Friday, July 27, 2012

Benefit time fully during Ramadan

***************** In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. ****************** Reflection ******************* "Anyone who obeys the Messenger has obeyed God..." (Nisaa 4:80) ************* A blogger, Baithy Murad at baitimurad.blogspot.com commented on two of my postings regarding Ramadan in my blog Lanh14.blogspot.com which were actually my articles derived from Harakah's English Section. ***************** Regarding the first article entitled ‘A critical thought as we enter Ramadan’ (Harakah 1-4 August 2011, 1-4 Ramadan 1432), she wrote: “The best article I have ever read about Ramadan was written by the blogger of LanH14. I am touched when I read it. Brothers and sisters; let us spend at least 10 minutes to digest this article for our ‘muhasabah’ (reflection) together.” *********************** Readers could read the article at http://lanh14.blogspot.com/search?q=critical+thought+ramadan. In the article among others I mentioned about the wastage of food during Ramadan. ********************* So Ramadan is about taking less food (because you can only eat after sunset) but the irony of it, Ramadan is the month where some Malaysian Muslims spend so much money on it and it is the time of the year when one could have 'exotic food ' including ‘kuih’ (cakes) never found on any other time such as 'badak berendam', 'tahi itik' and 'tepung pelita'. ******************* Ramadan teaches Muslims to be trift on their spending. But it is normal for a Malaysian Muslim family; I included, spending more during Ramadan especially on food, clothing and decoration of the house. *********************** In recent days during my journey to work, I noticed tents were being erected on not so busy roads such as in front of shops lots; these premises were to be used by traders to sell their goods and products during Ramadan. ********************* At some places, they called it ‘Bazar (Bazaar) Ramadan,’ others were kown as ‘Pasar (Market) Ramadan’, 'Karnival Ramafan' and ‘Gerai (Stall) Ramadan’. In these places, one could find almost all of ones needs including perhaps those ‘exotic food’ mentioned above. *********************** What does the presence of this ‘Ramadan phenomenon’ suggest? Am I wrong in saying that Muslims are encouraged to spend more time and money in this ‘fiesta’ like a monthly occassion; unfortunately it is Ramadan, the best time of the year for Muslims to double or triple his good deeds as required by Islam? *********************** Ramadan teaches us to feel the pangs of hunger of the poor people of the world. It has been reported that one person in the world dies every three seconds because of hunger. So wasting of food is criminal. But how is the situation in our country and other rich Muslim nations where the word ‘hunger’ seemed ‘quite unfamiliar’ to us, and seemingly is happening in far faraway lands. In United Arab Emirates (UAE) it was reported that 500 tons of food are thrown away each year in the holy month of Ramadan! ************************ My second article commented by Baithy Murad was ‘The unrewarded good deeds’ (Harakah 8-11 August 2011, 8-11 Ramadan 1432). The article could be reached at http://lanh14.blogspot.com/search?q=unrewarded+good+deeds ****************** Baithy Murad wrote: “Aslamun a'laik...hye there, brothers and sisters! Alhamdulillah (God willing), Allah still give me a chance to breathe well today and doing my work as usual...Yahhh, while I read some articles from selective blogs, I do met with this amazing writing again by Mr LanH in his blog Lanh14...so,do read it and practice makes perfect everyone! ******************* In this article, I quoted and discussed a ‘hadith’ narrated by Darimi: Abu Huraira related that Rasulullah said: “Many people who fast get nothing from their fast except hunger and thirst, and many people who pray at night get nothing from it except wakefulness.” ******************** I quoted an ustaz (religious teacher) saying: “"Fasting is not just about abstaining from food and drinks. We are also requested to 'fast' our tongues, eyes, ears and minds. ********************** "If we only refrain ourselves from taking food and drinks, but 'free' our sights, hearings and tongues, then at the end of the day, we will be rewarded only with hunger, thirst and tiredness." ***************** He also said we had to 'fast' our stomach. It was true, during Ramadan, we had to refrain from eating and drinking during the day, but it would be of no value if during breaking of the fast, we took food that was