Monday, September 29, 2008

Reflections From Ramadhan To Syawal

With the expiration of Ramadhan and the arrival of the month of Syawal in a few day's time, my memories were brought far back to how I used to spend them when I was back in Singapore.

Those beautiful memories were aplenty: leading the congregational terawih prayers, the zuhur kuliyyah, the gatherings over iftar, the lectures, the meeting of very close friends in my office for congregational zuhur and recitations of the Qur'an, the qiyam, the briyani ... and the list goes on. And in that same breath, memories of people who have touched my life returned but I will refrain from listing them down out of respect for their privacy and/or their preference.

I have also been meaning to write an entry of my reflection since I have been one full month here in the United States. There are many to write - and tonight does not seem like the appropriate time.

In many ways, as in so many things since then, Ramadhan was definitely a very different experience here than it has been for the rest of my entire life. But the fruits of this journey has indeed been priceless - and I realised that this physical distance has been utterly necessary for it to bear some fruition, and for me to be able to 'walk the talk' of all the lessons that I have been giving in my classes. Such reflections went extremely deep within me in a capacity that was not present before I undertook this faraway journey. It ranges from truly enlivening the concept born in the hadith "Seek knowledge even if to China" (we are not discussing the level of its authenticity here) to really practicing and living contemporary fiqh (jurisprudence) rather than being theoretical about them in my lessons. And these were the main reasons why I chose to be here rather than pursuing my studies in the middle east for example (where I can easily find comfort in living my Muslim life) as you have to constantly think critically about your life and your laws - to look beyond and deeply of those jurisprudence where Muslims take for granted and preach from their pulpits. 

True to my suspicion since a long time ago but generally manifested in a limited manner and through abundant lip-service: Islam - from a theological, philosophical and discursive point of view - is really what is within - and this conviction can be achieved only when one is extricated from the comfort of one's environment. From this vantage point, it becomes so much more beautiful and embracing, and its spirit becomes vibrantly alive - and suddenly, everything begins to make so much sense. The small stuffs (in all sense) - are 'no sweat'. This learning curve has been accelerated through my experience in the blessed months of Ramadhan and Syawal. Alhamdulillah.

And as I re-read my past entries on Ramadhan and 'Eid, I was reminded of the important need for me to be grateful for all that has been given, and not been given to me. Through it all, these past month has truly been a priceless, enriching and humbling experience.

I wish to share that particular poignant entry with you. Click here.

5 comments:

"the" anonymous said...

I am sure that your memories of Ramadhan in the US will have its own unique chapter much as I had in my time as a student in the UK. I still have most fond memories of preparing and eating both Iftar and Sahur with Muslims of all backgrounds as well as praying Fajr in the university lawns because our halls did not have enough space. It was during my time there that I experienced many blessings from Allah, often at times when I (and my fellow students) least expected it.

marzuki said...

So nice reading words that have been typed letter by letter as compared to those typed with a mouse... =)

But seriously, loved both!

It's hard to be remember to be thankful and grateful. One to many times i make the mistake of forgetting to be thankful and grateful, thinking that everything i hv/hv not achieved is my own doing, though deep down i know it's not.

Thanks for the gentle reminder! =)

TheHoopoe said...

"the" anonymous,

that is precisely it, isn't it? when you least expect it ... always have been.
that is awesome :)

TheHoopoe said...

marzuki,

the rest were not typed with the mouse - it was, despite the work of others, been typed letter by letter as well ...

marzuki said...

ooh....

ANd only now i realize tt though I could easily locate,cut and paste it from the net, typing it letter by letter from the book would allow me to read and re-read the passage...

Thus leaving behind a more lasting impression in my mind.

Im surprised that I didnt actually saw it from this aspect before. And to think i actually stuck with tt childish mentality since i first met the Hoopoe's Odyssey.

Well that said, i think im starting to see your entries in a different light than before. Remembered how u'd often say that kids like me hv not reached the level yet to fully appreciate ur writes....

...I've always felt likewise, and tt's probably why i never could understand. Becoz I told myself i cant. THis mentality, too, has got to go.

Slamat Hari Raya! =)