Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Month To Reflect And Act

A Month To Reflect And Act

Alhamdulillah we have been given the nikmat to undergo another month of spiritual cleansing, character building and soul strengthening. Ramadhan is undoubtedly a virtual school where every muslims go for a month every year. For the whole month we train ourselves to guard our nafs from various vile habits that we may have picked up throught out the year. Eventhough the essential essence of Ramadhan is refraining ourselves from eating, drinking and copulating, it actually encompasses a more holistic exercise. Hunger softens the heart. It teaches us patience. Besides that we are not to indulge in ignoble activities like back-biting, slandering, arguing etc.
We are encouraged to escalate our supererogatory prayers/ ibadah and fill the hours with positive activities. Saying the zikrullah as much as we could. It is said that whatever good that is done in Ramadhan with sheer sincerity , rewards come in manifold. Thus by the end of Ramadhan we will graduate from the 'school', a stonger muslim and jemaah, insyallah!

In Ramadhan as hunger pangs plague us, we are being taught that this is the best moment to 'feel' for those who suffer due to poverty, those at war etc. Day in and out for the whole of Ramadhan it teaches you to empathise with the poor and needy. Thus in this sacred month we are being encouraged to give alms more than ever.

Do you notice how the atmosphere feels markedly different in Ramadhan? How it is more peaceful and balmy? It is usually hotter, no doubt as Ramadhan is known as a hot and dry month even back during prophet Muhammad's time.(saw). Ramadhan simply exudes goodnes in the air and this could be because all the doors of Jannah are opened throughout, whilst all the doors of Jahannam are closed and that satan and his accomplices are in shackles temporarily.

No words can really describe the pleasure we savor at the moment of iftar. Each morsel of food just brings sheer gratifying joy. As those glorious food touch your palate, you are reminded of how lucky you are to be able to taste food again after long hours of abstain. And to top up everything, it is said that it's mustajab to make dua duriang the time of breaking fast. Masyallah! Undoubtedly, Allah's blessings in Ramadhan are abundant!

I am touched by OrangKilang's (OK) Ramadhan Contemplation on how he hopes that this Ramadhan will see a change for the better in him. He said : I also pray that Allah gives me the strength to change for the better and become a better person. If there is any time in our lives that we have a chance to change, Ramadhan is the best chance. During this time we are free from the whispers of Syaitan who will be locked up during the entire month. Our motivations will be our own, our sins will be our own, our darkness will be our own. So if we need to cleanse and purify ourselves, this is the time. As always, OK has an interesting knack of quoting famous quotes especially lines from films. This time he had quoted: As Picard says in First Contact, "The line must be drawn heeyah (here)!

also has an interesting Ramadhan entry highlighting the perplexing situation of fasting in a foreign country with unpredictable weather. Here is a witty extract of her entry :

The jihad against an-nafs should not be taken lightly. They’re well-prepared, armed with strong dosage of immunity courtesy of their bosses before the latter went on hiatus. And chances are, you won’t even notice that it really is your nafs acting by proxy when you reach for those extra chicken drumsticks during iftar which you suspect will make you bloat like Shrek and monkey with your concentration all through tarawih later but you do it anyway.

Yes, no matter how much you drill into your brain during the day, telling yourself to cut on your gastronomical desires, somehow, on breaking fast, you'll find your hands making a pact with your mouth, helping you to gorge yourself and alas, bloat like a puffer fish! And of course, the impact of having drank gallons of water and glut on your food , you are left with a staggering gait and droopy eyes during tarawikh!

Two of our dearest kins, my son, Luqman and Salina, Boogey's wife, had to celebrate their birthdays whilst fasting this year. Happy birthday and may Allah swt bless both of them. What is most flabbergasting is Boogey's latest entry! Read it and you'll know what I mean! (to Boogey: you need a permanent sort of reminder engraved or framed somewhere within your daily view!!)

has a beautiful checklist of obligatory and sunnat things to do for the whole of Ramadhan whilst Tawel had lined out the proper way to sleep, the Muslim way. Hope we can assimilate them into our daily lives.

As we already know, Ramadhan is a month filled with endless blessings from Allah swt., so much so that fasting is an ibadah that is exclusively being rewarded by Allah swt. Himself. Let us not let this opportunity slip away abysmally! May this Ramadhan see the better of us, in our ibadah especially! Take care!


Ikelah said...

As Muslims, we are allowed to eat anything except those that are mentioned in the Quran, hadiths, Qias and Ijma' ulama' as guided by the Imams in Ahli Sunnah wal Jamaah.

In Ramadhan we are further forbidden from taking food from fajr till the sunset. Those are the limits set to all Muslims who abide to the religion.

Setting a limit is not a new thing. As Allah had told our great grandparents, "You are free to eat anything here except the one that bears from this tree." That was the only limit set to Adam alaihi salam.

The range of time set by God concerning fasting was not only to test the willingness not to eat or consume anything orally but to train the muslims with good practice by offering encouragements and 'tokens'. It is just like a business that is very profitable offered by God for those who take His offer.

