Tuesday, 31 August 2010

What's your name?

Bismillaa Hirrahmaa Nirrahiim

So, what's your name, or rather what's behind your name? Do you know the history or background to how you got that name?

I grew up with my grandparents, and only saw my parents in the weekends as they had to work in the capital.  My Mama (grandmum) raised me and my brothers lovingly, and one thing I do remember about Mama was she loved to tell stories.

I still remember one story about my name... I was named Awangku Azmi Rizal by my parents. My grandad however wanted to name me 'Ulul 'Azmi, after an expression he found in the Al-Quran. If my parents were to have another boy (which they actually did) he would have suggested 'Ulul 'Amri for his name, but that is not the subject for this story now.

'Ulul 'Azmi literally means the chiefs, or people who have stout/strong hearts.  However, in Al-Quran this title is accorded to only five Rasuls (prophets) for their perseverance and unusually strong commitment to Allah in the face of great suffering: Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa, Isa and lastly, our beloved Rasul Muhammad Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wassalam.

My parents were worried that if I were to be named 'Ulul 'Azmi I would be subjected to sneers, as the word 'Ulul rhymes with tahlol or bahlol (stupid).  

So eventually it seemed my grandad and my dad had a compromise, as my grandad got to name me 'Azmi and my dad added Rizal at the end - why? His name is Abdul Razak, so he wanted to maintain the AR... both my brothers are AR too.

Anyway, 'Azmi on its own means Ambition and Rijal (from where Rizal is derived) is man... I concluded myself that my name 'Azmi Rizal mean a Man with Ambitions heheh.

Gembo @ 'Ulul Azmi


Bismillaa Hirrahmaa Nirrahiim

I publish this sequel to my last post due to special request heheh...

Still wondering why Indomie?  Well, Brunei is a small country, very small.  As fate has it, my best friend Aji Emran's elder brother is married to my wife's elder sister.

During Hari Raya in her first year 1996/97, R (my wife) went back to Brunei for Eid/Hari Raya. On her way back to UK, Aji's mom asked R to bring a box of Indomie for Aji (Indomie was so expensive in UK then).

Anyway, as fate has it again, Aji was on a rare visit to my place one weekend (our cities are 6 hours train ride apart, hence the rareness). It was during this visit that he got a call from R to say that she's got his Indomie.

Remember in my last post that R and I were good friends (oh, we still are).... so I thought why don't I tag along with Aji to pick up the Indomie, at least I get to see my good friend R whom I haven't met for a while, and furthermore, it was Hari Raya so more excuse for me to visit her.

I can still remember the tingling I felt in my chest, probably my heart was beating so hard when I first saw her again.

From then on, I took many excuses to visit her (even before I have the guts to express my true feelings for her). The Indomie episode was in February '97, and only expressed my true love to her in June '97.
Four months!

Anyway, as it was my final year and her 1st year, so we spent the next year on a long distance relationship.

Alhamdulillah, our patience and perseverance paid off, and in a couple of years after that I had to conjure all the strengths in the world again, to ask three ladies for me to tie the knot with R... my late Mama (grandmum), my late Babu (mum) and of course my dear R.

We're engaged on the 27.2.2000 and solemnised our marriage on 25.8.2000. Alhamdulillah.


Thursday, 26 August 2010

Ten years. 25.8.2000

Bismilla Hirrahma Nirrahim

Alhamdulillah, Praise to Allah, Whom have granted us with health, wealth, patience and wisdom, that my wife (R) and I have today come to a milestone in our lives, celebrating our 10 years wedding anniversary.

We've come a long way. My wife and I were classmates in From 3 to From 5 (1988-90), we then went on to study at the Sixth Form College (1991-92), upon which we went separate ways - she went straight to work with Brunei Shell and I got a scholarship to UK.

I have been attracted to her since in Form 3, but never had the guts to pursue further. Even in Form 6. It goes without saying that we were good friends, we helped each other with studies but I never had the guts to express my feelings for her.

But Allah is Al-'Alim (The All Knowing), I met her again during my final year in the UK when she was sent by the company to further her studies.  Thanks also to my best friend Aji Emran and a box of Indomie.

And then as they say, it's history.  R and I tied the knot 3 years later, and we have since been blessed with a boy, Muhammad and two girls Iman and 'Aaeeshah. Alhamdulillah.

I continuously pray that Allah grants us patience and wisdom to see us through to eternity, till death do us part.

Mr G

Friday, 20 August 2010

Vindicated and Perseverance

The words of the week for me, and hoping for a closure to a challenging year (or two). I believe there will be light at the end of the tunnel and I know somebody tried his best to light it up for me. Thanks E.



Al-Quran - How lucky we are, Alhamdulillah

Assalamualaikum Warahmatullah

Alhamdulillah, Allah have blessed me with another Ramadhan, the holy month which strangely enough, over the years I have been able to complete recitation of our holy book Al-Quran, which I couldn't even do in the other 11 months. For the last 11 months, I have only read less than 3 out of 30 Juz' of Al-Quran.

Anyway, after Subuh prayers at our local masjid this morning, I took one of the wakaf (donated) Al-Quran and sat with my back to one of the masjid pillars (my usual spot for the past 10 years!).

Getting ready to read, I had a look at the cover and saw a price tag of $8.90.  I immediately thought: How lucky we are, at this day and age, 1400 years after the revelation of Al-Quran that we are able to read Al-Quran, for a measly effort - each household would have at least a copy (I really hope so), every masjid has one or you can get it easily at the muslim bookstores. Just pick it up, Bismallah and you can read it.

Suddenly my mind travelled back to the infancy days of Islam, shortly after the passing of our beloved Rasul Muhammad Salallahu 'Alaihiwassalam. 70 Al-Hafiz (Al-Quran memorisers) died as martyrs in the Battle of Yamamah, between Muslim followers of Khalifah Abu Bakar against the Murtads (those who left the Islamic faith).

This loss was seriously felt by the Sahabah (companions of Muhammad Salallahu 'Alaihiwassalam.) who were concerned that more of the Al-Hafiz will fall in battles, that they should put the Al-Quran together otherwise it'll be gone just like that.

It was not until the third Khalifah, 'Uthman bin Affan that the Al-Quran became systematically organised into the 30 Juza - of which more details can be read from here.

Bismilla Hirrahmaa Nirrahim. Alhamdulilla Hirabbil 'Aalamin.


Thursday, 12 August 2010

Salam Ramadhan

Assalamualaikum Warahmatullah

Here's wishing all my families and friends a happy and blessed Ramadhan, may Allah grant us the strength to overcome the challenges of completing our fast, not just from thirst and hunger, but from all other elements.

I hope the 'Highway Code' below can guide us.

Mr G

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Where have the days gone?

Looking at the date today I realised that it has been exactly a month since we left home for our holiday, coming home back barely 2 weeks later.

Recalling my boss' comment to a colleague yesterday (he was on leave the same time as I was), "Work is  very hectic and our holiday was a distant memory"He couldn't be more accurate, indeed it was a distant memory, squeezed down by the bulk of work being accumulated in my absence.

Anyway, this blog has sadly taken the lowest priority in my life and not given the attention it deserved, more backlog it seems. I just hope, sincerely hope, to be able to share the photos of our travels during the last 2 months.....

..... and quietly praying that my leave in September will come soon...er.

Oh, before I sign off, just to share... We went to see quite a famous lady during my holiday