“age quod agis”


Adam and Daniel are used to hearing me say “If you are going to do something, you might as well do it right.” or ‘my motivational nagging’ as I called it! I’ve adopted the latin proverb ‘age quod agis‘ (“Do well in whatever you do”) as my personal motto.

I’ve always enjoyed taking photographs all my life, of my own two sons…thousands. But, this year, as I’ve begun to view my world through clearer eyes (and lenses!), I made the decision to improve the quality of my photos through choice of subject, awareness of lighting and perspective, timing and preparation. I always have my camera phone with me at all times and have been blessed on numerous occasions, capturing amazing photos, like that rare double rainbow or a pensive look in my son’s eyes.

Here are a few that I’ve taken over the years. I hope you will enjoy them as I have and I intend to improve my skills as I develop them, Insha’Allah. Thank you.


I laid down on the ground at 40 Foot to capture the sea breaking against the wall, using only my phone. AlhamdulilLah, timing was perfect!


This centipede was on the path I was walking and it was BIG! I was utterly fascinated by the number of it’s legs.


Patience is all I can describe this photograph! The leopard was showing off, running and jumping around it’s enclosure before climbing up this branch and continuing to show off!


Looking even more cuter!


It took me a dozen attempts before I could get a photo of these roses on my window sill just right.


The lighting in this photograph is overexposed, I think. But the subject, my neighbour’s cat, Wolfie and his pose was too irresistible to ignore.


I have too many photographs of the boys sleeping but they look so peaceful and adorable! I love the freckles on Daniel’s cheeks.


I honestly thought this was taken from a travel website, it just has a warm, beckoning look to it. This was taken on a holiday in Pangkor using a camera phone.


Pangkor Island again, from the hotel. I know sunlight should always be behind me but the view was stunning and I just had to capture it.


My neighbour’s dog was noisily munching his bone in the garden and he looked thoroughly engrossed in it, it was adorable!


A rainbow over the James Joyce Tower, Sandycove. I REALLY wished I had a proper camera because the lighting, the view was just stunning!

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“Water teaches acceptance.” Avatar: The Last Airbender

BismilLah ir-Rahman ir-Raheem I felt homesick on Eid a few days ago so a close friend suggested I go down to the seaside to ease my sadness. She was right. The sea has been a source of peacefulness to me … Continue reading

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My Ego and Me

In the name  of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

I cycled down to the shops today to get some stuff for lunch. When I got to the first store, the ATM machine wouldn’t accept my HSBC card (would you believe there’s NO HSBC in Ireland?? Whatever happened to ‘the world’s local bank‘..?) Then, I tried another ATM in a nearby store and it still wouldn’t work. I was left with no access to cash to buy my groceries…

I unnecessarily spent the ready cash that I had last Saturday when we sent Ainol and her family off after their stay in Ireland. Knowing that I had some extra cash made me reckless and we ate out instead of eating the snacks I brought with me. Even Daniel reminded me to mind my spending when I decided to buy the boys water guns since the weather was turning hot and sunny now.

Money is for most needed, not most wanted...

But, thinking that I still had money in the bank and I could take it out anytime, I didn’t keep any cash on me and so, that’s why today, I had to return home empty handed without buying the stuff I needed for lunch. And not only that, on the way home, the chains on my bike jammed and I had to half lift/push the bike home…

Of course, when things like this occurs, I always do a quick muhasabah (self-check) of myself. And I’ve come to the conclusion that my ego has reared it’s ugly head again. I left my house today, confident that I’ll be able to withdraw money from the ATM and later, when I decided to cycle further up to try my own Irish bank, my bike’s gears jammed up.

I (arrogantly) assumed that things will go as I wanted it to but instead, the things that happened served as a timely reminder that everything is by Allah’s Will. It was only then, that the lesson from Surah An-Nisa’, verse 79 ‘Whatever good, (O man!) happens to thee, is from Allah. but whatever evil happens to thee, is from thy (own) soul.’ was recalled and led me to remember another reminder that I’ve held to for the last 7 years, Surah Al Zumar, verse 9 ‘It is those who are endued with understanding that receive admonition.’

It is a battle between my ego and me. To always remember that Allah Wills as He Wants and we are just His slaves who live on His earth, eating and drinking the foods He provides and breathing the air which He commands.

Thinking that I could get I want or expect on my own is just ridiculous…What happened today was a good kick up my egotistical a*#!

Allah knows best.

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A Scholar to be understood

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

My train of  thoughts seem to be following a line on scholars, as seen from the last few posts on this blog. But, more specifically, I’ve been thinking more and more about Almarhum Professor Dr Muhammad al’Mahdi and the knowledge he left as his legacy to the world.

