Month: December 2013

[Dec ’13- Jan ’14 Book] The Surrendered Wife (1)

I believe feminism addresses what I want at work, but say little about what to do in my marriage. In the workplace, I would never settle for anything less than equal pay, equal opportunity, and having a voice equal to my male counterparts. But at home, those qualities contribute nothing to the romantic, intimate relationship I want. ~ The Surrendered Wife by Laura Doyle

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Where to buy a Nursing Abaya in Malaysia?

I don’t intend to splurge on another abaya, but before I actually hid all the posts from the abaya-sellers on Facebook, I have noticed some good ones – most of them are absolutely gorgeous and can be customised to suit nursing moms. Please note that these are not paid advertisement, it just serves as a list for my own reference (and yours too if needed). I don’t particularly like cotton and Lycra abaya, so they will never ever find ways into my closet and hence my list.

Here it goes:

1. Qurratu A’yunin

These are Malaysian-made and I think the price is quite cheap for an abaya, I believe it is priced at less than RM200, mostly around RM150. Do check their Facebook page for exact figures.

I cannot comment on the quality because I am yet to purchase any (now do I sound like I am actually planning to own one? Shhh..don’t tell my husband!) Truth is I love chiffon fabric. It’s flowy and it’s feminine. And the first time my eyes caught the sight of their Danisha collection, I was like “I must have it…some day.” I am still figuring out the colour combination of choice by the way ;-P

My favourite are these two so far. Design can be customised – that includes making it nursing-friendly. Yeay!

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2.Ozel

This one is a recommendation from a friend. Ozel makes decently low-priced abaya, made of what I have known to be good fabrics. While some were priced below RM100, my friend has notified me that the price has been increased to be around RM100- RM115.

The cutting is impressively beautiful (at least in the photos). Though I love princess cut abaya for making me feel girlish, I have to admit it is such an arduous task when it comes to ironing them! So I guess an A-cut abaya is best for time-constraint people like me. Designs can accommodate nursing needs.

3. Muslimah Clothing Couture – Kivitz

I actually bought one abaya from their store, specifically Basic Abaya KIVITZ. Oh boy, don’t I love it. I bought it for RM 145. It is made from satin material. While the cutting is so lovely, the fabric seems to start to show signs of pilling and the fabric thread is easily pulled out, though this is a seldom-worn abaya (the princess cut makes me reluctant to wear it often due to the long time needed to iron it). I have two other satin abayas, and none have this problem though they are receiving the same laundry treatment. I wonder why. Nevertheless, I still love how this abaya makes me feel good about myself – the elegance sense that it offers.

 4. Abaya Sifu 

I have never bought anything from this shop, and I do not think I intend to buy any (yet). However I do think this one is worth mentioning, as I believe the price of their abayas are really, really affordable i.e. cheap. I remember those days when I was contemplating over donning abaya more frequently, but the price has for so many times stopped me. It’s too pricey for one who had just started working. I would have started wearing abaya earlier if this shop opened much earlier, maybe – looking at how much each plain abaya costs.

5. Abaya Erdeena Efreena

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I have just found this seller upon searching high and low for custom-made abayas in Malaysia, and I am glad I did! I love the simple designs they make, and though I don’t wear colour abaya, the colours they have are amazingly pretty. And of course, cheap.

The abaya above is sold cheaply at RM111, and you can request for nursing zip.

Cheap and practical, no-nonsense design. I love it.

So there you go, my five choices of custom-made, nursing/breastfeeding abayas. As much as having this list may help me the next time I am looking for one , I hope it will help you too, if you are looking for simple, moderately-priced abayas that suits your nursing need!

***I am not paid to include any of the sellers in my list.

** Except for which I have stated, I am yet to buy any from these sellers, so please use your discretion. I do not know of their track records, should they be less than good sellers in terms of service.

Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park

So yesterday was a public holiday for Christmas. Instead of lazing around the house, we planned for a visit to the Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park. It was right at the heart of the city – and since my husband (who is a born-and-bred city dweller) and my sister didn’t know it exists until I told them, I guess this is quite a hidden gem.

As I was looking for a cheap activity to do to offer Isa new experiences, visiting the the park serves the purpose well. The entrance fee is considerably cheap. For adult it is RM20, and for kids the fee is RM10. Malaysians receive 50% discount, so as Isa is still below 2 years old, we only pay a total of RM20.

We arrived at the Park at around 10 AM, and waited for my husband’s best friend whom we invited (since he’s very fond of Isa). When we entered the park, I know it was not very huge – which justifies the cheap entrance charge.

Oh, I almost forget – Isa’s current obsession is with butterflies – which he interchangeably called ‘ama-ma’ (from rama-rama, which means butterfly in Malay) and ‘alalaly’, which refers to butterfly. I hope he knows both refer to the same thing. And due to his obsession, he can spot a butterfly picture from a mile away (this is exaggerating), and even thinks ribbon knots/bows to be butterflies. And yes, he will repeat the word a thousand times whenever he sees one.

So as we introduced live butterflies to him, he was stunned, initially, and then grew excited.

However, he seemed to be more excited feeding the fish in the pond (which are really huge, by the way), and later as he got cranky we noticed that it was already passed his mid day nap time. No wonder.

Regardless of how annoyed Isa was with the butterflies after an hour in the park, I guess, and hope, it was a really good exposure for him.

Would I suggest anyone with children to visit this park?

