind of pride. He heard me use words like " I feel it is below my dignity to sell myself". He looked at me then with such a quiet humbleness , this high flyer of the corporate world, my personal coach and said " I sell myself all the time."
Nowadays I find that realisations that pierce the veils and break the blocks within come to me like a flash of light and this was one flash and I told myself get off your high horse right now!

As is usual with me when I get these insights that show me the way , I get excited enough to think that I would wake to a different world . And , I would usually get a bit disappointed to find my workspace still an unorganised mess and all the things I set out to do still undone but somehow things were a little different , and when my first patient walked in this morning, I saw how I now view myself as concerned over his mind body and soul and I found my coaching and investigative power questions a little sharper , my healing touches a little more healing and the joy I get from being of service a wee bit more exhilarating..oh gives me a high...
You see, the one who feels dull and uninspired while working really needs help!

I am now a coach trainee and although I certainly can already coach , it would be a great thing to get certified.

Friday, February 17, 2006

From Ahmed Baki

The Hidden Rosarium


~The Spirit of Sunnah~

We do love RasulAllah and we also love His Sunnah... But did we ever question how true we understand him and his practices known as Sunnah?

In our Rosarium, I wanted to share with you, as far as I could remember, some words of our white haired sage Ahmed Hulusi about it which will drive us to the “spirit” of Sunnah and even makes us think that it is in fact “this spirit” that should be understood truly within this context.

With his shining looks far beyond the time that we are living, our white haired sage was questioning our situation with these words.

“Just think about it!

Did Mohammed (peace be upon him) live in agreement with the wearing style (manner of dressing) and the hair and beard style of the community he was living in fourteen hundred years before our time; or, did he refuse to their wearing style and followed a totally different wearing style from them?

We all know that Mohammed was coming from a pagan community and the people in that community worshipped many idols. There were even three hundred and sixty different idols inside the Qaba at that time and other than eight or ten khanif individuals among them people used to live as idol worshippers by worshipping those idols...

Mohammed (pbuh) was also dressed in the same way as that pagan people, wore his turban, robe and other clothes just like others did in his tribe and he grew his beard just like them, and even he ate and drank the same way as others...

Well, since he did so and wore turban, robe and he was clothed just like the people of his tribe before his Nubuwwa, did he make any change in his wearing style after the Risala has came to him? Or, just like before, did he continue to follow a wearing style in agreement with the wearing style of the community that he was in?..

He did not make any change in his wearing style after his Risala and just like before, he acted in harmony with the wearing style of the community that he was in, all along his life time...

In that case, Mohammed has not brought a new rule about clothing as an issue, and as this subject had no importance, he has just fulfilled the Sunnah (customs) of pagans in his community. That is, in his era, Mohammed practiced the Sunnah about the wearing style that belongs to the pagan community he lived in...

If RasulAllah, had not agreed with the wearing style of the community he lived in, in that period and if, for instance, he had chosen to wear short trousers or any other clothes by refusing the others’ manner of dressing, then that style which he preferred upon refusing others, would be the Sunnah that belonged to him. But instead, without refusing the pagan customs in that respect Mohammed acted in agreement with the rules accepted by others in his community.

This means that, limiting yourself by the wearing style of fourteen hundred years ago would not be to fulfill the particular Sunnah of RasulAllah but rather to fulfill the Sunnah of pagans which was not rejected by Mohammed!

And what comes out from that is:

If you could understand and appreciate the “Spirit” of the Sunnah, you will see that concerning the issues that are not in conflict with the commands of the Koran, acting through the Sunnah (customs) of the community that you are living in, is the appropriate way to act on “Sunnah”.

Furthermore, think about this!

We call him “RasulAllah”, which means the “Rasul of Allah”—the one who articulates what he gets from within, Allah.

The Sunnah of Rasul of Allah could only be the Sunnah of Allah.

The statement that explains The Sunnah of Allah in the Koran is as follows:

“You shall not find any alteration in the Sunnah of Allah.”

And that never-changing Sunnah is the real Sunnah of RasulAllah.

—Ahmed Baki

Ahmed Baki, born in 1963, has written three books and many articles that have been published in different journals as well as in his columns on the internet. He also has translated seven books written by his spiritual teacher Ahmed Hulusi into English. All his works are available on the internet for free.

