Looking around me I see the bigger pictures. And I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.


Friday, October 27, 2006

Eid al-Fitr 2006

Hari Raya (Eid al-Fitr) 2006.

Hari Raya 2006 fell on Tuesday 24th Oct. 2006.What does one do at Hari Raya?. Routine, that is what I can say. But the Malays make this season a very sentimental season, a season of balik kampung. (http://kiss-met.blogspot.com/2005/05/trappings-of-ruralkampong-life-balek.html).

For me, as usual I got up early, preparing myself to go the the masjid, in my case for my Estate it was the surau (a small non-Friday prayer masjid), for the Eid al-Fitr morning 2 rakaah prayers, which normally happens at 8.30 am, followed by a sermon by the Imam. The prayers is a traditional prayers really, except that some Ulamak says that its a near 'wajib' (a religious must) prayers.

The Sermon.

Leaving after the prayers.

If you are in the kampong, it will be followed by asking forgiveness from your elders (no harm if one asks forgiveness from the young ones as well), on returning home after the prayers.

Then it was either receiving visitors or going on visits. In my case I did not have the Hari Raya in the kampung, so my wife , children and I went to visit a close friend who lives a few km away,

where we were served with a good Hari Raya feast, the usual specially cooked spiced rice and curry and rendang and cakes and good non-alcoholic drinks.

There we also met some friends who happened to visit that close friends family.

After that we went to visit an old working colleague who have retired earlier than I, and whose wife had passed a few years ago, and most of the children have now been grown up and got married off .

They live in the outskirt of Kuala Lumpur, the area once wac quite undeveloped but has now developed so fast that that they may soon have to sell their land and properties if they do not want to be drowned by the neighbouring development. So far he still can stand the pressure of those neighbouring development. It will not be long I figure..

After those few visits we came home for a rest. And in the afternoon we began to receive visitors, mostly friends, ours and my son’s and daughter’s friends, followed by the neighbours, the Muslims who we also visited earlier and the non-Muslim came to celebrate the occasion with us.

It lasted the whole afternoon and until late evening. And we served food and non-alcoholic drinks (and cookies) like as good Hari Raya host.

On the morrow

another day of receiving visitors, those who did not come on the first day, and this lasted the whole day, until even the children got very sleepy.

And on the third day we went back to the kampong to greet our friends and relatives in the kampong for the Hari Raya occasion.

It had been a good Hari Raya holidays.

Monday, October 23, 2006

That was a Ramadan that was




The fasting month for 2006 is over. It was a case of it came and it went. And many of us are not sure whether we will still be here when it comes again.

I had a very pleasant and simple fasting month this year, first week spent in Kuala Lumpur, then 2 weeks in Kuantan where I had to do some work, and the last week in Kuala Lumpur again.

It was a foggy journey from Kuantan to Kuala Lumpur. The haze was rather thick at this time of the year this year.

And my wife and I decided that we stay put in Kuala Lumpur for the Eid (al-Fitr) celebration. Usually we go back to the kampong to be with my mother-in-law and my wife’s family, and during the Eid day pray at the local masjid, then visit my wife’s and what are left of my family in my original kampong a few miles away. And normally my brother and sisters celebrate their Eid on their own, we live very far apart and there is no central gathering place. Sad but we have to live with it. And normally during the first day of Eid I (and my wife and children) visit and give dua to my mothers at her graveyard, and the second day I visit my graveyards of my father’s family in my village. There the whole village gives dua to those gone, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, grandfather and grandmothers and all, friends, loved ones and relatives. It’s a sad occasion but taken in an atmosphere where everyone meet everyone else from far and near, and those not met for a long time will ask for news and also in remembrance of those gone days. One day, many of us will be buried in the same graveyard, unless the body once deceased cannot be brought back for one reason or another or on the request of closed relatives to be buried where death occurs.

Ramadan is the month of fasting (for Muslims), a month when one feels like doing good. Tarawih prayers are done every night,

we hear what Allah says in the Koraan and we obey (without question)

a small snack may be served after the tarawih prayers,

and towards the end of the month probably Qiamullai (night prayers which normally begins at about 3.30 in the morning, and may last until about 5 am). It’s a time of asking from Allah, a time of making dua, a time of self realization, a time of self reflect and a time of regret for ones past sins, and a time of asking for forgiveness from Allah, praying hard that Allah will allow one to go into His Heaven (and not get tortured in the fire of Hell). And Eid (al-Fitr),

the fitrah (alm for the month of Ramadan, due from all 'fasting' Muslims) is paid before the time of the Eid

is a time of rejoice, a time of celebration, a time when one feels that the one month of ibadah had been worth it.

And during the month of Ramadan, one listens more to the reading (and its better if one actually reads the Koraan whenever one can make the time) of the Koraan, the Hadiths and the reminders of by the Ulama to be obedience to Allah.

Its over and done with, the lessons learnt during the month of Ramadan should be the true guide of lives a Muslim should live by. One may not see another Ramadan.

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