Ramadhan ini...

Ku menanti Ramadhan
Penuh harapan
Mendamba keampunan

Perut berlapar
Syaitan disangkar
Nafsu berdebar

Yang haram ditegah
Yang wajib, maklumlah
Yang sunat ditambah
PahalaNya melimpah

Senja mendatang
Azan berkumandang
Syaitan pun meradang

Penat terkulai
Lemah gemalai
Puas tersadai

Malam menyahut
Merungkai yang kusut
Tika basah bersujud

Di bulan azimat

Ayuh beribadat!

Insaf bertaubat

Sunathon 08

Tales of which many would shudder

If described in length

Would send a shiver

To the toughest of men

Counting down the time

As they waited in line

“Don’t worry love,

it’ll be fine”

An odour of fear

The aura of terror

For the time is near

To remove what’s dear :P

For all the hype

The battle of psyche

Lost simply

A cut neatly

Of clammy palms

Stuttering arms

Feeling all feeble

As he held the needle

Soon fear turned and left

He slowly gained his breath

Contrary to his conscience

He finally gained confidence

When it was all over

The world stopped spinning

A look across his shoulder

Seeing the kid all grinning


That girl from Egypt

From the land of the pharaohs
Came a tale of sorrow
As he nursed his heart
As it was torn apart

She sat there all smiles
Oblivious most of the while
There sat the girl from Egypt
Innocent, unassuming

An eclipse of the heart
Shadowed by her warmth
He was taken by her charm
A damning imprint
A cause for alarm

As fate would destine
That she would belong
To a fellow companion
Accept he must…

Inspired by another's tale...

KEM 2008 : My Perspective

While poems might seem to be my true forte, I can’t help but pen this one down in plain writing. My apologies for the lack of quality…

Introduction KEM 2008

Azri : “……setiap amalan dimulakan dengan niat…”

That should’ve struck a chord in me. Hearing the famous hadith for the umpteenth time did nothing to spur my interest that night. I was distracted. By what, I cannot say.
Sacrificing 10 days didn’t seem that long when I decided to commit myself to this program about six months ago. It really did sound like a good package, for I was excited at the prospect of setting foot in East Malaysia for the first time in my life.

But when it really got down to it, I realized just how much it would cost to ‘give’ 10 days of my precious summer break to total strangers living in a far off land. Though I shall not delve into the sticky details, safe to say I had to deflect the numerous pleas from my mom to scrap the trip (reasons of which I shall not share). That was the mind set from the beginning. Probably not the best of starts…

SMS Kuching

When Mr Bahtiar (Mr B) presented us with a video prospectus of the school, I was silently surprised at the amount of effort put in (not sure from which side though) to encourage the students to use technology in their daily learning. The school wanted something different from us. Their expectations were high.

That set the tone. We were dealing with privileged students. The approach had to be different. A ‘wow’ factor was needed to motivate these kids. Thank heavens the facilitators were all impressive enough in their CVs.

SMS Kucing reminded me a lot of my old school back in Subang. Living among students from all races and religions was the environment I was placed in during my first 11 years in school. Unfortunately, this also increased my annoyance (thank you Nazmi for calming me down) at the refusal of some of the facilitators to adapt their style to the multi-racial crowd.

Naturally, SMS students were an enthusiastic bunch. A notion probably agreed upon by all of those who were with me at that school. The response we got from the students was phenomenal.
That was our portal in. We had to cash in on that enthusiasm, harness it to achieve our objectives.

The way I saw it, these students more exposed to the outside world; and it showed a whole lot through the level of their general knowledge. They were certainly not the typical ‘katak bawah tempurung’ kids you’d expect.


“Buleh rileks x, diorg salam cium tangan dowh,” exclaimed Syafeeq in typical fashion.

The thing that struck me most was probably the respect they showed to us, regardless of what was going through their minds at that period of time.

While it may have been drilled into them to respect their seniors, (ie by the kissing of the hand) I think I speak on behalf of all the male facilitators when I say that it was a truly touching gesture.

‘Ukhuwwah fillah, abadan abada’, a phrase that often reverberated among the lips of the “geng surau” (a term coined by a certain someone who shall not be named) in KMB
The call of the athan struck me from my slumber. I looked up to observe the students go about their ‘rituals’ before performing their maghrib prayers.

Usually, each school had a trademark to its name. Even the tune of the athan would have a certain ‘ring’ to it that could be traced back to the origin of a school.

