Family, Islam, Life

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!

 

Family, Health, Life

Everyday Heroes – My brother, Abdul Hadi :)

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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.