Friday, December 31, 2010

Misconception of a Beauty

It was probably the year 2000 – an entire decade ago – when I first learned of the word soul-mate. I was so intrigued by the word that I could not wait a second longer to find my own 'soul-mate'. It was so surreal to the mind of an eleven year old how two people could have souls that were created specifically to relate and respond to each other. Could two people really be meant together, forever? On such vague promises, I made a pact with my best friend, Fayyadhah, that regardless of our future, regardless of the men that would enter our lives, WE would be soul-mates (it was our own version of a different kind of BFFs).

Ironically, with romantic love, there was a period in my life when I was highly skeptical of it. I remember preaching that love doesn’t exist. I suddenly stopped believing that a man and a woman could possibly be soul-mates for life. How can a child not think so when the rate of infidelity and divorces is always on the rise? Since then, I have always viewed marriage as a contract between two people who happened to meet at the right time in their lives to live together with mutual respect, expecting nothing more. Honestly, I have not changed much in that regard.

However, I am not altogether hopeless, thankfully! I now believe that love does exist. Being compassionate as it is, I discovered that it is not impossible to resurrect a love long gone. Having said so, my fascination with soul-mates is currently a mere flicker of my past. Personally, there is no such thing as “if the person comes back then he is yours”. There needs to be work and a genuine effort to rekindle – on both sides.

Love can be both strong and fragile. As long as it is nurtured, it can be the fairytale of every girl’s dream. True love’s kiss does not belong in this world. True love is the person who cares and respects you enough to treat you as the unique individual you are, and not as a prisoner in a game of tug-of-war. Just because someone has all the same qualities you cherish, it does not automatically make him or her The One. I feel sad when I read about women accepting physical or mental abuse out of fear of losing her ‘true love’. Even though it is inherently work, love should be pleasant – not the red-hot candle-lit dinner kind of love – but the kind that knows someone will unconditionally have your back, which interestingly does not need to be between two people who are supposed soul mates.

Although I have been best friends with Fayyadhah for more than a decade now, that does not mean we are soul-mates, and neither does that mean I can take her for granted. I have learned that nothing is truly given. We could last despite the time and distance apart because we work on our friendship. It is true that I feel she is one of my many friends that gets me, but that is just a minor ingredient in the whole recipe. The love between Fayyadhah and me is based highly on us making time to work on our friendship. Basically, just because a relationship is established, it does not make it permanent.

Going into the New Decade, my resolution is a simple one: I want to work harder on nurturing the massive love I feel around me every day. I am ready to do a little spring cleaning and get rid off as many negativity – or toxic as I love to call it – in my life so that I can create a reality that does not necessarily be smooth-sailing, nonetheless, very much worthwhile to live in.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I've never had this much support for a looong time :) It's nice to learn who your true friends are. My favorite part? In between two AMAZING conversations, I suddenly received a "Hello!" email from Fayyadhah all the way in India! She didn't know how I was doing, or the crap that I had to wipe off my face (and wall), yet somehow we kind of have a telepathic ability to sense each other's need. Oh I love my friends, and I love my life, totally :)


Monday, December 13, 2010

In less than 140 characters…

…or the how many characters allowed by Facebook to write a status update. It was a stupid, sleep-induced mistake for me to assume my friends could get the gist of what I meant in a short paragraph. Therefore I’m going to use this other mean I have as a vehicle to explain what happened.

The whole situation escalated partly because I did not stand my ground on what I meant. Even though I wrote that I was angry, most of all I was disappointed. Let’s just say that seeing the picture was kind of the last straw for me. I did not mean to point my finger at anyone. That was the reason I did not point Zaim towards her profile page; I felt it unnecessary. I wasn’t mad at her, I was mad at the state of affairs of Muslims in general; the same reason I am mad at Turkey, the nation; the same reason I wrote that post a while ago about the Adam Lambert concert. I am disappointed that people, who proudly proclaim they are Muslims, are also questioning the word of God. Maybe I’m the weak one for being unable to comprehend their thinking, but I find it absurd.

