Life is:

In Islam our role model, super-est hero and dearest love is our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He is the door through which we reach God, and as stated in the Qur’aan, he (peace be upon him) was sent as a mercy to all mankind (not just Muslims!) and is a mercy to the worlds (not just earth or the visible world – more on that in another post maybe).

And from the life and example of our Beloved Prophet, we have records of his actions and words. This is called the sunnah, and as Muslims we must follow the sunnah. It is not obligatory, such as the five obligatory pillars of Islam: declaration of faith that Allah is God and Prophet Muhammad is his messenger, praying 5 times a day, fasting in the month of Ramadhan, compulsory alms-giving for those who meet the criteria, and performing the Hajj if one is has the health and wealth. But following the sunnah is something we are highly highly encouraged to do, its rewards are magnificent, and any Muslim who loves his Prophet will definitely want to do what he can.

At first my exposure to the sunnah was limited, but as i learnt more, i realized two things:

  1. the sunnah is EXTENSIVE. It covers so many many many things
  2. far from being a burden or problem, it actually simplifies our lives to an extraordinary degree


Let me just make a short list of some of the things i’ve learnt, if only as a reminder and form of revision for myself:

  • eat with your right hand
  • eat as a group on a shared platter
  • food for one is enough for two
  • sit to eat and drink
  • do not gulp water, but drink in sips
  • start your meal with some water, have a bit more in the middle of it, then finish up your water at the end
  • smile
  • take things as good omens (i.e. think positive)
  • expose a part of your body to the rain for a bit
  • oil your hair some days and on some days don’t
  • comb your hair on some days and on some days don’t
  • use perfume (men: light coloured with stronger scent, women: more colourful with a mild scent)
  • use the toothstick upon waking up, before prayers, before teaching, and a few other occasions i cannot recall
  • do not blow into your food or drink if it is too hot
  • do not add salt to cooking, but use your finger to touch the salt and place that small amount on your tongue before you eat
  • eat fruits first before heavier food, not after
  • sleep on your right side, with your palm under your cheek
  • don’t be angry, don’t be angry, don’t be angry (feeling angry is normal but here the prohibition is acting out in anger)
  • do not waste water
  • give names to your belongings

We could go on for a very long time.

What strikes me as impressive and frankly a sign to me (i spent a lot of time thinking and wondering, not wanting to blindly follow the religion my parents brought me into. I always felt at home but i wanted to be very certain and unshakeable in my faith) that Islam is the true religion (that said i still respect my friends of different faiths; to you is your way of life, to me mine) is how the sunnah covers everything from the obvious to the minute. This is guidance for every aspect of our lives.


Yes, and i know it might seem so otherwise because we have social norms, personal preferences, and even with all those out of the way you gotta take some time to learn the sunnah and start implementing them.

But the beauty in it is that it frees us from deciding, and we know that deciding takes up will power and cognitive effort, both of which are finite. Too many decisions leaves a person exhausted, and really sometimes we don’t know what to choose.

When you know you have an example to follow, set by the best of creation, it takes away the uncertainty of following and the hassle, albeit small, of deciding.

And as time goes by, we will all see little by little how science reveals the wisdom, validity and benefit behind the sunnah. So for those who want concrete facts as well, know that you will get it. We follow because it is good for us and because we love our Prophet, but we also research and dig deeper because it is also our command to seek knowledge and to strive to understand more.

Life is very simple, and the sunnah makes it so. I’m not a good example, by a long shot, but honestly i find that as i implement little by little, i feel good (i reckon it’s a combination of health benefits + placebo effect + benefits in my head cos i feel good doing it and i feel a connection to my Nabi) and have been able to free up so much space in my life, my head, my heart and my worldly possessions.

So many other philosophies and methods exist which point in the same direction, and to me they are all approaching the path that has already been set out by the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.

The whole world doesn’t have to be Muslim or follow the sunnah, but if each individual who reads this takes some time to think and act appropriately, there will be a positive spillover and ripple effect, God willing.

I would like to end this post with a reminder first and foremost to myself: the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was merciful to all and it was his beautiful character that won over so many hearts, healed so many people, and set the benchmark for what we must strive to.

I wish you all peace.

May Allaah bestow peace and blessings upon our Master Muhammad, his family, companions, lineage and people, forever and always.


Workout Plan Points


  • light, medium, heavy days
  • daily work
  • focus part + everything else 1 set
  • rest days
  • functional training


  • work by week and not strictly by days
  • 1st workout of the week is light, followed by medium etc
  • focus days: arms, chest, shoulders, legs, back
  • legs focus: sprints (functional)

daily work:

  • push ups (1 min and to failure?)
  • 1 min handstand (and increase with time)
  • pull ups (increase with time)
  • leg stretching


  • tues thurs sat
  • tues fri sun


  • whey protein
  • creatine
  • beta alanine (till the bottle is used up then stop)
  • l-arginine (same)
  • glutamine (same? maybe already done)

consider factor in long-run + load

Is it easy to stay fat?

The purpose of this post is to explore some thoughts and feelings I had firsthand and my reflections on them; I might be wrong in my conclusions. I do not intend to offend anyone.


There was a time in my life when I hadn’t worked out for a long time, had long deviated far from my planned diet and even general eating guidelines. When once the thought of Mcdonald’s was nauseating, I was now looking forward to first an apple pie and eventually allowed more burgers (KFC and Burger King to be specific hahaha) into my life.