SMS Kucing gave full autonomy to its students to run the surau. Even Friday prayers were conducted fully by the students. Impressive to say the least…

“Abang datang nak buat program untuk tingkatan 5 je ke?” asked one of the students whom had braved up to approach me after the solat.

It had sent my pulse racing. My conversation with him shed light on two things I had failed to realize. Despite being privileged, these students were devoid of inspiration, lacking role models to look up to. Secondly, they had truly appreciated and welcomed our arrival simply because no one else had previously done what we had set out to do.

Suddenly, my doubts were erased.

“What would it cost me to simply give 10 days of my precious summer break to total strangers living in a far off land?”

The question had been answered. A credit card commercial replayed in my mind.
Flight tickets : RM350++
Bus and Train Fare : RM15
KEM Fee : RM65++
Sponsorship : RM50++

To inspire the students to succeed in life….priceless

Admittedly, SMKA Kota Kinabalu was a different story compared to SMS Kuching. Being the lead facilitator also bore consequences on my part. I was not tied down to my own ‘group’. The student-facilitator bond wasn’t as strong. It was another sacrifice I had to live with.

The condition of the school was derelict compared to Kuching. However what worried me most was the attitude of the male students, whom were oblivious to the fact that they were living in a dump. It wasn’t so much the lack of facilities that fazed me; it was the nonchalance of the students whom didn’t seem to care about the importance of cleanliness.

Something had to give. We needed to act. So began phase one of brain-washing the students. Led by Faisol, we cleaned up the hostel area and made sure they knew about it. At approximately 11pm a roll-call like style involving all the male students was held in the common room. Safe to say by the end of the session, our objectives were reached...

The Dilemma

The students were also facing a state trial exam starting Friday. Tensions were running high. The strain on the faces of the students was there for all to see. Participation was during lectures were minimal. Attendance was also dwindling, especially on the boys’ side. It was fast turning into a disaster.

“Ana rase kite patut cancel je program kat SMAKK ni,” Azri’s voice nervously suggested through the phone.

Hairul and I looked at each other passively. This wasn’t going to happen on my watch. I had faith in SMAKK. We would do all we could to convince Azri. The kids needed us. I was sure of that.

I met Ms Kartina personally that morning. Her words stuck to my head like glue.

“Budak-budak di sini sangat down dari segi morale. Mereka perlukan motivasi. Tidak pernah dalam sejarah sekolah ini terdapat sekumpulan pelajar yang sanggup datang berjumpa dengan adik-adik, lagi-lagi pelajar dari luar Negara. Cikgu yakin dengan kebolehan budak-budak sekolah ini. Cikgu yakin mereka boleh berjaya. Dan harapan Cikgu supaya "ijat” dan rakan-rakan dapat menyuntik semangat dalam diri mereka….”

Never mind she pronounced my name wrongly. Never mind. It had now turned into an obligation…
During the meeting with the KEM Director, Hairul was the main man in defending our cause, stressing the importance of us being there, despite the dire situation we were in. It worked, albeit a few alterations in the tentative, we were given the green light, Alhamdulillah.

In Closing

Ku merinitiih, ku menangis, aku merataaap, aku mengharaap…

Khaidir’s soulful voice filled the room. Ms Kartina was already dabbing her tears. I was struggling to control my own….

I thank god that I was in the front-most seat, I was an emotional mess that morning.

How much things had changed since the first day. The transformation in terms of attitude, motivation and spirit was too good to be true. Alhamdulillah, the program was a success. Their spirit touched our hearts. I couldn’t believe that it was finally time to leave…

Goodbye Borneo, may we meet again soon, Insha Allah.


Ustadz Hasrizal-for your inspiration
Akhi Muhtar Suhaili-for your valuable insight
Azri Bohari-for your sacrifices
Nazmie-for that calming influence
Faisol-for keeping me in check
Syafeeq Ridzam-for being there when needed
Shazif-my steady companion
Hairul Junior-for that spark that we sorely missed in KK
Wani-for leading from the wings
To my newfound friends, Isa, Sham, Nasir, Jani and the rest of the gang (whom I failed to mention but appreciate nonetheless)
May we meet again…


The Journey-Part 3

Hariri woke up that morning feeling tired from last night’s extra long shift. He slowly trod downstairs to grab a bite, before setting off to work once again. It was the beginning of another long day...

Things had changed tremendously since the events last described. Hariri had transformed himself into a totally different person; he had made good on his promise to turn over a new leaf.

