I’m currently on my flight back to Malaysia for good. Still, I cannot believe that I’m actually leaving the country permanently. I dont know why but it seems my body, mind and soul cannot fathom or even process that fact. It just feels like I’m going back for summer. But actually, I am not coming back to New Zealand. I left everything there- my dakwah work, my lab technician job and most importantly, all the people and the memories.
Looking back at all the memories, after almost 5 years in New Zealand has been such a great experience as in life experience. I still remember the day when I first touched down in Auckland, I cannot wait to meet akhawat there, exploring NZ and do what I have to do there - study and dakwah.
Year by year, everything seemed more challenging and taught me how to be a real person and have more courage towards life.
It started in 2012 where I was first starting to know Auckland and all the akhawats there. Kak Sarah told me that I only have 2 months to get to know this waqi’ before I started to do dakwah there. I remembered there was one day, Kak Sarah actually brought me to every apartment unit that akhawat stayed in (back then most of the akhawats lived in Forte Apartments - which is really awesome. Makan tingkat atas, solat turun bawah, meeting tingkat lain. Just call and we’re coming. haha.) Yeah, she actually did that and i got to meet most of the kakaks there. That time, I was really excited to handle a liqa’, become a murabbi. It’s all thanks to KABIL, where we really connect to each other and tell what do we do there - mostly doing tajmik, df and also handle usrah. Yeah, I was super excited to bring a liqa’ that Kak Nadhiya told me she cannot forget that I said to another sister that I wanna bring a liqa’ despite whatever happened.
(is listening to Maher Zain’s song of I’m Alive while writing this makes me think of Anis Amsyar - well amsyar, you surely will be missed!)
That year as well, where the beginning of my major challenge which is my study. End of 2012, I got disqualified by faculty to do my actual course - Biotechnology and then had to change it to Biological Science. I was really frustrated by it. Time management was really a struggle for me. Got not much time to actually study and digests plus remember all the bio facts which is super important cause if you dont remember you basically cannot answer the question at all like nothing at all! I kept on struggling with that year by year.
2013 is the year where I was given the chance to lead a katibah where I am the youngest member of the katibah. I mean, kakak-kakak at that time was really pushed and made the most out of me in order for me to learn a lot from this dakwah & tarbiyah. It was really a huge task for me. At the same time, study was really a huge struggle. I am basically just a student that barely survived and I failed like 4 papers out of my 3 and a half study years and always got C’s for most of the subjects. Was never a bright student at that time.
Things got really challenging as years passed by, where from the beginning I was just handling a circle to a katibah then to actually lead a lokaliti and last year was the year that I was given an enormous to manage New Zealand’s dakwah and tarbiyah. Things never got easy for me, always got harder and harder day by day. I personally feel that Allah really taught me the hard way. Or maybe I only learn that way.
Some of the things that got me really sad being on this road is when we see akhawat did some actions that somehow make us feel like not prioritising dnt or even I feel like as if they dont really care and feel something about this dakwah and tarbiyah. insted, they priotised normal things like travelling or having awesome things but actually that part of time/money-spending is what dakwah needed the most at that time.
Anyhow, I also faced struggles like feelings towards akhawat as well. For example, always having positive thoughts towards akhawat is really hard. Like why these particular akhawat always together jalan sama2, pergi cafe sama2 and not even invite us to join it. It was happening like many times that I developed a thought that akhawat didnt really cared or loved me. Whenever it comes to serious matter as in dakwah matter, yeah we got together and work on it. But whenever they were having fun they neglected me. I am always alone back then that I remembered when I was walking to a meeting place I was comparing myself with other akhawat few steps in front of me and behind me. They walked together but me - I was just walking by myself. Some of them become bestfriend that one of them waited for one another and do things together. But me, just do my things alone and I was really stressed at that time with all these dakwah tarbiyah matters that I feel I need supports and love but I didnt get it. Things got really worse to the extent sometimes it bothered me so much and sometime i even spilled it out to one of them. “Yelah, bestnye korang selalu study sesama, pergi senyap2 tak ajak saya pun. Sedihnya!”
She then explained that I always busy with my tasks and study which is actually true that she didn’t want to disturb my busy-ness. Despite of what happened, Allah always send me akhawat that cared for me, loved me despite of I didnt realise it. So many that when I think of it now, they actually cared for me. Every of my birthday, they always celebrate with what I like the most - nahlul faruq with the brownies and their suprises when I was just finished my shower..haha., ihsanians with celebration at uncle man’s restaurant, kak fareha and her Malay food feast and Ain Sahimi with her ikan bakaq air asam - they actually cooked it for me and so much more. Fatin, one of my best buddies or I can say my best bestfriend I really love for the sake of Allah always said to me, “Akak selalu rasa macam tu, rasa orang tak sayang dia la ape la.” She always got frustrated when I think of that way. Most of the times, I cannot read between the lines. They dont really tell they love me but their actions said it. Hahaha. I’m so kurang kasih sayang punya orang. hahaha. Padahal, they dont say it cause I dont really respond to lovey dovey things, always keep on putting the macho mode.
As time goes by, I learned that Allah sent so many loves through all these akhawat and their care and love! For now, I only realised it. Poor me! I wish I could see it earlier. 2 days ago they threw a huge makan-makan celebrating my bfg - just for me. And just now, 3 big cars came and send me off at the airport. Their gifts as well. How’s that? Is it still you’re not loved and cared of? Take that!
I would like to use this chance to actually appreciate all the things that you have done to me. May Allah bless all of you with Jannah! Each one of you has helped me a lot and made me who I am today. Tribute to Fatin Aqilah, my adik lejen, for always being there, layan all these merepekness of mine, layan my kurang kasih sayang attitude, try hard to console me whenever I cried on her, and even in the first place letting yourself to actually listen to my struggles which is really heavy for you. It was really hard to find a person that I can spill what I feel cause what I faced usually things that I cannot tell any random akhawat. It was something super sensitive or I can say really heavy and depressing that up until now whenever I told her what I’m facing through she always dont know how to respond or even making her stressed out and fear to carry this burden. My dearest tintun, jazakillahu khayr for everything! I love you fillah.
2016 taught me deeply about ukhuwah and how important is that for dakwah to work and move. So many hearts-aching situations, so many incidents that actually broke the ruh of a dakwah team. We have so many great people but cannot connect to each other. We dont feel supported by each other, meeting is like a debate session that someone will feel like a loser and someone just slashed their hearts with sharp words. No feeling of yes we have different opinion but I actually understand why you feel that way and try to consider that but it’s just like I think of this way, whoever objects it I’m gonna make her to understand and submit to my opinions. That’s the actual feeling or vibes that always happen whenever we got together to do meeting etc. Hence things got worse, akhawat do things by themselves, each locality only care about their locality. No understandings, no support for each other. NONE. Which is really sad and breaking things apart.
I tried hard to become a mediator, stay diplomatic and try to make people understand each other but it’s not easy as it looks. You yourself also got scarred on your heart, you yourself have your stress and we have things to be done and sometimes got really mad with what heart-feelings cause it’s really a disturbance for dakwah. I myself got so many other problems for me to settle down as well. But I have to always stay calm, be patience and try to find a reason of this person behave like this so on and so forth. To make this happen was not really easy task at all. Period. Up until today, things dont really settle to its bottom. But things got more positive, I would say.
Being together, having each other back up, support and love is the most crucial part of a dakwah team. You just cannot like becoming a robot and work. People actually have feelings. Behaving well according to akhlak Rasulullah is really a key for this. I cant say even more. That’s what it takes!
I guess that’s it for now. I’m so sleepy rite now.