I guess a combination of my job, genetics and perhaps age kept me from becoming overweight, but I felt horrible. In fact I had been feeling horrible for a long time, but did nearly nothing to improve my situation.

And so one evening while eating an apple pie, I sort of realised a few things. They can be summarised to the following cycle:

You get too busy or tired with work/life/responsibilities and stop doing healthy things because you’re either exhausted, have no motivation, time, or a combination of the above.

You get out of shape and it bugs you, but it isn’t bad enough for you to take drastic action. Plus you’re barely surviving; fitness seems like a secondary goal now.

If you descent long enough you reach a stage where you are so far behind that it takes too much and too much out of you to climb out of this rut. This is when you don’t like your reflection, hide away clothes you can’t fit, feel like a weak loser in the gym, and maybe start despising ‘fit’ people and justifying your poor life choices. Food is more of a friend now.

If you’re just plain lazy or have never been fit and/or disciplined/strict with yourself, it’ll probably hurt a lot less. You just sink into this identity.

For busy and tired people especially, entertainment and food become a primary source of rest, relaxation and escapism from the grind. Food is special because it also meets a survival necessity. Good food is a bonus! You must eat to live and therefore have no reason not to enjoy it anyway.

For those who are upset with their state but can’t get out yet, food can become a consoling factor. You feel like crap about yourself and so eat delicious crap to get away from the crappy feelings.

That’s the beginning of the vicious food cycle: excessive (in relation to both activity levels and sheer survival need)/ unhealthy food soothes stress/bad feelings yet act as fuel for further negative feelings down the road.

You then either hide all the bad things away from your mind, or embrace it as your new identity.

But there are some who reach a rock bottom, and that’s actually their turning point: they figure they’ve had enough of the current state of things, and so they take control. Little by little they wrest back what was lost to lack of structure, pettiness, insufficient discipline, not enough guidance and perhaps the wrong crowd.

And the higher they climb they better they fare and so the faster they move. Then there will be that one moment when they look down and shudder at the thought that they let themselves fall so far down.

Ok that’s all.

Experiment: Rest Space

If you put a person in an empty holding room and told them to rest there before the next event,

1) where in the room will they go?

2) how will they rest? Lying? Sitting?

3) What is the relationship between rest duration and rest type?

4) does the room shape matter?

5) does the person’s response tell us something significant about them? Is it consistent across all people?

Reservist again

However my time here has shown me just how kilat a lot of the men are. They know their equipment, procedures, where what is kept, how many of each thing, can tell you how to do something and actually do it themselves.

I’m thoroughly impress and have so much respect for them. As a section commander i realise that most of a section’s success isn’t because of a great section commander, but because the men are plain good. They know their stuff. 

And i can also see how they are so ready and willing to give respect to those who look out for them or who at the very least show them respect too.

This is the feeling i’ve been yearning for, to work alongside such men. These people are teammates i’m willing to sacrifice for and people i can count on to do a good job.


It’s only at reservist training that I truly see how so many people, after years of being taken care of (willingly or otherwise), degrade into adults who are primarily sick and fat.

Add on to that dirty, lacking in self respect and an ego that gets in the way of compliance to regimentation.

I don’t get it, where’s our pride and sense of self? How hard is it to do something well cos you can, and should, and most importantly would only do you good?

Does life so often degrade to a cycle of work, pleasure, sleep, occasionally punctuated by some sort of tension or crisis.

Speaking of which, I think it’s easy to be fat and out of shape but I’ll elaborate later.

What next

It feels like after uni everything started sliding away and going downhill. It was a really good time, I did so much, and lots of things fell into place.

I was amongst people with whom I felt I belonged, we cared for one another, we understood each other. I had the time and space I needed to grow, train and perfect my regiment and execute it to a T. I had everything I needed on campus, and then I could go back home to unwind and rest. Basically I had everything going right for me.

Gone are my friends, I don’t have a home any more and my work place is not a fun place to be. I’m just floating around, supposed to chase this and that target for my career or whatever but man I don’t believe in those things. I never did. Every day I’m waiting foe the day to come to an end and collectively, I’m just waiting for some end.

It’s like I’m in limbo. Nowhere to go, no time to do the things I believe in, and yeah there are people who care for me but sometimes it feels people don’t just care, they also want to pull you somewhere or make you into something and occasionally that gets tiring. My heart isn’t at rest and sleep is just a transition between two half-wakeful states. I hardly get excited or look forward to things anymore. Which is funny because we just bought our own place and are gonna start renovation soon but there is no part of me excited about the completion or moving in. I can only hope that that place will be my own home; somehow I can’t be sure. It’s unpredictable I guess? I don’t know what it’ll be like, what factors will emerge and what might happen next.

The truth is hardly anything is within our control but that is a depressing reality when these many uncontrollable factors somehow are at odds with you.

Mahlon’s have evolved from exciting, happy events to a bright point on a dark route. I’ll reach it and bask in the light then I’ll have to leave it again. Is this because I’ve grown lax in my daily salawat? Is this a result of my heedlessness or lack of remembrance?

I’m waiting for the end. I’m not ready for it but I want it. This life is a prison, sometimes painful. A part of me feels I have something big to offer to the world but what is it and what is the point? Why do I want to do it? Who do I benefit? Do they really need me to do it? 

I need to sleep so I can stay awake tomorrow… even if I don’t want to.