forbidden (haram). ********************** He said all the food that was laid on the desk had to be ‘halal’, and there were regulations when eating. For example fill only one third of the stomach with food, the next one third with drink and leave the rest empty for easier breathing as said by the Prophet. ****************** In both articles, my main concerned was about food; the first one is on the wastage of food during Ramadan and the second one I stressed that one should not only refrain from taking food and drinks but also to ‘fast’ our sense organs such as ears and eyes. ********************* And for this year (2012) Ramadan, dear readers, I would like to add another aspect of wastage that is regarding time. How many people waste their precious time of Ramadan for example playing ‘dam haji’ (checkers) and carom while waiting for the time for ‘berbuka puasa’ (breaking of the fast or iftar)? ********************** This ‘fine aspects’ of Ramadan was discussed by an ustaz while giving his weekly ‘tazkirah’ (talk) at a masjid near my house recently. ******************** The ustaz reminded Muslims (congregators at the masjid) to gain maximum benefits from the gifts of Allah SWT during Ramadan. In this holy month, one ‘sunat’ (optional) deed done would be rewarded like a ‘wajib’ or ‘fardu’ (obligatory) deed, and a ‘fardu’ deed would be rewarded 70 times or more than in other months. ********************* He said we should not waste any time during Ramadan because it is very precious. “Grab the oppourtunities given by The Almighty by considering this is our last Ramadan. If it is our last, then we should do our best to please our Creator, Allah SWT. Every second counts thus fulfill it with activities in accordance to the Creator’s wish. *********************** “Our Ramadan days should not be wasted by doing unrewarded deeds such as playing checkers while waiting for the breaking for fast. Fill it with ‘zikir’ (dhikir that is eulogizing Allah in the words taught by the Prophet or in the words prescribed in the Qur’an),” said the ustaz. *********************** One’s tongue should be wet with words of praising Allah SWT (lidah perlu basah dengan kalimah Allah) with the chants of ‘Laa Ilaha IllAllah (there is no God except Allah) which is the heaviest in weight in the side of Allah SWT. ********************* “Then there are many more ‘kalimah’ that should be read such as ‘Subhanallah, Walhamdulillah, Wala Ilaha Illallah, Wallahuakbar’, Astaghfirullah al Lazi La Ilaha ‘illa Hual Hayyul Qayyum Wa Atubu Illahi’, ‘La Haula Wala Quwwata Illa Billah’, and ‘Subhanallahi Wabihamdihi Subhanallahil ‘Azim’. There is a hadith saying that chanting ‘Subhanallahi Wabihamdihi’ once, a ‘nakhlah’ tree would be planted for that person in Paradise. ********************* In doing our daily chores such as paying bills, waiting for public transport and even when one is trapped in a massive traffic jam, why not use the time to recite the above ‘kalimah’. ********************* These ‘kalimah’ should be chanted in full concentration for the maximum rewards by Allah SWT but for the ‘zikir selawat’ (praises to Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.) its reciters' would also be rewarded even if his mind is not on what they recite, what more if he pays full attention to it. Among the simplest ‘selawat’ is ‘Allahumma Salli Ala Saiyidina Muhammad, Wa’ ala Ali Saiyidina Muhammad’. ********************* Ramadan and the noble Qur’an cannot be separated. It was in this month that the first verses of the Qur’an were revealed to the Prophet s.a.w. through Angel (Malaikat) Jibril a.s. So to Muslims brothers and sisters why not brought along a small Qur’an with you and recite it while you are waiting in a line or better still during long journeys on buses and trains. ************************ And when travelling don’t forget to bring along a packet of dates with you, so that when it is iftar time, pass the dates to person or persons next to you for you would be rewarded handsomely by Allah SWT as the Prophet s.a.w. had declared: “If a person gives iftar to a fasting person in this month, his sins would be forgiven. And he will be given as many rewards as has that fasting person.”

1 comment:

Faisal Bashir said...

Not only is it severely punishable by law, it also goes without saying that it is morally binding on you not to do so. Most work places have designated separate areas for non-Muslims where you can eat or drink within closed doors and your Muslim colleagues would avoid such places.
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