“Just two more weeks,” Hariri whispered to himself amidst the huge crowd people in the premises of the restaurant he was working in. He didn’t really need the money; it was more of a medium for him to gain experience as well as an outlook on the real world. A world he was shielded from during his high school years. It was a reality that he had learnt to embrace, and adapt to as much as he could.

Hariri was a unique breed among the workers of the Olive Restaurant. The staff all respected this 18 year old kid, who really stood from the rest of the Olive crew. His uncanny ability to charm the customers, as well as his trademark smile that would light up the day of anyone who’d cross his path, made him a favourite in the compounds of the Olive Restaurant. Hariri maintained a good relationship with everyone in the workforce, regardless of age, race or position.

Such was his presence, Hariri was held in high esteem even by the manager, whom thanked the lucky stars he had found such a hardworking and dedicated worker. He appreciated Hariri’s enthusiasm, and didn’t mind that Hariri made it a point to take extra long breaks to go to the prayer room. And on Fridays, Hariri would not blink an eyelid in asking for a break right in the middle of the crowded lunch hour, just to go and pray at the mosque. The manager, though initially reluctant, could not help but admire the guts of this relatively young kid. He decided to make an exception, for the sake of his favourite worker.

Despite not fully understanding Islam as a religion, the manager, Simon, was very impressed with Hariri’s ultimate consistency in fulfilling the obligations of his Islam. Even he himself seldom went to Sunday mass, despite having a religious background since he was young. He was also slightly puzzled by the fact that Hariri was the only Muslim in the restaurant who asked for prayer breaks, even though a majority of those working for him were in fact Muslims. Hariri was in fact doing da’wa, but little did he realize neither the significance nor the importance of his actions.

Simon was getting more and more curious about Islam by the day. He knew that if every muslim stuck adherently to Islam, the world would be a much better place. Islam is a religion of peace, encompassing every aspect of life, including work ethic, honesty in business practice, as well as a whole lot of other values which would benefit mankind. Simon wished that all his workers became practicing muslims, just like Hariri. But he also realized that he was in no position to preach to these misguided souls on the importance of religion. All Simon could do was hope...

Hariri wasn’t at all aware of the aura of impressiveness surrounding him. His main aim was to continue his ascendency in learning the deen of Allah, regardless of the obstacles faced. True to this fact, it had been reflected in his overall demeanour. Islam flowed through his veins, and was shining light toward others around him. People craved his attention, warmth and guidance despite his young age.

Hariri realized that he was changing, albeit at an extremely slow pace. He also knew that he had to be an ambassador for his religion, showing a good example to others, and trying his best to seek the pleasure of Allah swt in the process. His conscience was extremely sensitive to the sins of his past, as he made sure Shaitaan could never gain entry to his fragile heart. But cursed devil, had other ideas...
She wasn’t stunningly beautiful; one wouldn’t stop for a second glance at the sight of her. No, she wasn’t that type of girl. Maybe it was her eyes. Maybe it was her smile. No one could’ve known nor noticed. But Hariri did. He had took note of her ever since the first day he had laid eyes upon her. He knew there was something about this girl that made his heart flutter each time they met.

It probably was her smile. “That of an angel”, thought Hariri. She had an aura of pleasantness. And she always smelt like peaches and cream whenever she walked pass him. Hariri would go weak in the knees at her alluring scent. He would often stare at her from behind the counter he was stationed at. Observing. Longing. What he would do to get to know her better. Hariri was in love...

At the same time, Hariri was all too aware of the dangers of male female relationship. He was aware that Islam had rules to protect its followers from being lured into adultery. His faith toward Allah’s words was enough of a barrier for him to lower his gaze.

But, as all humans, Hariri had his moments of weakness. It was during these times that he started to make up excuses, creating justifications for the sins he was about to do. It was during these times that Shaitaan whispered beautiful thoughts in his ears.

“I’ll just ask for her phone number, just to get to know her a little bit better. That can’t be wrong can it? After all, it’s just a phone call...”
His conscience was severely battered from the amount of times he subjected it to furious debate. Slowly but surely, Hariri’s principles he worked so hard to uphold, were beginning to crumble.

Aisha was taken aback when first approached by her co-worker she had learned to respect over the months they got to know each other. She definitely felt some sort of attraction to this handsome young man; he was always calm and cool, yet reduced to stuttering when faced with her. At some point she realized that he was interested in her, and she did not mind one bit. She was flattered that the most eligible bachelor up for grabs had a crush on her. The scene was set. The devil had laid his trap.

