It is almost more than a year since I last posted in this blog (what a LONG TIME). I will try my best to continue my writing, insyaAllah..
Alhamdulillah, with Allah's blessing, He gave us another opportunity to live and experience another Ramadhan this year. My teachers and friends always call this month "Madrasah Ramadhan" (the school of Ramadhan). Why? Well, Ramadhan is a month prepared by Allah especially for us as a place to train and teach ourselves (tarbiya) to become closer to Him. With all the activities, programs and incentive Allah is offering us, what better way is there for us to attain His pleasure?
Okay, now for the actual post. This is actually my last year's journal (written for my writing class) about Ramadhan. My lecturer is not a Muslim so the journal is quite simple. May it benefits us all..
Assalamualaikum… Hi again!! Looks like I just remembered that I have to submit a journal this week. Well, after pondering on what to write, since this is Ramadhan, I think I’ll write a little about it. Well, Ramadhan is the month when Muslims fast. Actually, Ramadhan is not only limited to fasting; it is the month of worship or, as our Prophet put it “Everything has its seasons, and the season of worship is Ramadhan”. Ramadhan is the month when we Muslims train ourselves to worship God; there are many “programs” to train us during this month, some which are compulsory, such as fasting, and others such as the night prayers- “tarawih”, the prayers in the middle of the night or “qiyamullail”, and the recital of the Quran is highly encouraged. The month of Ramadhan is quite significant in my life because there is always a different “feeling” to it; it always feels more peaceful and joyous, and I always feel closer to God.
Let’s talk about the main part of Ramadhan – the fasting. We fast from dawn until dusk, a little bit more than 12 hours per day during Ramadhan. That means no eating or drinking for a whole 12 hours!! Is it tiring? Well, it can be quite tiring at first, but after a while, we don’t notice it much… Do you know that we have to abstain more than only foods and drinks during Ramadhan? The Prophet once said “There are people who fast in Ramadhan but got nothing from it except hunger and thirst”. Hmm, so what else do we need to abstain from? Well, we need to abstain from speaking bad things or using bad words, looking at things we are not supposed to look at, and hearing things we are not supposed to hear. This is part of the training to make us better Muslims when we come out of Ramadhan.
Well, usually the best part of Ramadhan is during the time when we break our fast. We usually break our fast with friends and family, at our home, the mosque, or a restaurant. Why do you think breaking fast feels so special? I mean, it’s just like other meals, right? Nope, that’s wrong… Okay, imagine yourself not drinking or eating for a whole day, and then you see a freshly cooked meal, accompanied by juicy drinks in front of you. The smell is irresistible and your mouth is watering… Well, that is why breaking fast feels so special. This is the time we actually value the food God gave us. For me, breaking fast also affects us socially. People seem friendlier and talkative at that time, and even strangers feel like friends. It is a chance to know our friends and family better. Best of all, when we break fast, we can feel the hunger and thirst that poor people feel, and it helps us to understand them. It also makes us thankful for the food that God had given us. This is why charity is greatly encouraged during Ramadhan. Consequently, (wow, it’s an academic conjunction!!) many free meals are offered all around the world during Ramadhan.
What about the rest of our day? Well, after isya’, (isya’ time is when the red in the sky that appears after dusk disappear) a tarawih prayer will be held. What is a tarawih prayer anyway? Well, actually, it is a long recommended prayer (which is not compulsory) only done during Ramadhan. When I say long, I mean LONG… The number of raka’ah (number of cycle between standing to sitting) ranges from eight to twenty. It usually takes between half an hour to two hours to complete. The prayer can be quite tedious, and after eating such a lot of food before that, quite soporific too. But for me, this prayer actually increases the spirit of Ramadhan. I mean, the different “feeling” Ramadhan has will be incomplete without it. Well, as I stated earlier, this is actually the part that “trains” us Muslims to worship and become closer to God.
Actually, the most exciting thing about Ramadhan is the celebration we have at the end of it. The Hari Raya or ‘Eid Fitr is a celebration we have for successfully finishing Ramadhan. It’s like when we graduate from college after successfully finishing many tests. Our whole family will gather in our hometown and visit one another. There will be countless number of food and dishes. Well, I think I’ll stop the topic of Hari Raya abruptly here. It’ll spoil my chance of writing it for the next journal.
That is all for this post.. Have a great time increasing 'ibadah!! May we always stay strong throughout Ramadhan and become among its successful graduates , insya Allah..
“Whoever fasted the month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith (i.e. belief) and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his past sins will be forgiven, and whoever stood for the prayers in the night of Qadr out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven .” (Bukhari)