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Maria-Syamsi

From My Heart

Month

May 2014

No Matter What

No matter how many men have left us
Or how many have treated us unfairly

No matter how many babies we have lost
In early pregnancy

Even when our mom is unwell
And nobody knows why

Even when nobody really cares how lonely our lives are
As if they will never feel lonely

No matter how happy we are now
Or if tears fall down like the rain

Even when everything falls apart

When we are left totally alone in this world

We still need to pray five times a day
Fast in Ramadhan
Pay our zakat
Be modest

We still need to strive for jannah
Aim to please our Lord, as best as we could

We still need to be kind to others
To speak only good words
To smile at others
To give charity until the last day of our lives

No matter what happens
We still need to endeavour to benefit others
Human beings and other living things
As much as we can
To the best of our abilities

So no matter what happens
We won’t be too dragged down by it
We still have our aims
We still have our goals

Because the world will leave us
And we will leave this world
Before we knew it, it will be over
Too soon

The Two Cities

London
You are filled with life
Bustling with activities, one after another
Rarely stopping to take a deep breath
Sleeps a little, if at all
Loud music
Noisy, but cheery at the same time
Colours other than blue, black or grey
Rushing to get here, and rushing to get back there
Welcomes everyone, but not all have the same fate

Edinburgh
You’re calm and composed
The city still moves, even if it’s more in peace
You have the time to take a deep breath
Get a good nap, a bit or rest
Some sleep
You can be quiet, but welcoming at the same time
With your arts and culture
Your understated class
You’re dark blue, and grey
Your charm, undeniable

London,
I fell in love with you first
But Edinburgh, I miss you a lot more
To the core of my heart

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Our Love for Him (Peace Be Upon Him)

I was so blessed to have had the chance to attend Ilmfest Malaysia 2014 that was held in Putrajaya International Convention Center over the weekend, even when I only managed to get there on one of the two days. My journey there was filled with obstacles but alhamdulillah, it was worth every minute.

It felt amazing to sit in the nice plenary hall with a cool ambience, listening to the Sheikhs who have spent their lives studying the life of a man. A man so loved that his character is followed by millions of us; a man so cherished that he is sorely missed, even when we have never spent time with him personally; a man so gentle that we have him in our minds everyday without us never having met him, ever.

Most importantly, our hearts knew that he loved, and loves us, more than any of us could do in return.

He is Our most beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW.

Listening to his life stories, listening to his words that has been narrated but a chain of faithful women and men, my soul was moved to a different place. My heart felt something that I have never felt before.

Oh dear Rasulullah, there is so much love in your heart, I can’t imagine how much peace that you had in your life.
I tried to imagine the deep tranquility you felt in your soul; even when I know I may never reach that deep, trying to get there was such a beautiful feeling, it made me cry.

Dear Rasulullah, our beloved, how did we end up living in such a turmoil, when your guidance have brought so many other lives to be in harmony with this world? What did we do wrong?

I imagined you waking up in the still of the night, near the wee hours in the morning, just to send your thankfulness to your Lord. I imagined you praying for us, for all of us, so that our lives would be blessed and easy, even when you have not even met us.

I imagined you taking a deep breath, revelling in the most beautiful time of the day: fajr. As the sun rises, the skies turn brighter, the birds start to leave their homes, you’d lead the morning congregation.

I thought of how blissful Aisyah could have been, to have such a perfect husband like you.

I had your smile in my mind. The smile you have never been seen without. The smile that inspired me and millions of others, to continue bringing that joy forward, until the end of times.

I had your smile in my mind, the smile that could make me cry just thinking of how little we follow your footsteps everyday, your humble character and your friendly speech, never hurting anyone, making everyone around you feel special.

I had your smile in my mind, the smile that you gave to the young children amongst your people, showing the rough Arabs of the time on how to shower kids with love, attention and education. A smile through which these words were spoken, “Whoever does not love others, he will not be loved.”

I had your smile in my mind, that sad, final smile, as you sat by your window, watching Abu Bakar lead the fajr prayers, because you were too unwell to attend the masjid.

I had that smile in my mind, a smile of a person, knowing that his job was done.
The final smile before you left this temporary world.

As we are missing you right now, ya Rasulullah, we could never imagine how much your companions would have missed you when you were gone.
We could never imagine how quiet the world would have felt, without your voice giving out words of guidance.
We could never imagine a world without your smile.

But it’s alright.
You may not be here in person, but you are always here in our hearts.

May Allah bring us all together one fine, very fine, day.
InsyaaAllah.

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Palliative Medicine: More Than Just Morphine (Part III)

As with everyone else, cancer patients have families, loved ones, who care for them, appreciate them, and each carry their own responsibilities. Some are single parents, sole breadwinners, have young kids or elderly parents to care for. Being progressively unwell, their duties become more difficult to carry out, they become more dependant and frustrated. Life becomes unmanageable and before the dynamics could change properly, it all is too late.

A good physician would be able to assess the psychosocial issues and help the families shift the family dynamics to be able to cope with the disease. As one who have seen other patients deteriorate, the attending physician should be able to guide the patient and family regarding the natural history of the disease and what it would mean to their lives. They may have realized that advanced cancer is almost always fatal but may not be aware of the process of dying.

Again, it is crucial for the medical practitioner to get a proper history and establish a good rapport with the patient and family to be able to gain insight and trust from them. It would be worthwhile for the attending physician to spend time listening to the patient and their concerns, or even their life stories which may not seem relevant at that time, to be able to see life at their perspectives. This may only be achieved in more than one sitting, and more importantly, not to be done while standing at the hospital corridors.

Another important aspect of palliative care is the spiritual health of a patient. As cancer progresses, one becomes more dependant and will inevitably make them question the meaning of his life. Cancer has been described as isolating, and this intractable loneliness would affect their mental health as well as their quality of life.

Some patients may have deep spiritual roots that they could face the trials life throws at them with such strength and calmness. Some others may need more help and attention for them to be able to spend their remaining time in a meaningful manner. It may involve delving deeper into their past life – their love, regrets, passion or guilt, which brings us back to the significance of a good rapport with the patient.

Seeing the nature of this field and the natural history of advanced cancer, it would be crucial to incorporate palliative care early in cancer management. A shift from cure versus comfort care, to involvement of symptom control at the time of diagnosis (even when the disease is curable), has been suggested. There would be more time to build rapport and maintain it as treatment is applied. Patients would feel more supported through their journey, hence improving their quality of life, making their experience less isolating and more meaningful, even for the attending medical practitioners.

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