Pretty soon, things between Hariri and Aisha got serious. They were caught in a superficial web of bliss, oblivious to all around them. They started going out together, spending long hours on the phone, pouring their hearts out till the wee hours of the morning. Hariri was blinded by it all, continually lulled into a false sense of security by the whisperings of the devil. They were very much in love with each other, and Hariri couldn’t feel any happier. Or so he thought.

Their relationship went on for over a year, up to a point where they vowed they would marry each other, albeit when the time was right. This was again society playing a role in making life difficult for teenagers exposed to the dangers of free-mixing. In an environment that promotes freedom of expression, it oozed with hypocrisy in its selection of acts deemed permissible more than others.

When man decides to impose his own brand of logic over what was prescribed in the Quran, trouble would ultimately ensue. Of the many cases of pre-marital sex, unwanted pregnancy, and even adultery, half of the statistics could’ve been avoided if the environment itself did not overflow with sexual innuendo from all aspects.

But as fate would interfere Hariri was offered a scholarship to study overseas. His many years of hard work had paid off. He was finally able to live his dreams of studying abroad. His scholarship required him to spend two years in a preparatory college, situated in the outskirts of Selangor. If he qualified with enough points, he would be eligible to apply for colleges around the UK and Ireland. It was a good deal. An offer too good to refuse.

But he also had to leave Aisha....

He had not prepared himself for this. His plans were severely disrupted with Aisha in the picture. No way could he let her go. He loved her too much. Aisha had suddenly become excess baggage. He knew it wouldn’t be fair to ask her to wait for him as she had her own life too.

He would dedicate the next 7 years of his life, in the prime of his youth, to study medicine. Hariri in retrospect was determined to make good on his ambitions to become a doctor. His ambitions, however, came at price. Being separated for 7 years was not something he thought that the relationship could stand. Hariri was caught in two minds. He wanted both. He did not want to lose her. He knew he couldn’t live without the love of his life.

Hariri had no other choice than to attempt a long-distance relationship with Aisha, despite being extremely pessimistic of his chances. But he had to try. She was the apple of his eye, and definitely worth the effort.

That night he decided that it was worth a shot. She would definitely be there when he had completed his studies. He willed it to happen. “Aisha oh Aisha...May fate be on our side,”

The Journey-Part 2

Despite his success, Hariri knew that the overlying weakness he chose to ignore was going to bog him down, eventually. He was born a perfectionist, and could not accept that he was still lagging behind in Islamic knowledge. Though he did try his best to suppress his feelings of inadequacy, the guilt would not go away. Handling guilt, was never one of his strong points.

To a certain retrospect, his religious teachers had a profound effect on his way of thinking. Islamic studies held a special place in Hariri’s heart, simply because his heart was literally in tune with whatever was being taught in class. In this case, not having a religious background probably helped. While his other more ‘educated’ classmates paid less attention, Hariri was very much in awe at the sheer beauty of Islam. He silently squealed in delight at the thought of heaven and its angels; His knees went weak hearing of the fate of those pummelled into the fiery depths of hell; Hariri’s lack of knowledge was what actually attracted him to the religion itself.

In one of the many lessons, their discussion focused upon the punishment waiting in hell, for those who refused to perform their prayers. Eighty long years was the sentence for those who missed one prayer. One day in the afterlife was equal to a thousand on earth. Hariri was more than capable of running the numbers. In an instant his brilliant mind was furiously calculating to what extent he’d have to suffer for his sins. And for the first time in his whole life, Hariri drew a blank. Infinity was the end product. He was in deep trouble.

The ‘reward’ he would get for all his so called success in life, was an eternity in hell. He was shattered. He knew that he had to change. But how?

That day marked an important milestone in Hariri’s life. It was simple concept he had failed to grasp despite hearing it numerous times in his short life. He knew about hell. He knew of the punishment that waited people who disobeyed. The speed at which it hit Hariri was tremendous. The impact was huge.

Just how far would he go? Hariri was questioning himself over and over again. He genuinely wanted to be a better person. At the same time, he also knew that any sort of change would bring about huge implications in all aspects of his life. For one, his parents would be far-fetched to accept such an abrupt change in their son. Their son whom seldom prayed.; their son whom they’ve known for all their lives; Could they accept him for what he was to become?

