Wednesday, August 18, 2010

UPDATED: Ramadhan Ya Kareem

Salam everyone,

It has been a week or so since we started our fast in this holy month of Ramadhan here in Sydney. Hope no one had accidentally or "accidentally" drank water when fasting. Hahah. Anyhow, as always we will be having a Sungkai Gathering this Sunday, 22nd August 2010. This POTLUCK gathering will also include Maghrib prayers berjemaah and also Isyak and Terawih prayers if the majority would be willing to join. The details are as below:

  • Place? Old Tote and the Village Boys' apartment
  • When? Sunday, 22nd August 2010

The itinerary for that day would be:

  1. Guests arriving at Old Tote at around 4:45 p.m. to put the food and drinks there
  2. Those concerned will move to the apartment around 5:20 p.m. where we will break our fast with dates (kurma) and drinks then have our Maghrib prayers berjemaah
  3. After Maghrib prayers, we will move back to Old Tote for the feast
  4. Optional - Isyak prayers, 8 rakaat Terawih with witir. This part here is totally optional and depends entirely on the majority. The options are:-
    1. We move back to the apartment and have our Isyak prayers along with 8 rakaats of Terawih and 1 rakaat of Witir there.
    2. We go to the Square House and have Jemaah prayers there.
    3. Or having prayers on your own.

And please do leave your feedback with your preferred options.

Final notes

  • As usual this gathering will be POTLUCK and as usual please do leave a comment on what you will be bringing =)
  • Any questions do feel free to ask and Insya Allah it will be answered ASAP.
  • IMPORTANT: Please do bring your individual prayer mats to ensure that there will be enough for everyone

Friday, August 13, 2010

Test in fasting for students abroad (BRUNEI TIMES)

(Top) Bruneian students in Sydney during a recent gathering to welcome new batch of Bruneian students to Sydney. (Above) Among the things Bruneians overseas miss during Ramadhan is the special religious environment in Brunei. Yesterday, some Muslims broke fast at Sultan Omar 'Ali Saifuddien mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan. Pictures: Courtesy of BASS, BT/Saifulizam
Friday, August 13, 2010
As Brunei begins its first day of fasting during the month of Ramadhan, some Bruneians abroad, mostly students, are facing extra challenges in other countries and communities.

However, Amir Razak, 30, currently residing in Perth, Australia says that it gets easier with each passing year. "After living here for a while, each year provides an experience that helps you cope the following year," he said.

Now a full-fledged architect, he says that the first year is always the hardest for Bruneians studying abroad.

"One of the reasons it is challenging is because most of the time students in universities abroad may be living with other housemates who do not practise the same religion," he said.

"If they are not understanding enough, this will definitely make it tougher," said Amir.

"I was lucky that in my first year outside Brunei I was able to settle in with other Bruneians and the Muslim community at the mosques. They definitely helped me through it, especially the hot summers," he added.

Ahmad Tarmizi, who had studied in both the United Kingdom and Australia, agrees. He feels that it's more of a privilege to be fasting in Brunei after his stints abroad. "Not only are you in a community which understands and takes into consideration your fasting, but there are other activities and different things that you can focus on," he said.

He especially feels that functions like tarawih prayers and the tadarus really add to Ramadhan. "It's not like other days in the year, at night in and around the mosques. There are more people, there is a uniqueness about it and those who have been abroad during puasa (fasting month) will testify to it," he added.

Ak Muhammad Abu Zahrin Pg Hj Damit, a student at University of New South Wales (UNSW), said that since there was an adequate Muslim population where they live and study, they could perform tarawih and Iftar functions frequently at the university.He agreed that fasting abroad has never been the same as in Brunei.

"Brunei has this special religious environment during Ramadhan and we are missing it. Nevertheless, what's important is fasting for Allah (SWT) and to have more self-control during this month, no matter where we are," he said.

When asked if he has had any problems with foreigners during the holy month, Ak Muhammad Abu Zahrin, who is the leader of Bruneians Around Sydney Society (BASS) said, he has not encountered any problems so far.

For Nur Faezah Hj Mohamad Aus, 23, who is undergoing her Masters in Diplomacy at the University of Birmingham, among the differences in fasting in the UK and in Brunei, "is the sense of community".

"In Brunei, being an Islamic country, most of the people around you are fasting, whereas here in the UK, with such a diversity of individuals of race and religion, only a handful of UK residents are fasting," she said.

Nur Faezah was also quick to point out the duration of the fast as another challenge for students abroad. "As it's summertime now in the UK with more daylight hours, our sungkai times are as late as 9pm," she added.

She said apart from missing home cooking, she missed performing the 'tarawih' prayers at Jerudong Mosque.

"However I do plan to join tarawih prayers at one of the Birmingham local mosques," said Nur Faezah.

