Once in my life I was gifted and blessed to live in a land where the beauty was hidden under the scorching sun .
In the middle of the brown sand only you will be welcomed by the thin thorny cactuses and tall date trees.
Time to time you will see white sheets of moving creatures when you look closer its amazing to see the sheeps were grazing in the barren land . Its a wonder to see the animals survive in those dark brown heated sand.
I saw the beauty in mesmerizing tall mountains . My heart skips a beat when I saw the mountains covered with different shades,in different layers of smooth sand..
I feel like run towards it.. to feel the beauty to the core of my thirsty heart .
I want to get lost in those sandy mountains..
To refresh my soul......
My legs never comes to a halt, never I get tired when I roam through the streets of my beloved prophet. I feel zenith when I thought that once rasoolullah and his dear companions footsteps touch the soil which I witness through my own eyes.
The beauty ,the tranquility I felt in my mind is a pure bliss. My soul becomes ease with the peaceful serenity which I knew I never get it in this whole wide world.
You may dive into the sea,you may climb up the cliff of a tall mountain ... you may witness the beauty of the sunset when it hide its rays far away behind the mountain ranges ... you may see the gushing pure white milky waterfalls falling with their charming rhythm... all these moments are breathe taking ,a pleasant memory for a certain period time , but when you stepped into the city of madina you will feel unknown emotions ......
you will feel the pleasure of a long lost child running towards his mother.......
A missing piece of puzzle of your life......
The wonderful days I spend in Masjid al Haram was mesmerizing. Far away from a distance you will see the view of jennathul bakki where the prophets beloved companions and the people who created the best nation were buried.. you will see the green dome where my beloved prophet Muhamed (Saw) and his companions next to each other were buried. Then the tall countless gates welcome you to the prophets masjid .
When the sun was rising I witness the beauty while sitting in the floors of haram. I used to ponder the words of Allah (Quran) while tears in my eyes.....
Ya Allah how many times do I have to thank you to give this great opportunity ... where thousands of people longing to come to this place through out their entire life.
In the morning hours its splendid to be inside the masjid. The sun rays beams down through the window shades of the masjid.
Their were Quran circles around every corner. They might be different in colour ..
their language Might differ from each other yet they have sat in one pious mission...
The wisdom of learning the language of prophet.... to give a voice to the mesmerizing Quran... to carry Allah 's words in their hearts .. and ready to carry it to the next generation.
How inspirational ,,,how wonderful their attitudes were.........
The people who visit that place have different dress codes not like the way we see in Makka during tawaf.
Every time this issue kept me haunting and took sometime till the reality dawn to me...
I forgot to realize that their are people among us who take little steps towards the righteous path. No one is perfect in practising the religion , everyone strive struggle hard to get succeed in their own pace.
we are not in the religion which can be forced at others .It takes time to carve the extract to embrace fully with the pure intention towards islam.
As they say we cannot judge a book by its cover similarly we cannot come to a conclusion by the peoples attire or by their acts of behaviour .
These are the simple but amazing lesson I learned the days in haram taught me .
The beauty that our beloved rasoolullah taught our nation which made us a unique community. He took the mission of building up individual people.....
Quran has the guidance and the life of prophet muhamed (saw) being the living example made madina to become the most successful community.The best nation ever lived where their glory echoed far east and the west .
THE LAND OF SUCCESS
THE LAND OF OUR BELOVED PROPHET
HOW DO I REFRAIN FROM FALLING IN LOVE ..............................
MADINA MY BELOVED CITY OF MY HEART
In this article, I will share with you My Journey to Islam. I hope it inspires and gives you a deeper insight into my background.
I recall a happy childhood, each Sunday my mother would dress my brothers and younger sister in our Sunday best for the church. I would always have a bright coloured silky ribbon in my hair to match my dress. At church, I remember it being an upbeat affair very jolly with a loud preacher giving the gospel, loud music accompanied by tambourines and hymns.
