race to ramadhan

July 19, 2011

I can’t stop smiling now.

Just got back from a very nice Islamic talk by the Young Muslim Project. Have so much respect for the volunteers in that committee, they’re so dedicated bringing in Muslim dakwah speakers from all over the world and doing it out of love for Islam.

This talk was extra special to me because I was sandwiched between the 2 bestest friends, Toots and Asma’. And at the other side of the hall, was Dean. We suddenly felt like we should be more active in going to Islamic talks to learn more about Islam and become better Muslims. A different kind of date altogether, but who knows, our relationship might be more blessed.

So anyway, this talk was about the preparation we should do in order to greet Ramadhan. We should be racing to embrace Ramadhan, but to be completely honest to you, the only race I seem to be participating in is the Ganti Puasa Race. Not looking good, guys, not looking good.

Sheikh Yahya Ibrahim started by introducing Ramadhan as a month that people envy Muslims for. When else will you get 1.7 billion people unite to abstain themselves from the temptations of life, be it food, cigarettes, sex or even gossip? There is no such unity in the world that is stronger than the spirit of Ramadhan.

And what is the point of it all? For me, I think it’s to remind ourselves. Like Sheikh said just now, nothing trains our hearts better than deprivation. When we’re in an airconditioned room, we don’t realise how hot it is outside. When we’re rubbing our tummies at a buffet, we don’t realise how hungry some people outside are. Feeling the pain of others helps us remember, helps us become better people more willing to help others in need.

We all know this. In primary school, we had to write this in our exams. Yawn.

But then, the Sheikh said something that touched me. “From the last Ramadhan, 365 days has passed. Have we changed? Are we still doing the same habits? Are we still doing what we did a year ago? Are we still talking the same slang? Are we still wearing the same clothes?”

*Hugs my wardrobe* Yes and proud of it!! Hehe.

But I get what he meant –> Have we improved aspects of ourselves to become better people, better Muslims in particular?

Ramadhan is supposed to instill some awareness in us, a chance for our sins to be forgiven and kind of reborn ourselves to a clean slate. Have we all taken that opportunity? I know I haven’t. I’m still the same me a year ago. Sheikh said that if after Ramadhan we don’t feel clean, new, improved and loving God more, we should be wary. It’s probably because we didn’t embrace Ramadhan for the goodness that it is.

He gave us simple links. Just 3:

1) Quran – The more time you spend with it, the more God will love you. Our life guide is in there. It’s weird how I can stay up till 3-4 am reading Sophie Kinsella, but one page of the Quran and the yawns never stop coming! Devil.

2) Solat – The wajib is one story, but the Tarawikh is what’s special about Ramadhan. Once a year opportunity, he told us to grab it. There was a story of our Prophet Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. praying in the mosque at night until his feet shook. One person asked him, “Don’t you think God already loves you and will protect you from hellfire?” And our Prophet said, “So then shouldn’t I be a thankful servant?”

3) Sedekah – Be generous to people with the sincerest of heart.

Foooh, can’t believe Ramadhan is drawing near. I’m going to miss food, but this Ramadhan I want it to be different than the previous ones. I want myself to feel a difference and change for the better, InsyaAllah. I’m not a kid anymore, it’s time to mature and make decisions I’d be proud of.