Ak Hadee Pg Yasfadillah in his last year at UNSW as a petroleum engineering student said: "Being a student, it's quite hard to prepare food on your own for sungkai and sahur due to the time and available resources."

He added: "In Brunei, halal food is plentiful and cheaper. Also when with family, food is normally prepared and shared."

"Fasting in Sydney is more challenging which is better in some ways as you are 'not following the crowd' but you are fasting for yourself and Allah (SWT). And with the greater temptation here... You can easily skip fasting in a non-Muslim country, so it's really a test of will power."

He related that in the four years he was there, fasting had not been a problem with foreigners other than them eating in public which is tolerable.

Ak Hadee said, "The only drawback is the availability of halal food."

He said: "For sahur, I would just take a quick sip of water or small supper. During sungkai, I would either cook at home or eat out with friends."

One way to beat the feeling of homesickness, is by being part of a student society.

"It helps tremendously when you're an international student, a family away from home," she said. "Pooling our cooking skills also helps in getting rid of that homesickness and cravings for Malay food!" she exclaimed.

A third-year petroleum engineering student at UNSW, Ak Muhammad Amal Nur Qasman Pg Metussin also said that "The environment is different because you see people eating in front of you while in Brunei you won't see this. Also, in Brunei, you would be able to feel the Ramadhan suasana (environment)."

The UNSW student further said he feels good, motivated and energetic during this month and it feels livelier compared to other months.

The Brunei Times

Promosi Ramadhan (Ramadhan Promotion)

Salam everyone and a very good evening (or night? haha),

in conjunction with Ramadhan this year we are having a very special promotion for your sungkai needs this Saturday, the 14th of August. For only AUD5, you will get a container of coconut rice, BEEF RENDANG and a choice of either eggplant with sambal or beans with sambal. For an extra AUD1, you can... get some nyummy Sticky Date Pudding. WOW.

What's more interesting is that if you order latest by Friday Night (which is the closing time for orders), you can get door-to-door delivery for your food for Kingsford and Randwick Junction Area for FREE! So what are you waiting for? Contact Sylvester now at 0425875488. Yes it's 0425875488. So to summarise:

-Coconut rice
-Beef Rendang
-Eggplant / Beans with Sambal

Extra AUD1.00:
-Sticky Date Pudding

Sylvester @ 0425875488
Latest by Friday Night

Delivery to Kingsford and Randwick Junction
Will be delivered around 4 or 5-ish on Saturday (14/8)

What are you waiting for? Pick up your phone and dial now!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ramadhan Al-Mubarak

Salam everyone,

there has been a confusion on when Ramadhan would actually start. Some has said that fasting will start tomorrow whereas some other people said that tomorrow is the crescent sighting. To resolve this confusion, our Ketua Kampong has called an official from the embassy. Therefore we can confirm, according to the embassy in Canberra, that Ramadhan will start Tomorrow, 11th August 2010. This is according to the embassy and also on the two biggest mosque in Canberra along with some other sources as well. So dengan ini, marilah kita menunaikan ibadah puasa ini dengan penuh takwa dan marilah kitani mengunakan sepenuh bulan ini untuk mengerjakan amal ibadah dan semoga amalan kitani diterima, amin.

Village Boys

Ramadan and Eid Free Sms Notification

Assalamualaikum everyone,

The much awaited blessed day is fast approaching. For your kind information, we can get free sms notification when Ramadan starts by entering your mobile number at this website:

Selamat Menyambut Bulan Ramadan yang penuh berkah. Semoga segala amal ibadat tani diterima, segala doa dimakbulkan dan segala dosa diampuni.


Monday, August 09, 2010

What we did yesterday..

Yesterday was quite a Sunday. Some of BASS members participated in the City2Surf run and all completed the 14km run. Well done boys and girls!! To those of you who haven't participated, do join the run next year, it's an excellent way to 'explore' and sightsee part of Sydney you've never seen before and it's for a good cause too! And now I can say..

I've participated in the world's largest run, have you??


On a totally unrelated note, many thanks  to JJ, Nadine, Adrian and Kevin for having us to their house warming gathering yesterday. I hope we weren't too loud, haha. Thank you again, you guys served the best food!

The runners with the hosts and hostesses.


p/s: We hope the house is warm now..

Saturday, August 07, 2010

House Warming

Salam everyone,

there will be a house warming tomorrow at the juniors' house. Please do come and let us warm the house together (lameee~). Details are as below:

Where? JJ, Nadine, Kevin & Adrian's place. 10/2-4, Oswalrd Street, Randwick
When? Sunday, 8/8/2010
Time? 1:30 pm

Any questions do feel free to post them in the comments section or at the shoutbox to the right.