Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Counting down Ramadan!

Does anyone realize that Ramadan is getting closer? Yeah exactly, it is less than 100 days from now. Okay, first of all I’ll explain you what Ramadan really is. Ramadan is the ninth month of Islamic lunar-based calendar which is of course different from the commonest calendar we use today (Gregorian calendar). We, Moslems do fasting during that month for about 30 or 29 days depends on the moon’s emergence, since different place has different view of the moon, so we have different numbers of the days for fasting. Guys, fasting means we don’t drink and eat anything during the daytime, starts from the dawn (before sunrise) until the sun sets (dusk).

As I’m one of billion Moslems in this world, I do believe that Ramadan is much better than 1000 months; this is what we believe anyway. So, what does it mean actually? In simply we can say that if we do goodness within the period of a thousand year, it is equal with the righteousness we do in just one month (Ramadan), what a far-out month, all praises are Allah’s.

In Ramadan, aside from not eating and drinking, we should also control our rage to other people; we can’t at all express our fury like we usually do in other months, though getting angry in any month is valued as bad deed. Having sexual relationship between husband and wife during the day is also prohibited since it can abrogate the fasting, they still can do that in the night anyways. One purpose of doing fasting in Ramadan is that to strengthen our patience as well as to sharpen our empathy to the poor.

For the very first time in my life, I had different and unusual Ramadan last year. I did fast in Tucson Arizona since at that time I was studying at University of Arizona. The weather was pretty hot in summer and it made me quite dazed for the first two weeks, though afterward it was getting better since the season turned into autumn.

The hardest thing I faced when experienced two months fasting in US was not about the weather or food; I pretty much could deal with that. It was about the schedule of my program that made me somewhat frustrated. I could only go to bed after 11 pm since the tasks were always hard and plentiful, moreover I must have woken up at 3 am to prepare for my sahoor, what a short sleep then. I always asked myself and complained about the circumstance I had then, but then I knew that my whining did not make any sense at all. I must thank God since I got the huge bounty to be a grantee to study at the UofA, thank you Allah.

One more, the unforgettable experience when I did fasting in Tucson was that the “iftar” time. Yeah, iftar means the break time. I had fast break (iftar) at 7 pm and I always did that with friends of mine at Islamic Center of Tucson (ICT). ICT fully supported the jamaah or Moslems who did fasting by providing halal food such as beef, chicken, vegetable and rice. And you know what? Those foods were all completely free, it means we could eat as much foods as we want, but of course I didn’t do that. I just ate the food I needed, not what I wanted.

After having iftar, we usually went back to apartment to do our homework from CESL (Center for English as Second Language). Since the tasks were always hard, I didn’t do taraweeh (night praying) at mosque. I did that at my room with friends of mine, but most of the time I did that alone.

Yeah, more or less I’ll be missing that moment this year since I’m gonna be doing fasting in my city again. I’m thankful for anything, wherever I do fasting I’ll always feel the same; I am weak and I need God’s help to live my life, Insya Allah. May I can do fasting this year (2009), amiiin.

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