ramadhan checklist

June 8, 2016

When you’re having such a good time with your loved ones, do you ever wish suddenly that when we all “go” one day, we’ll still be together laughing like this in heaven? Except it’ll be a gazillion times more amazing? It gives me goosebumps thinking about it and when the thought of even one of us not being in heaven, makes me really sad. Even if we dislike someone so much, we would never ever wish for them to be burned in hellfire. If you do, something is umm wrong with your heart… or maybe you’re watching too many scary movies. Whatever it is, we know death is real. We see people around us leaving us one by one, and one day, it’ll be us. Scary, but we might as well remind ourselves because what determines our afterlife is our actions in this life. And lucky for us, God is still giving us time to fix anything that needs fixing.

I was thinking about Ramadan as a month of purification and doing my checklist of what I want to achieve this Ramadan and reminders to myself.

– pray on time

– refrain from talking bad / saying bad things / hearing bad things

– terawih prayers every night, doesn’t matter in mosque or at home if I get back late

– quran reading every night – I’m hoping I can khatam one round this month

– bring my telekung bag everywhere

– stay in wudhuk as much as I can so it’ll be easier to pray in between work and shoots

– be cheerful and happy throughout the day – because Muslims are happy people, even when tested and hungry

– do lots of sedekah

– cook for Dean as much as I can – before I sleep so I don’t have to wake up so early before sahur to cook for him – would probably mix up salt and sugar hehe.

– find children’s books about religion – need to start teaching Daniel and Mariam about Islam – not sure how to start!

– see our parents as much as I can – buka together etc

– less pasar ramadhan, more healthy cooking for family

– wear looser clothes

It’s going to be really tough to keep to all of these, but I’m going to treat this as a guide. If I can’t on certain days cos I have to work late or cos I’m too tired with the kids, I’m not going to beat myself up over it. God knows all our intentions. But I will still try my best anyway! Ramadan only comes once a year and already, 2 days of it have passed so quickly.

On the first night of terawih, I had such a long day. We almost missed our flight from Jakarta and ran to the gate, walked all over KLIA2, took an ERL to KLIA where we parked our car (don’t ask, long story), picked up the kids from the grandparents and rushed home to get ready for terawih. Dean and I did 23 rakaats (I almost gave up and did 8 because I was so tired) and I swear to you, my legs were so wobbly that I felt so numb that night. You know I’m honest so I’m just going to say it to you; I was thinking mann why does this Imam read sooooo long, I’m so tired! It was so horrible of me to think that way and I immediately stopped when I heard the Imam’s voice shake into tears when he was reciting the Quran in one of the rakaats. Oh my goodness, there I was complaining about my legs when everyone else was khusyuk, immersing themselves in the meanings of the Quran and how it can move even the toughest of us to tears. I said Astargfirullah immediately. The Imam’s heart is so filled with love for Allah swt, that I found this to be so so inspiring.

When you think about it, Islam is so beautiful. Everything it teaches us is a good thing; be good to your parents, don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t be provocative, don’t cheat, protect women. It’s only us that makes it so complicated with our “but’s” and trying to outsmart the religion with logic. When really, Islam is so logical. Look at the Rukun Islam as an example. Besides having the ultimate reason which is loving Allah swt, I also think the pillars of Islam is so relevant in current times:

 Syahadah – logic: so we are reminded of our Creator, we feel protected that He is watching over us especially when we’re stressed, this is really calming.

Prayers 5 times a day – logic: meditation, break of calmness in between our hectic day, light exercise and stretch to wake us up throughout the day, keeping fit

Zakat – logic: help others, an act of humility, learning to share

Fasting in Ramadhan – logic: detox, cleansing our body from junk, refreshing our intentions and deeds, letting ourselves feel the pain that the ones in need feel in hopes it will change us for the better

Hajj – logic: learn what our Muslim warriors had to go through, open our eyes to meet other people around the world, learning to share and live with others even for a short period of time.

I’m loving our religion. I have a looooooooong way to go to understand more about it, but I’m going to try my best to adhere to all of God’s wants of me. Sometimes I really feel silly that I never wore the hijab sooner. I mean, nice hair, God, nice hair, God… really, is it even a debate? Till now, I still love my hair and sometimes I think this outfit would look good with my hair in a high bun (haha) but really… in life, we know we can’t pick and choose to have everything we want. Same goes with religion, look at it in totality and just believe that everything has a reason. We always want God to give us the best, but when He asks something of us, we turn here turn there to find “logic” in ways that suit us. But then, we would never question the good things He gives us. Such hypocrites, us human beings. That’s us, flawed in so many ways but God sees our intentions in wanting to improve everyday. That’s why we can never judge others. We do not see what God sees.

But I always remember what Mimak told me once; do the wajib first, then the rest. There’s no point doing all the good deeds and being a nice person if even the wajib God asks, you don’t do. Because that will be the first thing we’ll be asked later down there. A lot of us, including me before, always used the “But I’m a generally good person, I’ll be fine…” But I knew deep down that it’s not ignorance, it’s just avoidance and finding “logic” that suited me. I was still defying God even though I knew what was asked of me.

Anyway, deep post, sorry about this. But just feeling a lot of love for the basics of Islam and feeling proud to be a Muslim. Hope this post restored your love for it too 🙂