Saturday, September 5, 2009
Halfway Thru Ramadhan
We're halfway thru Ramadhan and Aidilfitri is approaching. At our little Madrasah, I find that the crowd which follows through the Tarawih prayers (20 rakaat) and Witr ( 3 rakaat) is growing smaller, although more and more young men and boys are joining us.
This is very encouraging. At least in our community in Taman Melawati, Ulu Klang, the younger people are becoming more spiritually aware. if not more religious.
However we still have Imams who love to prolong the Tarawih by reciting lengthy pieces from the Quran for both rakaat in each round of prayer. No. Smooth, melodius and fluent recitals are welcome. But reading from the Quran held open on a rostrum infront of them with lots of repetition because of insufficient breath to pause at the right stop (wakaf), because of reading errors, faulty pronounciation etc and making long pauses between each recital and prayer movement to allow the makmum ( followers) a lot of time to complete their own recital, can be very exasperating. Yes, it's a good test of patience, but as waste of precious time is a waste of time especailly when one is already very tired ( and in some cases bloated with food and drinks -halal ones, of course).
One can easily dose off during those long, unnecessary pauses. If you're an expert at doing that, enjoy it by all means but don't torture the rest of the makmum.
That's at the madrasahs and mosques. At the shopping complexes, I cannot ever believe that we're facing an economic slowdown.The crowd and the buying spree people indulge in is as crazy as before. With a 50 to 70% discount notices prominently displayed everywhere, even near counters without any discount ( "Barang ini tadak diskaun, Encik!"), shoppers just go loco. You can easily get trampled by ladies rushing for some hot items....no, to catch up with their husbands or friends too. And hey! Those sporting low necklines, open back, bare arms, lots of legs and wet, red lips, are not necessarily non-Muslim. Excuse me if I was mistaken, for I dared not look twice or too long. Boleh batal puasa, tau?
I stop to wonder if we really are suffering from an economic recession or striding on hard times. Sure, people splurge quite willingly during festive season but if money is scarce, they should be more window-shopping than window-clearing. Only then did I remember that salaries and pensions are being released early this month. I wonder if the Ah Longs are still around to 'go for the kill' - no brutality or evil implied.
I must confess that I haven't gone to places like Masjid India and the Bazaars yet. I'm pretty sure that business is hectic over in these places. If not than Malaysians have moved on to the more classy shopping centers. The authorities concerned must make sure that these classy Malls and Complexes do carry local products, not just imported brands. And make sure that local products are also given a grand display, not just hidden somewhere in the backrooms and dark corners.
Selamat berpuasa and pra-raya shopping.