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Delaying my Master's & Fear of Falling

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There are a number of reasons why I chose to delay my Master's degree. Amongst them are applying for better universities and degrees, searching out my passion/talents at work, and building my experience and analytic skills.
But a huge reason is my fear of being substandard in my religion and personality. I fear the return of my previous bad habits, like hours wasted daily on entertainment and not having much taqwa. I also feel I lacked in good habits too: almost never did tahajjud, had a minimal connection to quran, and didn't follow daily/weekly routines regularly. It's not unlikely that Allah will be quite displeased with my throwing away my potential if I continue like that.
Now in Indonesia, having just left ramadhan and with my parents around, I remember Allah a lot more. I constantly lower my eyes, waste little time on entertainment, and regularly (somewhat) read and memorize the Quran. My daily routine has become much more regular, and I've returned to frequent…

Patience in Ibadah

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The Quran frequently commands us to be patient. Al-Kahf (18:28) and al-Maarij (70:5) are just two examples. But the question may arise: isn't patience just being able to wait? Like when you're waiting for a bus or someone to arrive?
Indeed, part of patience in Islam is waiting for Allah to reward you. But patience is not passivity. The prophet Yusuf ran away from his master's seducing wife. Hajar ran between Safa and Marwah looking for water. Both were patient, but they did what they needed. This is especially true for patience in ibadah.
I recently heard a scholar talk about three types of patience, summarized as: maksiat, musibah, and ibadah. The first is about avoiding sin. The second is guarding your iman during difficult times. But the third- related to ibadah/worship- is the most important. For ibadah is done multiple times everyday, so patience in it is the most frequently tested.
Patience in ibadah can be further divided into "do it" and "while doi…

Gaming & Patience

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For the past year and a half, I've been playing World of Tanks Blitz. Battle 7 vs 7 online in a wide range of tanks, with a variety of skill levels too. There's a lot I've learnt from playing this.
First and foremost is patience. It is absolutely essential in this game. In fact, there are three types of patience here: waiting instead of rushing, accepting what is past and focusing on what's next, and dealing with pressure from insolent people. 
Often players often want to push forward as fast as possible or try to take risky shots which end up killing them instead. However, the best players play very conservatively, only plunging in after a ton of waiting and/or moving and maximizing their chances of winning. While I'm no master, I also learnt to wait for the right opportunity and do the boring yet necessary preparations.
The second type of patience comes into play when the stupidity of my team or perhaps even luck costs the game. I had to learn how to accept the…

Prerequisites to Pleasure in Prayer

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*TL;DR*
Does Salat feel like a chore? It shouldn't. You have to do it anyways, so better make it pleasant. Like it should be.
*End TL;DR*

(1 min reading)
The beginning of surah mu'minun gives a list of attributes of, well, mu'minun. True believers.

The first is khusyu' in prayer. And honestly, i don't consistently focus in prayer.

But this morning I realized that the list is like a set of steps. You can't skip a step while going up.

Guarding the prayer is the last in the list. It's also the easiest. Above it is guarding promises/trust, then guarding private parts, then zakat.

I think Allah is implying that one who doesn't guard the prayer will struggle to keep promises. And one who doesn't guard their privates may be disinclined to pay zakat.

The ayat after khusyu' is about avoiding laghw'- useless activities and speech. This means that if one doesn't avoid time wasters, khusyu' in prayer will be difficult.

Now in case someone asks why khusyu&…

Nice Lies

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An old woman got on a train and all seats were full. An old man got up and asked her to sit down. She refused at first, but the man finally convinced her by saying "Binece─čim" -I'm going to get off. When the train reached the next stop, he didn't get off.
It was then I thought, "This old man lied. A nice lie, but a lie nonetheless".
He did get off at the stop after that. But it did make me consider: Are nice lies good?
Nice lies aren't necessarily lies by their wording alone. To elaborate, this old man did get off, so he didn't exactly lie. However, in a context where everyone would leave the train at some point, he implied he would be getting off so soon such that a seat was unnecessary for him. Thus, nice lies can be implicit while the explicit wording is true.
Furthermore, nice lies must aim to help or please someone else. For example, if a socially weak person is wrongly accused, a more respected individual may take the blame to prevent the for…

Would you have believed if...?

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A small thought.
If there was no veil between humans and Allah (and the rest of the unseen), wouldn't more humans believe and submit to Allah? Wouldn't that be better than having a large proportion of humans punished due to disbelief in the unseen?
Not really. Remember that the devil disobeyed Allah.
Not knowing everything is actually a mercy for humans. It allows sinners and wrongdoers room for repentance and return to faith. For if people could see Allah directly, only immediate condemnation would be fair - there would be no room for forgiveness in lapses and sin. Thus, one reason Allah placed the veil seems to be allowing us to turn to Him.
If humans were to see the Ghayb, would they all be pious? Allah knows best. Perhaps even more would be headed for Hell.

Focused Thinking

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Ever feel like you can’t concentrate? Like the stuff you gotta do seems too much work? Even though your body seems fine? Perhaps you’re lacking mental energy. You see, our brain is just like any part of the body- it can become tired if overworked and not given rest. So when you do anything that requires thinking- which is probably most of your tasks- then you spend mental energy. Switching between tasks uses up mental energy, like pushing a trolley- takes a lot to get started, quite easy to maintain speed. When switching tasks, you mentally lay out your new task. When you switch tasks every 5 minutes, you burn all your energy and time just prepping for the next task instead of doing anything! This also applies to thought switching. When your mind is like “I gotta do my English homework about literature. Hmm… in that anime, what was the Main Character’s backstory again? And what was on my Wattpad list… oh yeah, that fanfiction about cooking. I wonder how to make some trile├že cake?”, then …