Untuk puteri-puteri kesayangan kami, Sakeenah & Aneesah. Ummi, Abi, dan Sumayyah sayangkan kamu. Biar apa jua ujian, ingatlah Allah, ingatlah Allah, ingatlah Allah…

Ummu Sakeenah – Moga Jiwamu Setenang Sakinah:

Ummu Sakeenah – Moga Jiwamu Setenang Sakinah (Bhg. 2):

Ummu Sakeenah – Moga Jiwamu Setenang Sakinah (Bhg. 3):




Family March 31st, 2014

It has been a while.

Life has been swell, alhamdulillah. However, it has also took a bitter turn. Those of you who are reading this, you may know or you may not. Aneesah’s illness was diagnosed as leukemia type ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) early this year.

Who would have known? I never suspected. No one did. Although we did observe that she tend to have high temperatures at night, we thought it was nothing because every morning, she was fine. We even asked a doctor in the pediatric, and she too, said that it was common to see in children; if it became worse, we were to consult her again. It was only because of the swelling at the upper part of Aneesah’s stomach that I became really concerned. It was big, and I thought it was because she was eating too much. She did not complain of any pain at the area. However, she always mentioned about being tired and the pain in her legs – and that too, I thought, was normal. That she just wanted attention.

That night, on the 11th January, 2014, we had a family gathering. Two of our family members were lecturers in the field of medicine and we asked them to check on Aneesah. They checked and what they found was that her spleen and liver was swollen. At the time, they suspected that it was either thalassemia or leukemia. When we were home, I could not help notice the change in my wife’s face. We were both worried and equally concerned about Aneesah. After ‘Isya’ prayer, we were in an embrace, consoling each other. I remember saying to my wife that Aneesah was going to be fine. We will keep on praying for her.

We took Aneesah to Hospital An-Nur, Bandar Baru Bangi the very next day but since it was a Sunday, the pediatric was closed. So, we brought her to the normal outpatient clinic. The doctor pointed out that Aneesah seemed pale, hence, anemic. Apparently then, I realized that she was beginning to show other symptoms. Her skin was showing red spots which (according to my google search) suggested that she was bleeding. Since it was beyond the hospital’s capacity to handle her case, the doctor wrote a referral letter. We then went to KPJ Kajang. However, they too could not take her in. The best place, according to the doctor, was either HKL or PPUKM. We wasted no time and went right away to PPUKM.

By now, Aneesah’s symptoms have become even more aggressive. She looks even more pale. Her red spots were now showing on other parts of her body and her leg pain was coming back. This time, the pain wasn’t stopping. I could see that she was in agony and she could no longer stand up properly. By then, alhamdulillah, she was already admitted in the pediatric ward. The doctor gave her pain killers. At a later time, Aneesah was confirmed to have leukemia.

Today, Aneesah is undergoing treatment for her disease. She’s following a particular regime for leukemia patients. We were informed that the process will take two years. Based on past evidence, she is likely to have a good prognosis. Given the effects of the chemo, we’re not allowed to bring her to crowded places, expose her to anyone who is ill, and ensure that she’s brought to hospital the moment her temperature rise. Until now, she has been warded twice already due to fever. Since chemotherapy kills living cells, the white cells, red cells, and platelets are also killed. Hence, her body becomes close to zero protection – which explains why she needs to be protected from any factors that can affect her health. Even a running nose/cold can be fatal.

Allah says in the Qur’an that with each difficulty, there is ease.

Please pray for her health.

May Allah reward your prayers.

‘Rotan’ Anak-anak

Family December 19th, 2013

Sedang diri ini berbaring di atas sofa, saya melihat kerenah anak-anak yang sedang leka bermain. Nikmat apabila dapat mendengar hilai ketawa mereka. Walaupun kesan mereka bermain boleh mengharu-birukan keadaan rumah, namun hati tetap bersyukur kerana mereka dapat bergembira. Dapat juga pahala. Alhamdulillah.

Namun suatu ketika, berkata Sakeenah kepada adiknya, “Aneesah, bak ‘rotan’ white tu…”

Tersentap dibuatnya. Tak pernah kami beli rotan. Bahkan kami tak pernah kenalkan perkataan ‘rotan’. Tapi, ini ‘rotan’ – mana mari? Warna white pula tu?

Saya sengaja biarkan. Nak tahu juga ‘rotan’ white.

Akhirnya Aneesah keluarkan ‘rotan’.

“Laa, pembaris!”

Bertuah betul.

Kembar Setahun

Family July 21st, 2013

My Children

Sakeenah & Aneesah

Pergilah ke mana pun, soalan lazim yang biasa dikemukakan adalah sama ada mereka ini kembar. Yang nyata, mereka memang tidak seiras, pun demikian, masih ada yang beranggapan mereka kembar. Barang kali kerana ketinggian yang seakan-akan sama dan kepetahan yang sama, memang mudah untuk orang luar beranggapan mereka ini kembar.

