As winter break approached, most people already laid out plans of what to do by then. Be it travelling across the world (which is what most people do) or take a time off the term and snuggle in the warmth of duvet or even, study their butts off for the exam coming in the first day of next term *gulp*. I had plans as well but it didn't involve travelling due to the shortage of money (and I just wasn't that thrilled with the idea of travelling without a solid purpose using the rakyat's money anyway).
What I did was a continuous 10-days lone-ranger-ing across regions, joining 3 back-to-back programmes that I thought would be able to feed my soul.
- 2 days 2 nights pre-marriage course in London (set up by JAKIM, MAIWP, SANTUN, Kelab UMNO London and a few more of abbreviated bodies of which I do not have memory of) along with some talks by important people regarding current issues in Malaysia.
- 4 days 3 nights winter gathering simply named Perhimpunan Musim Sejuk organised by IKRAM UK EIRE in Stowmarket, Suffolk. The camp was managed by sisters who are also students, handling 180+ participants. (Yeah, they're so darn impressive)
- The third was a one day event, Being Me conference by Mercy Mission UK, back in London. An event fully organised by muslim sisters, for sisters. (Who says women cannot be powerful)
Yeah, these programmes are beneficial alright but it's the indirect values I gained throughout was the thing I treasure the most.
First off, the camp was irritatingly cold. I was wearing thermals and still didn't take off my jacket in the hall yet the coldness still managed to penetrate through my skin, onto my receptors. The water was freezing that I couldn't wash my teeth without feeling sore while rinsing my mouth, I washed my wudhu' parts just once instead of thrice, going to the toilet was an agony since I insisted on using water instead of just toilet rolls (what with the cold, you would want to use the loo more often than always) and having a shower was a painful experience of getting bombarded by what seemed like icicles. Not done with that, we had an explorace outdoor that ended up with "I can't feel my hands/legs" chatter circulating and people bouncing up and down in the
fruitless effort to be warm. Honestly, I was sick of the cold. So much that I almost had a silent tantrum. Then we were shown this picture.
Yes, the hall was cold but my room was warm enough to allow me to wear just a single layer tshirt.
Yes, the water in Balfour (the house that I stayed in) has an awful heating system but I could still make my way to Manor (the other house in the camp, a few metres away from Balfour, with excellent hot water) no matter how.....not pleasant the journey was.
But what about my brothers and sisters in Syria? They don't have a warm house to escape from their tent, they don't have an absolute source of clean water (let alone hot one), they don't get this luxury of multiple layers of clothing that I have. How selfish I am to not be reaching out to them but only knows how to moan and complain!
[Orang kat Malaysia mungkin tak dapat rasa how awful it is but no, people don't get out of their house in sandals during the winter. My boots and socks pun rasa macam unable to contain any heat waktu tu.]
These programmes might not have any sort of direct relationship with each other but they managed to bring about the same message, well, to me at least. At the end of it all, I met amazing inspiring people. People that have such aspire to improve this world and made me realise that it's not impossible to achieve a very very v.e.r.y. big goal. Big success starts from one small step and these people are already flying now. Most of them are about the same age as I am (I believe Amal Albaz is younger than me) and they achieved so much. Now what excuse do I have?
What's more amazing is that they are selfless. They do it for the people, for the nation, for Islam.
That moment when I made sense of this, I feel like a wall of ignorance that I never thought existed in me came tumbling down. Enough with thinking about your comfort, enough with aiming such worldly success, enough with having thoughts like "apelah nak jadi dengan dunia" but do nothing about it, what are you contributing for Islam, Sofina? Are you even worth living that your soon-to-be death would be a loss to this life?
Returning back to the peaceful Coventry, the sense of familiarity of the town, the homey feeling as I exclaimed gleeful salaam when I entered my house, and the cozy bed that eased out aching parts of my body, I came to appreciate all this little things more. God knows what other big things that I didn't pay attention to! Such nikmah, is an absolute waste if I don't take advantage of it to make a change.
A change that starts. with. ME.
"He has created this whole world, seluruh langit dan bumi, for us to use, to exploit. Shameful of us if we do not channel it to the right purpose."