Leaving the God who has judgments

like humans, for becoming a human

with a view in the same way as Allah.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Lessons from sitcoms

On the rare occasions that I get home earlier than 6.30 pm, I sometimes indulge in watching the sitcoms. My favourite channel will be the Hallmark channel 10 on Astro. So yesterday I found myself stuck in front of the TV watching from the start to the finish Strong Medicene. I was struck at the messages behind the episodes and was left wondering who was behind the messages..but not for long..the direcor of the show is Whoopi Goldberg.

There is usually more than one story line and the first one was about a test tube baby delivery where the mum delivered twins, a boy and a girl except that one twin was white while both parents were African Americans.It turns out that the white baby was from an embryo not belonging to the parents and it was a mix up by the Lab. At this point I was wondering what if it was a Malay baby delivered by a Chinese mother..phew....! all the religious departments and half of Malaysians would get involved in the case for sure!

The other story line was just too interesting not to comment on.The wife of a Rabbi ..who looks very much like a *Salafi* imam brought his wife for shoulder pain.The wife was wearing a headscarf , long skirt , looking very much like the wife of the *Salafi* imam..and believe it or not the Rabi does not shake hands with women...( ring a bell somewhere?) The wife is a model Hasidic Jewish lady, she conducts classes, has a lot of her own children gets involved with all of her clan ( jamaah) ..and it turns out that ...she has become addicted to painkiller drugs, courtesy of the local GP a good family friend. She started taking them when recovering from a C section of her last delivery ...she believes she had to undergo a painful delivery because of some sins she was paying for..and found herself hooked because the good doctor kept supplying her with more. When confronted by Dr Delgado about her addiction and advised to go for detox both she and her Rabbi husband felt it would not go down well with the congregation since it would smear her image of the good mother , wife and upright righteous member of the Chosen people.The last scene showed her feeling very humiliated, in the treatment ward after finally giving in to Dr Delgado's convincing persuasions ..( Are you fit to be mother to your children while being a drug addict ...yes drug addict admit it..)..and her Rabbi husband finally giving in to the fact that his wife is only human , not some strong never wrong , never sinning paragon of virtue ..and he brought along her friends whom contrary to the couple's fears, came and gave their full support by placing their gentle comforting hands on her . And the look of sheer relief from her as well as the look of compassion on her friend's faces set me crying ..(aaaaargh .....those silly tears ...)

So , anything to be learnt from all this? I have some jewish friends from overseas and they tell me about how similar many of our customs are. Next, the part about denying weaknesses and trying to appear strong is something I frequently meet among * religious people*.
So what do you you want paragons of virtue as role models ?
I think the present day role model is the one who will start a class by telling people of a mistake he/she made and how he/she saw the mistake for what it is people who like Whoopi Goldberg have experienced the depth of despair of being sunk in a self destructive mode and managed to climb out of it to save others....

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Seven Stations of the Self

I just want to point you in the direction of this article which amazed me by its simplicity. Articles by sufi sheikhs are usually beyond comprehension. Either my understanding has grown or this article is really simple to understand.

You will find the entire article by Sheikh Fadhlullah Haeri


The 7 levels of the self are

Commanding (Amarah)
Pleasing or Harmonious
Perfect ( Insanul Kamil

I found what he said about each very interesting but what caught my eye was this:

The Creative (or Inspired) Self

The third level of nafs is the creative and tolerant nafs. It is an evolved self but not sufficiently for it to be secure. When we are in an artistic or creative mood, we do not have many fears or anxieties and are open to inspiration. From the Sufic viewpoint, this pleasant self is in danger because its very open-mindedness threatens the laws of correct behavior to which creation is subject.

It is the open-minded self that says all right to everything and that anything goes. Like mercury on a table, this self jumps in every direction. It is the 'why not?' attitude. It is like a man of seventy who, having never skied in his life, suddenly decides he would like to try it. He will probably topple over and spend months in hospital recuperating from his injuries. Although the inspired self may find itself in trouble, it can also foster hope because of its flexibility. Most people who embark on a spiritual path start from this level of tolerance and liberalism because they are willing to see their own folly.

It explains to me why I find people who are not rigid and who are open and questioning far more ready to embark on the spiritual path and those who are closed minded and ready to reject to be really fixed on a solid materialism no matter how holy they thought they were.Especially when they equate their holiness with a I am holier than thou......

It also explains my *liberal * phase hohoho..........