I was raised a Christian so God was in my life from the get-go. I am grateful to my parents for raising me with a strong religious foundation, to believe there is a God our creator. Over the years I had questions that started to play on my mind.
My bedroom was surrounded by books. Each time I was given pocket money I would visit the second-hand bookshops and buy books on all types of subjects, I even purchased a Quran, it was written in English, although I did not realise what I had at the time, I kept it purely because of the love and respect I had for books and maybe one day I would get around to reading it.
As well as my love for books I also grew up with a fascination for religion. I chose Religous Education as one of my subjects at school, it was the first time I experienced a glimpse of other religions and beliefs.
During my late twenties, I developed a stronger yearning to know who God was, and why were there so many different religions? I decided to do some research which led me to enrol with The Open University to study a BA Honors Arts & Humanities in Religous Studies. Hopefully, I would learn all about world religion and different cultures, maybe along the way, I would find all the answers I craved. I was so excited, but soon discovered I would have to complete a foundation year before I could touch on any religious subjects so I soon lost interest.
My thirties were the most painful years of my life, somewhere along the way I became totally lost. Emotional pain is an inescapable part of life. I tried so hard to deal with trials and hardships that came in wave after wave. I was trying to deal with feelings of stress, anxiety, panic attacks. I was in an endless whirlpool of gloom and confusion, I completely lost my self and developed a love for alcohol, it became a comfort to me, something I would turn to when the emotional rollercoaster became too much. I found alcohol had the ability to numb out any emotional pain not realizing the consequences and the damage I was doing to myself. It was at this time that I also started to dabble in new age religions, I tried Buddhism and looked into tarot cards and fortune telling. At one point I actually believed I could tell the future.
I got to the point where I had enough of my self-consuming destructive mindset. All my doom and gloom and self-pity, I wanted everything in my life to change yet I was not doing anything about it. One morning I woke up with a strong determination and took pen to paper. I decided to draw up a plan to change my life and stop all the negativity that was harmful and wrong.
I wrote down all the major changes I wanted to make and listed the steps to achieve them.
My career change was to work with vulnerable women. I became a volunteer for a well-known organization in Bristol that supports the homeless to find permeant accommodation. It was at this point that I came in touch with Muslim women who were either my work colleagues or seeking support. I received ongoing training and development, I also started studying and reading again with the focus to help others. Over the years I worked hard until I became the Deputy Manager. I was finally in a good place, happy but not content. It dawned on me one day that God had answered my prayers, everything I had asked for he had given me, the house, the career, new friends, I was truly grateful but there was still something missing. I felt spiritually unfulfilled.
A Month of Contemplation
I was now in my forties. One evening at work I noticed a colleague reading a book, the idiot's guide to Judaism, this sparked a conversation about religion. I briefly scanned her book and researched online and found there were numerous books on the idiot's guide to different religions. I decided to purchase a book on a religion that I had not touched on before.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Islam
I had a four-week vacation from work so I took that opportunity to relax and read. I was surprised by what I read, it was a real eye-opener. The book was full of thought-provoking questions which led me to investigate certain aspects of the religion such as why did Muslim women cover? I came across a particular image which made me really think and want to know more.
I found myself searching for Islamic programs on the TV. I found nothing until I stumbled upon the Islam Channel. They had just started broadcasting, it was March 2004, back then, broadcasting was mainly adverts and a lot of Quran recitation. Every afternoon I watched a program which taught about Islam, the lecturer was Yasir Qhadi. It was a lot to take in but I began to learn. The four weeks passed, I was ready to go back to work and I was ready to be a Muslim.
Once again, I felt scared, anxious and fearful, am I making the right decision? What will my family say? I remember calling myself stupid, what do you think you're doing? but I took comfort when I saw the thousands of Muslims on the TV that were circulating around the Kabba, I knew then I would not be alone.
On the day I returned to work there were two Muslim women in the office working. I approached the one in Muslim attire. I told her I had been reading about her religion and would like to watch her pray. I am sure she was surprised and taken aback that her boss was asking such a personal request, but she did more than show me how to pray, she welcomed me into her home and introduced me to her family. They all embraced me with such warmth and began teaching me the Islamic way of life.
