Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tarawih at the 'Floating Mosque'

I realize there isn't any entry at all for my Ramadhan last year. I must had been really busy (or just plain pathetic..) not to write a single thing.. Okey dokey, it's the 9th day of Ramadhan today and yeayy Alhamdulillah I'm on my 10th juzuk of the Al-Quran. Hope I'll be able to keep this up.. InsyAllah. Now that I'm just sitting around at home, it would really be shameful if I don't khatam at least once!
Well, like last year and the year before we perform most of our tarawih prayers at the Masjid Terapung (its actual name is Masjid Tengku Tengah Zaharah) or the 'floating mosque' as it was built in the middle of a man-made lake. They have been engaging an imam from Egypt for a couple of years now for the tarawih prayers and we've sort of got used to his recitations which are simply amazing! (is very fluent - the verses just flow like water out of his mouth) This time around we're praying the whole 23 rakaahs (all these years I always did just the 8 and the witrs done before fajr) and with a weak knee and all I am managing ok Alhamdulillah. Usually the imams would recite 1 juzuk per night but this one recites more than 1.. and so we usually reach home around 11 pm (almost in exhaustion..but I still have energy to check FB before What bothers me somewhat is the oppresive heat at this time of the year (even at night) in spite of the fans running at maximum speed - but I'm being positive about it; I'm having a sauna every night (clearing all those toxins..). Some pics of interest:

The mosque - pic taken just before maghrib (dusk)

Pic taken as we left at about a quarter to 11 pm

The bridge walkway connecting the mosque to the edge of the lake
View from the mosque

Another shot - there's the beach behind the clump of trees..
Food for iftar - some days as simple as this.. sometimes people bring food to share. We have the main meal after maghrib prayers (provided by the mosque)
And 3 days ago someone plonked these on the table..
The ladies' section - there's another area upstairs. too
This is another mosque that I went to last week - Masjid Ladang; near the town area. Cool and spacious (air-conditioned..*sigh*)
And this sign in the mosque made me almost ROFL! They must have used Google translator...haha

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Welcome Ramadhan Kareem..

ONLY 3 more days till Ramadhan! And I haven't done my 'spring' cleaning yet! A very Special Guest is coming and it's time to clean everything up... the house, the porch, the car, the lawn, our ACT... Alhamdulillah we are given this special month every year to take a long look at ourselves and be serious about changing for the better, turn a new leaf, make new resolutions. The beauty of Ramadhan as compared to a New Year in making resolutions is, you have to stick to them for a whole month and then when the month is over you are already used to doing them and so hopefully InsyAllah they're gonna grow on you... Easier said then done, though! You find that you could accomplish things easily in this month of Barakah... but once the Eid celebrations started.. it takes a real Mujahid/Mujahidah to stick to them new leaves, let me tell you now!
Let's see.. first of all in this blessed month, every good deed that one does is rewarded tenfold so I resolve to khatam the Quran; meaning to read the whole Book in 30 days or less. (I usually take months and months.. *gasp* well, I have to take time reading the translations, too, okey) And I will not miss the tarawih prayers, and this year I'll try to do more than the usual 8 rakaah that we're used to. (Please God.. give me the stamina to do this!). And then there are all the other voluntary prayers that I resolve not to miss this time around (last year I was working 9 to 6 -well, we got off a bit earlier in Ramadan- so this year, being a so-called lady of leisure, no excuses, huh!). This is also the best time to give sadaqah (charity) but oh heck.. I'm no longer a wage-earner so less will be given away but hey, it's the intention that counts, right? Such a lot of wonderful, positive things to start doing with the the coming of Ramadhan... I only pray I have the discipline to continue doing them...

A verse from the Quran about Ramadhan and fasting:
The month of Ramadhan in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadhan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Saum (fasts) that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Saum (fasts) must be made up] from other days. Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allah [i.e. to say Takbir (Allahu Akbar; Allah is the Most Great] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.
(Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #185)  

A Hadith on fasting:
In a narration by Muslim, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The reward of every (good) deed of a person is multiplied from ten to seven hundred times. Allah (SWT) says: `The reward of observing Saum is different from the reward of other good deeds; Saum is for Me, and I Alone will give its reward. The person observing Saum abstains from food and drink only for My sake.' The fasting person has two joyous occasions, one at the time of breaking his fast, and the other at the time of meeting his Rubb. Surely, the breath of one observing Saum is better smelling to Allah than the fragrance of musk.''

Here's an old song or nasyeed about Ramadhan that I liked to listen to years ago when the kids were younger... It reminds me of the long journey we took to balik kampong  for Eid; while listening to it in the car... (it's in Malay):

God, it brings back memories...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Corelle Craze!

When I was a young housewife about 20+ years ago I coveted for a Corelle set.. but we couldn't afford one... and since I'm not very particular about crockery brands that I use and also because there were a lot of other things that were more important to purchase, an 'expensive' dinner set would just have to wait.  But whenever we went to visit friends or relatives and were being served on Corelle, there was this tinge of envy and a longing to own one... Well when we visited our sons in Australia in 2010 the daughter-in-law gave me a set ( I chose Shadow Iris) and then another (she chose Mandarin Flower) when they came home the next year for Eid .. I was ecstatic of course but hubby began to get interested and considered starting a business when he found out the price differences between Corelle sold in Australia and Malaysia. And also how some of the people he works with (especially the ladies) collect these pieces and wouldn't mind paying up-to RM500 for a set which we would normally sell for RM380! So, when we went to Australia end of last year we started buying sets to ship back home. They sold like hot cakes and demand rose. We ordered more sets and still people want more... Alhamdulillah, the hubby has a business to keep him happy apart from his regular job (the prophet Muhammad encourages the Muslims to engage in business however small..).  He has created a Facebook account called 'Corelle Craze' (ehem...I'm responsible for that name; there's a blog in my bloglist that he hasn't been updating because Facebook is better for interacting with customers) and we pray to Allah that the business will thrive and we can start planning another umrah or holiday trip

Shipment has arrived!
Alhamdulillah these boxes survived a couple of weeks at sea..
Cluttering my living-room..
Corelle Christmas sale in Melbourne...
Corelle Heaven!
Corning-ware is difficult to get much profit because the prices are almost the same in both countries
In Adelaide we bought them at Big W..the cashier here asked whether we're starting a restaurant!
This is in Parkson, Kota Bharu..we went to compare prices..
They're more expensive, true but the patterns are much prettier...humph!
 My Shadow Iris...
... and my Mandarin Flower
For those of you out there not familiar with the Corelle brand (which planet do you live?)...its plus point (taken from a Corelle website):
  • Easy to clean
  • Dishwasher and oven safe
  • Lightweight, yet durable
  • Break, chip, craze spot and fade-resistant under normal use
  • Affordable, yet attractive.
*sigh* I love Corelle!