Tag Archives: past

3 FLINT RULES… how to identify peace breakers and lessons on avoiding being one

maxresdefaultMy Companion the Flint
My house is on fire,
My forest is ablaze,
My world is black coal,
A dark ember, a hole,
My love is in exile,
Leaving me with my lies,
Did the flint struck sparks of truth
Only to waste and burn
Great swaths
Of my home,
That now
I dwell
Sadly all
Alone?
…….

Fire from blmFlint Rule #1. A Flint is someone you ought to be careful of. But Flints tend to be quite sociable and exceedingly charming, disarming people with their appearance of candour and humour. Just be careful when you hear something negative about anyone from another perdon – and ask yourself why in God’s name did the bearer of bad news need to trouble you with such information about that person, even assuming it is true. Let me tell you a little story…

A couple of years ago, poor dumb Notrumi became a victim of a Flint. What is a Flint, you say? Flint, or flint stone has been used by mankind to make fire since year dot. In the context of this prose, Flint however refers to the human flint stones who instigate discord between people, between brothers, between kin, between husband and wife, between friends and colleagues. In my language Malay, the word is ‘batu api’, literally meaning fire stone. It is a good word I think because of the terrible damage it does to kinship and friendship. 

Because of the Flint, my caring friendship with my old friend ended in acrimony. Poor Notrumi was accused of terrible backbiting and placed before a sort of kangaroo court. I was so dismayed that my friend actually believed the Flint that I didn’t argue or fought back. Teary eyed and broken-heart I simply walked away.

But about three months later, my friend sought me back and said that the Flint did the same thing to him and his other friend. But the warm caring connection we once shared was damaged so much that I found it very hard to accept my friend back the way we used to be. I guess we are polite, but up to this day the wound has not completely healed.

4877_79071_web_8columnFlint Rule #2. When you have to speak about someone to another person, exercise caution and sound judgement. In fact, the least we speak about someone behind his/her back, no matter how well-intentioned, the better. After all, as the saying goes… The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

This is important to realise because the easy truth is that any man or woman can be a Flint. They may be nice and generous at most times, but it doesn’t take bad intention for you to have Flint-like effect on people’s relationship. You may very well be sincere and simply transparent, sharing certain things about Mr.A with Mr.B. But we cannot be sure what is the underlying dynamics of their relationship, so an inadvertent remark that Mr.A joined you to the cinema may provoke silent ire of Mr. B. Why? Because Mr. A apparently had once rejected Mr. B’s invitation to a movie saying he never likes going to the cinema. Uh oh.

Slide6Flint Rule #3. This is perhaps the most important rule of all. It is actually an extension of Rule #2, and this is what it is – We in fact  harbour in ourselves a Flint. A Flint without compare in its subtlety and stratagem, a supreme expert in sowing discord in our most critical relationship of all. Of course you know what I am talking about – It is our relationship with God Almighty, our Most Beloved, Most Compassionate and Most Merciful Allah (swt).

Every emotion of dismay, every despairing sigh, every disappointment, every feeling of being let down, rejected, cheated or attacked… whether we directly attribute it to ‘fate’ (a.k.a God) or through the machination of an agent (normally human), at the conclusion of our contemplation it must necessarily end at the proverbial desk of Allah Almighty Himself, where all buck stops. After all, what can happen to us were it not permitted to occur by God? How could He?! This Flint hiding in the recesses of our soul  and making such observations is none other than our ego. Such is its nature, that our ego ever ready to lay blame on anyone and anything else rather than us for our perceived misfortunes. Even to the extent of blaming Allah (swt).

The Reality. But ego-centric perception is always deceiving. An illusion masking the true Reality of this world and this life – which is actually an intimate stage, a secret communion with our Dearest God. It is this realisation which Allah (swt) may bestow upon us that would ultimately render and tear apart the fragile veil of success and failure, this duo that humanity foolishly cling to to shape our daily sense of happiness and sadness.

So let us silence the Flint that is our ego, and turn away from its compelling ‘reason’ and persuasive ‘logic’. Let no fire spark, let no ember of enmity burn away the contentment that Allah (swt) and His Habibullah (saws) passionately desires for you – the abiding peace and love between you and our Lord and Prophet, and between us and our fellowman.