Here is a part we can all relate to:

If we are content with every circumstance and situation that occurs in our lives, we will realize, spontaneously rather than analytically, the complexity of precision and perfection that causes each situation to occur. We may not like what we see; we may not expect it; but we will see the perfect truth in it.

We may, for example, have had certain expectations about our child's ability or performance. In the event that he has not behaved as expected, we are disappointed. Once we see that we overestimated the child's maturity, our understanding of our miscalculations will bring about knowledge and contentment. This state of contentment and understanding will not prevent us from acting positively to rectify a situation, or from assessing the possibilities for action from a balanced standpoint.
 Arabic is a unique language because the root words usually have an entry 
that is one page long , with the different meanings it has . This is what makes reading the Quran and fully understanding all the nuances almost an impossibility unless one is gifted with insight and a knowledge ot the Arabic . Here is another part of what the Sheikh wrote.
The Arabic headgear is called 'aqqal. It is actually one cord twisted into a double circle and put on the head. As an item of dress, it is a functional device used to secure a piece of material that shades the head from the sun, but its other role is to tether the leg of a camel, so the beast sits down and behaves itself.
The origin of 'aqqal is the word that means 'to be tethered'; if we are tethered it is by the faculty of reason. This faculty of reason is within us all if we stop the mind and allow ourselves to be quieted. It is for this reason that those of us who are spiritually inclined want to reflect. We want to stop the so-called mind and go wandering off. Access to Reality begins when the process ofcontentment, in a positive dynamic sense, leads to the contented self. I am content; hence I see more clearly. I see the despot within me. I see the blameworthy and the inspired within me, and I see the highest potential within me. I see freedom and timelessness within me.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Appears on Front Parlour Ballads (2005)
As I was walking down by old Thames side
Well my foot and my heart seemed to falter
For there you were standing by Custom House Landing
Like Venus risen out of the water

And they’ll say it’s because I’m a fool in love
That I swear there’s no beauty before you
But those that deny or think that I lie
Well those are the ones never saw you

O there never was anyone perfect as you
As you stood there and smiled to greet me
And I looked for a phrase to capture your ways
But that’s a task will always defeat me

( But if you see her , you would wonder what he saw in her ...for only He could see her beauty that was hidden from everyone else..Nurelhuda's note)

Monday, February 13, 2006

If you want to read this read the previous post first

Part of chapter 4
The Honeymoon

Sofia had taken 2 weeks leave to be with Frank on a holiday. They booked a chalet in Pulau Tioman where Frank had been the last time he came to Malaysia.

Sofia sat on the beach watching Frank do some snorkelling. She did not like to be in the sun this late in the morning knowing the sun would darken her skin too much . Earlier on she had also done some snorkelling, wearing a swimwear that covered her completely, a swimwear designed for Muslim ladies who wanted to swim while not exposing themselves in skimpy swimsuits.
" Farid, how I love you.," she thought. " I never knew how much I could love a person. It scares me , this love. I have made myself so vulnerable. It is as if a piece heart was in your hands and you have the power to hurt me because you have this piece of my
heart.What am I to do when you tire of me, as surely you might, Farid. You who has been so free before, you who did not want to be tied down..I am tying you down. How long before your heart becomes restless and your wandering soul wants to wander again?" Frank came out of the water , watching with the far away look in her eyes and he knew she was lost in her thoughts.

"Penny for your thoughts ,"he said as he sat down beside her, in the shade of a tree at the far end of the beach.

" I was thinking of you. What magic have you worked on me Farid, that I love you so much?"

"Sofia, don t love me too much ."

" Then tell me how not to and tell me why I should not love you too much."

Frank answered her question with a question, "Why do you love me so much Sofia?"

" I was a flower bud, half closed and then you came and I bloomed. You evoked in me emotions I never knew existed, depths of being I never thought possible.You brought out a part of me I never knew existed. I feel like I was dead and you brought me to life, and you did it with your love, your respect for me, and your gentle caring. I have never been treated by anybody, not by any man in my life the way you treat me. You make me feel cherished, you gave me a sense of who I am, you stopped me from undervalueing myself ." Sofia s tears were flowing freely now and her voiced cracked as she confessed to him the depth of her love for him..

Franks was solemn and he silently held her hand and wiped her tears with his other hand and kissed her salty cheek.
He thought," This beautful exotic creature has never felt the love and appreciation she deserves in all of her 35 years?
How cruel, how unfair that this noble gentle lady had been allowed to live 35 years of her life without knowing real love."