In April 2004 approximately one month after reading The Complete Idiot's Guide To Understanding Isalm, I took the Shahada (to testify in the oneness of God and in Muhammad the final Prophet.) I was now a Muslim.
Student of Quran
My journey as a student of Quran had begun. One of the first things I craved after accepting Islam was to understand the Quran. My love for books and learning had returned with an immense thirst and focus to comprehend Islam. I researched online and found a free learning platform, Al Quran Wa Sunnah Online Islamic University. Their mission is to bring Muslims from around the world together and teach them the basics of Islam. During my period of study with this university, I collaborated with other students and co-wrote some of the student group presentations.
In the Summer of 2006, I travelled to Leicester to volunteer at the Jimas International Da'wah Conference. There were well-known lecturers from around the globe who came each year to boost the faith of hundreds of Muslim men, women, and families. I met so many Muslims from all nationalities and cultures. I was welcomed by the Muslim community in Leicester, the women embraced me and recognized my thirst to learn Isam and encouraged me to move. I did not hesitate.
I migrated to Leicester in 2006. I formed a great bond with my new friends who were now my sisters in Islam, we did lots of work within the local community, fundraising, social activities and events, offering support to the vulnerable while raising awareness of Islam. In 2009 we established the women's support group Sisters4Islam.
My online Islamic studies continued. I wanted a more detailed study of the Qur’an so back In 2007 I enrolled in the Al Huda's Canada Campus and participated in the online live classes.
In 2011, I enrolled with the IOU, Islamic Online University. I took one subject, Arabic and Reading Made Easy by Dr Bilal Phillips, this course was available on their free website. I found the course simple and easy to follow and would recommend it especially for beginners. In 2014, I enrolled in their BA Degree Islamic Studies which is available on their main site for a reasonable fee.
If your looking to study Modern Standard Arabic which will also broaden your vocabulary and learning of the Arabic language check out Path to Arabic they have a FREE Engage course available.
My Purpose In Life
My purpose in life is to worship Allah alone with no partners. In order to worship him in the correct way, we first need to understand what is required of us. We need to learn the religion as it was taught to the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) and his Companions. It is important that we learn from the Quran and the Authentic Hadiths of the Prophet as they both go hand in hand, you cannot have one without the other.
I would like to share with you some of the personal lessons I have learned on My Journey to Islam.
I do hope my journey has been of benefit. If you would like to share your journey with Islam, whether you are a convert or born into Islam, the journey back to Allah is always inspiring. I would love to hear from you.
So…I have been an insincere muslim for a long time. I mean I do the things I’m supposed to…I pray, I dress appropriately, I do the mandatory recitation and I observe the special nights. I’ve realized though that I was never sincere in my efforts.
I tried…I really tried but I didn’t feel anything.
And I am a feeling sort of person.
I realized that my mistake was in trying to duplicate the rituals and efforts that I saw people around me perform. Things that I was taught in madressa. I can’t even say things I took away from a Jummah bayyaan because back then, I didn’t even hear the bayaan.
I realized that I was not getting it. I would see grown men in tears at the mere mention of our beloved Nabi SAW and wondered what that was about. I would hear ladies exclaim “Alhamdulillah” at taleem and think “okayyyy”. I just didn’t get it.
Much, much later on in life I realized that I needed to find my own unique way to Him. I needed to find the things that would connect me to him. If I could not connect, I could not be sincere. If Allah SWT expected the same efforts from all of us he would have created us the same way…right? If he created us unique, surely he expected us to find unique ways to reach him?
So I searched and I explored. I explored the Quraan in English. I watched YouTube videos. I signed up for some classes. I found myself gravitating toward people who, strangely enough, were having similar thoughts. I tried to find a way…find my way to Him. I would speak to Him in my head. I would speak to Him when I was having a bad day. I would speak to Him when I was having a good day. When I lost my temper. In the shower. Having a cuppa. When I needed something. When I was happy. I caught myself and wondered if this was normal. Did everyone do this? Was I going a little bit more crazy?