Yes. It wasn’t just the muslims he shared knowledge with but the rest of the world. Once, we were having breakfast on a Sunday morning and we talked about various topics. He told me he gave out 1000 copies of the Unified Theory of Existence book to his fellow peers and colleagues after he wrote it. I’m glad I found that out because I’ve always been suspicious when I come across books by well-known authors whose works are almost word for word Professor Dr Muhammad al’Mahdi’s Unified Theory of Existence work. I’ve said in the past, Dr Muhammad al’Mahdi had a gift of taking complex language and turning them into laymen terms, simple and easy to understand. Allahu A’lam.

It upset me very much to see how saddened he was by the treatment he received by a well-known young man who had planned to stay and study with him for several months. I knew Dr Muhammad al’Mahdi was excited and perhaps a little relieved that some of his knowledge would now be passed down to the younger generation but unfortunately ego and complacency got in the way of this happening.

There is an article written by Shaykh Yusuf Qaradawi on the passing of Grand Imam Shaykh Muhammad Tantawi, in which he acknowledged the respect and honour Shaykh Muhammad Tantawi showed to Dr Yusuf Qaradawi as the more senior scholar. This should be the correct manner between scholars and one that should have been observed by that young man. This view is from my own personal observation and Allah knows best.

Knowing that we, the Muslims, are sitting on an immense and invaluable body of knowledge that would help progress the conditions of not only Muslims but the world, weighs heavily in my heart and on my mind. I’ve spent the last few years trying to recall every little piece of knowledge given to me by Dr Muhammad al’Mahdi and doing my best to apply and share that knowledge on a daily basis.

At the time before Dr Muhammad al’Mahdi passed away on 29th April 2006, he was working on the workings of and the link between Aql (Mind), Qalb (Heart), Nafs (Base Desires) and Ruh (Soul). I’ve come to believe that this would’ve been a great breakthrough for us in understanding better how we can function naturally in this world. i.e. Dunya and the parallel dimension. I’m still trying to figure the best way to explain this but I know this is right because I asked Almarhum Dr Syed Muhammmad Naquib al-Attas and he agreed it exists and we should ‘co-exist within it’. Perhaps you can also listen to Dr Wayne Dyer’s works on ‘Intention’ being an energy we can utilise to benefit us to understand what I’m talking about a little better.

Please remember I’m just a layman and my writings and views are meant to stimulate the readers to seek out the rest of the knowledge themselves, not to be taken as concrete. Please remember I’m sharing because I’ve been given some understanding which has benefited me and I believe my experiences should be shared but when it comes to others taking this knowledge, I always remember (and I hope you will, too) that I will be questioned on the Day of Judgement if anything I’ve said has caused others to be mislead. It’s this fear that makes me be cautious about blogging and sometimes, I feel I should stop completely. May Allah forgive me if I’ve intentionally/unintentionally given incorrect information or caused misleading in any way in the past and in the future, Ameen.

I hope I can continue sharing my thoughts on Professor Dr Muhammad al’Mahdi in upcoming posts. Please let me know if there’s anything here that needs to be corrected.

Allah knows best my intention and action writing this post.

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Before it’s too late…

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Yesterday, I re-activated my Facebook account, which I had closed a year ago. My reaction was interesting; I felt overwhelmed by the amount of information and activity happening all around me. Continually updated status, games and chats. I knew then and there, while I will continue to keep my account activated, I will only open it once a day to reply to comments of my dear friends and family and to update my page, if any.

Recalling my experience; the feelings of anxiety of reading or seeing something not appropriate and fearing that I could be tempted to check my Facebook page every 10 minutes, made me think hard about allowing Adam and Daniel to set up their own Facebook accounts.

There are other priorities for Adam and Daniel right now...

I know by not having Facebook, they are considered ‘uncool’. Daniel told me that they are the only boys at school who aren’t on Facebook, but I’m sure that can’t be true. I cannot believe that there are no other parents who share the same sentiments as I do about exposing my sons to the negative elements in Facebook.

I was chatting with my former student who was on Facebook yesterday. She asked me why I didn’t let my boys to have their own Facebook.  I told her that I was concerned about the things that they would be doing and talking about with their friends on Facebook and she replied, (which I thought was so insightful of her) “Isn’t it good to be open and talk about everything?”. I explained to her that Prophet Muhammad salla Allah alayhi wassalam only spoke when it was necessary and I wanted Adam and Daniel to be like him and not spend time unnecessarily chatting on Facebook.

