Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Eid Mubarak everyone!

Now that Ramadan is over, it's a good time to reflect on what we have done and how to navigate the times ahead.

Ramadan typically provides the stage for our finest moments as Muslims. Sadly, this wasn't the case for me this year as I was too distracted by the Olympics.

I read an article recently about how the coverage of the Olympics was designed to be addictive. It can even make you engross with seemingly "boring" sports like archery and road race (cycling).

"[The crew] prepared hours before the event. They checked out the stadium for the best camera spots... to capture that iconic shot that would convey peak action, tears and cheers, power and intensity."

As a consequence, we viewers were riveted to the screens; watching shots of the beautiful venues, close-ups of the athletes' facial expressions, replays of crucial points and the commentators' sound knowledge of the games.

So yeah, I was sucked right into the hype, kind of like the blokes in the video below. Haha.

Only when the London Games finally ended did I realise how much time I'd wasted - time that could have been better spent in light of Ramadan. Like all other amusements, all that euphoria proved to be fleeting and I was left only with regrets.

So, on the second day of Eid, feeling spiritually starved (but physically full from all the rendangs), I perused Quran Weekly's page and came across this video:

I highly recommend it to everyone. The lecture focuses on verse 186 of Surah Al-Baqarah:

"[Prophet], if My servants ask you about Me, I am near. I respond to those who call Me, so let them respond to me, and believe in me, so that they may be guided."

The above translation in itself is beautiful but the lecture gives you a better understanding of the verse, by explaining its connotations that are lost on us, non-Arabic speakers.

Now when I read the verse, I am reminded that Allah knows my troubles specifically and will respond to my invocations. I just need to keep the faith.

Do watch and share the video!

Monday, August 06, 2012

Fighting well

Malaysians' hearts were collectively broken when Lin Dan made good his first match-point opportunity.

We had waited so long for the country's first ever gold medal and Lee Chong Wei had to (unfairly) carry that burden alone as there were no other genuine contenders that could possibly deliver.

When LCW won his semifinal match against Chen Long, the whole nation was whipped into frenzy. Malaysians were breathless with anticipation; could this be it? Will our wait finally be over?

Businesses started promising Malaysians tantalising treats - from free ice-cream to Nasi Kandar - if LCW won that elusive medal.

But alas, Lin Dan dashed our dreams and left us Baskin-Robbin-less

Despite the agonising loss, LCW is still a national hero for he fought valiantly. And his feat (finally) puts Malaysia in the medal tally. Dzof Azmi's piece in today's paper was spot-on in which he quoted Pierre de Coubertin: "The essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well".

Following the Olympic news, I was drawn to one recurring theme: These Olympians had to overcome great odds to get to where they are today. As Mo Farah puts it; "[Success] doesn't just come overnight, you've got to train for it and believe in yourself".

Everybody loves a winner but before public victory and adulation are achieved, a great private battle has to be waged alone.

These Olympians had to struggle and slog for years before their hard work bore any fruit. They also had to pick themselves up after every setback and vanquish any (personal or public) doubts that may arise.

This lesson is applicable to everyone isn't it? Excellence is by design, not accident and perseverance is key.

This maxim holds true for success in this world as well as the Hereafter.

It's a good time to ask ourselves; have we been doing enough?