Friday, May 26, 2017

Time to service your car...oops stomach!

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.


The Declining Day (Al-'Asr)
1. By the declining day,
2. Lo! Man is in a state of loss,
3. Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort 
one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance.

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2. Tajuk: Rahsia Madinah (Jejak Rasul 2)-----------(XXXXXXXXX  MAAF, SUDAH DIJUAL)
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CAR experts said there are numerous factors that should be considered when it comes to how often your car needs servicing. The general rule for most vehicle types is once per year, but if you’re an especially frequent driver, your car could benefit from a more regular service.
The age of your car and type of fuel will influence the servicing time period. The older your car is the more often it will need servicing. Newer models under four years old often have a servicing period of 12 months. For automatic cars, the recommended service period is 12 months or 20,000 km. 
An 'ustaz' (religious teacher) in his 'tazkirah' (Islamic lesson) at a 'masjid' near my house recently when discussing the subject of 'puasa' (fasting) for the coming Ramadan said our stomach (body) needs to be serviced just like our car. To service our stomach we need to rest it and for 'puasa' we stop eating and drinking for about 13 hours during the day.
If a car normally needs to be serviced once a year, then our stomach too needs to be serviced 'annually' that is during 'Ramadan' - the ninth month of the Hegira (Islamic) year. During this month, Muslim are required to fast during the day for the whole month.
The 'ustaz' said if we neglect in servicing our car, the tendency for it to break down is high - the same could be said about our stomach. "We put everything edible inside our stomach whether the food or drink is hot or cold - even 'our home faithful refrigerator' breaks down or of no use after 20 or 30 years in service.
"Subhanallah, for some of us our stomach is now 50, 60 or 70 years old...then of course it urgently needs to be 'puasalah' (do the fasting)."
So during 'puasa' we stop from eating during daylight; hopefully it could help in 'repairing' our tear and wear 'parts' in the stomach. But 'puasa' is not just about abstaining from food and drinks. Scholars said we are also requested to 'fast' our tongues, eyes, ears and minds. If not, we would get nothing out of our 'puasa'. Abu Huraira related that Rasulullah SAW (peace be upon him) 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.” - Darimi
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 and time on it. Ramadan teaches Muslims to be thrift 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. 
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! 

True, we are taking our own halal food, but we have to adhere to the 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. If not we would be too heavy to perform the night 'ibadah' (acts of devotion) such as 'solat tarawikh' (a recommended prayers normally performs at 'masjid' in mass for 8 or 20 'rakaat' (units).

Another aspect of wastage during Ramadan 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 not long time ago. 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.

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.”

When servicing our car, we would be happy if 'the end product' is that our car is in a tip-top condition; by performing 'puasa' during Ramadan, 'the end product' is that a person gaining 'takwa' (piety); the question is had we archived it during the previous Ramadan?

A few days ago while driving my car, I heard an ‘ustaz’ (religious teacher) say in a radio programme, that one’s ‘puasa’ (fasting) in term of spiritual enhancement of the soul was considered a failure if one’s budget overshot the normal monthly expenditure. But he said it is okay if we use the money for the benefits of others such as sponsoring an 'iftar' (breaking of fast) gathering especially in 'masjids' or helping the poor. 

He also jokingly said that if one’s weight dropped a lot at the end of Ramadan, he or she had succeeded in his/her ‘puasa’ but what would be said if one’s weight increased at the end of the holy month?

The truth is that in our society, some folks were indulge in wastage activities during the holy month of Ramadan, they should be reminded that they are accountable for five things before the coming of five. The Prophet (pbuh) said: "Take benefit of five before five - your youth before your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free-time before your preoccupation,and your life before your death." (Hakim)

So to Muslims brothers and sisters, do not indulge in such empty, hollow and unbeneficial deeds, for Allah SWT says in Surah Al-Asr: "Verily! Man is in loss, Except those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth (i.e. order one another to perform all kinds of good deeds which Allah has ordained, and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which Allah has forbidden), and recommend one another to patience (for the sufferings, harms, and injuries which one may encounter in Allah's cause)."

Regarding the wastage of food and gluttony during Ramadan, President of Consumer Association of Penang (CAP), SM Mohamed Idris, previously had commented on the lavish spending of Muslims at Ramadan bazaars and the ‘merry iftars’ at restaurants and hotels. 

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims are encouraged to eat nutritious food during breaking fast and sahur (predawn meal) and prohibited from wasting. Unfortunately many tend to prepare many dishes or the easiest way is to buy food and drinks that are sold in abundance in Ramadan bazaars and markets that mushroom during the fasting month.

Remember Allah SWT decree in Surah Al A’raaf, sentence 3, "Eat and drink, but not in excess. Allah does not like people who are superfluous". Whereas Surah Al Israa’, sentences 26 and 27 states, "And do not waste, as those who waste are the devil’s friends".

Remember Prophet Muhamad SAW’s commandment, "Fight the yearning for food and withstand hunger and thirst as the reward is equivalent as jihad to Allah’s path. There is nothing greater to offer God than resisting hunger and thirst."

In relation to this and in the occasion of this good month, let us all return to true Islamic teachings and practices and not be influenced by wastefulness and guile.

Let it be known that Ramadan is a sacred month among all other months and Allah SWT wants all his servants to fulfill the month with obedience and 'taqarrub' (closeness) to Him. The continuous satiety of an individual’s life will fulfill and enhance the soul with obstinacy and extremity. We hope that Ramadan will help develop loving and caring Muslims.

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