Don’t be like me, sunshine. Of disappointments, sadness and enmity, leave them be. And make peace… even with the peace breakers and friends that have been too quick to judgment. Surely, that is the only path open for me now. Pray for me, please.

woman-umbrella-rain-art1wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

MY BEAUTIFUL ROSES… from the field of my errors

IMG_20151010_170918I Am Told
I am told;
He is not my brother
Because he is not of the same religion,

But I say; our religion may differ
But we share the same homecoming,

I am warned;
She is not my sister
Because she looks different,

But I say: our features may differ
But inside, she too has a heart beating,

I am told;
They are our enemy,

But I say; to you maybe,
But not to me…
…………….

MEMORIES. This old sinner once wrote that if we have perfect memory, we will never err or sin. But as sentient beings, we are composed of all sorts of memories, good and bad. And we were told and taught many things as we grow up, some of which are mixed with a dash bigotry, like some hateful mocktail.

MV5BMTcyMjI1ODg4N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDYzODYyMQ@@._V1_UX148_CR0,0,148,200_AL_So I guess, living a good life is not only about remembering things to practice, but also remembering things only as a life lesson. You know what I mean, one of those o-my-God-what-a-dumb-dumb-I-was past experiences.

A MANURE OF ERRORS. Originally I thought that we ought to forget such mistakes, like our smoking, drinking or drug-taking, or perhaps our brief affair with Wahhabism (under whatever guise it was masked in). But you know, we cannot erase the past. And to misuse a scene from the ‘Yes, Prime Minister’ political comedy (one of the greatest, in my opinion), might I conclude that…

Our past may be full of shit.
But sometime beautiful roses grow
From the most odious smelling
Manure of our errors,

…IF we learn from them.
……………..

And boy, I don’t know about you, but if I could convert my past mistakes into roses, I reckon I would have acres upon acres… stretching into the rose-scented horizon as far as the eye can see.

wallpaper-2997540wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Love That Only Aunts Seem To Have

Mak Andak 2Lawa. I took a picture of my aunt Mak Andak and was checking it in the camera screen. “Lawa (pretty)!” I thought out loud (I flatter myself that I have the ‘eye’. And only after one week of owning a compact). Mak Andak, who was with me, noticed my preoccupation and asked, “Apa yang lawa tu (What is so pretty)?” I explained that it was a picture of her. She smiled and said, “Kalau gambar Mak Andak lawa, nak tengok la (If my picture is pretty, I want to see it)!”

Sight. So I handed her the camera, and she looked into the small back screen. But no matter how she turned and angled the camera, no matter how close she peered, I saw that she couldn’t actually see the picture clearly. “Mak Andak tak boleh nampak la (I cannot see it).” With a grin of resignation, she passed the camera back to me.

You Still Are. When we are not able to see or hear as well as we used to… When doubt assails us, when weariness ails us, it is good if we have lived  a full and generous life, so that people might remind us, “You were wonderful.  and you know what? …You still are.”

Don’t you agree, sunshine?

Aunts. May all our old aunts continue to grin and bear life with such fortitude that has carried them through and had carried us along with such love and affection that only aunts seem to have. They are not grumpy, you know. They just live life passionately!

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

Your Prayers Matter. You Matter.

226330_10150169952279023_4175171_nMemories Past and Future
Life is all about memories,
Memories with your kin and friends,
Memories of days you wish would never end,
Memories of days that could not end sooner,
Memories of tears and laughter,
Draughts of happiness and regret,
Cups of joy and bitters served
That we will never forget…

And for the future?
All our plans and hopes of making more memories…

So what is the present
But a transient moment awake
Between memories we already have and
Memories we plan to make?
……………

Content = Memories. Life is all about generating content. And these contents are commonly known as memories. I would like to write more, but I am late for my prayers and I wish to create a memory tonight with God. Good people do it all the time without even thinking about it, perhaps coming to them as easily as breathing. But Notrumi is a sinner and have not had much practice. So I shall pray now. And will you also pray that I am making sweet memories with our Lord?

Allah gives and gives and gives divine sweetness from His Love, and this does not reduced or diminished your own portion that He has promised you since pre-eternal. So please pray for this poor sinner in this Holy Month and surely Allah Almighty will give you more in return!

5451_109180257843_543202843_2382546_7545878_nYou matter. I know how  wonderful you are, sunshine, and your prayers will be like tokens of hope strung as starlit pearls across the cosmos of my most wishful dreams and the nights of my most dreadful nightmares. So don’t let your blaming ego persuade you otherwise! Your prayers matter. You matter. You matter to your father and mother, you matter to your brothers and sisters, and you matter to all your memories present and future…

Believe me.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way