Tapi, makin hari, makin tinggi Aneesah. Kini, ada yang menanggapnya seperti kakak. Mungkin kerana faktor pemakanan, Sakeenah agak kecil susuk tubuhnya berbanding Aneesah. Tambah pula seorang yang agak memilih, sama saja macam Abinya! Ayam tak boleh disekalikan dengan nasi. Nasi mesti hanya nasi dengan sup. Itu saja. Tak mahu sayur, tak mahu apa-apa walau secebis bawang sekali pun. Kalau ada, diluaknya semula. Kalau Aneesah, semua benda baginya nyam nyam!

Nak menambah selera makan, kami belikan Sakeenah multi-vitamin. Pun tak mahu. Aneesah yang jadi tukang habis vitamin – mana tak semua benda baginya nyam nyam! Beli tepung susu yang ada kandungan lysine pun sama juga hasilnya.

Agak mencabar. Cuma kebelakangan ini, Sakeenah kurang minat untuk berjalan keluar. Alasan yang selalu dia bagi adalah kerana letih.

“Abi, lepas balik school Sakeenah tak nak pergi mana-mana, tak nak beli apa-apa, nak balik rumah. Sakeenah letih…”

Last Monday, I remembered a man who had contacted me with regards to my eldest daughter’s condition. Apparently, the doctors have prediagnosed his soon-to-be born child as having diaphragmatic hernia. I can only imagine how he and his wife must be feeling at the time for we too were once in the same shoes.

When our daughter was born, it wasn’t diaphragmatic hernia as the doctors have predicted. It was a left sided pulmonary hypoplasia. Although she had to be put under a support machine during the first few days, with Allah’s Grace, she survived. For the man and his wife, Allah only allowed them to see and be with their baby for a short while. May patience be with them.

Sakeenah's Doodles: The Three Legged Cat

Sakeenah’s cute doodles; the three legged cat.

This post was drafted a long while back. I just came back and thought to finish it off.

On one of the nights, Sakeenah and Aneesah stayed up late (it’s always troublesome to get them to bed early). Sakeenah was doodling on a piece of A4 paper which she got from Aneesah. Aneesah, on the other hand, acquired the paper from our printer’s paper feed. Such a collaborative work, and in the end, the paper was turned into shreds!

Anyway (before the paper was shredded into small pieces and before Sakeenah was doodling), I came up to Sakeenah and was wondering what she was going to draw on the paper. She said it’s going to be a cat. So she drew two big circles and a tiny one right in the middle – and that was it, that was her cat.

Sure enough her cat was missing other features. I asked her, where is the tail and where’s the body?

So she draw the tail first. After that she draw the body. Later on she added the hair, the eye brows and the legs.

She then realised that the tail was wrongly located (as it was in the body and not at the back), and this made her draw another tail at the back. I’m impressed. The fact that she tried to relocate the tail just shows how observant kids can be. The next time your kids draw something, maybe you’d want to try and interview them about their drawings!

A moment to remember: Sakeenah meeting Aneesah for the first time

A moment to remember: Sakeenah meeting Aneesah for the first time

Teenah nak matan (Sakeenah nak makan)” – Sakeenah wants to eat.

Teenah nak panjat (Sakeenah nak panjat)” – Sakeenah wants to climb.

Teenah sakit perut (Sakeenah sakit perut)” – Sakeenah has stomach ache.

Teenah diri (Sakeenah berdiri)” – Sakeenah is standing.

These were all statements from our Aneesah, not Sakeenah. Evidently, she was using her elder sister’s name in reference to herself. My wife was the one who noticed this, but at first, I didn’t believe. All this while we’ve been calling her own name and the least I would expect is to have two daughters calling themselves ‘Sakeenah’!

Teenah nak tisu bet-tul (Sakeenah nak susu botol)” – Sakeenah wants bottled milk.

It eventually became habitual that even my wife and I started to call Aneesah as ‘Sakeenah’. Realizing how contagious this phenomenon was, we started to remind Aneesah of her own name and began rephrasing every sentences with her own name. Alhamdulillah, it worked out well. Although, occasionally she would still use ‘Sakeenah’ as her own name.

Mana tudung Teenah (Mana tudung Sakeenah)?” – Where is Sakeenah’s tudung. There she goes again. We just bought her and Sakeenah a tudung.

Sometimes I wonder, could it be that our attention for her has been lesser than what we’ve shown to Sakeenah? Despite our effort to give equal attention, as humans, I admit, we tend to err and there’s no knowing along the way where we could have gone wrong. After all, how do I measure equal love?

For a 2 year old, I really can’t tell what’s going on. Perhaps she sees so much love shown  for Sakeenah that she has decided to choose her name, words, and actions like Sakeenah?

One thing about Aneesah is that she really loves her sister no matter how bad they might quarrel at times. Her love was attested when she had to part from her sister the day Sakeenah was admitted to HUKM for an MRI scan. Aneesah seemed unhappy and depressed. She even called out for Sakeenah. I felt sorry for her. I tried to cheer her up but most of the time, I found her in a state of profound silent. When Sakeenah returned the next day, Aneesah was so happy that she hugged Sakeenah for so long. This was far more emotional for a drama!

