Sign up to my brother’s Traditional Arabic Penmanship Course!

1176238_411181718990830_976042544_nEver wondered about the secret behind writing Arabic beautifully? Now you can learn the elegant ruq’ah script in an exciting 6-week course!

I’m really looking forward to the upcoming course with my brother. It starts this Saturday, so there’s still time to register!

I’m keen to learn how to write more legibly, and with significantly more speed and accuracy. I have the classic student problem of fast and neat English writing and slower and less legible Arabic writing, so here’s to the spirit of self-improvement! And better note-taking when I’m studying fiqh etc.

Balik kampung

kampungAs I write this, Irfan and I are getting ready to visit my family in Melaka. I’m excited to visit the place where many generations of my maternal ancestors were born. Migrating at a young age can disconnect families from extended family and our heritage, and I’m glad that I’m able to reconnect with mine, after so long.

I haven’t visited Melaka in years! I think the last time I visited was when I sixteen or seventeen, and I came with my parents and siblings. Today, I’ll be introducing my husband to my grand-uncle for the first time.

On another note, Love InshaAllah posted my “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” article. I’m still so amazed at how much my story connected to readers around the world. Being vulnerable can be scary, but also very, very rewarding.

My thoughts on “What’s Love Got To Do With It?”

loveMy first publication on The Feminist Wire is What’s Love Got To Do With It?

This is my most vulnerable piece, and it was equal parts painful and purging to write. I’m still stunned and touched by the outpouring of support after the publication of my article! Thank you everyone, for your public and private messages to me, and for all of your FB shares. I’m humbled by and grateful for each gesture of support and solidarity, from friends near and far.

It’s hard being so vulnerable in the public sphere, and admittedly, I’m still feeling quite raw, but some stories need to be told. I’m hoping that what I shared will resonate with others like me, and provide some measure of comfort and support. The wounds we carry from our childhoods turn into scars which we bear as adults, and the right people will love us BECAUSE of them.

Please keep my loved ones in your prayers, especially my parents.


Ramadan Mubarak/Selamat Berpuasa!

Today marks Day 1 of t1099108_ramadan_3he blessed month of Ramadan 2013/1434 AH (after Hijrah). Welcome, O Month of Mercy! May we live to see many, many more.

Here’s a beautiful reminder of the Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) sermon during Ramadan.

Looking back on my globe-trotting life, I’ve fasted in a range of different countries: Singapore, Jordan and Australia. From the northern hemisphere, to the equator, and then the southern hemisphere lol. Fasting in the heat of the Arabian summer sure wasn’t a breeze, but something about Ramadan and its winds of mercy made things a lot easier. There’s also something to be said about the body acclimatizing to wherever we happen to be. Ramadan Mubarak to my friends in Jordan! May we be reunited soon 🙂

Coming back to the present, it’s yet another cold winter day in Sydney, which make it a lot easier to abstain from food and water. Back in the 90s, when I was in highschool, we broke our fasts around 8 pm. That was hard, especially compared to the 5:30 pm iftar of the winter months.

Here’s a list of some of my Ramadan goals:

1) Read Qur’an daily, and aim to complete it.

2) Have iftar with my family and in-laws twice a week.

3) Be nice to people.

4) Go to Auburn mosque for tarawih.

Aside from seeing my family and Irfan’s family at iftars, we’re pretty solitary during Ramadan. I think it’s because time is short – by the time Irfan gets home from work to break fast with me, we pray maghrib, eat some more, then get ready to leave for isha and tarawih prayers in Auburn. I apologise in advance to those gracious enough to extend iftar invitations to us!

On another note, I LOVE AUBURN MOSQUE. Let me just add that in caps. I feel like I’m in Turkey, for a start, and hearing the salutations upon the Prophet (peace be upon him) as we rest in between tarawih sets is so, so beautiful. For those who wish to pray there, isha prayer starts at 7 pm. Have a blessed month!


Everyday Heroes – My brother, Abdul Hadi :)


Today is the 28th birthday of my brother, Abdul Hadi 🙂 I’ve been very blessed to have him in my life. He was my roommate in Jordan, we went to Syria together with our brother Ahmad, and he was my very patient Hajj buddy in 2010.

My brother has courageously stepped up and volunteered for the City2Surf in order to raise funds for the Black Dog Institute. You can find his page here and you can learn more about the Black Dog Institute by clicking here.

Mental illness is a lot more common than most people think. Check out some surprising points from this Black Dog Institute fact sheet:

One in five (20%) Australians aged 16-85 experience a mental illness in any year.

65% of people with mental illness do not access any treatment [3,4]. This is worsened by delayed treatment due to serious problems in detection and accurate diagnosis. The proportion of people with mental illness accessing treatment is half that of people with physical disorders [4].

Rates of depression are slightly higher in women with depression, affecting one in six (17%) compared to one in 10 (10%) men experiencing depression in their lifetime. Across both sub-types, bipolar disorder affects around one in 33 (3%) men and women in their lifetime [1]. However, prevalence of bipolar disorder is probably higher than the statistics suggest, as many cases are often undetected or misdiagnosed.

Please donate to my brother’s fundraising cause, and help him raise funds for an institute which has helped to save so many lives. The Black Dog Institute is working hard to minimise the impact of mental illness, and maybe even one day, prevent them from developing in the first place.