Absolutely. Overall it is good for the price we paid, and apart from the park itself, they do have a permanent educational exhibition inside the building, which you will pass through before exiting. They not only have live butterflies flying ‘freely’ in the park, they also have live insects on display (in a confinement though) – all kind of weird insects… and scorpions and lizards too.

So yes, we had a great time all praise and thanks be to God.

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This post is part of ‘A New Experience with Isa Everyweek’ resolution.

That little brain needs stimulation, and I am all for it! I know it should not be grand every time (little things count, right?), but this one would require me to prepare ahead and think. While I am lucky to live in a big city where all I need is to be resourceful, the challenge here is really to maximise Isa's exposure to nature.

[Dec’13 Book] Al-Muhaddithat: The Woman Scholars in Islam

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This book was bought on the day I graduated from University of Manchester, specifically on the 17th of July 2009.

 I have attempted to read it once, sometime after that, before did not manage to finish it. So the book I picked to read in this month is this book.

The reason?

I have thousands of questions with regards to the role of women according to Islam.

Yes, I know many of the basic stuff – Women most important roles are as mothers, raising the next generation.  But I also know that Islam has never limited the women to just that. Women have to, and have been in the past, playing important roles in the society, at large.

Then, the questions that often come into my mind is, how did they balance their family life with the outside work?

Did they have what we term nowadays as work-life balance?

I really need to know the practical side of it.

This book from the synopsis, is supposed to give me the overview of the muhaddithat – the female narrators of hadith. FYI, hadith is the record of sayings and deeds by the Prophet, which is a huge and very important part of Islam as it determines the shariah.

In short, these women were scholars of their time, those who worked as judges, ones who people referred to and learned from about this important part of Islam. In many cases, they hold important position in governments during their times due to their knowledge.

Now, imagine a scholar in our times. I could not picture any other than those sitting in academia. And guess what, these people also have work-life balance issues! Is it partly because everything is institutionalized? 

But why I am looking up to them?

These women lived  in  the Islamic empire, closer to the time of the Prophet and his esteemed and rightly-guided companions (i.e. walking on the path of truth). By looking at their practices, I hope what I am going to find is something of truth, or as closest as possible.

So I am reading this book hoping to find answers. How did they do it? How did they marry these two personal and professional spheres of life? Where are the lost female scholars of Islam? What happened?

Even it is going to be a glimpse, I’d be very grateful. 

I’ll be back with my findings, soon, in God’s will.

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Hadith (Arabic: حديث‎, /ˈhædɪθ/[1] or /hɑːˈdiːθ/[2]) in religious use is often translated as ‘tradition’, meaning a report of the deeds and sayings of Muhammad. Hadiths may originate from other important characters of the earliest years of Islam such as the companions of Muhammad or Shia Imams as well. These reports form the basis of Islamic law, the Quran’s interpretation (tafsir), and early Islamic history. Each hadith is composed of two parts, a chain of authorities reporting the hadith (isnad) and the text (matn).[3][4]

Hadiths are regarded by traditional Islamic schools of jurisprudence as important tools for understanding the Quran and in matters of jurisprudence.[5]Hadith were evaluated and gathered into large collections during the 8th and 9th centuries. These works are referred to in matters of Islamic law andhistory to this day. [Quote from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadith]

Other reviews on the book:

http://antjeschrupp.com/2012/01/06/weibliche-gelehrte-im-islam/

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/mmw/2012/02/on-female-not-feminist-scholars-reviewing-al-muhaddithat/

 

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This entry is part of my ‘Read-a-Book-a-Month’ attempt.

 

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Innocence

The other day we had our dinner at my sister-in-law’s house, together with my parents-in-law.

I put Isa in his baby chair. As soon as the evening prayer adhan was called out from the nearby mosque (which means it was time to break the fast, and the time for the evening prayer – my parents’-in-law were fasting on that day), we gathered around the dining table.

But Isa, who started dining much earlier, recognised the call of adhan and started saying ‘adhan, adhan’ and refused to eat.

Then I realised, what he wanted was to pray (i.e. perform salat), at that moment. So we took him out of the baby chair, and let him ‘pray’ on the praying mat, while all of us continued having our meals.

Glory be to Allah.

Here is a toddler, in all his innocence. Upon being called for prayer, he wants to pray. Immediately. While me, with all my knowledge on the importance of praying as soon as possible during its prescribed time, still do not practice what I know. 

I often pray that my son would learn and gain knowledge – be a scholar of knowledge with the Grace of Allah, hopefully. . And by Lord, I swear that if that time comes when words that come out of his mouth is a much-despised truth, I will still follow it.

It is just that I don’t know that time may come so soon. 

Like, now. 

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Isa, before leaving me to go to the mosque with his dad. O Allah, make this child a consistent visitor to your House.

2014

Yes, I am a resolutionist, resolutioner, whatever you call it. By the way, both of the terms are correct.

 As I mentioned before, I have made a list of things I’d like to make into habits in the year 2014 earlier this month i.e. December.

 I even announced them to my husband, and put them on trial runs for the whole month of December. Though I am yet to be consistent, they are tried and tested to be doable. Very much feasible to achieve.

So here I am, re-affirming my determination by putting the list of resolutions here. You will see that some of them are really, really small things – nothing big in any sense. But as we all know, we need to be as specific as we could be in putting a target.

I do have some more personal and private resolutions on becoming a better wife, but some things you just need to keep them to yourself, right?

 May Allah ease.