Monday, August 3, 2020

End of an era

Today is officially my kid's last day of school at their current school. I have mixed feelings about it.

We've been in this school for 5 years now. I chose this school simply because I wanted my kids to go to a school that has Malaysian / Asian values but with an international syllabus. I believe I chose the right school for them for this 5 years but it is time to move on.

In this 5 years, we had our ups and down with the school. Fortunately for most of the time, we had wonderful dedicated teachers. We built really good friendships over the years too. Overall, it was mostly good for us. Most importantly, my kids are happy. They love their school and they're thriving, more than I expected. If it was up to my kids, we would be in the same school forever. But as a mother, you always want more for your kids. As parents, we try our best to provide them the best and with this move, I pray and hope, InsyaAllah they will gain new experiences.

There's no such thing as a perfect school. There will always be teachers that arent good enough or not suitable to teach your kids, there will be friends who will be bad influence, there will be facilities not up to your standard, there will be hiccups here and there in every school. I just pray and hope that my children will continue to thrive in this new environment.

I am so sad we are leaving. In a way, I wish we didnt but we made that decision before this pandemic happened and now we just have to continue with it. We leave behind few good dedicated teachers that we've gotten to know over the years and have been wonderful to both my children. I am forever grateful for that. We leave behind wonderful wonderful amazing friends that we've grown up a lot with. I leave behind amazing mummy friends that have been there for me since day 1 with the school. I made wonderful friendships with them. So it is very sad to leave. I'll make sure we all keep in touch as they're no longer just our friends, they're our family.

We prepared some gifts for close friends and teachers. We also gave out cards with my kid's contact details for them to keep in touch. It has been wonderful experience but we need to close this chapter and move on.

I am going to miss the school and friends a lot. Wish us luck in our new school!!! We are excited to start our new adventure!
Thursday, July 30, 2020

Eid Al Adha

Hari Raya Haji (or Eid Al Adha) this year is not the same like before. This is the first time ever that Makkah is shut for Hajj. Only those who are lucky enough to already be there are allowed to perform hajj this year. They must have done something right to be blessed to do it this year. Unlike any other year, performing Hajj this year will be done with a different SOP. No pushing and crowding like usual. It will be a bliss.
Back in February

I look back at our Makkah photos and wish we were there. My husband is already counting days for us to go back to Makkah. It won't be soon as all borders are still closed but I hope in the next 2 years we will be able to go back.

For this raya, I feel sad because I won't have my Tokmi with me. Things are different and this is our new norm. We're still getting used to it.

I would like to wish all my readers a Selamat Hari Raya aidil Adha. May Allah accept our Qurban this year and guide us to the right path from here on.

If you are travelling, stay safe. Remember that the virus is still out there. Keep your personal hygiene at the best and don't forget to wear a mask!
Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Missing her is so painful

My Tokmi loves flowers
Grieve is funny. Sometimes I'm totally ok and sometimes I find myself crying thinking about the loss. I miss her so much. I don't like to live my life with regrets. I refuse to think "I wish I had visited her more" or "I wish I had spent more time" or "I wish I had called her up more". Of course I do and no matter how much time I spent with her when she was around, I could have done more. So I refuse to say I have regrets when it comes to her.

But I do miss her dearly. I miss just having her around. Even though the last 5 years of her life she was already not her usual self, I still wish she was here. My only consolation is when I think she is not suffering anymore. My late grandma had Dementia and although she was not in any physical pain (alhamdulillah), living with Dementia was a struggle for her.

God gave me 40 years of my life having a grandmother. How lucky was I? 40 years is a long time. I am so blessed I can't even imagine. But ya, I miss her. I miss her so much.

I miss how she would answer me whenever I announce to the family that I am her favourite grandchild. I miss how she would just agree with me when I say that although we all know, she doesn't have a favourite because she loved us all equally.

I miss how she would twist her answers whenever she doesn't know how to reply to the question.

I miss her saying "wherever you go, my heart goes with you" and it will make all of us laugh.

I miss her calling everyone "sayang"

I miss her face whenever I said I'm going home.

I miss her asking to carry every baby in the house (although she is not strong enough to hold a baby)

I miss her asking everyone to eat

I miss her answering my salam

I miss kissing and hugging her

Ya Allah, please take care of my Tokmi. Forgive all her sins and please put her among the righteous. Have mercy on her Ya Allah. Expand her grave and grant her the highest rank of Jannah.


Monday, July 27, 2020

Back to school

My kids finally went back to school last week. We weren't really planning to send them to school at first as school term is almost finished anyway and they only have about 2 weeks before they start their summer holidays but they begged to go. I finally had to pray to God that they will be OK and protected while I send them away to a virus that can't be seen. Oh gosh!

I was pleasantly surprised at the SOP of the school. Traffic was smooth with many teachers helping out at the front. Parents were not allowed to get down from the cars. Temperature were checked whilst the kids are still in the car and once it is cleared, they get down and again, another temperature checked 10 steps away. Probably unnecessary to have 2 temperature checks but heck, I am happy.

I was told they were constantly reminded to practice social distancing in school too. That means, no hugging your friends. My daughter is a hugger and she loves hugging her friends but she told me that since it is not allowed, they air-hugged each other instead. That's the new normal, I guess.

Overall I am very very pleased with how the school are operating. Funny how it took them a global pandemic to get things right, especially with the traffic during pick up and drop offs but hey, they're doing it now so I'm happy!

Kids are happier to be in school too. I didn't realise how much I've missed their school stories and our chats in the car every day. It always makes my day. They grow up too fast and before you know it, they'll be on their devices or stopped talking in the car. I am going to cherish these moments while I can.

