Friday, August 6, 2010
Ushering in Ramadhan
Ramadhan has come around again - the month of soul-cleansing and enrichment for the true believers, through an intensified month-long dedication to Allah's injunctions as prescribed in the al-Quran and Hadith. For some, even among the good Muslims, it's month of challenge to withstand the pain of hunger and thirst in the daytime, not to mention the fight against the urge to smoke and other minor sins in life. (What more if they have turned major!).
I don't want to preempt the rights of the ulamas and gurus to talk about the full meaning of Fasting and Ramadhan to the Muslims. I have been reading and listening to talks about them even before the birth of some of the young ustazs and imams, but that does not qualify me to talk about religion. I can only talk about Fasting and Ramadhan from a secular point of view since I don't wear a Jubah or a Turban and I haven't been to Jordon, Morocco, etc ( everyone can and in deed must go to Mecca to do the Haj at least once) to study the Islamic Syariah.
Many Muslim young men and women today, don't like to fast unless it is for dieting in order to get a beautiful figure. Fasting a whole day from dawn to dusk impairs their efficiency in doing their work, prevents them from carrying out their normal day-to-day chores, and stands in the way of doing many things that they usually do. They can quote endless reasons for not fasting or doing so intermittently. All I want to say to them is. try fasting with the five daily prayers, the 'tarawih' and the 'tadarus' with a feeling of complete submission to Allah. It will make you feel like a new man. closer to Him and the mystical power of this mundane world.
Eating and drinking after fasting a full day will make the food and drinks taste so heavenly wonderful, no eating house and restaurant can serve you such a meal. Abstaining from cigarette a whole day when successfully repeated for a few days will make kicking away the habit entirely much easier. More importantly, the clearness of breath and thoughts without the drowsy effect of narcotine, will become a new experience worth exploring further.
Hey, I just love fasting because it makes me feel different from those who don't. I remember being scolded by a teacher for not completing my homework before. When I said I was fasting, he piped down and went away. Later I discovered that he was not fasting that day. I learned later that he became a staunch adherent to the fasting rule of Ramadhan. In life we try to be different from other people in many expensive ways. Try fasting. Your special response to hunger and thirst makes you a very special person in the eye of onlookers. I know a friend who won a girl's heart because of his very special character- humble, thoughtful and considerate - during a Ramadhan month. It reveals the qualities that often remain hidden in a man.
I cannot of course leave off the subject without repeating the ulamas' reminder that Ramadhan is a very special month when everything you do if done in Allah's name will secure a lot of marks when you are evaluated for admission to Heaven or Hell
after death. If you don't care about those marks, that you just want to enjoy life on earth and let the hereafter take care of itself, then Ramadhan means nothing to you. There will be the Pasar Ramadhan to help you in your gluttony, When you join others to buy a lot of foodstuff, no one knows that you're not fasting. Except Allah.
Selamat Berpuasa to those who Believe.