The Imam or Preacher at the mosque always asked the question: Did you come out of the month of Ramadhan last year as a changed man (or woman)? If not the month most special in Islam is here again and this is your chance to cleanse yourself from the evils of life, renew your faith in Allah SAW and seek His clemency. For, this could be the last Ramadhan al-mubarak in your life.
Some ulamas described Ramadhan as a Training Instituiion where good Muslims learn to face the hardships of life with patience and earn bountiful credits for whatever good deed that one does in the month.All prayers and good deeds ( Amal Soleh) will be rewarded 700 or more times than what is usually awarded in the normal month and abstaining from what is prohibited by Islam will earn one the same enhanced bonus.
Yes, we see Muslims thronging the madrasahs and mosques to overflowing capacity in Ramadhan , especially at night until after the marathon prayer session (taraweh) and the al-quran recital ( tadarus). There will be talks and lectures given by various Imams through the month.
But what do we see in the day especially late afternoon? People thronging the Ramadhan Bazaars, now found all over the country, to buy all kinds of goodies and delicacies for breaking their fast at the setting of the sun. You can find all the varieties of traditional and modern cookies and dishes being sold, so much so that non-Muslims also take advantage of the fare. You'll never find such offerings at any other time in the year. For all food connoisseurs in the world, this is the best time to visit Malaysia and tickle your taste-bud to no end.
I am sure that even in the war-torn Muslim countries, this is a time to cease fighting the evils of the world and politics, and concentrate on fighting the inner evils of the soul, if you've not already sold it to Satan. Why,you can even try to reprieve it if that has already happened. For the warlords and evil-mongers it's time to dig ( I quote Ken Wilber in Boomeritis) "beneath the veneer of civilized madness to find, it is devoutly hoped, an original human goodness long buried by the brutalities of a modern world rubbed raw by viciousness."
We still hear people saying that the Muslims are belligerent and warlike in nature. Talk to them in this fasting month, share their thoughts and reflections, their values and their ideals. You'll find that they are among the most friendly people in the world. Of course there are the extremists and fundamentalists - even the average Muslims could not see eye-to-eye with them.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
We all love a bright sunny morning, with birds and bees fluttering in the breeze and people hurrying to their offices to start work. On weekends many of course will not witness the morning sun, perhaps remaining in bed until ten or even later. Then preparing oneself for lunch or an outing....
So, who appreciates a cold, rainy morning? Ever thought of that?
What about the housewives who have so many things to clear up in the house from unwashed linen, crockeries, the fridge stuffed-up with left-overs, the rooms which have not be vacuumed for some time, the floor which had not be stripped off from heavy carpeting for months with dust collecting everywhere, the furniture which had not been rearranged for ages, etc, etc? There's enough work for three rainy days or more.
What about the tired executives who had not been able to sit and read in their studies for months? Catch up on the news, the cinemas, the sports, and the neighbors.The wife and the children could fill you in better then the radio or TV. Of course now you have the Internet and Facebook.Anything worthwhile knowing should be in the FB, Twitters etc. etc. Just keep surfing the internet the whole morning and afternoon, before you fall asleep. Hey, you get damn tired surfing the net you know!
I'm surveying the neighborhood from my window, the houses, the trees and the hills all shrouded in a hazy, wet, but transparent blanket. Today is a weekday and most of the abled bodied men and women must be keeping busy in the office. chit-chatting around with colleagues or clients with a cup of hot coffee in their hands or attending a meeting. How many years of our life are spent in that way? Only the house-wives and non school-going children must be at home with the maids, forced to remain indoors by the rain and drizzle.
So...what's beautiful about it? For those who are at home, think my friend. It's one of the rare occasions when you can be by yourself watching Nature refresh itself in a cold bath, relieving itself from the heat of sin and mayhem generated by human beings. Perhaps the war mongers in war-torn countries will stay at home today, and not think of killing people. Perhaps the murders, the thieves and the criminals in society will stay home and make love to their life-partners, thus enjoying the pleasures of loving people rather then victimizing them.
For the rich and wealthy, go on, wallow in your comfortable den with lots of food and drinks to enjoy, while the poor and hungry in war-torn countries seek shelter somewhere from the cold and rain , nursing their empty bellies.