Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lose Yourself in Ramadan

Want to understand nature? Lose yourself in it.
Picture by Umar Aziz at DQ lake

“Ramadan is magic. It can change my whole life in an instance” says a friend of mine to me. ‘Magic’ he says. Nice choice of word yeah. Ramadan is ‘magic’ only for those who nurture and the thirst of 11 months waiting is only quenched upon Ramadan’s arrival. You will never wait for it to come to your door step and knock on your door, but your door is already open and you’re more than ready to welcome it with open arms. Ramadan is magic because of the Quran.

The majestic Quran and the month of Ramadan

                The Quran loves Ramadan and Ramadan loves the Quran. The two of them are beloved friends, no, they are ‘lovers’. Lets understand why the Quran is important first then what it has to do with the Quran in Ramdan. Allah has proven their ‘love’ to each other in the Quran:

“The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.” (Al-Baqarah: 185)

For those who read the Quran while fasts combines two powerful entities, Ramadan and the glorious Quran. So, those persons therefore will live this holy month with the Noble book and following what Allah has said. What Allah has said? The Quran is a reflection and reminder to us:

[This is] a blessed Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded.” (Sad: 29)
But why sometimes or most of the time we read the Quran but we feel nothing? Let’s reflect from this verse:

“Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an, or are there locks upon [their] hearts?” (Muhammad: 24)

It is either between we don’t understand the message or we haven’t at all tried to understand. The other possibility is Allah does not want us to understand, that is the most feared thing in life. The thing ‘lack’ in our hearts is preventing ‘light’ from coming into our hearts. Erase that ‘lacks’ and ‘light’ will enter.

So try to understand the Quran because Allah is the one who issued it:
Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an? If it had been from [any] other than Allah , they would have found within it much contradiction.” (An-Nisa’: 42)

Both the Quran and Ramadan are two sacred entities, for that reason, the prophet used to study the Quran with Gabriel as his partner. Even Imam Syafie will focus more on the Quran during this magical month.

In Ramadan, the Quran has its noble taste and flavour. It offers exceptional inspiration and distinct rationales. Try to analyze this hadith:

It is narrated from Ibn Mas’ood (radhiallahu `anhu) that the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Indeed this Qur’aan is the banquet of Allaah so learn as much as you can from the banquet of Allaah. Indeed this Qur’aan is the strong rope of Allaah and it is the clear guidance and it is a beautiful cure, a protection for those who cling to it and a salvation for those who follow it. Nothing is bent or corrupted except that the Qur’aan rectifies it, nor deviated but that it reprimands them. Its marvels do not fade nor is the sweetness of it decreased by the frequency of those who recite it.  

So recite it, for indeed Allaah will bestow upon you ten times the single reward for your recitation of each letter. I do not say for Alif, Laam, Meem is a letter but Alif is a letter, Laam is a letter and Meem is a letter.”[1]

Take note of the bolded part of the hadith above “So recite it, for indeed Allaah will bestow upon you ten times the single reward for your recitation of each letter. I do not say for Alif, Laam, Meem is a letter but Alif is a letter, Laam is a letter and Meem is a letter.”  

Allah will bestow to us 10 times rewards of a single letter. We are urged to finish all 30 juz of the Quran in a month. How many letters are there in the Quran?

According to the Tafseer of surah Al-Fatihah compiled by Abu Rumaysah, it is written there “Al-Fatihah consists of twenty-five words and one hundred and thirteen letters.” The letters in Al-fatihah alone is 113 letters. 113 multiply by gets 1130. You will get 1130 rewards by reciting Al-fatihah. And during Ramadan, the obligatory deed is rewarded seven times. Can you imagine how many rewards have you got by just praying a single rakaat in subuh prayer? 1130 X 7 = 7910. You got 7910 rewards in a single rakaat!

How about you calculate if you manage to finish the whole Quran in one month, how many rewards have you got? Then you understand and practice what you’ve understood in your daily lives. How many rewards have you got? This is why the Quran in Ramadan gives a special flavour!

Misconceptions on Ramadan

                But how do the Muslims at large welcome Ramadan? In the world filled with darkness, majority of Muslims do not feel the enchantment, thrill and excitement of this month. To them, Ramadan is a month of fasting, a month of eating and a month of business. These are misconceptions in understanding Ramadan.

A month of fasting?

These people will treat Ramadan as a month of fasting. It is stressed here that Ramadan is not a month of fasting only. If Ramadan is a month of fasting, after people break their fasts, they will continue on smoking with the excuse of ‘I’ve finished fasting’. But because of Ramadan is not a month of fasting only, they will try to refrain themselves from smoking.

When you give advice to utilise Ramadan to the fullest, some will claim “What do I care? My life is my life! Your life is yours!” and keep on doing their sin night and day. Who says it is not your problem? Entering heaven or hell is not your problem? So you want to enter hell then? Or you were actually longing for the wrath of hell? It is your problem and from this problem Allah will ask you for what you’ve done.

So no wonder why Imam Malik will preoccupy himself with the Quran during Ramadan. This is the secret ingredient.

A month of eating?

If Ramadan is a month of eating, then when you make sahur, you will eat like mad and when you break you’re fast, you will eat like someone who hasn’t eaten for a year. The expenditures during Ramadan is more although half the day you fast because during sahur and iftar, you buy all the things available at the Bazaar Ramadan. After you are so stuffed all the food in your stomach, you can’t even stand up back again! Your tarawikh, tadarus and Qiamullail is burnt like that. What a waste!

A month of business?

It is true that during Ramadan, everything is booming! You get double the money during Ramadan compared to before especially in business related to foods, drinks and clothing. If foods and drinks may be reasonable because people are eating mad! What about clothing?

Why clothing? Because people are rushing to get new clothes during Ramadan or in Malay we call them ‘baju raya’ prior for the upcoming Eidul Fitr. I personally hate the idea of ‘baju raya’, the Malay cultures perceives this as something obligatory. During my past experience of Eidul Fitr, many of my friends will ask me “Have you bought your new baju raya?” You know what I answer them? “It has been 5 years since my last baju raya. Now I only have baju Ramadan!”

Each time before Ramadan, I will buy a new baju Raihan as the intention of welcoming Ramadan!

Conclusion: Lose yourself in Ramadan 

The answer to the question of “how to fully utilize Ramadan?” is so simple. My answer in my own words will be “Lose myself in Ramadan.”

The methodology of “losing myself in Ramadan” is to understand the “majestic Quran” I’ve shared above. Everything revolves around the Quran. If you pray, you need the Quran. If you recite, you need the Quran. If you want to give lectures, you need the Quran.

“If you had one shot, one opportunity, your one moment,
to seize everything you ever wanted,
would you capture it or just let it slip?
So you better lose yourself in the Ramadan,
the moment, you own it,
you better never let it go,
because you only got one shot, do not
miss your chance to glow,
this opportunity comes once in a lifetime.”
                We never know what may become of us although Ramadan is no very near. This may be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Let us prepare for Ramadan to step on our door step. Let us open the door to our hearts and get ready for Ramadan!

[1] Reported by al-Hakim, declared sahih by al-Albani in al-silsilah al-sahihah (660)

Written by AmeenMisran of Langit Ilahi

Source: Langit Ilahi

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