Pray as if this is your last Ramadan

My sister in law sent me a really wake me up Ramadan greeting. She reminded me to utilise this ramadan to get as much blessings as possible from Allah because we never know this maybe our last Ramadan or we may never see another Eidulfitri ever again. This reminds me of the reminder that we must do the ibadah as if we are going to die tomorrow and we must work as if we are going to live forever. Yes, if only we knew what is going to happen next definitely we can take the necessarily precaution. But on the points of life, death, rezeki, jodoh nobody can accurately predicts what is going to happen unless you are bestowed upon by Allah with His special gift. On the subject of Ramadan, I cannot help noticing, I am sure you people notice it too, that the mosques and suraus had more people on Ramadan nights. The Tarawih prayers which is only specific to Ramadan had attracted many congregators. Many mosques and suraus also hold tazkirah sessions (or “majlis ilmu” as they called these religious sermon sessions). Unfortunately the crowd for the tazkirah sessions are not as many as the tarawih sessions. This is where the misunderstanding commonly held by us. We know that the Tarawih prayers are sunat (non obligatory) which we can forsake if decided not to, but the majlis ilmu session is actually a fardhu (an obligation). The problem is, many people shun these tazkirah sessions, some religious authorities even banned them, because these sessions have been abused by certain quarters to further their political mileage. The talks were interspresed with political insinuations, posturings, and even to the point of being crass. A few times I cringed at the words used by these ustazs as those expressions were really uncalled for unbecoming of an ustaz and their opinions were so lopsided it borders on the brink of silliness.

Still on the subject of tazkirah Ramadan, one ustaz recently put forward an observation that I thouroughly shared. He said, the current political posturing, manouevers, accusations, and counter accusations in this country brought a negative side that has never been seen before in the conduct Malaysian public. He cited the culture of biadap and kurang ajar which is slowly creeping into the conduct of Malaysian public is as menacing as the dadah menace. Never before, the common people would dare to spit on their leaders, never before normal citizen dare to curse and shouted profanities at their leaders in public and at the leaders’ face. Never before, man on the streets would dare to mimick lewd act in front of the public and country’s leaders. Unfortunately that is quite common now, the recent events in Permatang Pauh election campaign was testimony to that. How could we stop this? My fervent hope, the ustaz in their tazkirah Ramadan would stop demeaning and cursing the country’s leaders. That would be a start. Whatever their sins, their political affiliations, race or religions, it is not proper to run them down in public litany of demeaning and deragotary words. Islam prohibits that.

The same ustaz also put forth something that I never thought of before. He said that as far as he knew there is no book in this world that people would read, recite, and even memorize word by word, without even knowing and understanding a single word written in that book. The book is AlQuran. Except for those with Arabic background, most muslims cannot speaks Arabic, let alone read or write in that language. Yet still millions of Muslims are able to read the Quran everyday complete with the proper pronunciation, intonation, pitch, and tajwid. The Quran is written in Arabic. Millions of people  are also able to recite verses from the Quran without even knowing what those recited words mean. Imagine reading and memorising a book written in Greek, can you do that ? I doubt if I can get past two complete sentences. The Ustaz added that that is one of the marvel of the Quran. Muslims would learn to read it, recite it even memorise it by heart without even knowing how to speak Arabic. But, alas, he added further, it would have been much better if people use the same vigour to learn to read the Quran in the endeavour to understand its meaning. I am also guilty of that, sad to say.

Happy Ramadan folks, lets perform our prayers as if this is going to be our last Ramadan.

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