" Why can t I love you too much Farid?"

" Because Sofia, I do not want you to be hurt too much.What if something happened to me, you d be so devastated. I don t want that to happen."

" Then what do I do not to love you too much?"

" Learn to love God , Sofia. and learn to love you inner being, your own beautiful self so that you would not need me to realise who you are."
" How will I do that, Farid, I ve been trying to understand how to love God, I can feel sometimes a closeness but then I cannot relate to God as much as I would like to."

" You will learn Sofia. We will see my spiritual teacher and he ll teach us both. "

" I did not know you had one, and where is this teacher?"

" I met him when I was in Indonesia a few years ago, and he is Muslim. I had not converted back then but this teacher still took me as his student and taught me to reach within myself and taught me how to surrender my will to God's. ...why do you think I pursued my obsession with you and became Muslim? I did a lot of soul searching and something that you said made me understand that you were part of what God planned for me. When you said my depression was because I did not want to let go of a part of me in order to grow, I knew you were right, so I allowed myself to grow and to come back to you."

" So perhaps you don't love me as completely as I love you."

" Sofia, you re the only woman I have ever loved. I m not counting my mum of course because that is a different kind of love. I ve never been in love before unless you count when I was 5 years old and I saw this lovely woman come out of the river.I also have friends whom I love, men and women, and, I love other things, like I love my work and I love God..I love God more than I love anything else and there will be times when I would want solitude, times when I would want to be working and times when I would want to go out with my friends, time spent away from you but it does not mean I love you any less for all this."

Sofia nodded her head. She had the reassuarance she needed and she knew he was being truthful and honest with her as well as telling her of all the things that they could share while living their own lives independent of each other." What about my son?"

" Saiful? Of course I love him. How can I not love my stepson. We will spend time together .One of the things I regret not marrying early is not having a teenage son and now I ve got one! By the way, when do we have to go to fetch him and stay at your parent's? We ve been here a week already and I m feeling quite cut off since there is no coverage here for my mobile phone."

"We' re booked till tomorrow and we don' t fetch him, we ll meet him at my parent's house. His midterm break starts day after tomorrow and he ll go back by bus. I 'm working again in 6 days time so we' ll have to go back to my house next Saturday so that I can settle down again before starting work . Are you going to the press office soon?"

" I ll wait until you go back to work. I m going there to see if I can do some freelance work for them. I m not interested in a full time job and I can still sell articles to my old international magazine. I m thinking of concentrating on my book but I ll see what else I can do from here. Sofia are you afraid I ll take off ?"

" Farid, I know you do not like to stay in one place for every long, you get restless and you want to travel again. If you do want to travel, I ll understand , and I' ll wait for you , as long as you do come back to me."

" We ll see what happens Sofia. I cannot really tell you what is going to happen. My life is changing radically and has been since I became Muslim and then married you. I feel different , I do not know which part of me is going to remain , whether the need for change is going to come back. Right now I just want to be with you.Sofia, you worry too much about the future, why can t you live in the Now. Now you are here with a man you love very much and who loves you very much. Now we are enjoying the sea and the sun and each other. Now we 're at peace and we feel the joy of Being. Let us thank God for the blessings of Now, let us glorify God and feel the true joy that bubbles from within ourselves" When he said this he held both of Sofia's hands in his and looked at her with such a deep love and passion that she felt joyful energy coarsing through her body and expanding her heart with it's sheer joy.

next ....the betrayal......

A novel I started more than 7 years ago....

A small part of chapter 3 of my novel........

It was the first time Frank was to see his wife, and see her without her scarf . He was looking forward to it, yet wondering at the strangeness of it all. A tiny part of him had it's doubts. Why was he so attracted to this woman when he could have so many other women without going through so much trouble . And it seemed to him he was taking a big risk, almost like gambling by getting married to a women he had not even seen properly.He had mentioned it to Sofia and she had just said that he could always free himself from the marriage contract , and be free to leave , it was easy, she had said to him. And then he knew of the ease of divorce in a Muslim marriage.

