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Knowledge Enlivens The Soul - In becoming an 'Alim

8:22:00 PM

بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم


selesai sudah first sem kat NIU. first sem kat university yeh.
hectic as it had been, i would never trade it with anything else.
when people asked "how school's going?" my tounge suddenly became ineffable.
school had been suffocating but very energizing. it made me feel so alive.
i love school..alhamdulillah.
some may say,'s only school. haven't you been to one before.

my religion has pushed me to become all that i'm capable of becoming.
i started to see ilmu in another dimension. subhanallah.
and after undergoing a "hibernation" period from school last semester, Allah pushed me to strive in the path of seeking knowledge even more.
Sure, my experience may not be comparable to the likes of Ibnu Battuta' and sufism :D, nevertheless my personal "quest" with the help of many others, had undubiously made me appreciate ilmu.

At the beginning of fall 2011, more than half a year I was out of school.
after school finished in May 2011, I began applying for scholarships and loans. For the second time I received an offer letter from NIU. I attended the orientation week, still holding hopes that by next week, there would at least be a reply from the concerned parties. I had even signed up for classes. But in order to attend to them, I needed some financial supports, of course. Schools here are expensive especially when you're an international student. It was hard plan for the future or what to proceed next when I was left pending by my potential sponsors. When someone's hoping, sometimes "no" is the better answer compared to having no answers at all, so that he/she can at least move on.

yet, i still didn't get any answer although hopes didn't waver despite knowing that classes at NIU were starting the next day. For the moment there, I made a demand to myself that I was still going to take classes no matter what came in my way.


alhamdulillah. it was Ramadhan when I went through all that. Ramadhan Kareem indeed. I prayed prayed prayed that there was a some kind of class offered somewhere in Chicago. One night, Morton Grove Masjid, where I had my tarawih at, gave out flyers regarding an Arabic class that would start in a couple of weeks. Several nights later, there were another two Quranic classes offered by IQRA' Foundation. From there, Prof Omer Mozaffar invited me to go to a discussion meeting that students from MSA Loyola University at downtown Chicago held once a week for 2-3 hours.

Each of the classes costed below $40, for a duration of 3-4 months long.

Funny, I never really had troubles coming to classes at Oakton a 2 years, but all of a sudden, getting to classes was my biggest challenge. My classes were on thursdays, fridays, saturdays (Arabic class) and mondays.

Thursday and Friday's classes were at night 7-9pm. It was so happened that Ayah was out of station more than ever before. If it weren't every other week, it was every week and always on Thursdays and Fridays. Alhamdulillah ^____^ So, how did I get to my classes? By taxi. Although the cabs were efficient most of the time, there had been times when my booking didn't go through. Feeling chilly, I waited and waited awkwardly in the dark shade outside of the building facing the fast lane traffic for 20 mins -1 hour. There wasn't a waiting place. just an empty, lonesome car park.

Calling the cab company wasn't exactly a direct process. There were 5 mins advertisements in the beginning just to find out that my line would be cut off. And I called and called again until I was answered...
Some benign friends of mine from far away would want to know this. Whenever they dropped by or visited Chicago, they became my pak/mak supir and gave me a ride although their destination and mine was quite a distant, situated in a different town. they define the true awesomeness. alhamdulillah. who am i with without you guys,

Although I dreaded those annoying moments - the getting there and the departing from -, the classes were too meaningful and enjoyable for me (although short) that if I had to go through the waiting a hundred times more, I would, wallahualam. I mean it. Plus, what option did I have? Nak pergi kelas punya pasal. Nothing good come easy. and for every return ride, $28 was spent. The travelling was most costly than the classes themselves.

Another incident that I couldn't forget was when a friendly pakcik cab driver came to pick me up from my saturday classes at masjid. He was ever so nice and bubbly like Sulley from Monster Inc. Like always, I was mistaken for an Indian and our conversation just kinda sparked off from there. The thing with the cab company here is that, they would keep record of your phone number, email, home and destination addresses in their system. They would text and call when the cab is taking off, arriving at the destination address. So anyway, before we parted, he left me with his phone number which I didn't even asked for and saved as a contact. He said he wanted us to stay as friends. Allah, for the sake of Islam, if You wanted me to befriend with this person, please make the friendship harmless.Two days after that, believe it or not, he called.  Just two minutes into the conversation of "how u doin", I already started to smell something fishy. Wallahualam if I assumed wrongly.So, I dismissed myself and never wanted to pick up any unknown number from then on. The thought of him showing up in the driveway haunted me for a while since he did drop me off at home. Allah, please protect us all from getting into any unwanted turbulence and catastrophe, amin.

It's wonderful how Kun Fayakun works...Allahuakbar.

From the many nights that I had my classes on, that incident happened on my one of my Saturday morning classes which I usually went to with Umi, my classmate. I just came back from a masjid and it was the nearest to my home compared to my other classes that I took at night. It was more risky taking night classes. It was almost expected for any girl (especially) to be harmed of any kind of danger at night times. But instead, what I considered as the troublesome incident occurred during the day. I'm saying that sungguh, malang sangat tak berbau despite me, being very careful and trying to stay safe.

and I turn again and again to Allah to protect myself, my loved ones and my brothers and sisters at the other side of the world because He is the Muhaimin (Protector) , the Hafidz (The Guardian), The Raqib (Watcher), The Somad (relied upon Master), The Maani' (Hinderer).

It saddens me when I see students take their classes for granted though their carelessness and absences. If we enter a class half-heartedly, our interest, enthusiasm and focus all swirl down the hill too. Even if the class is down right a brain and soul killer, if we don't change our attitude, from doing bad, we'll do worse! At least renew our niyyah and spirit - Although I didn't understand a SINGLE word the prof was rambling about last class, this time, I'll make sure that I understand at least TWO words. That would be a MAJOR progress and may Allah ease. Allah, TA and help is always around, inshallah. None of us is incompetent. Inshallah..if the brain system stops functioning, let's not let our spirits and hopes crash too.

Why? because...

Man aroda dunya fa’alaihi bil ‘ilmi - siapa yang menginginkan dunia maka harus dengan ilmu...
Man arodal akhiroh fa’alaihi bil ilmi - siapa yg menginginkan akhirat maka dgn ilmu...
wa man aroda huma fa’alaihi bil ‘ilmi - dan barang siapa yg ingin kedua2nya maka harus dgn ilmu :)

ilmu is exciting!

رَبِّ زدْنيِ عِلْماً وَ رْزُقْنيِ فَهْماً

Rabbi zidni 'ilman war zuqni fahman

O Allah! Advance me in Knowledge and true understanding

ا عَلِيمُ عَلِيمنِي
Ya Alimu, alimni
O All-Knowing, grant me knowledge


Do you have any comments, concerns or inquiries? Or else, just drop me a note to say hi! :)