If an individual makes a mistake, I have absolutely no problem. I’ve had friends who love wearing revealing clothes and enjoy a good party since…since we were at the age where we were allowed to go out without supervision. She was not the first Muslim-Malay I saw wearing a bikini, and neither is she the first who posted the picture online. I’ve never had a problem with individual choices. But my problem is when a person mixes being proud of a wrong, with being proud as a Muslim.

I have to thank Kumayl for doing a better job at explaining. Of course someone who drinks has the right, and is encouraged to, remember and thank God. A person’s iman, much like mine, fluctuates all the time. But how can a person who is drinking remembers God at the same time? It shows how shallow that person is till a point that God is just part of a sentence you blurted out of culture, not out of true belief. It becomes fitnah. Islam is a very, very beautiful religion, where it is a religion of faith and practice. Just believing in God is not enough, and that is where the five pillars of Islam comes in. Islam is beautiful if it is practised as a whole. Yet, everyone has the right to act the way they wish, but please, don’t drag Islam’s beautiful name with your acts.

I know the famous argument made by people who disagree with me, including a former Minister of International Trade and Industry: “But people who are clad from head to toe in an abaya are also sometimes rude, selfish, arrogant, and loves to gossip, thus degrading their status as a Muslim too.” I totally agree100%. Just because someone is covered from head to toe does not justify her having a filthy heart. But I will always remember my favorite defense made by a teacher to that argument: “If someone who remembers God enough in her everyday activities to cover herself is still not a perfect person, just imagine what kind of things a person who doesn’t respect God enough to follow his rule is willing to do.”

This blog may sound arrogant, but these are not my words, these are the words of the Almighty you profess to believe in, and He, the creator of all, has the right to be proud, even though He is not.

At the end of the night, I discovered who my true friends are. Friends are people who when they argue and fight, they focus on the specific issue at hand. Friends, when they disagree with you, do not attack your personality. Friends, when realized they had make a mistake, will immediately apologize as a friendship is worth much more than an inflated ego. I learned last night who my true friends are.

When I went to sleep last night, I slept like a log because of two things:

1. I was happy that I had the strength to spread a piece of God’s words, even though it was a risky thing to do in a world – especially on the World Wide Web – where everyone is concern over conformity.

2. Because of the risk, I discovered who my true friends are :)

Now the story hasn’t ended yet. Right before I went to sleep, I received a very sweet, emotional, and sincere personal message from the girl I was supposedly attacking. Not only did she forgive me, but she also apologized for her behavior because as a Muslim, she knows what’s right and what’s wrong, and that it was just a matter of lack of judgment, not of questioning God’s laws. And for that, I know I did the right thing.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

White lies, white secrets.

To a certain degree, I am more liberal than most Malaysians. With Reason, I believe that human beings have the rights and the capabilities to make his or her decision based on various rules and guidelines. But recent events showed me that on the international platform, I am very conservative than most young idealists my age.

I do not like what Wikileaks is doing to the world. I firmly believe that there are many things in this world that not everybody can understand, thus, they do not need to know of these things - much like how we could not possibly understand some of God's great creations. I am talking about international diplomacy. Diplomacy is 'sacred'. Why do you think diplomats get to live in the big houses and drive the big cars? Diplomacy is difficult and the decisions made can be fragile. If the public get their hands on these information, the fanatics will most probably than not infer from them what they only wish to believe.

Pessimism is permitted when one is talking about the general public. It is true, though, that people who seek information on Wikileaks are those who are most interested and therefore more informed about specific matters, but I am more afraid of those who are making their judgment on issues bigger than their lives thinking that they can belittle the power of the states.

The general public needs to understand that diplomacy and militaristic decisions have to be made behind closed doors because they need to be frank in order to achieve immediate result. Yes, the consequences are not always pretty but this is international diplomacy, not a petty argument between two nosy neighbors. If everybody wants to have a say in it, nothing can ever be done, only creating a world where we are enslaved to a majority that really does care about their next meal.

If states cannot trust other states in a flat world, no states would be able to protect their citizens from the bigger enemies out there. No states would want to share important information for fear of irresponsible leaks, and we will soon return to a time when snails carry our mails.