Friday, February 24, 2012

Let's Embrace Healthy Lifestyle

This is the extended version of my speech for Sri Ayesha Sports Day 2012 this weekend.  Let's support our children and be there for them.  Thank you for all hard works by teachers and parents to see through this event.

As I briefly said in my speech during the actual event - "I originally wanted to pump-up and motivate the children for that special day...but reality sunk in and I was the one who really pumped up and inspired by the determinations and teamwork shown by the children".  Serious motivational acts took place among them and I was so proud.  They did their best not necessarily because they seriously thought they could win, but they were doing all the stuffs because they understand the meaning of teamwork and cooperation.  It's not about winning, but it's all about trying.

A little note to parents: I know some of you were a bit concern about the heat that day; but everything turned out to be just fine.  We had a dehydration problem with couple of the children but that's it (they're back normal).  I run around and made a quick checking and 'survey' to see if the heat really pushed them back... and the answers I heard really made me proud..."We're find Mr. Fauzi, we need to finish this for our team!" Many of them shouted the same reason to stay on the field regardless of the heat when I asked, " you guys want to move to rather shading place inside?"  

We parents just a bunch of concerned adults ;-)  In the environment Sri Ayesha has designed, I believe they can thrive.  As I tweet in one of my tweets..."Some parents could do more for their children by not doing so much for them.."  I don't blame parents because I do have same concern with my kids too but I believe in the shaping process to simply give in to some weird weather to shake the whole things up.

So back to the speech...

Sports Day is finally here!  Alhamdulillah, today is a celebration of life.  The life we choose as a Muslim – the life that will lead us to the right path.  In the course of living as a Muslim, we’re strengthening our purpose in life by being the khalifah of Allah swt.  The khalifah within, once externalized, will fulfill our pledge to Allah SWT – that is to supervise the well-being of this ‘world’ in our journey back jannah.

Living in this temporary world is not something we want to take for granted.  Our world is our responsibility.  Internalizing such an understanding will require us to look closer to our body & soul.  Our soul needs a good home – our body.  Taking care of our body will make our spritual living in harmony to all Allah’s creation.  The reason we take care our physical world is because we want to take care of our spiritual.  The two goes hand-in-hand.

Now that we understand the relationship, we seek to understand how the prophet (saw) has taught us in normalizing the lifestyle.  He taught us to have a healthy lifestyle.  If it follows sunnah, it should be healthy. ArRasul (saw) taught us to take good diets (halalan thaiba), to exercise (swimming, horse riding etc), to perform solat and fasting... in order to prepare us, the khalifah of Allah, for a healthy lifestyle.  Who can deny it!  Islam is a healthy lifestyle.

Sri Ayesha has taken serious efforts to prepare students with a healthy lifestyle from day one.  Today’s Sports Day event is part and partial of the holistic approach into preparing the child to become the khalifah of Allah SWT.  We want to prepare the child for life.

I would like to encourage parents to scale up their level of cautiousness in preparing their child’s daily routine at home.  The saying “you’re what you eat” is very much a reality nowadays.  Watch how and what they eat.  The reason some foods is called junk-food is because they’re – unfortunately  - junk!  That saying is also true for “you’re what you read”, or “you’re what you see/watch” and so on.

Good and positive routine is so crucial in creating a healthy lifestyle.  We’re so fortunate that the prophet has taught us all positive routines through his beautiful sunnah (way of life).  Try our best to establish his sunnah at home and at school.  At the same time, we need to work hard to reduce and eliminate negative routines and influence in our family because it will lead to a destructive lifestyle.

To model upon the sunnah of our beloved prophet is the way forward for a healthy lifestyle.  The prophet (saw) reminded us (parents) to teach our child to love him.  The reason being is simple.  You follow the people you love.   

Story time... it goes like this:

A mother who understand the meaning of the above hadis started to teach her daughter few simple hadis and the meaning.  One of the hadis shared by the mother to her daughter (narrated by ibn masud)...the prophet advised me (in a long hadis)...IhfazilLah, Yahfadzh-ka... “ Jagalah Allah, nescaya Allah akan menjagamu”.   

