Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ramadhan in Retrospect

Salam Syawal, salam kemenangan :)

This has been in my mind for the past few weeks, even when we are in the midst of the holy month. Like any other constantly learning Muslim, I too have a set of target to achieve, but not as numerical though. This Ramadhan I realized that the input has definitely weight out the output. Why I say so? because more often than the previous years, this Ramadhan I have been exposed to numerous amount of informations, wake up calls, things that I never really ponder upon in my mere 30 years of existence.

Besides the program at work, I am thankful to the folks behind TV Al-Hijrah. They couldn't have started at a better time. The programs are jammed packed of things that I take for granted. They have this slot after azan Maghrib, that only shows 2D-sometimes 3D graphics of Arabic setting, this is accompanied by a narration that discuss about certain ayat in the Al-Quran, not just about ayat, at times they also discuss about things that we do, that we never really understood, it makes you ponder even more. On the weekends, they have Madrasah Al-Hijrah for the full 2 hours in the morning. Various topics covered and the session was interactive, they made it into a classroom based discussion and not just some ustaz preaching the words of Allah SWT. One more worth to mentioned maybe Ihya' Ramadhan, run by Ustaz Don Daniyal, his presentation seemed effortless, and laidback without compromising on the topic at hand. Though I only managed to catch one episode, but to me he's good. Looking forward for more of his program.

Enough about the input that was available. Have I done enough to yield the expected output? (speaking like a true manufacturing worker..hehehehe..) Sadly, I don't think so. This year, I only prayed tarawikh at masjid when there is company function. Most of the time, I did it on my own. One of the reasons why I chose to do so, is to improve on my hafazan. I used to follow the imam reciting the short surah during prayer without actually paying attention to the accuracy of the recitation. (Kalau surah panjang apa lagi..siap mengelamun sampai ke laut....) The fact that I was following the imam makes me lazy. I must admit, up till this year, I have not properly memorized Surah Al- A'la. The surah only have 19 ayat, and yet I jumbled it up every time I tried to recite on my own. This has got to stop. By performing the tarawikh on my own, I pushed myself to have the Quran ready next to me and everytime I was about to start the next 2 rakaat, I have to check. Alhamdulillah, I think it went well.

I am still lacking on the Qiamullail though. Way behind I must say. Ramadhan is a month for us to gear up our ibadah, but how can we ramp up if the months preceeding it we did nothing? Its a big jump, big adjustment to play catch up. What more we are fasting in the daytime. The night are the only solid time to rest. You can actually get up and do Qiamullail without impacting your day time quality, just as long as you have conditioned your body to the same regime way before Ramadhan came, which I never did.

Ramadhan also is a medium to transform ourselves, to the better one, I hope. Am pretty sure most of us did a thing or two that we are proud of and would definitely loved to continue doing so. Out of the many talks I listened to this Ramadhan, most speakers pointed out the bigger challenge than to transform ourselves is to consistently doing it, Istiqamah. This topic was also covered in our last Ramadhan session in the office. Some tips from Ustaz Hasrizal on how to be consistent (istiqamah). According to him, istiqamah can be achieved as mentioned in Surah Hud, verse 112-115.

So remain on a right course as you have been commanded, [you] and those who have turned back with you [to Allah ], and do not transgress. Indeed, He is Seeing of what you do.

Oleh itu, hendaklah engkau (wahai Muhammad) sentiasa tetap teguh di atas jalan yang betul sebagaimana yang diperintahkan kepadamu, dan hendaklah orang-orang yang rujuk kembali kepada kebenaran mengikutmu berbuat demikian; dan janganlah kamu melampaui batas hukum-hukum Allah; sesungguhnya Allah Maha Melihat akan apa yang kamu kerjakan.

And do not incline toward those who do wrong, lest you be touched by the Fire, and you would not have other than Allah any protectors; then you would not be helped.

Dan janganlah kamu cenderung kepada orang-orang yang berlaku zalim maka (kalau kamu berlaku demikian), api neraka akan membakar kamu, sedang kamu tidak ada sebarang penolong pun yang lain dari Allah. Kemudian (dengan sebab kecenderungan kamu itu) kamu tidak akan mendapat pertolongan.

