Friday, August 14, 2009

Preparing for Ramadhan

I look forward to ramadhan but i cringe at the thought of the inevitable food mania that seem to engulf us everytime it comes around.

Fasting is about abstaining but somehow we end up indulging almost all of our senses.

In fact the madness have already begun. its not even ramadhan and yet food is already in abundance (but when is there ever a shortage of food here in our little corner of the world?).

majlis doa selamat

Most offices have started 'ramadhan awareness' which usually include a short ceramah & dua by a reputable ustaz, or a yassin recitation or both. we had ours this morning, a short & simple session.. just the yassin & dua followed by makan2. but let me tell you, it was quite a spread!!

As usual it was a pot-luck affair and everyone must've been pretty inspired last nite bcos we ended up with a buffet table overflowing with food. there were packs of nasi lemak, pulut kuning & rendang, ayam goreng berempah, sambal sotong. and desert.. oh my, where do i start? moist choc cake, fruit pudding, fresh fruits, bingka gula hangus, tapai pulut, jemput2 pisang, 2 types of currypuffs, 'premature' raya cookies, cheesecake brownies (by yours truly upon the request of my anak2 buah yg manje lol)

anak2 buah ku ;)

Syukur rezeki MU yang melimpah ruah namun beri la kami kebijaksanaan untuk mengendalinya sebaik mungkin.

I need to put on the brakes on this bcos come ramadhan, the situation can escalate from bad to worse. and i also need to remind myself not to get caught up in just the mechanics of my ibadah but to go beyond it, right into the spirit of ramadhan itself.

Its the time i feel closest to my Maker.

The term Ibada (worship and obedience) in Islam applies not only to the formal acts of worship and devotion like Salat , Tilawa, and Dzhikr, but it also applies to worldly acts when performed in obedience to Shariah and with the intention of pleasing Allah. Thus a believer going to work is performing Ibada when he seeks Halal income to discharge his responsibility as a bread-winner for the family.

However a distinction must be made between the two. The first category consists of direct Ibada, acts that are required for their own sake. The second category consists of indirect Ibada --- worldly acts that become Ibada through proper intention and observation of Shariah. While the second category is important for it extends the idea of Ibada to our entire life, there is also a danger because by their very nature these acts can camouflage other motives. (Is my going to work really Ibada or am I actually in the rat race?). Here the direct Ibada comes to the rescue. Through them we can purify our motives, and re-establish our relationship with Allah.

Islam does not approve of monasticism. It does not ask us to permanently isolate ourselves from this world, since our test is in living here according to the Commands of our Creator. But it does ask us to take periodic breaks from it. The mandatory Salat (five daily prayers) is one example. For a few minutes every so many hours throughout the day, we leave the affairs of this world and appear before Allah to remind ourselves that none but He is worthy of worship and of our unfaltering obedience. Ramadan takes this to the next higher plane, providing intense training for a whole month.

So through direct Ibada we "charge our batteries"; the indirect ones allow us to use the power so accumulated in driving the vehicle of our life.

Ramadan is the month for rebuilding our spiritual strength
. How much we benefit from it is up to us.


Anonymous said...

It's ironic. When we're fasting the world suddenly revolves around food! And I find it a little sad that hari raya is more "glamorized", hehehe, than menghayati the true spirit of ramadhan.

Justiffa said...

Haza - tu la kan tp susah, the power of the masses is like an avalanche..semuanye terikut2. another phenomena i wish we can do w/out is the madness of 'open houses' sepanjang syawal, kekadang totally out of control.

Elok la berpada2 ;)