Time passed by the mother daughter and they live a normal life...mother was sending daughter to school and picking her up on daily basis.  They talked and laughed.  Sometime they eat roti canai together.  School is quite a long distance drive from home so it was a tiring routine.  Mother did the routine without complaining and she felt so happy that she’s there in the course of her daughter growing up. 
One day, they got a little late and mother was a bit hesitance to continue the journey due to bad traffic.  They haven’t perform asar prayer.  Mother checked on the daughter and noticed how tired the daughter was... deeply slept with a tilted neck.  It was a signed of exhausted.  Must be very tired, thought the mother.  She looked back to the traffic, and the view was not helping!  She cruised slowly into left lane and took the next exit – Petronas Gas Station.  The weather was not being too mercy’s starting to rain.

Syaa... wake up dear, time to solat”, mother was whispering a little loud.

“Let’s solat when we get back...I’m too tired, we got sports day marching today Ummi”, showing her resistant and displeasure with mother’s decision to stop. 

“I’m afraid we won’t reach home on time for asr... sorry Sya, we need to solat”, mother sounded a little heavy to show who’s in-charged.  She made a quick calculation earlier.  Traffic jam will delay them 1 hour, and with rains...thing can get even worst!  Daughter’s displeasure versus Allah’s forgiveness.  It’s a no brainer.

“Let’s do this... we make it fast and we head home straight.  If we reach before maghrib, I’ll cook you your favorite dish for dinner.  Plus you get to buy your favorite drink – Iced Tea – after solat”, the mother became a bit creative in reasoning with the starting-to-show-rebellious-attitude daughter.

The little smile from daughter lighten up the situation.  She’s convinced.  They walked out towards the Surau Muslimah and performed the obligation.  Mother was so happy and grateful.  She knew this and she always right about this all the time.  Every time her intention was clear to get Allah’s pleasure, Allah will make thing easy for her.  Allah is kind!

After solat, mother get back to car running due to the rain and quickly settled down on driver sit, waiting for daughter to come out.  Engine on to get the AC and wiper blade up and running.  She was looking back using rear view mirror directly towards the Petronas store.  She noticed the daughter just step out from front door with plastic bag at hand  – iced tea – and looking straight to the mother pick-truck.

In a matter of second, the mother heard a loud engine noise roaming out from one of those modified-muffler car.  One of those want-to-be-like-Schumacher driver, driving Proton Satria.  The sound was too loud speeding up from far side of the parking corner and rushed straight across the front door of Petronas.  Exactly where the daughter was making her move.  Hey..What a big rush??

“Allah...Allah...Ya Allah...” mother was uttering those beautiful words while she could feel the speeding rush of her adrenaline... almost the same speed of the real Schumacher drive during F1.  It was raining hard.  The sounds of the rain was too loud, making the sound of the modified-muffler-Satria reduced to 60% of its original grumbling.

Mother froze!  Time is a miracle of Allah SWT's creation. At time, it moves speedy-fast but at that particular moment, time was like... halted.  Mother could do nothing except waiting.  The back windshield screen was zero-visibility.  Mother wanted to step out right away but stopped by the sound of passenger's door clicking opened.  “Ya Allah...” simple utterence by mother.

Daughter rushed in and quickly close the door shut!  She was a bit pale, heavy breathing and looking straight ahead.  Mother was looking deep but not a word.  Breathing heavily in and out... she stepped on the gas paddle and moved her slightly-less-than-a-ton 4x4 pick-up truck away.  Towards the main road.  The traffic was getting worst.

No one utter a single word, just heavy breathing shared by both.

Ummi... something happened.”

Mother kept on driving.  Slowly.

“The moment I was about to cross the road, a car rushed so fast.  I couldn’t hear anything.  It was loud. I run and I have never felt running so fast before... But the car didn’t stop and I can’t stop myself...”

Mother gave a semi-concerned look. Kept driving, even slower.  She wanted to hear daughter's story.

“I only remember Allah... and I felt a big push from behind”, continued the daughter. “Split second, the car passed me and already behind me, I remember... IhfazilLah, Yahfadzh-ka... I believe Allah protected me when we decided to stop for asar prayer...”, her voice a bit choking -- getting slower with the last word she uttered.

Mother just can’t say anything, but she could feel a bit of a goose-bump... like something cold just deep-freeze her spirit from inside.  Allahu Akbar! Subhanallah...MasyaAllah. Then she nodded her head a little to affirm what the daughter was saying.  She wanted the feeling to last.  She knew daughter was also having the same feeling.  The feeling of Allah in you, watching and protecting your life...  

This is our life, we choose our own lifestyle.  We choose to be healthy... spiritually and physically!  If it's following the sunnah, it's a healthy lifestyles.

Sri Ayesha... Happy Sports Day 2012!