September 15, 2015 Syz 2 Comments

Assalamualaikum (peace be upon you), I am fully aware of how I didn't post anything last week. And anything I say after this will just sound like an excuse, but I'm saying it anyway. One thing is finding an excuse to cover yourself, another is to clarify your situation and all (or maybe they both mean the same thing.... heh) Anyways, I've been busy with my online business and studying, been doing bunch of researches for both of them to be honest. A lot had happened too and let's just say Allah (سبحان الله) was testing my family and I. Honestly, this test was huge and we had never encounter this kind of situation before, although I am not going to share what it was (since it won't benefit anyone) but I am going to share the little things that I've learnt through it, for example how to react and how to keep your emotions in check during those times. 

First thing first, Alhamdulillah (All praise belongs to Allah).
The only one who kept me strong during tough times was Him, Him alone. I can testify with all my heart that when Allah (سبحان الله) tests you, He will never let you face it alone. If you open your eyes wide enough, you'll see the help He's giving you bit by bit to help you get through it without losing yourself. If only you have your utmost trust in him, if only you don't lose hope in His mercy.

And trust me, it's not easy to leave everything up to Him, sometimes you feel like you can handle it all alone, or that the problem will somehow disappear. Wrong. Nothing will change if you don't make the effort to fix the problem, it's the same if you don't have your utmost trust on Allah (سبحان الله). Effort + Tawakkul a'la Allah (trust on Allah), are the 2 things that you need to remember always. Whether you're going through a hard time or something as simple as studying for a test. You would always need to put an effort, but usually when we do put our wholehearted effort, things still don't go our way. That's when you leave it to your one and only Creator, He may have a better plan for you. He created you, don't you think He'll know what you want and what's better for you? 

I don't believe there's anyone who'll admit that they have never ever been through hard times. During these times, I'd like to think that Allah (سبحان الله) had specifically construct the test especially for me, and it would always be something that I can handle. For Allah (سبحان الله) will never test a person except their capacity.

Through tests and trials, a person is purified of their sins. We're not perfect, we sin and we make mistakes, therefore being patient during a time of difficulty is a perfect opportunity to expiate some of those sins.

Being patient means no complaining. 
Face it, you don't gain nor do you solve anything by complaining. Plus complaining is one of the sign of ungratefulness to Allah (سبحان الله). Whenever you feel like complaining, look around you. The fact that you have a place to sleep in, a roof above you and food to eat are enough of a reason for you to be grateful.

Another difficult thing is accepting the fact that sometimes the outcome and wisdom of the test could either be revealed straightaway or in the future, or will never be revealed at all. But we must move forward with a positive attitude and know, that Allah (سبحان الله) will never test you without a reason, and if you look hard enough you can see the hint of His wisdom here and there. After going through it, you'll realize it wasn't all that bad and that you had become stronger than you were before.

I think this was the longest post I've wrote (or type?) so far heh. Thank you for reading and I do hope this will help you in any way. If you're going through a hard time right now, don't worry. I'm going through one too, everyone is. But it's all Khair (good), so stay patient. I may not be the one to say this, but stay strong, you can do it.


Study Tips From A Homeschooler.

September 02, 2015 Syz 9 Comments

Assalamualaikum (peace be upon you), first thing first, yes I am homeschooled. If you don't already know it, I have been homeschooled for about 5 years now. Now that I think about it, being a homeschooler have it's perks, like going on various field trips when everyone's stuck in school, the flexibility of my studying schedule etc. Two things that I learnt and benefited the most from my years of homeschooling are disciplines and being independent (although I still feel like I lack in both of them heh). Anyways, I thought I'd share some study tips, that (most of the time) works best for me. 

1. Before studying, make yourself a cup of tea/coffee/hot chocolate. Anytime you're feeling stressed out, just take a sip of your drink to calm yourself. You can't study with an anxious mind. Always have a bottle of water by your side, I repeat a bottle of water. It keeps you from feeling dehydrated and reduces the chance of you getting a headache. It somehow energizes me at times. I always like to start off with Bismillahirrahmanirrahim (In the name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful) and recite a few Du'as, like:

اللهُمَّ لا سَهْلَ إلا مَا جَعَلتَهُ سَهْلا وَ أنتَ تَجْعَلُ الحزْنَ إذا شِئْتَ سَهْلا
‘Allahumma la sahla illa ma ja’altahu sahla, wa ‘anta taj-alul hazna idha shi’ta sahla’
(O Allah! There is nothing easy except what You make easy, and You make the difficult easy if it be Your Will) Mishkat, Ibn Hibban 327, Ibn As-Sunni 351

رَّبِّ زِدۡنِي عِلۡمٗا
‘Rabbi Zidni Ilma’
(O my Lord increase me in knowledge) Al Quran, 20:114

رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لِي صَدْرِي. وَيَسِّرْ لِي أَمْرِي. وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِّن لِّسَانِي . يَفْقَهُوا قَوْلِي
‘Rabbish rahli sadri, wa yassirli amri, wah lul uqdatan min lisaani, yaf kahu kauli’
(My Lord, put my heart at peace for me and make my task easy for me and remove the knot from my tongue, that they may understand my speech) Al Quran, 20:25-28

2. I find sleeping early and studying in the early morning to work out better than me staying up late studying. Cause I end up not remembering what I had studied, but then again this is my personal preference. Test it out, try sleeping early for once and wake up real early the next day to study.

3. If you suddenly feel all weak and sleepy but you know you're not tired, and your body's just acting up because you're bored, get up and splash cold water on your face

4. Have snacks on the side. Whether it's oreos, potato chips, chocolate, or fruits. Just have something to boost your energy. (But remember, control yourself with all the junk food kayyy).

5. Have a good breakfast. Yes, I know the struggle of having no time for breakfast or just the laziness of making one. Believe me, I've skipped enough breakfast to know that. But you HAVE to eat something, anything. You can also try this: make a yogurt parfait the night before and store it in the fridge, all you need to do the next day is to grab the parfait and eat it.
 [picture taken from google]

6. Have good notes. Use colourful post-it, higlighters, pens etc. When it's time for exams or if you have the need to revise something, your notes would simply be a pleasant place to refer to, not a file full of confusion.

7. Make a schedule. And follow it as best as possible, you might not be able to follow it 100% but it's the 80% (or sometimes 20%) effort that counts. This will help you manage your time and remind you of the things that needs to get done.

8. Kick procrastination's butt. Now this is a hard one, cause admit it, studying isn't really something you're willingly doing (unless if you're that kind of person, if you are, that's awesome). That's why we rather hold off our assignments/homework/revision while we take a "5 min break" a.k.a hours of the internet or a half-day sleep. Procrastination isn't something you can get rid off in a day, it takes time and effort. That's why it's best if you have a reason for the things you're doing. Every time you're thinking of procrastinating remind yourself of the reason and it should slap you back to reality (hopefully). 

That is all for now, hope it helps or motivate you in any way. I wish you all the best in your studies and remember, don't lose hope. With the help of Allah swt, if you have the determination, anything's possible! Feel free to comment some more tips if you have any :)