The room was filled with women of all ages, aunties aunts cousins and her sister's family, his mother in law.... Many of the women avoided looking at him but stared at him when he was not looking. They felt embarassed and did not know how to treat him , and they were not trying to be rude. He finally saw his Sofia. She was beautiful., more than he had imagined and fantasised.Her black hair was allowed to fall naturally without any fancy hairdo, her oval face was framed by her wavy curls , with only ribbons and flowers pinned to her hair making her look like a fairy princess. Her slender neck which he also saw for first time was fairer than her face because it was always covered when she left the house. She had on golden and lacy evening gown that draped her slim body and for the first time, he saw his wife's lovely figure, for she only wore lose clothes every time he had seen her before the were married. He was in front of his wife and she smiled a shy and trembling smile. He slid the ring handed to him onto her finger and was told to give her a kiss. He had been briefed to kiss her on her forehead which he dutifully did.
After the photo session together and then wth the relatives, everyone was sheperded out of the room, giving Frank and Sofia time to change into more comfortable clothes to have their wedding lunch with th guests. They had an hour alone together, their first hour as husband and wife. Sofia quickly whisked herself into the attached bathroom showered and changed into a soft silk baju kurung. She handed Frank matching shirt and pants, although his were not silk, and told him to shower and change.He did so and emerged from the bathrom to find Sofia resting on the bed, exhausted by the ceremonies and the emotional strain of the marriage to him. He looked at her with her eyes closed. He knew she was not asleep .He lay down beside her and held her, bringing her to him. Sofia opened her eyes and looked at him shyly. " How are you feeling?" he asked her tenderly " I should be asking you this , she said. I m at home and this is my family, It is you who are the foreigner and all this must surely feel very strange to you."" Frank nodded, not saying anything, agreeing that it had been strange and alien and he had been uncomfortable. He got up on the bed looking solemn. Sofia sat up too, concerned. " Are you all right Farid?" she asked, using his Muslim name."Any regrets?"

" Sofia my darling wife, you are beautiful, I love you." he responded, not really answering her question. He could not answer for he did not know whether he was all right or not.He stopped her questions by kissing her for the first time on her lips. It was a sweet kiss that spoke of their longing for each other, their passion and their love and it was only reluctantly that they ended the kiss for they had to continue dressing and go to have lunch with their guests. It was going to be a very long day.

After the evening prayers, the couple asked to be excused and retired to their bridal chambers.Sofia had instructed Frank to perform sunnah prayers together with her, to ask for blessing from God for their marriage, so that it starts on the right footing. Two righteous human beings starting on their lives together , each as a half of the whole. And she frequently remembered the verse in the Quran in Surah Ar Rum.".And among Our signs is that we created from among yourselves your spouse and we caused there to be between the two of you passion and compassion."The couple busied themselves praying together and finished of with the Isya prayers, the last prayer for the day finishing which they were finally left to deal with each other, nothing could put off this moment anymore, not that either of them would want to indeed!

Sofia seemed to be spending far too much time in the bathroom changing and cleaning and washing Frank was thinking as he waited for his wife She finally emerged in a pink nightie looking sweet and demure,, her face clean , without any make up, her hair in two plaits. She sat herself in front of him, imitiating his posture, he was sitting cross legged on the bed. She was smiling at him, as she said ," Well?" And Frank echoed what she said imitating her tone gesturing with his hands indicating a question with the word .Sofia took his outstretched hand in hers and kissed his hands. My beloved husband, she said and he kissed her hands in turn saying My beloved wife.So in tune were they that night that they were mirroring each other. They started talking about the events of the day, each had the unspoken need of consumating the marriage on their minds but taking their time as they had a whole lifetime ahead of them. Sofia ended on Frank's lap finally surrendering herself to his arms, and, the last of the ice around her heart, which had been put there to protect herself in her widowhood , melted. Sofia's naivity was virginal, delighting her husband so used to experienced hardened women and for Sofia, this man of the world was her hero evoking in her new heights of pleasure she had never in her wildest dreams imagined possible. The soft relenting Eastern woman had her perfect complement in this man, one who would treasure her, never taking advantange of her softness and obeisience , always honoring and respecting her , never taking her for granted, nor taking her acknowedgement of his leadership as a license to rule over her arbitrarily most men were wont to do, given the power a woman like Sofia would give to them.

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Power of Words

In the Name of Allah , the Compassionate , the Merciful.
Dear Ones,

Salam to all.

In my ELIT training we learn about the power of words. We learn how what we tell ourselves daily is what shapes how we feel, how we think and how we act.

