Yohteh of merentap sengsara inspired this entry. You can read it here.
Whenever the word merdeka was mentioned.. the story about A Roman General (Georgius?) and Muslim warrior Khalid ibnu Walid come to my mind.
I was searching for the famous ayat that most Muslims believed was sent down to signal that fasting was then made to be obligatory, the other day and what I got is here .. the site tell us what fasting is all about.
The ayat that I searched is:
" O ye who believe ! Fasting is prescribed for you, just as it was prescribed for those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint." (Al-Qur'an 2:183)
However the ayat that made Ramadhan is the special month for fasting is
Ramadhan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur’an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (Should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful. (Al-Qur'an 2:185)
I am recording here what I gathered from one Saturday morning tazkirah (admonition)by a Penang-born teacher, Ustaz Izhar Habib, popularly known to some as Ustaz Nana in Masjid Ubudiah , Kg. Tasik Ampang. He has, at times, succinctly relates how Malaysian Muslim practices their Ramadhan.
If you go to Bazar Ramadhan you will see those who sell all kind of food, to facilitate those that are fasting. Looking further you will see some who came in clothes that is “seksa nak mampuih” (so sexy). On this issue, the traders would be quick to say “The rezeki datang bergolek, takkan kami nak tutup mata, Ustaz”(The provision came uninvited, we don’t want to close our eyes, teacher) .
He lamented about way things are perceived or prioritised.. fasting and aurat are equally wajib( obligatory)
Then you can also notice the enormous amount of food available, Malaysian dies from eating too much food.. Somalian dies from having no food. How much food has been wasted.. ( I could not recalled whether he quote the famous ayat that mean those who waste are friends of evils) - totally not in line with the concept of fasting..
Then we will have the solat tarawikh, perform solely in Ramadhan, an optional solat not obligatory. For the first 10 days of Ramadhan you will see a lot of people performing solat tarawikh. The second 10 days of Ramadhan will see a slightly reduced number as some were busy buying their Hari Raya need. For the last 10 days of Ramadhan, the number of people performing the optional solat tarawikh will be greatly reduced as old folks will also be staying home making Hari Raya pastries (kueh raya) other than entertaining the young and the not so young.
The Ustaz started asking those present as to whether the people coming for the optional tarawikh prayer is more than the Subuh (early morning) prayer. Consensus has it that only half the number of people performing the optional prayer came back for the obligatory.. Then came the question are we doing it because of fadhilat (virtues), because we believed in Ramadhan, because of custom, because we believe in Ramadhan or because of Fadhilat (virtues).
I must have dozed off or something, for out of the nowhere, I heard the teacher dropped a bombshell.. he talked about Hudud (Limit /bound).. about those Muslims who ain’t favouring Hudud Law.. he quoted the following:-
“But whosoever turns away from My Message, verily for him is a life narrowed down, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Judgment.” Al-Qur'an 20:124
He will say: “O my Lord! why hast Thou raised me up blind, while I had sight (before)?” Al-Qur'an 20.125
(Allah) will say: “Thus didst Thou, when Our Signs came unto thee, disregard them: so wilt thou, this day, be disregarded.” Al-Qur'an 20.126
And thus do We recompense him who transgresses beyond bounds and believes not in the Signs of his Lord: and the Penalty of the Hereafter is far more grievous and more enduring. Al-Qur'an 20.127
I think I will leave Hudud at that.
Minutes after asking the congregation for forgiveness if what the teacher is going to say is not pleasant to the ears of the ladies, dropping another bombshell.. saying something (in ladies voice) like
“raya tahun lepaih romah mak dia dah..tahun ni rumah mak cheq la pulak” (last year’s festival we went to his mother’s house, this year it should be my mother’s”..
He strongly said this should not be an issue anymore as:-
· The paradise of one is under the feet of the mother, yes! However, he stressed that the wife’s paradise is with her husband.
· Furthermore, if the husband goes to the in-laws house without full agreement, then all in the heaven and animal kingdom will be cursing (laknat) the wife...so he said..
As an elaboration the story of Fatimah AzZahrah asking Rasulullah which lady from His ummah will be blessed to be the first to go to Jannah. On knowing the person, Fatimah went to visit her.
On the first visit, Fatimah was not allowed into the house as no permission has been sought to and given by her husband for that. The next visit, Fatimah went with her son and they were not allowed into the house since no permission has been sought to and given by her husband for the son to do that. For the third visit, Fatimah brought two son along and they were refused entry as no permission has been sought to and given by her husband for the other son.
When Fatimah finally managed to gain entry to her house, Fatimah noticed that the lady was rather busy making herself presentable. When asked, she told Fatimah that she was preparing herself for her husband to come back from work. After a while the lady began to get uneasy and kept on looking at the door. On her way out of the house, Fatimah asked why was it she have a glass of water in one hand and a broom in another. “Oh! The water is for him to drink: the broom is for him to use on me should my preparation is not good enough!” came the answer.
Another story on “izin suami” (husband’s consent).. was also narrated. A daughter was unhappy that she could visit her sick father as she could not get her husband’s permission to do so since the husband was away. This was made known to the father who relayed back to her that was happy although he could not see his daughter since she did not have her husband’s permission. This goes on for months until the father passed away. The daughter was not at her father’s funeral since her husband was still away then. Story has it that the father was rewarded with paradise for his redha (happy acceptance) that he could not see his daughter as she could not get her husband’s consent.
Then came a small bombshell from the ustaz, practically a list of those, whose sins will not be forgiven during the Lailatul Qadar (night of power):-
1. Those who keep on drinking intoxicating beverage such as beer, wine etc..
2. Those who did not talk to his friend for more than 3 days
3. Those who are disobedience (rebellious) to their parents.
4. Those who severed the family ties (silaturrahim)
Then we have Hari Raya where you get the children who will be asking forgiveness from their parents. Why is it that the parents seldom ask forgiveness from their children?..
He quoted that most Malays normally go to places of worship on Hari Raya Iditfitri, Hari Raya Korban, Nisfu Syaaban Night, Mauludur Rasul, Nuzul Quran, and Hari Asyura.. It seems that the Muslims in Malaysia has been observing “seasonal” occasions, they may have not get their priorities right , focus more on preferred activities rather than obligatory activities.
Below are other notes from other ustazs (teachers) on priorities
Between performing Solat sunat (preferred) tarawikh and attending a tazkirah or majlis ilmu (teaching and learning of science) during the month of Ramadhan.. most will go for the solat however there is a Hadiths (Tradition of Rasulullah pbuh) that stress on the importance of majlis ilmu .. the hadith meant +- “ Spending a precious short time thinking about religion (learning and teaching) is better than performing 1000 rakaah of solat sunat..”
However what is very serious is about performing prayer in a congregation “the followers (makmum) has to wait until the leader(imam) has completed his movement before he moves” .. “ if the makmum follows the movement of imam before imam has completed his moved then it is considered he/she has accompanied (mengiringi) the imam not following as prescribed” This is probably why in books of Fiquh Sunnah , we are asked to make a move only after the imam has completed his saying of takbir. If this is true than some 90% of Malaysian makmum has been accompanying the imams (instead of following) for most of their congregational prayers (solat berjemaah).. Similar to what we have on Malaysian roads , there bound to be some impatient one.. overtaking the imam.. OOPs ... a final bombshell?!
May Allah bless us.