And establish prayer at the two ends of the day and at the approach of the night. Indeed, good deeds do away with misdeeds. That is a reminder for those who remember.

Dan dirikanlah sembahyang (wahai Muhammad, engkau dan umatmu), pada dua bahagian siang (pagi dan petang), dan pada waktu-waktu yang berhampiran dengannya dari waktu malam. Sesungguhnya amal-amal kebajikan (terutama sembahyang) itu menghapuskan kejahatan. Perintah-perintah Allah yang demikian adalah menjadi peringatan bagi orang-orang yang mahu beringat.

And be patient, for indeed, Allah does not allow to be lost the reward of those who do good.

Dan sabarlah (wahai Muhammad, engkau dan umatmu, dalam mengerjakan suruhan Allah), kerana sesungguhnya Allah tidak akan menghilangkan pahala orang-orang yang berbuat kebaikan.

As stated in the verses above, they key to istiqamah lies in the 4 main things :

1. Do as what Allah has instructed us to do, do not go overboard. Say for example, a person target to go full blast on qiamullail, decided to do 80 rakaats of solat sunat for that one particular night that was predicted to be the night of al-Qadr, versus a person who consistently doing few of the solat sunat (total rakaat might be less than 10) 2:solat tahajjud 2: solat hajat, 2: solat taubat and 3:solat witir, once a week, whole year round and probably increased in the final nights of Ramadhan. Which one would you think be able to sustain longer? In all the things that we do, there has to be a balance, by straining ourselves physically, we may not be able to do it in the long run. Its a simple concept of stamina building.

2. Jangan cenderung kepada orang yang zalim. Definisi zalim ialah meletakkan sesuatu tidak pada tempatnya (I still remember this definition from SPM days..coolll!!). Contohnya, mengumpat, kan zalim kalau perkara yang disembangkan tu tak betul, boleh menimbulkan fitnah. Dalam bulan Ramadhan, kita sehabis boleh menjaga tutur kata supaya pahala puasa tak berkurang, tapi...bila dah jumpa balik lepas raya ni, cuba tengok di pantry, memang la kita tak mengumpat co-workers yang lain, tapi dok sembang pasal cerita-cerita artis tu, tak jatuh hukum mengumpat ke? Eventhough we are just hanging around, without actively participating, we are still in the presence of people who do wrong. If you can't sway the topic to more beneficial things, then better to stay away :P

3. Hold the 5 daily prayers. Out of the 5 pillars of Islam, solat is placed as the utmost important. Logically, it is the most simple and the cheapest form of ibadah. Then why does the simplest one is the most important one? Why not fasting, or better yet Hajj? The reason is, to hold the 5 daily prayers, one needs to be consistent day in day out 24/7, all year round and even when we are bedridden. Fasting is only compulsory one month in a year, Hajj is mandated for those who can afford it once in their lifetime, but to hold solat, one needs the mental strength to keep doing the same thing over and over again. Its the real test of istiqamah.

4. Be patient. What is consistency without patience? We do things and expect another thing in return. We have been consistent throughout the years, but, if our prayers are not answered yet, must we remain steadfast? Patience will give us the confidence that Allah will answer our prayers somehow or rather, maybe in the form that we could not even fathom. Apa yang kita perlu buat sebagai hambaNya ialah berusaha untuk istiqamah, insyaAllah akan membalasnya dengan perkara yang baik ;)

That's it for now, a long post after a short hiatus. Raya post will come next, after I sort out the pictures, so stay tuned!!


  1. thanks for sharing jeet...banyak yg kena batang idung..

  2. i know i'm lacking in the qiamulail dept. so what i did was, i banyak kan zikir & wirid after each prayers. bole jugak la kan? :-P

  3. Jeet
    Thanks for the food for thought.
    Memang banyak yg terkena kat batang hidung yg tak berapa mancung nih ;-)

  4. kak tek, kena bnyk batang idung, sayala captainnye :vD

    maya, ibadah bukan diukur dari kuantity, tapi kualiti, so insyaAllah, asalkan ikhlas, Allah akan terima kan :D

    CS, ingatan untuk diri sendiri dan kengkawan yang sudi baca kat sini :$


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