Sunday, September 16, 2007

My 42nd Ramadhan

Ramadhan is here again. I welcome it with anticipation and hope. If history was to repeat itself, I'll be on a roller coaster ride again. And by the looks of it's first few days, I believe that the tickets for that ride has already been snapped up by other people. Alhamdulillah...

In an email sent to me by an old friend, the definition of Ramadhan was made clear to me. It literally means "panas terik" or very hot. This literal meaning brings many thoughts to mind. It can mean a tremendous test or ordeal, a torment, torture, burden.... or whatever else. But Ramadhan also has many benefits. Apart from the obvious detoxification process and the 'break' from Iblis's tempting whispers, Ramadhan comes with many of God's mercy. In one of it's nights, there is one night that is better than 1000 months, all obligatory prayers are multiplied by 70, a month where patience is rewarded with heaven, many opportunities to earn good merits, a month of God's mercy and forgiveness.

"During the month of Ramadan, believers busy themselves seeking Allah’s mercy, forgiveness, and protection from Hellfire. This is the month for renewing our commitment and re-establishing our relationship with our Creator. It is the spring season for goodness and virtues when righteousness blossoms throughout the Muslim communities. "If we combine all the blessings of the other eleven months, they would not add up to the blessings of Ramadan," said the great scholar and reformer Shaikh Ahmed Farooqi (Mujaddad Alif Thani). It offers every Muslim an opportunity to strengthen his Iman, purify his heart and soul, and to remove the evil effects of the sins committed by him." - by Khalid Baig

If last Ramadhan, for me personally, was a time of trials and temptations, this time around, I believe, its a time of forgiveness and cleansing of the soul through "kifarah." Many things that has happened lately made me believe this. Day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, God is cleansing me of my past sins and transgressions.

Dari 'Aisyah r.a., isteri Nabi s.a.w. katanya: Rasullullah s.a.w. bersabda: "Setiap kali orang Islam mendapat malapetaka, Allah mengampuni dosanya karena malapetaka itu, bahkan yang disebabkan oleh terkena duri." - Sahih Bukhari dan Muslim.

I am grateful to Allah that He has chosen to keep me off the roller coaster ride this time around.
I am grateful to Allah that everything is temporary and that we as human beings have been created by Him as very forgetful creatures.
I am grateful to Allah for all the prayers and pleas that have been heard with His patience, considered with His mercy and granted with His love.
I am grateful that He has finally allowed me to feel remorse and the pain of guilt so that I can repent wholeheartedly.
I am grateful that He has bestowed upon me the ability, reasons and remembrance to feel gratitude.

Having said that, my fervent wish is still to go back home... where my heart is... where I had found peace of mind, heart and soul. Ya Allah, please allow me to return to Mekkah. I long to be back in the safety of Your Masjidil Haraam.