Words are the expression of our inner truths and when we hear the soft gentle words someone says to us, we feel encouraged in our hearts. When we hear harshness and criiticisms and when we hear severe admonishments, our heart shrinks, we feel downcast and low, we feel bad.

It is not in man's nature to want to be fearful, neither is it in man's nature to respond positively to constant harangues and criticisms and hellfire and brimstone.

I have often wondered why I turned deaf when I hear a person speak in a certain tone of voice, whether the person was a religious speaker or my teacher, When the pitch became high and scolding , and holier than thou, I found that my ears switched off, my face became blank and I no longer registered what was being said. Now I understand it is my natural mechansim to stop the words from wounding my heart.

One of my patients health was improving , he was having a very low self esteem, and was a highly anxious individual who, although highly intelligent , always failed to perform up to expection. I had counselled, treated him with my brand of healing using prayers and zikr as well as positive affirmations and healing energy. It so happened that the last time he came was pre elections and he had planned to attend some political rallies. I' m afraid I had to stop him from going, for I had said to him, if the rally involved cursing and bringing people down, if it involved resentment and hate and mudslinging, then it may undo all the progress that we had achieved with his condition.

My most favourite political figures as I have said before are those who can speak their truths without having to villify others and this of course includes my most adored Abu Urwah ! I m afraid I have not been to any recent poltical rallies so cannot compare this with any recent politicians, which is why I have not expanded my favourites list beyond Abu Urwah because I know this brother well enough to have a high opinion of his ability to speak his truths without having to incite hate and anger.

On another Muslim list, one of the subject lines was Friday kutbah. There was a serious discussion about whether or not one could be excused from attending the kutbah since many thought that the kutbah they had been exposed to was more hurtful than productive , with it's curses on people, damning to hell and mudslinging.

Surely in the words we often utter, BismillahiRahmanni Rahim are the words compassionate and merciful. Surely it is Allah's right to punish and surely it is also Allah 's right to forgive and to reward. I have been taught and often told that God's compassion exceeds God's punsishment and , I remember a surah from the Quran that has words that went
Famahilil Kafirina Amhilhum ruwaidah....And towards the Kafirin deal with them with gentleness.

I remember words of a song I learnt from one of my favourite movies, the Sound of Music when the new governess was going to her job to teach and look after seven children and one of the things she was reminding herself was

"I must be firm but kind!"

How can we learn firm kindness?
How can we learn to hate the deed but not the person , for people are all God's creatures and hate is not a fire that should exist in a peaceful heart. Anger should be directed towards righting wrongs , not wasted in the form of burning resentments, as in a saying in my beloved languange, "seperti api dalam sekam". ( like a fire smouldering in the chaff)

IN surah At Tin, God said of man, Laqad Khalaqnal Insana Fi Ahsani Takweem, Thumma radadnahu Asfalasafilin, Ilallathina Amanu wa amilsalihat Watawa saubil Haq , Watawasaubil Sabr.
which means and I am only loosely translating acording to my understanding:

We created man in the best of forms, and then we caused man to be the lowest of the low, except those who have iman, and do good deeds and remind each other about Truth and remind each other to be patient.

I have not translated iman, because I believe this special word means more than faith . To me iman is a deep sense of being Godly of having peace in the heart, of having love and compassion, a longing for communion with God and, from this, also a longing to lovingly help and guide his fellow creatures as best we can without harbouring any manipulated hate in our hearts towards any group of people . God has a right to be angry with nations, with groups of people , but do we have the same right?
When I say manipulated hate I mean hate that is planted in our hearts by well meaning people who believe that hate is part of iman.

In this I have a story to tell, I have a relative who taught his son to step on the photo of a certain Prime Minister and taught his son to hate this man. When this son grew up, he stepped on his father's authority and hated his parents . When we teach a person to hate, the hate becomes a part of the personality , and who knows where the hate will be directed.?

Yes there are devilish people in this world, and God put them there so that the ones whose humanity is still intact can through their experience with these devilish people grow in spirit, wisdom and angelic qualities.As the Quran say,

Ma Khalaqta Hatha Batila, Nothing was created in vain.

Everything has a reason, a person who understands this will find the silver lining in every cloud, will rise above any suffering and find his humanity , at the same time raising others to experience humanity with him/her.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Woman, whom destiny has made to be man’s superior,
By trying to be his equal, falls beneath his estimation.
Hazrat Inayat Kahn
The Dance of The Soul
Sufi Sayings