AlhamdulilLah, she told me what I said made sense and that she will think about it. Even being separated by thousands of miles and more than a year since I last saw her, I am still “Teacher Cher” to her and that made me feel happy that I was still able to share knowledge with her.

This brings me to an serious matter, which I hold very dearly to my heart. The lack (or loss) of  sacred knowledge i.e. Al Quran, Hadith and the counsel and advice of great muslim scholars, for ordinary people, on everyday matters.

Knowledge has to be beneficial for the progression of humans, not take us away from Islam (submission to the Will of Allah)

We have begun to rely less and less on the knowledge of Islam and more on information fed to us by secular materialistic sources, with reels of degrees and titles behind them. One of the advice given to me by Dr. Malik Badri before I left for Ireland was to find myself a good Imam, one who could counsel me in matters of faith and daily affairs. It took me almost a year to finally find an Imam here in Dublin who I felt reassured to receive knowledge from, as he is also a scholar. I made sure I checked his background throughly and specifically, I followed my gut instinct, which I didn’t have when I was checking the other Imams here.

Surah Al Baqarah, verse 2 "This is the Book; in it is guidance sure.."

This is important to me; knowing that the person whom I will be taking advice from and acting upon that advice, is himself a reliable source of sacred knowledge. There is a reason why Imam Bukhari discarded thousands of hadiths, because their chain of narration was weak and the person narrating was lacking in character, in one way or another. There is a story of him travelling a great distance to receive a hadith from a narrator but he turned immediately back when he saw that person mistreating a horse!

Now, more than ever, we must begin to shift through our knowledge base and thoroughly check the people we are receiving these knowledge from. I had two experiences where I turned away from accepting knowledge from such and such. One was a man, the other a woman and both are well-known muslim speakers in Malaysia, with university qualifications. The man was telling a story about Prophet Muhammad salla Allah alayhi wassalam and as he was giving an example, acting the role of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w., I was repulsed by his words and action and thought, “The Prophet would’ve never said something like that!” I’ve never accepted any of his works, even when others were singing his accolades.

I went to a halaqah, where I didn’t know the speaker, even though she was an established speaker. I liked her presentation and the information she shared, but I wanted to make sure it was reliable so afterwards, I went up to her and asked her for her qualifications and background. She gave it to me but I was surprised at her anger/ impatience? of being asked. Never went to any of her talks again after that…

Allahu A’lam. I don’t know why I’m being so persnickety about checking the background of scholars and speakers I receive knowledge from but I can tell you that it has made a lot of difference in shaping my world view. Insha’Allah, I don’t think I’ve been taqlid about any branch of knowledge, reading and acting upon both the works of Imam Bukhari (Saheeh Bukhari) and Imam Malik (Al-Muwatta), for example.

Let me share with you this hadith, which acts as a reminder to us that we are just temporary travellers in this Dunya and our Final Abode is in the Hereafter.

“Truly, Allah does not remove Sacred Knowledge by taking it out of servants, but rather by taking back the souls of Islamic scholars [in death], until, when He has not left a single scholar, the people take the ignorant as leaders, who are asked for and who give Islamic legal opinion without knowledge, misguided and misguiding” (Sahih Bukhari – Fath al-Bari, 1.194, hadith 100)

Allah knows best.

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Proactive Intention

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my journey seeking Islam (submission to the Will of Allah) which took root in 2003. Up till then, I was a muslim in name only and not in act and belief.

At the time, I was undergoing a turbulent and traumatic period of my life. The only thing that made sense to me then was turning to Allah subhana wa ta’ala and seeking His Help. I took an Al Quran, said a prayer in my heart for a sign and opened the Al Quran.

Right at the page I opened, my eyes fell upon an ayat, Surah Ali Imran, verse 54, “And (the unbelievers) plotted and planned, and Allah too planned, and the best of planners is Allah.” I knew then, that regardless of what the other party was planning, I just needed to put my complete trust in Allah.

That was the first step of my journey. Turning to Allah, for everything. Surah Al Fatiha, verse 4, “Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.” My mind, my heart, my soul and my body consciously made the intention to seek Islam. This meant I had to believe absolutely in the Oneness and Majesty of Allah subhana wa ta’ala.

Once that proactive intention and decision was made, the doors of Allah’s Mercy and Guidance suddenly opened for me, AlhamdulilLah. I was led to the right information, which lead me to the right people and this culminated in me gaining the right knowledge. Just recalling that part of my journey still causes me to feel awe and humility of Allah’s Mercy in guiding me. But, this was also in part to my intention and choice to seek Islam.

