A Time For Reflection…
And so, we’re in the last few hours of our last day of fasting. Fasting which is not supposed to just discipline us in not eating and drinking for 13 and a half hours, but also to discipline us in being patient, be closer to HIM through our deeds, to lessen our worldly desires and of course to curb our penchant for vices.
I always feel sad whenever this last day beckons. I wonder if I would meet it again the following year as we all know Death comes to us when we least expect it. Well, I can only hope and pray that I would get to meet it again, to enjoy the essence of it, to still be performing the Tarawih prayers at night, to complete reading the Holy Qur’an, to still enjoy the Bubur Lambuk / Masjid everytime we break our fast and experiencing the calmness it brings to an impatient and short-tempered person like me.
I am like any other human being, not spared from erring from time to time. As each passing Ramadhan goes, so too does my age. I know people might think why should I be sad during Hari Raya when it is a time for celebrations??? I’m not pious, neither am I religious as most people make me out to be. But I have a sense of perspective that says celebrations should be kept in moderation, better still as minimal as possible. The real celebration was the fasting month itself for all the rewards promised to us by HIM.
One thing I’ve learnt about the month and the significance of chasing after Lailatul Qadar during the last 10 nights is that we should not just concentrate on the odd nights as most people had pointed out but to go for the even ones as well. Why??? Cos there is a high probability it could fall on an even night. How could this be??? Well, we either start to fast a day earlier or a day later than our other Muslim counterparts in different parts of the world. In that sense, if theirs falls on an odd night, we’ll be experiencing an even one and vice-versa. Since nobody knows when Lailatul Qadar occurs, the rationale is to up the ante every single night and not drop the standards on the even nights. Your guess is as good as mine as to when it happened this year cos with the haze, it was difficult to ascertain when it happened the night before. Normally one would know when it happened just by experiencing the day after, with the weather being cool even with the sun burning brightly.
Hari Raya is a time for reflection, a time for hope, a time for forgiveness, a time for reconciliation. Over the past year, I’ve seen many sets of friends, some who were sworn brothers, some treating the other like siblings, some treating the other like family members. But somewhere down the road, the close relationship that they had went down the drain. Who is to blame for all these??? From my observations, most of these cases resulted in lack of communication. When one felt aggrieved, the other chose to let it slide as though nothing’s happened. Then there is another case of blaming the other of things that they did not do. It goes on and on with no end. These are just a few cases I’ve seen over the past year which made me as a friend to most of them feel very much saddened by the state of things, not to mention how bad I feel in between two warring sides.
I have in the past, clashed with a few friends big time, no thanks to my big mouth. But once Hari Raya beckoned, I chose to move on and instead treasure the friendship and silaturrahim I had fostered in the past. Nothing is too big nor too trivial to be put aside for the sake of friendship. With that, this Hari Raya brings me hope to see all my friends who are at odds with whoever, to put aside their animosities, ego and stubborn-ness for the sake of our brotherhood and sisterhood in Islam.
I shudder to think that we’re not guaranteed Jannah if we were to cut ties with those we’ve forged. I too am guilty of it, which is why I’ll be the first to say I forgive whoever that has done something to make me feel aggrieved. In the past I adopted the “forgive but not forget” stance, but upon reflection, it only makes me hypocritical to say I forgive but inside I still harboured a little ill-feeling towards the person by not forgetting what he or she did to me. These things eat up inside in the long run and is never good for our well-being nor for the future of the just-rekindled friendship as it only invites distrust and doubts on the other person when we want to do something with them. That’s why when I say I forgive, I forgive wholeheartedly and start a new slate. And I hope my dear readers would ponder and see the rationale behind my belief.
With that I end this entry with hope that this past month has been fruitful for all of us. May Allah forgive us all for our past sins, may HE prevent us from being burnt by Hell-fire and being punished in our graves in the Here-after and may we all be better Muslims than what we were before. Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to one and all. If I had erred in my past entries, sounded pompous, arrogant, uncouth, brash, tactless and insensitive, I seek your forgiveness for it was never my intention to ever cast doubts in them. Enjoy the day, but enjoy in moderation. God bless…