Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How time flies..

How time flies. It’s been more than a week now since touchdown in Singapore and almost everyday since day one, I’ve been going out to catch up with friends or family. It was a different approach to how I spent it the last time I came back for a holiday that my mum exclaimed,

“Aii.. asik keluar je wan?!”

Last year it was more like, “Wan asik duduk rumah je, tak keluar ke??”

Hm, keluar kena tegur. Tak keluar pon kena tegur juga? Ha. It’s great being able to meet people whom you haven’t seen for a while and catching up. The existence of facebook has actually made it easier to get to know the progress of others’ lives, while you’re being far away from home. However, nothing beats experiencing it firsthand.

One of the things I've realised that I really miss is the food, though I'm not really a fan of food. I just eat to live, not live to eat. Most of the times the food we eat at Saudi is just dry rice with chicken or beef. And vegetables are almost non-existant. So imagine how it was, when I tasted 'beef hor fun', for the first time in almost a year! It tasted so good and uplifting that I exclaimed,

"Waaah.. this is REAL food man!!" and I savored it till the last drop.

A while later, I noticed a couple of friends who ordered the same dish did not finish thier portion and even pushed the food aside. I asked,

"Eh, tak habis ke? Sedap pe?" and he replied nonchalantly,

"Tak ah, dah muak ah.." Haiz..

While catching up have been good, I wish I could find a way to do more to aid the situation of friends who over the years, became distanced from the most important part of being a Muslim which is the obligatory prayers. Some of my friends who don't salaat regularly aren't that ignorant of Islam. In fact some even love to talk and discuss about Islam but they don't see the importance of performing salaat.

-excerpt from islamonline.net with modifications- The 5 obligatory prayers (salaat) is the second most important aspect for a Muslim after the testimony of faith, (“There is no god but God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God”) and they are the first thing the Muslim will be asked about on Judgment Day.

No matter what the actions of a Muslim, the most important is his relationship with Allaah, and salaat will aid the Muslim in reminding himself of his position in the universe as a humble servant of Allah and of his total dependence on his Creator, Cherisher and Sustainer.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) compared this experience of making ablution and praying five times a day to having a river running in front of one’s house. If one bathed in that river five times a day, would any filth remain on his body? Likewise, the ablution and Prayer five times a day removes one’s sins and also prevents him from sinning.

We may reason that at times the timing for prayers clash with our busy schedule. However, there is no excuse. When one encounters difficulties in performing a prayer, there's always a solution. We can pray anytime and anywhere. No place? Just any clean, small space that fits for performing prayers will do. Don't know direction? There are compasses sold which point to the direction of the kiblah. Can't find water for ablution? We can perform tayammum. It takes at minimum just 5-10 mins of our time. We can do jama' prayers (joining dhuhur and asar or maghrib and isya' in one period) if the situation really calls for it when we're really caught up in something important for example. We have to schedule our daily activities around the timings of salaat. This is how we show our commitment to Allaah just like fasting or zakat.

Allah Almighty says in the Qur'aan,

{"And perform As-Salaat (the prayers), at the two ends of the day and in some hours of the night [i.e. the five compulsory Salaat (prayers)]. Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins). That is a reminder (an advice) for the mindful (those who accept advice)."} [Suurah Huud 11:114]

Maybe some of us may think, "Hm i'll just Qadha' (make up for it) later". -excerpt from islamonline.net- However, if we miss a Salaat for no excuse then we cannot pray it as a Qadha. In reality, any Salaat should be done on time. When we miss a Salaat because we are asleep or forgot about it, then we should make it the time we wake up or remember as if that was the time for it. The Prophet (pbuh) says: " The one who misses a Salaat because he is asleep or has forgotten, let him make it when he remembers it".

A Muslim who misses a Salaat deliberately cannot make up Salaat. The only answer for such negligence is to make sincere repentance (Tawbah) and vow to Allah that he/she would not miss Salaat anymore. After making Tawbah, it is recommended to make any optional Salaat, but not on the grounds of Qadha.

l pray that Allaah will open thier hearts and minds and make them want to change and perform thier obligations in Islaam well even with the challenges that they face in society today, with istiqaamah (being firm and straight, steadfastness).

Allaah Almighty says in the Noble Qur'an,

{"Verily, those who say: 'Our Lord is Allaah (Alone),' and then they stand firm, on them the angels will descend (at the time of thier death) (saying): 'Fear not, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised!'} [Suurah Fussilat 41:30]

He also says,

{"So stand (ask Allaah to make) you (Muhammad s.a.w.) firm and straight (on the religion of Islaamic Monotheism) as you are commanded and those (your companions) who turn in repentance (to Allaah) with you, and transgress not (Allaah's legal limits). Verily, He is All-Seer of what you do."} [Suurah Huud 11:112]

Anyway, my dad actually talked to me about marriage for the first time. I see a green light blinking. Now I just have to find the right person, insya Allaah. I hope Allaah grants me ease and patience in this and guidance to being a better Muslim and being a good leader, caregiver and provider. Since a few years back, there have been prospects but I haven’t had success with any even though they seem to be so compatible and at some point, it seemed highly possible. Siapalah saya ni kan, tsk tsk. Laa, jiwang la pulak.

But Alhamdulillaah, I’m not that bothered about it actually. I feel it’s just because I haven’t found the right person. As what people say, "Kalau dah jodoh tu tak ke mana". If that person is meant for me, insya Allaah, everything will be in place and run more smoothly. And also the fact that we have to trust and be patient with Allaah's decree. If we are still unmarried, it is simply because Almighty Allah has willed that we'd be single at this point in time.

Hm, maybe I should just leave it to my mum? Naaah.. I remember once, I joked to her about this and she said, “Alaa, nanti dah carikan tak suka pula!!”. Haa. Anyway, I’m grateful for these experiences, it can only make me stronger and I’m thankful that Allaah have guided me to seek a prospect in this manner and stay away from dating and indulging in intimate pre-marital relationships.. Oh bukanlah cantikmu yang ku cari, bukanlah itu yang aku nanti, tetapi ketulusan hati yang abadi..

Alhamdulillaah, for the chance to meet the blessed month of Ramadan again. I’ve started Mosque-hopping to experience the night prayers at different mosques in Singapore. “Wah so free ah?!!” some might think. Yea, alhamdulillaah, I’ve no plans to work during the short holiday here. Don’t be jealous eh (muhaha). Insya Allaah, I hope to cover more ground, north to south and east to west. So far, I’ve been to only three. Masjid Kampong Holland (homeground), Masjid Kassim and Muhammadiyyah. One of the aims is also to catch up with friends living in the vicinity of the mosques if possible. Honestly, I’m still ignorant of the existence and location of most of the mosques around Singapore. Hm, where should I explore next?


madame blossom said...

Al khair (choa chu kang), muhajirin (bradell) al-falah.. banyak lagi.. :)

alhamdulillah, you're enjoying ur holiday and i pray for you that you find a good partner. :) (you nak i recommend my fren? :p)

redtide said...

Masya Allaah, quite a number of suggestions already, jazaakumullaah kher.

Ameen to ur prayers. (Hmm, maybe i'll KIV for now, thanks anyway) (",)