Surah Al Baqarah, verse 150, “…so fear them not, but fear Me; and that I may complete My favours on you, and ye May (consent to) be guided”.  It is clear from this ayat that guidance comes from Allah subhana wa ta’ala but we must want to be guided first. Allahu A’lam.

The right knowledge, one that is at par with our fitrah (inherent character), only progresses us forward as human beings but more importantly, in the role as khalifah (vicegerent) on this earth. This is an excerpt from Prof. Dr Muhammad al’Mahdi’s book, “The Unified Theory of Existence”.

Occasionally there occurs in the progression of human knowledge a great leap forward in understanding. The unified theory of existence provides the impetus for the greatest single stride forward in the long development of the human race. The unified theory of existence is the culmination of modern scientific knowledge combined with the essence of ancient wisdom. The unified theory of existence is not simply a body of knowledge, no matter how significant. It is a body of knowledge specifically designed to alter the consciousness of humanity in a positive direction. This is to be accomplished by raising the level of consciousness of each individual who becomes aware of this new world view. The unified theory of existence shall be the catalyst for a revolution in every aspect of human life. With this knowledge humanity shall survive the present threat of extinction and travel the path to perfection. This is the beginning of the utopian dream…

We are not meant to sit around and wait for things to happen or to come to us. It begins with our intention, our choice, using the freewill given to us by Allah subhana wa ta’ala.

Allah knows best.

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Tales of the Heart

BismilLah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim

Please read related post:https://acespiretribe.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/know-thyself-socrates/

Having turned 34 years old recently, I’ve noticed subtle changes in how I view myself and the world around me. I’ve led a full life so far and have a treasure trove of experiences to show for it so it was easy for me to decide to start retreating from the world and lead a more quiet life.

With the world in such turmoil around us, it is now time to take a step back and begin ‘auditing’ our lives and determining what is necessary and what is not. Time to prioritise what is important to us in the present and what will be in the next 10, 20 years.

The materials of today’s world is no longer a need for me, as I discovered in the days and weeks approaching my birthday recently. My husband and sons were planning to get me presents and I got to know about their intention so I bluntly told them that it wasn’t necessary. But I knew they would still buy my birthday gifts and I didn’t want them to waste their money on things that I didn’t need so I compromised and told them exactly what I wanted and where to get them.

The items on my birthday wish list was short and consisted of only two things; a Swiss Army knife (I do a lot of fixing around the house) and a walking stick (for the days my arthritis and chronic back pain became too painful). And Alhamdulillah, I was very happy to get what I needed and have been using them regularly ever since.

We’ve become so accustomed to the expect certain things to occur that we actually create (perhaps even unconsciously..?) opportunities to achieve those expectations. When a birthday nears, we get the usual plans of birthday parties, presents, getting up early be the first to wish the birthday person “Happy Birthday” etc. Why does the birth day have to be different from any other day..?

When it was my husband’s birthday in February, I remember thinking, in the flurry of presents and birthday wishes from his family, why hasn’t any one wished his mother as well..? It wasn’t just his birthday, it was her giving birth to him on the same day as well! Doesn’t she deserve to be recognised and appreciated..? A mother only has one birthday but if she has 5 kids then she should be celebrated 5 times a year on their birthdays as well.

This is the reason why I adamantly refuse to celebrate Mother’s Day. A mother should’t just be celebrated and appreciated on only one day day of the year but every day of the year! Adam and Daniel didn’t get me any presents or do anything special for me; it was just like any other ordinary Sunday for us. Most of these celebrations e.g. Mother’s/ Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Easter Day, are all marketed by corporations and companies to make money. And yes, I do know that they all began as a religious celebrations but has been turned into a capitalist, money-making circus. I don’t even give out ‘duit raya’ or money during Eid as the norm but instead have sweets and chocolates on hand if the children ask for something.


I'm amazed to see the design and structure of these roses growing on my kitchen window sill; only Allah can create such beauty!

This is how I’m bringing my sons up; to be aware of what’s real and what’s not. Mother’s Day is not real but appreciating and honoring their mother daily is. A trendy, new phone is not real but a working, secondhand one is enough for emergency calls and keeping in touch. Trying to be with the ‘in’ crowd at school is not real, but having true friends who are genuinely interested in them is.

My sons and I are thought to be different (and strange, as my youngest son is always telling me) from others. At first, I would’ve tried hard to ensure we conformed and fitted in with the rest of society, but as my growing experience and wisdom tells me, becoming something we are not i.e. secular materialistic just to integrate with rest of the world, isn’t a priority any more.

Allah knows best.

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