I hope they're safe in school. I pray they know what to do to stay safe. I pray Allah will protect them while they're out of my sight.
Sunday, July 26, 2020


After spending almost a week in Makkah, we made our way to Madinah. I heard lots about this city as it is the second holiest place in Islam. It is also the home of Prophet Muhammad and his final resting place. I heard that people in Madinah are different and friendlier than people from Makkah too. I heard you will find peace in Madinah as it is a lot calmer and relaxed there. I was excited!

The rest stop was nice and clean

We decided to take the car to Madinah instead of flying there. It would have saved us more time if we took the plane but my husband wanted to take a drive instead. We left Makkah after Zuhur and made our way to Madinah. It was such a long drive. I slept pretty much the whole time in the car. By almost 7pm, we stopped by for prayers and had something to eat. We arrived our hotel at almost 9pm and I was so tired. I slept really well that night.

The view outside my bedroom in the morning
We stayed at The Oberoi Madina, which is right outside gate 26  of Masjid Al Nabawi. The view of the mosque was amazing. Unlike our hotel in Makkah, most of the hotels in Madinah are much smaller. I was pleasantly surprised to see how small our hotel is. Our room was amazing. It had 2 big bedrooms and 1 large living room. I love that it only takes 3 minutes to walk from my room to the entrance of Masjid Al Nabawi. I would hear the azan from our room. When I hear the azan, I will slowly make my way to mosque and will be right on time for prayers. It is different in Makkah because I would need to come down from my room at least 10 minutes before the azan, otherwise I wouldn't be able to make it on time for prayers.

Our first day in Madinah, we went for a walking tour around the mosque with our own personal Mutawwif, Ustaz Zul. We walked around the mosque while he shared with us some history and stories about Rasullullah including history of its surroundings. It was such a beautiful day too that morning. The breeze was cold and the sky was the bluest sky I've ever seen. Although it is a big mosque and quite a long walk, it wasn't tiring at all. I couldn't help admiring the beauty of this mosque. Truly, one of the most beautiful places I've ever been in my life and definitely my most favourite mosque. I remember looking up at the clear blue sky feeling so grateful to be invited here. I was very grateful that I had my husband and my children with me too. We took lots of photos too during this tour.

During my stay in Madinah, I also got the opportunity to pray in Raudhah. It is one of the biggest attractions when you are in the Al Nabawi mosque itself. It is also known as 'Garden of Paradise'. It is opened to men pretty much all day but for the ladies, we are only be allowed in at a certain time.

The area to pray in Raudhah is very small too and each time, there will be hundreds of people trying to make their way there. My advice is, if it is your first time, get someone to go with you. For me, we hired an Ustazah to guide me where to go and teach me what doas to recite. You are only allowed to be in there for a short time. It is good to know what doas you want and what to ask for.

People are pushing each other trying to get into that small spot, best not to bring handbag and if you have your phone with you, make sure you have a pocket that you can zip in front of you.  You'd think that inside a mosque you are safe from pickpocket but trust me, you are not! Alhamdulillah, I got to pray in Raudhah twice during my short stay in Madinah. Once with the help and guidance of the ustazah and the next day, I went inside myself. It was still a struggle but at least I already know how to do it and where to go to get the best spot.  I was really grateful and I always end up in tears once I leave that area. I can't explain it but the feeling is just very overwhelming. As I am typing this, I am missing it so much!

We visited other places too in Madinah but I'll make a different post on that, someday. Missing Madinah so much. Cant wait to go back. It is truly one of my favourite places!
Saturday, July 25, 2020


Photo from google
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Mengaji Time

Unfortunately, I have not khatam Quran yet. I'm ashamed of myself that at 40 years old (turning 41 in september) I have yet to khatam.

I started reading the Quran very young. I remember going to mengaji classes, agama classes but never consistent. I would be in one class and then would move school or move house and then won't continue. Or would be in agama school and then stopped (for whatever reason).

I was always very bad at it too. For some reason, reading Quran is very difficult for me to master. I would always do very badly in mengaji classes. It was just something I was never good at.

Sometime in form 5, my arwah tokmi found an ustaz to come over to the house to teach all the cucus mengaji. All 6 of us (including my brothers and cousins) would mengaji together. They somehow managed to khatam but somehow I didn't. I got to juz 20 something and then I flew to UK to continue my studies. Again, I didn't finish my quran.

Fast forward over 20 years later, without anyone forcing me to do it, during Ramadhan this year, I picked up a Quran (that was I think my hantaran gift) and started reading. Obviously I had forgotten how to read it and I haven't done it for years, I had great difficulty reading it. I didn't know if I read it right or wrong. I remember the basics but I don't know if my tajuweed is right. At the same time, I was wondering if it is berdosa to read it when I know I could be 100% wrong in my pronunciation and all that. Miraculously, I found a video on Youtube of this ceramah saying that you will get more rewards for trying to read. It is ok to get it wrong as long as your intentions are right. Wallahualam.

I was reading it after every solat. Slowly but surely, I think my reading is getting better. I don't get to read much because I am a very slow reader. But by the end of Ramadan, I managed to read a few juzuks. The Quran I read had jawi on the bottom too so that helped me to double check my reading.

My friend posted about this digital Quran by AlQalam. She said it helped her read so much. I decided to get one for myself. Alhamdulillah, I am progressing really well and this digital Quran has helped me with the tajweed and pronunciation better.

InsyaAllah I will khatam by this year. Fingers crossed.

On another note, my kids are progressing well with their Quran reading too. Both of them have started Quran early this year and hopefully will Khatam this year too. My prayers are for all of us to khatam together this year. Pray for us!

We can do it!