Thursday, October 02, 2008

Post Ramadhan

The blessed month of Ramadhan had passed by in a flash. May our prayers and deeds during the month be accepted and that we will be given an opportunity to witness it again next year if Allah wills.

Yesterday, there was a sudden surge of crowd at the mosque I went to for Eid prayers and I heard it was the same at every other mosque. While this is good, we just can't help it asking this question.. Where have all these muslims been all this while?

We don't even get this kind of reception during Friday prayers which is more important than Eid prayers. I reached the mosque quite late, around 720-730am (though this may be considered still early for some) and the mosque was already filled to the brim! But credit to the organisers of the mosque for setting up an alternative in an open area to accomodate the expected overcrowding. Performing Eid prayers in an open area is actually recommended by Rasulullah (peace be upon him) by the way.

That aside, let's now focus on Post Ramadhan. I'm sure many have made an extra effort during the month of Ramadhan. There was more reading, regular recitation of the Noble Qur'an, more efforts of dhuha prayers, waking up for night prayers, more acts of volunteering, aid and charity to the less fortunate and also visits to the mosque. And now that Ramadhan had passed, let's try to repeat this and maybe strive to do even better thereafter. And even continue to fast monthly or even weekly! We shouldn't restrict the regularity of these deeds only for the month of Ramadhan.

Lastly, there was short reminder speech on the radio yesterday focusing on visiting during Aidilfitri and its content was great. It was from a Malaysian radio channel. It highlighted the importance of visiting among Muslims with references to the Qur'an and Sunnah. A few points that we can take note of:

1) Try to foster more regular visiting among neighbours, family or friends, not only during special occasions. This will ultimately strengthen the bond among ourselves.

2) Try to educate the young the importance and benifits of visiting each other. Children tend to look forward to the festive visits just for "money collection" and overlook the real purpose for the visits. It is a tradition here for working or married adults to give a token sum of money to children or generally those who are still schooling. While visiting is to foster closeness and strengthen bonds among all, it may motivate them instead to visit only those with a richer status who can give more amounts and neglect others who give less or even not at all, though they are also part of the family.

3) During visits, try to focus on communication and not the TV! Going to someone's home, then focusing on the TV or food and having little conversation just defeats the purpose of visiting doesn't it?

4) Islam has never restricted the act of forgiving each other only for a certain occasion. It is for the whole year, all day all night, 24/7. But of course, since it is a tradition to practice this regularly during Aidilfitri, let's take this opportunity to cease any reserved enmity or disparity we had before this and forgive one and all.

And I speak for myself before others. Reminding just in case you forget..

Have a great Aidilfitri! (",)

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