We have to controll our eyes, ears, tongue, thoughts and cleanse our heart with zikr and reading the Quran. This one month special offer is further being boost with a special bonanza, 'the special night'. A successful training will produce a consistant taqwa Islamic worker for at least another 11 months.

Lastly there are two modes of a practicing Muslim.

Its Al Quran that guides the heart, not the mind.

Then its the heart that guide the action, not the mind.

The mind is to just think for the best way to excute an action.

The body will then excercise the decision.

It is mind that guides the action. It is based on the knowledge aquired from AlQuran. Logic and environment are important to fit the action into the society.

They can be in one, two or mix.

Wallahu 'alam.

Mama Sarah said...

rindunya berpuasa, iftar dan berterawikh di malaysia. tak dinafikan, rindu kat variety of food and minuman di msia juga.

seronok juga terawikh di darul isra Cardiff dulu2. pelbagai ragam manusia yang kita nampak (probably dari mazhab yg berlainan) barulah faham cerita2 mereka yang pulang dari Mekah, orang sembahyang sujud atas batu. orang perempuan sembahyang tak cover kaki (!), dll.

tapi tetap tak akan sama environmentnya dgn malaysia (yg dah tentunya lagi best)

kenakelayan said...

Lovely entry. Everyone is right, this is the best time to practise mujahadah-an-nafs.

Imam al-Ghazali in the Book of Fasting and Its Secretsfrom Ihya Ulumuddin mentions 3 types of fasting:

"The fasting of the general public involves refraining from satisfying the appetite of the stomach and the appetite of the sex, as has already been discussed.
The fasting of the select few is to keep the ears, the eyes, the tongue, and hands, and the feet as well as the other senses free from sin.
The fasting of the elite among the select few is the fast of the heart from mean thoughts and worldly worries and its complete unconcern with anything but God."

La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah.

pycnogenol said...

Kenakelayan, I know that I have been struggling with 'the select few' stage, for a long, LONG time.....

Question is: Will we (or rather will I) ever get to be one of the elites? :(

kenakelayan said...

Allah's Bounty and Rahmah has no limis. Turn to Him, He loves that from us. :) Our job is to keep on trying. Whether He grants us to be from the select or elite is really up to Him.

(saya sendiri pun banyak lagi tak betul...)

dith said...

iKelah- let's pray that this Ramadhan brings much much more Barakah to our household. AMeen!

Mama- teringin jugak nak rasa berpuasa di sana. Tentu seronok dalam suasana , cuaca yang jauh beza. Takper tahun depan insyallah Nisak sekeluaga berpuasa di sini kan?

KKL- Blessed are those who have attained the elite makam. But can anyone in these group still go for a normal daily job like us? <===maaf soalan bodoh

Pycno- Samalah kita...

kenakelayan said...

:D One of my favourite Sheikh says: 'Have the dunya in your hand, not in your heart'. Kalau boleh buat macam ni, walaupun ada daily job/household to manage, saya rasa boleh attain elite. But not without sacrifices. It won't be easy. Kena purify heart. Kena perfectkan ibadah wajib, kena buat banyak sunnah Nabi and nawafil. And kena sentiasa jaga intention. Keeping company of like-minded people can help greatly in this.

Actually kan, from what I heard/read from the scholars, I think part of the secret is that you keep on trying to get closer to Allah regardless of the many setbacks you face. Sikit-sikit lama-lama jadi bukit. Kalau tak sempat attain elite pun die trying. The journey is the thing.. don't try to rush the end too much as everyone has their own time. Also yakinlah to the hadith in your previous entry:

"My servant ceases not to draw nearer to Me with supererogatory devotions until I love him, when I love him I become his eyesight with which he sees, his hearing with which he hears, his hand with which he strikes, and his foot on which he walks. When he asks of Me, I grant him, and when he seeks My protection, I protect him"

And Allah knows best. Ya Allah please correct my faults as I am weak, I have no power nor jurisdiction over myself, all Power and Might stems from You. Please help me make firm my intentions, make consistent my deeds, and perfect my ibadah. Please protect me from saying that which I do not do. Please forgive me have I said and done anything wrong. And please forgive all Muslims, those who are Your obedient servants and those who are not. And reunite us with those whom we love in the Hereafter.

dith said...

Ameen Ya Rabbal Al Ameen

Ikelah said...

Right, Love Allah and Rasulullah hisallalahu alaihi wasallam first. others second.

Ku Keng said...

Kalu tak kelewatan, ingin saya mengucapkan Selamat Beribadah dan Beramal dalam Ramadhan al Mubarak ini.

Semgoa Allah SWT mengabuli segala permintaan terutamanya untuk mencapai azam-azam yang baru.

Ramadhan Kariim.

dith said...



Ramadhan Karim!

hiyoshi said...

Oh, I can really relate to what Sofi has written.

Count Byron said...

DITH.. what lovely write about Ramadhan and the schooling we get. Doing the supererogatory ibadahs has its sweet tinge, and it strengthens the resolve to do good deeds, better. Thanks Dr Roza. You always inspire.

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