Friday, November 27, 2009

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adha

A very old photo of Wukuf at Arafah. Besides submission to Allah in the fullest sense of the word, the hajj is also about sacrifices. Looking at the condition of wukuf in years gone-by, pilgrims nowadays have never had it so good.

Yesterday was wukuf day at Padang Arafah. This was the very climax of the hajj pilgrimage.

It is also the day when pilgrims get to be the closest to Allah s.w.t. spiritually.

Today is Aidil Adha, or "Raya Korban" as it is sometimes called here in Malaysia.

All in the family are back home. We shall do our solat Aidil Adha here in Bandar Tun Hussein Onn. After that we will set off for Ipoh to visit Emak.

I wish everyone a happy Aidil Adha. And hope that the significance of the word "korban" is not lost upon us as we busily and happily go balik kampong to meet friends and families.

Let us ponder, for a moment, the sacrifices that the Prophet Ibrahim a.s. made in the name of Allah thousands of years ago. And then, let us reflect on the sacrifices that we ourselves have really made for that cause.

It pales in comparison, right?

Salam to all and everyone.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Two weeks to wukuf

The atmosphere around the Masjidil Haram today (13 Nov. 2009) during Solat Jumaat. Photo courtesy of Manzlie Makkah Blogspot (this blog is updated daily bringing latest development in the Holy City)

It is now just two weeks away from wukuf. I still remember clearly when I was in Makkah for hajj three years ago that during this time - just two weeks away to the climax of the hajj - the holy city of Makkah would be choked-full of people.

The Masjidil Haram would be jam-packed with pilgrims 24 hours a day either praying, doing the tawaf, doing the the saie, reciting the Quran or just lying on the floor, resting.

I would watch in awe at the pilgrims going about their business. To think that all these people of varying nationalities, and shades of skin from the four corners of the globe could congregate in this holy city fore-going the comfort of their homes in search of Allah's pleasure really struck me as an act of the highest order of humility and total submission to Allah, the Lord, our Creator.

This year's hajj season sees quite a number of my office mates - including the boss - answering the call of Allah the Almighty. My mother-in-law is also there now. One of my riding mates, Kolonel Azudin, shall be leaving this coming Monday.

I pray that they will all be able to perform their duties well and come back safely, recharged and rejuvenated in their iman.


Friday, November 06, 2009

Injured semi-pro rider STILL planning on comeback

The elusive mtb wheel set

I think it is now almost five months since I last went riding on my mountain bike. That's a very long lay off.

Despite getting the green light from the good doctor to ride again, I am still some way off it. Reason being is that I am still searching for the replacement wheel sets.

Perhaps I have not been searching hard enough. If I were to head to the nearest bicycle shop in Sg Long, I am sure I could find a set. The problem is that they might be too expensive. I don't have a fat wallet. And this month my budget is a bit off, especially because the last pay-day came a tad too early due to the festive season.

I got a tip from a riding buddy, Jefri, that another rider friend have spare sets he'd like to sell off. But the tip came in a bit too late. I was beaten to the sets by Dr Azmi, yet another of my riding mate.

Sigh...I am still hoping to get my hands on a second hand set of wheels. But my patience is running thin. Just this evening whilst driving home I spied with my little eyes a middle-aged, slightly overweight rider with a decently bulging stomach to boot passing right in front of me at the traffic lights.

He seemed to be smiling at me as if teasing me "hey, aren't you supposed to be riding yet?"

Well, at least I think that's what he was saying in his mind. Or, was is just me being overcome with extreme jealousy.