Alhamdulillah today marks the 21st day of fasting. How time flies huh? I could really sense that this year’s Ramadhan differs than previous years. For one apparent reason is none other than having Piya around; that’s for sure. But I’m not talking in that sense. My tone is more leaning towards to self-reflection as a Muslim, mother, wife & daughter. Reflecting on obligations and abide by regulations. Does that make any sense to you?
Whether you like it or not, our vicinity plays a pivotal role to navigate the treacherous waters of life. I can vouch this thought namely because prior to working with Proton, I worked with an M&E construction firm as an electrical engineer. As you may expect, my peers and colleague are mostly Chinese. Only a small portion of us were Malays. I endured life in and out w/o embracing the true meaning of Ramadhan. All that I ever bother was was to abide by my responsibility to complete the 30 days of fasting.
Then in 2010 I joined Proton Shah Alam as an executive in R&D. No more engineering work which I truly yearn. Proton’s vicinity was a new experience for me. During Ramadhan, our Human Resource Dept worked so hard to fill the 1-hour lunch break with valuable sermons. Prominent holistic religion leaders or public figure would make an effort to share wisdom from the holy Quran. And to be frank previously I wasn’t keen in participating in these sermons. “It is just another sermon” I said to myself. Hence I chose not to bother myself and opt for an afternoon nap instead.
However, as I mentioned above, our vicinity has high tendency in coloring our canvas life to whither in what direction. Alhamdulillah for the 1st time in life I fill my afternoon break by attending these sermons albeit 25 minutes only. Sitting in the 1st row as close as possible to the speaker does give me a different excitement. An excitement that is new to me. Never once did I yawn or felt heavy-eyed & bored. And the answer to my thrill was none other than understanding the context of Ramadhan. I will be 28 year old this year and with a candor tone I admit that only now I can identify with the meaning of Ramadhan.
Little did I know that Ramadhan was never about enduring the day w/o food & water alone. Nor was it about to behave and treat others kindly. The context of Ramadhan is greater than that. I decipher Ramadhan as self-cleansing towards part parcel as a better Muslim. For instance one of the Ustazs broaches the topic in regard with women’s refusal to wear hijab. Although it is Ramadhan, many women still detest the notion to don the veil mainly because they are not ready and it feels pretentious. A true apparent level of audacity, no? The Ustaz then continued by making another comparison whereby he said “When a woman is fasting w/o bodily clad & wearing a veil, it is synonymous with a Male Muslim performing his prayer in short pants above his knee; carrying out the wajib w/o abiding the wajib rules”. The example is just a casual mention of our daily lives. Unequivocally we are carrying out one of the Rukun Islam but how many of us are being blessed by Allah where He would accept our ibadah? Another Ustaz mentioned “If you are devoid of Ramadhan’s meaning then you will only gain hunger and thirst”.
Everyone perceived Ramadhan differently. For instance I do know people who refuse to sedekah but spend enormously on Baju Raya. Another example is people who don't even fast but are so bothered about the latest fashion for Baju Raya. I detest people who still wear skimpy outfits revealing their skin and figure walking around among the fasting crowd w/o the sense of guilt. Subhanallah... Hopefully they will repent in their own good time.
The other day I was listening to Hot.fm on my way home from work and the topic was "Odd reasons why people break their fast or did not fast" and the stupidest reason that I've ever heard was:-
Caller: Saya terkentut dalam air
DJ: Kenapa awak berada dalam air?
Caller: Kan panas sekarang.. lagipon berendam dalam jakuzi boleh membantu masa puasa
DJ: Laaaaaa.... takkan awak tak tau masa puasa takleh berendam dalam air?