06 August 2011


What is Ramadhan to you? If it is Merdeka season, we would have been asked 'what's the definition of Merdeka to you?' but never in my life that I heard someone asking me- 'what is Ramadhan to you?' -to me seriously. Maybe I forgot someone did that but that's only because we do not do it very often.

I am frightened by the fact that this Ramadhan would be just another routine for us. A month of annual fasting and celebration of going to the bazaars to buy as much food we can. 

I came around this quote by a Muslim scholar:
 "There are as many forms of fasting as there are organs of perception and sensation, and each of these has many different levels. So we ask to fast from all that Allah does not love for us, and to feast on what the Beloved loves for us. Let us certainly fast from the limited mind, and all that it conjures up. Let us fast from fear, apart from fear and awe of Allah's majesty. Let us fast from thinking that we know, when Allah alone is the Knower. Let us fast from thinking negatively of anyone. Let us fast from our manipulations and strategies. Let us fast from all complaint about the life experiences that Allah gives us. Let us fast from our bad habits and our reactions. Let us fast from desiring what we do not have. Let us fast from obsession. Let us fast from despair. Let us fast from not loving our self, and from denying our heart. Let us fast from selfishness and self-centered behavior. Let us fast from thinking that only what serves us is important. Let us fast from seeing reality only from our own point of view. Let us fast from seeing any reality other than Allah, and from relying on anything other than Allah. Let us fast from desiring anything other than Allah and Allah's Prophets and friends, and our own true self. Essentially, let us fast from thinking that we have any existence separate from Allah."
My dear friend of mine, and also my naqib in usrah, and my senior-who-I-always-give-hard-time said what's important is the QUALITY of your good deeds that matter. It could not be further from the truth. I think generally all of us know about this but it has come and gone through our ears. I give you an example how routines have made us lose focus about deeds that we do; reciting Al-Quran without understanding. If you have no Arabic basics to recite Al-Quran, you probably have difficulties in understanding the meaning. Well, for me reciting the verses without understanding it is a waste of time. It is true. I have realised this before but never try to really understand. Ask me when did I khatam? Ask me again when do I fully understand all of the verses? 

Our religion teaches us to comprehend and understand about what we do. Why do we recite Al-Asr after the end of any majlis? Why tasbih kifarah is chanted before that? What is surah Yasin all about? 

 The month of Ramadan to me represents such an opportunity to stop, reflect, and deepen one's consciousness. One is able to more concretely understand the beauty of this world and the blessings one has been given as one strives to deepen their relationship with the Divine by cultivating a better understanding of themselves and those that are around them. Or it can be an opportunity missed where one just gets hungry and thirsty and doesn't really ask themselves why they are fasting. 
Let's raise our consciousness and be aware of our purposes in doing things. Without true intentions, our deeds are not accepted and they waste your time and energy.-The Chukai Insider

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