Originally uploaded by insashi

i’m sad bcoz ramadan’s going to be over in a day’s time and i can’t even spend the last remaining hours in ibadah whilst fasting…even when i’m not fasting/praying and i’m allowed to eat, its like i have to remind myself to eat because i’ve gone so use to without it…and you just wish ramadan can last the entire year due to the rewards and blessings that comes with it….

my folks are now in malaysia and finally i can hog the tv in the living room and finally i can catch up with english programs relating to ramadan…have been glued to al jazeera english and ksa2 mostly…love watching saudi home with sean because he introduces mostly hijazi saudi traditions -the food, home maintenance, entertainment of people in the old days…just interesting to see how people live especially in a bedoiun-like mode…churning the butter, cooking everything under a woodfire skinning livestock to make leather, making pottery for eating and cooking utensils -so fascinating!…the idea of camping out in the desert sounds so exotic, adventurous…but i know i probably won’t be able to last 5 minutes because my biggest concern is water-toilet…i’m probably growing massive kidney stones as we speak because i will hold my pee if i find any toilet -be it in australia, malaysia, singapore, egypt if the very toilet reaks, is filthy, has no water facilities and plenty of think toilet paper and i’ve seen really bad ones…

the was also a program that talks about the life of prophet muhammad s.a.w. and the sheikh mentioned how the prophet s.a.w reminded us about the other wealths we have that we take for granted, even overlook, not truly appreciating is real value…he pointed out that its not just purely having mountains of money, property, jewels that makes us rich…that someone can be filthy rich but would still not be happy because they’re lonely and not have someone to share their life with that they have to pay for someone to keep them company…there are others who will spend millions just so to keep them alive, be healthy in hospital…there are also those who will also sacrifice all they have just to have children….

which makes me realize that maybe this is what ramadan is all about…re-discovering the many OTHER wealths we have in our lives…-our senses, our hearts, our faith, our minds, our ability to make decisions, to still be breathing, our health, our youth,, the ability for us to let go, the opportunity to purify/better ourselves and come closer to our Creator…

just by not being able to eat for 12 hours even on the first day reminds us how precious food is, how maybe a little too indulgent, hedonistic we’ve become…and with lack of food, less sleep its training us to practise self-restraint especially will controlling our tempers because its all about overcoming your nafs/self/desires for how many times have we gotten ourselves into so much trouble when we just lashed out without taking a step back and seeing the whole picture…and i guess its only when things are taken away from us that we start treasuring it…at the same time even its temporarily unaccessible to us -its teaching us how to prioritise whats important…that some things you can do without…



“Fasting is a shield…” – Keeping Our Cool in Ramadan| Sheikh Salman al-Oadah|

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Fasting is a shield – one who fasts does not use obscenities or act in an ignorant manner. If someone argues with you or insults you, say: ‘I am fasting, I am fasting’.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1795)]

When we fast this Ramadan, we should make the effects of our worship show up in our good conduct. As Muslims, we should always be well-mannered, respectful, modest, kind, and gentle. We should always show compassion to others. However, when we are fasting, we should be all the more conscious of our conduct and all the more ready to exercise self-restraint.

One of the most exemplary character traits that a person can have – in Ramadan and at other times – is that of clemency. We are sorely in need of this today. With all the problems in the world and in our daily lives, we often lose sight of the value of simply being nice to each other.

Clemency is our ability to retain our composure when we get upset or angry. It means that we hold back from avenging the wrongs and abuses that we suffer from others. If anger means our “blood boils”, the clemency means that we keep things under control in the heat of the moment and use good sense.

Clemency is a beautiful and balanced mode of conduct, one that is neither anger nor self-effacement. A person who cannot inculcate clemency into his character will be in either one or another bad state. He will either be angry and temperamental, or sniveling and debased.

It is important to distinguish between true clemency – which shows strength of character – and the forbearance that comes from weakness, disgrace, and inability.

Balance and poise are among the hallmarks of the Islamic faith. Clemency is a trait that exemplifies balance and the triumph of reason over our passions. As human beings, we have a natural propensity to get angry. It is abnormal to never get angry. However, one whose anger is accompanied by clemency can come though his anger blameless and unscathed.

Indeed, some people have observed that without anger there is no meaning to clemency, since a person is only described as clement when people see how he conducts himself when he is angry.

A Muslim should endeavor to show this trait with everyone. The most noble of people are those who stand above tit-for-tat knavery. The person who responds to ignorance with kindness elevates himself above the other. This is not even the case when responding to kindness in kind, since that merely puts both parties on an equal footing.

This is why it is so important that a Muslim exhibits clemency with all people. If his heart is not strong enough to feel it, he should at least make an outward show of forbearance. This will, in time, grow into true, heartfelt magnanimity. Clemency is like any other character trait. A person is either naturally endowed with it, or he can learn it and make it part of his character with effort.

Ramadan is the ideal time for us to develop this quality. We need to translate the restraint we show regarding our desire to eat and drink in this month into the ability to restrain our tongues and our hands when we are abused. We must, indeed, to use our fast a shield, protecting us from bad behavior.

We need to say to one who looks to fall into a dispute with us – “I am fasting.” We need to remind ourselves as well as the other party. Maybe this is why the Prophet (peace be upon him) specifically instructs us to say it twice.


~ by nursheikha on September 18, 2009.

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