Thursday, August 26, 2010

15th Ramadaan

Oh my! How time has flown! Algamdulilah, we on the 15th day of Ramadaan already, half way… Masha-Allah. As they say… it’s all downhill from here.

With all intentions to blog daily, that was just not possible, but Algamdulilah, Allah knows best and the memories live on. Just some highlights over the past few days… I had a test from Allah around the 3rd and 5th of Ramadaan, but I think I did well. I’ll blog about that later in an entry titled, “Allah tests…”. Those were thought-provoking nights, that left me with tears. Tears only for the pure ignorance and disrespect some have for our beautiful Creator. But, Insha-Allah, one can but only hope.

On the 11th Ramadaan, with reference to the number 11 being my and Raafiek’s wedding date, we had our first alone Ramadaan boeka. Was quite nice! We had a candlelit boeka. Raafiek made some chicken and mushroom soup, I fried samoosas and made some flapjacks with fresh cream, strawberry jam and fresh strawberries. It was so nice, I’ll post some pics at a later stage.

Just something I’d like to share with you. Last night, coinciding with the 15th Taraweegh, we recited the 18th Joos. The imaam made reference to some ayaats which were recited. He was explaining the darajah of Janaat and espoused on the qualities and character one should have to be able to attain the highest of darajah in Janaat, that being Janahtul-Firdous. Some of those qualities include the following: to attain complete humility in your supplications and prayer to Allah, to abstain from sin – and zina being the most important thus protecting what which is between your mouth and your legs, as that is the highest form of sin in the eyes of Allah, to give Zakaah, that being 2.5% of your earnings – apparently it is the most neglected of the five Pillars of Islam. There were another two qualites the imaam mentioned, but my memory eludes me.

Well, that’s all I have time for today. Mubarak for the 15th day of Ramadaan. May Allah forever guide and protect us Insha-Allah and may we live up to what He wishes from His faithful servants. Fee-Amanilah – I leave you in the trust of Almighty Allah. Wasalaam.

Some humour:

Friday, August 13, 2010

Allah makes easy…

Algamduliah, the first day of Ramadaan went really well. Must admit I had a few trying times and towards the end of the day suffered from severe headache, but Allah makes easy all the trials we come across.

My first boeka as a married woman was more special than I could ever have imagined. Raafiek and I spoke for years about this night, and now it was finally happening. We shared this moment with my mommy (who cooked up a lovely feast), my daddy, brother, Liezel and my niece, Little Zaara.

Last night, we got to the mosque just in time for Eshaa salaah. I was delayed by Zaara whom I hadn’t seen in a week and how my heart yearned to hold her once more. So, I had to take advantage of the time. Tonight, the mosque was filled to capacity once more, so much so that I couldn’t even get in. I spotted the space in the front row and just before Eshaa salaah commenced, I asked the ladies if I could stand in that space. Another lady accompanied me. And, so Taraweegh 2 played out.

I struggled a bit. I was exhausted, must’ve been as a result of the headache, but Algamdulilah, I pushed on through. Guess we all did. It’s not an easy task, perhaps some nights are easier than most, but we do it for the pleasure of our Almighty Creator whom we owe so much, and there’s so much we need to thank Him for.

En route home all I could think about was getting into bed. We decided 21:30 was a good time. When we arrived at home we felt like having a tad of mom’s butter chicken and then head on to bed. Mom was tired with backache and so I got busy in the kitchen cleaning up for her. I laid her table for suhoor for the next morning and finally got into bed around 22:15. Raafiek and I lay chatting till past 23:00 reciting Surahs from the Qur'aan till we fell asleep – Algamdulilah. What a beautiful first day of Ramadaan.

OH ALLAH, on this day make my fasts the fasts of those who fast (sincerely), and my standing up in prayer of those who stand up in prayer (obediently), awaken me from the sleep of the heedless, and forgive me my sins. Oh God of the Worlds, forgive me, oh One who forgives the sinners.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

1st Taraweegh of 2010

When I initially started this blog, I had all intentions of detailing the feelings within. To one day look back upon this time and relive it all. I must admit, the daily grind has been getting the better of me and my life has become far busier than I could ever have imagined. Busy with all my dreams and hopes is never wasted time. Today, I took a breather, leaned back in my chair and decided to take in the moment. So, as Ramadaan is on my doorstep, I’ve decided to diarise my thoughts, feelings and emotions through this historic time. I hope you’ll enjoy and travel along with me.