And I realized that it did not matter. It actually didn’t. I figured if I was doing the things He commanded me to and I sincerely prayed for guidance and this was where I got, then surely this was where He was trying to lead me
I will continue to do this until He is not an afterthought…but an every-thought.
I enjoy speaking with Erida and listen to her views, particularly about how she perceives women and their developing role in our beloved Indonesia.
Miss Erida Pulungan or Ed for short is the most smartest, kindest and genuine person I have ever come across. Edrida was born in April 25th, 1982 as the first daughter of 5 siblings of both parents (the late Mr. Azhari Pulungan and Mrs Dahniar Pasaribu).
She has excellent leadership skills: focused, engaged, and takes the initiative. She has degrees in Management and Economics from North Sumatera University, a degree in Education and English Literature and a Master's degree in Diplomacy from Paramadina Postgraduate School of International Relations and another Master’s degree in Management Social Development at the Faculty of Social and Politics at University of Indonesia.
Edrida used to work at Asia Development Bank as a surveyor, translator and analyst. She was also a researcher for communication with the expert, Jaffrey Kamar.
Communicating with Edrida always brought a special experience for me. Her energetic ways in talking and how she perceives the whole world from her point of view made her unique amongst others. This quality comes from her strong character as an adult woman born and raised in Medan, North Sumatera. In addition to this strength, she can be very emphatic and responsive to help anyone who requires her help. Even more interesting aee her talented skills in writing and publishing poetry. That is why I prefer to call her, Ed The Poetry Woman.
Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia, is where she started her career as member of Parliament at the Parliamentary House of Regional of Representative. At the same time, she researched and wrote which made her one of the best Representatives for Indonesia in international events.
She used to work as a Journalist from Medan Bisnis with branding Economic Newspaper in North Sumantera (March-September 2005), including Covering Management, Business, and Financial Analysis and Showbiz. The task itself has made her one of the most influential Young Generation persons from Indonesia and brought new prestige for Indonesia.
Her knowledge about public relations and her love of public speaking made her feel it necessary to share Indonesian cultures to foreign people around the world, consistent with the opportunity she had during her study in Darwin High School. Edrida is always eager for knowledge and learning something new.
She is also the founder of English Debating Competiton in National University. Here are the list of the books that she already written since year 2012-2016 , entitled as follows:
1.AVRUPA GOKLERI UZERINDE SANA EVILIK TEKLIF ETMEK, Lingkar Mata, Publisher 2016
2.DIATAS LANGIT EROPA MELAMARMU, Gramata Publisher, 2014.
3.SEPUCUK RINDU UNTUK AISYAH YANG SETIA, Mahara Publishing.,2014.
4.CINTA MERAH JAMBU, Puspa Swara Publisher , 2014.
5.FIKSI HARI PAHLAWAN, Fiksiana Publisher 2014
6.PANCASILA RUMAH KITA , Peniti Media Publisher 2013.
7. 25 WANITA MERAWAT INDONESIA, Peniti Media Publisher, 2013
8.ANTOLOGI PELANGI JIWA, Mahara Publishing ,2013.
9.101 PEREMPUAN BERKISAH, Woman’S Scrift, Publisher 2013
10.HARMONI, Motivasi Islami, Quanta Elexmedia, 2013.
11.JADILAH TERANG, Penerbit Bogor Publisher, 2013
12.VALENTISIANA, Fiksiana Publisher, 2013
13.AYAT-AYAT RAMADHAN, Erafrasti Publisher 2012.
14.MAMA PAHLAWANKU, Fiksiana Publisher 2012
15. LOVE NEVER FAIL, Nulisbuku.com, 2012.
16. LUNCH INVITATION STORY WITH PRESIDENT JOKOWI, 2015.
Ed believes that happiness comes from being generous and caring about others. Her dreams are to become a part of any project in the world. Her demeanor is appreciated by friends and colleagues.