Hairri was in rough state; caught in two minds. On one hand, he knew of the importance of performing the solah, yet on the other; he had to face up to his somewhat secular parents, whom themselves regularly skip their prayers. He wasn’t yet able to bravely face up to the truth. Even though he knew that no parent could be mad at their son for turning into a better person, Hariri still found it in him to make up pathetic excuses, to quell his guilt.

At the same time his interest in Islam was budding, his workload was also starting to put a strain his daily life. Hariri was, at this moment, in a standstill, as his efforts to change had been overshadowed by sheer magnitude of responsibilities he had to endure.

To many, he was the idol they craved for, successful in every sort of way. He enjoyed the limelight, to a certain extent. Deep down inside he knew it was all worthless, that some day, it would count for nothing. But he continued on, masking this worry amidst the huge amount of attention he received each and every day. But alone at nights, he would sit and ponder his fate, desperately worried of his lack of relationship with the Creator.

He wanted to change. But the time wasn’t right. He would wait until things settled down first. He even contemplated running away from home, to a new environment where he could be who he wanted to be, to rid of the web of hypocrisy he was living in. But alas, Hariri wasn’t that strong…yet.

Hariri’s classes were in the afternoon. Every day he would ride a school bus, in a half an hour journey through the congested main road leading to his high school. While he was accustomed to this daily routine, there was an imminent flaw; and it fell on Fridays. He couldn’t possibly find time to go for Friday prayers. If he chose to go to the mosque, he would miss the bus thus would have to walk to school, risking disciplinary action for being late to class. No way was Hariri going to spoil his clean record. His reputation as the school’s most prominent figure was at stake. Also, since both his parents worked a nine-to-five job, there was no one who could offer assistance in sending him to school on Fridays. It is also worth mentioning again that Hariri never had any close friends; he was alone in this.

Hariri wept at the thought of being subjected to such calamity, being forced to endure what others regarded as merely trivial matters. How he wished he was born into a different family, one that would cater his hunger to be educated spiritually.

At this point, Hariri was sensitive to his sins, but still could not find the strength to stand up and fight. He couldn’t risk being ostracised by his family; he had too much to lose. Every Friday, he would spend long hours contemplating, reflecting on the situation he was in. He knew that hell-fire awaited those who did not perform the solat, what more Friday prayers. Even though he didn’t really pray five times a day, he did what he could, and when he could. Hariri still did not want his parents to know that he had started praying, albeit only 2-3 times a day.

Friday prayers, however meant more to him, especially since his absence from the mosque had been noted and had spread to most of his friends. He was now subject to abuse by his peers, who all gloated to the fact that he would end up in the bottommost part of fiery hell. He was devastated. The numerous times he cried alone, wondering what the best solution was, served only to fuel anger toward his parents.

At this point in time, Hariri made a decision that would change his life forever. Enough was enough. He would defy his parents, for the sake of Allah s.w.t. He couldn’t live in this lie forever. He knew it was time. But he had to do it quietly, as he wasn’t ready to risk the wrath of his parents. He ran over the plan in his mind over and over again. He was all set to do what he thought was the right thing. And until this day, he never regretted it.


Hariri arrived for Friday prayers late, sweaty, and tired. A peculiar thing happened when the time for solat came. As he jostled for places with the others, Hariri finally settled in a position somewhere in the middle of the saf.

“Allahuakbar”, he whispered as he gave takbiratulihram. At that point, Hariri felt a breeze so calming, so relaxing, that it blew away his tiredness, as though a new dawn had risen. He felt free, and a certain sense of tranquillity filled his body. He was at peace.

This was the first turning point in his life. Hariri prayed as he never prayed before, with tears flowing freely, as he started to reflect upon the struggles he had to endure, all for the sake of Allah. It was worth it...

After that incident, Hariri went on to perform his five daily prayers each and every day without fail. He was slowly beginning to embrace the faith he left behind so long ago. He craved the moments where he could prostrate himself and be close to his Lord. His heart ached every time he thought of how foolish he was in his earlier years. But it all changed since that day. The day he defied his parents. The day he made the choice...The day he was reborn...

That event marked an important landmark in his life. To achieve that sweetness of faith, he had to endure extreme bitterness. That would be an important lesson in his coming years. Sacrifice is required in order to have the pleasure of faith. He felt strangely fulfilled to a certain extent. He knew that he had a long way to go before he could even begin to regard himself as a truly good muslim. The journey, had only began...


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