With Ramadaan, a sense of peace fills my soul. I begin to think of all I used to achieve in this month… my efforts to get closer to Allah, my appreciation for His beauty all around, my utter thankfulness for all He has graced me with and unity you feel with every Muslim aiming to achieve Allah’s pleasure.

I left work today and passed an old colleague who asked me to pray for him. I had to smile. I asked him to do the same. On my return home, there was the obvious notion that something big was about to overcome us. So, I just let it happen. My heart overjoyed and when hubby returned home, I could see in his eye, he was having the very same feeling. We rushed on to get ready for masjied, for tonight was the first Taraweegh of Ramadaan 2010, and we didn’t want to miss it. We did the ritual bathing (ghusl) which cleanses not only your body, but your soul in preparation for this month of sacrifice. We had a bite to eat, then headed on to the masjied, a feeling of utter contentment filled us. We chatted about how going to Taraweegh has become a compulsory act for us both, and I secretly thank Allah for honouring me with someone who truly understands my heart, as I understand his.

While walking to the masjied, we noticed all the cars outside and decided we need to leave atleast 15 minutes earlier tomorrow. On arrival, I could not see a space in sight. I just took one step in, turned myself to face kiblah (the direction of Makkah), and started my prayer. We just made it in time. Note to self again, we have to leave earlier tomorrow.

The girl standing next to me kept moving up a bit. Guess she noticed I was a bit uncomfortable standing right up against the door, but I had no other option at the time… as salaah had already started and I couldn’t interrupt the musallies. We completed Eshaa prayer, I spotted an opening in the front row and asked her to join me there. We excused ourselves and headed to the first row to start Taraweegh salaah. Taraweegh is a 20 raka’ah (segment) devotion to Allah where a chapter of the Qur’aan is read throughout the 20 raka’ahs.

The melodic sounds of the Qari reciting from the Qur’aan pierced straight into my heart. I was reminded again of my desire to get closer to Allah. To always act in a manner that pleases him. To only live for His honour and to be forever thankful for what Allah has placed in my life, be it good or bad, hard or easy, suffering or pleasure. Fee-Amanilah, my trust if forever with Allah.

Standing close against the sister beside me, my heart revered the harmony between us both as we stood before our Creator. In the last raka’ah I was shaken by the tearful voice of the Qari. Reciting with such sincerity, I could hear sniffles in the rows behind me. He had brought many to tears as they all understood and felt the sanctity of the month of Ramadaan. How can one not be moved?

After salaah, the imaam gave a short Naseegha and funny enough he mentioned the very thing Raafiek and I had chatted about on the way to the masjied. He said: “Inna akmaloe bie niyyah. Your actions are as good as your intentions.” In essence he was expressing that what you set out to achieve in this holy month is exactly what you get out. If you set out to go to Taraweegh for the first few days, that is exactly what you will do. If you set out to recite the Qur’aan sporadically, that is exactly what you will achieve. If you set out to achieve high goals in this month, and having tried relentlessly to achieve it and still not being able to, you will be rewarded in full, as if you have completed your intention.

When I left, I greeted the sister beside me and wished her well for the month ahead. Waiting outside for hubby, we chatted about our experience and what we’d like to achieve this month as we walked to the car. On arriving at home, I rushed to greet Mom and Dad. I’m thankful Allah spared all of us to enter and experience this Ramadaan, Insha-Allah, Ameen.

Last night, Raafiek and I prepared our home and got the table settings ready for our first suhoor together. This morning as I recited a bit trying to complete Chapter 1 of the Holy Qur’aan, Raafiek got our breakfast ready. We sat down, prayed Fajr together and serenely entered our first day of Ramadaan.

To all my family and friends, may Allah grant you all your heart wishes this Ramadaan and always. May you achieve what you set out to do and may you forever be close to the Ragmah of Allah. I wish you well, Insha-Allah, Ameen.

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