I normally give a small peck on Sakeenah’s cheek before I leave with my wife for work. As for Aneesah, I wanted to, but I dare not to because she is a special type who has ultra-sensitive ‘sensors’ that enable her to wake up and eventually ‘siren’ the entire neighborhood with her deafening cry (Masya-Allah, too much for a small kid, don’t you think? Well, it may sound that I’m exaggerating, but one time, I could hear her cry even several meters away from the house!). Thinking back, it could have just been a small peck that could have made a lot of difference. Who knows, maybe she’ll call herself Aneesah from now onwards!

Or, it could have just been that since Aneesah sees her elder sister as a role model, she simply copycats everything including how Sakeenah addresses herself.

Our princesses.

Our princesses. Abi & Ummi love you both, kids!

Just to double check, Aneesah is here beside me as I’m typing. Let us reaffirm her identity shall we?

Abu Sakeenah: “Ini siapa?” (Who is this? – while patting her chest).

Aneesah: “Eesah” (Aneesah).

Good to hear that! On the other hand, there were also odd occasions where our petite Aneesah gave a different but innocent answer:

Abu Sakeenah: “Ini siapa?” (Who is this? – while pointing to herself).

Aneesah: “Suar (Seluar)” (Pants/Trousers).

Happy parenting to all parents!


Family March 24th, 2012

Early this year, my wife and I were looking out for a potential kindergarten where we could send our children. Our maid was nearing the end of her contract and we thought that she did not want to continue.

So, we set out to find that kindergarten/school. I personally felt that I did not want to send my children to any normal school, no matter what the cost is. Education IS expensive. One of the schools which I had set my eye on was the Brainy Bunch Islamic Montessori. Also recently, I found out that there was another school which has claimed to have adopted the montessori method more than 10 years ago, Sri Ayesha Islamic School.

Abi and Ummi love you lots, kids!
Sakeenah & Aneesah

Sakeenah & Aneesah

Last Friday was officially my wife’s last at an IT company in Cyberjaya. Having worked there for more than four years now, I’m sure memories with her friends are the hardest element of emotional attachment to thrive through. Knowing my wife though, she normally keeps her cool.

As for today and the next two days, there’s no one more happier than my own two daughters who would have their mother at home. I wonder what they are up to right now? Sakeenah – probably trying out all the clothes in the wardrobe. Aneesah, a copy-cat extraordinaire, would perhaps copy whatever Sakeenah is doing; be it actions or words. My wife? Probably keeping them under control – so as to avoid recurring frictions between them. They’re armed you know; Sakeenah with her forceful push and Aneesah with her lethal bite!

On typical working days, the part  which I really look forward to is the time to go back home from work. I suppose the same goes for anyone else, but for me, the real reward that I yearn for is to be with the kids after a day’s work. Always. Everyday.

Yet I don’t know if my daughters are able to comprehend or appreciate this fatherly feeling inside of me. At least, my second daughter, Aneesah, seems to show more ‘empathy’ when I open up to hug her than my eldest, Sakeenah. Whilst her younger sister tries to grab my attention, Sakeenah remains seemingly blunt and unmoved by my return. Perhaps intentionally, perhaps not. Deep inside, my inner voice would ask her: “Don’t you miss me?”

She would simply look at me from the corner of her eyes as if to say in reply: “Don’t you miss me?”

She’s a smart girl. Politically mindful, I would say. In the end, I would give in and would have to chase after her (she would run away cheekily) to get a hug. Aneesah, on the other hand, would be left behind, confused and unaware of what the whole commotion is about. As much as possible I would try to give equal attention to both but being human would mean that there’s always the probability that my effort can turn out to be lopsided. There are odd times, however, when Sakeenah would suddenly come by and give a small peck on my cheek. In the end, all that matter is that I know she knows that I love her. In a book called Adab Al-Mufrad, Imam Bukhari mentioned a hadith of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam):

Jarir reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah will not show mercy to a person who does not show mercy to other people.”

Inspired by a colouring photo shot of Sakeenah’s friend, Alia1, masya-Allah, my wife and I decided to buy colour pencils and colouring books for our daughters too. Of course, the one to make sense of the colour pencils at first is Sakeenah. Aneesah learns quickly because she has her elder sister as her role model. In most cases, however, we would have to keep an eye on Aneesah since almost everything she sees is deemed edible. Here’s a video clip of her drawing her Abi, masya-Allah. Even though I am seen as merely straight lines, at least I’m still part of her ‘landscape’ drawing. Speaking of which, I wonder what happened to Ummi? Oh yes, she’s busy cooking delicious food for us in the kitchen! I assume that this is the logical reason behind Ummi’s absence in the drawing. At the end of the clip, you will see Sakeenah drumming on the chair with her colour pencil. Wherever she learned that from??

Love you lots, kids! – Abi & Ummi

1Posted with permission from Alia’s mum (Farhana Mohd Fadzil) and dad (Mohd Aizat Yaacob) – picture was initially posted on Facebook ( October 21 at 12:24am)