Festive air in less than a fortnight

9 09 2009

HARI RAYA Aidil Fitri festivity or the Eid Mubarak will be celebrated by all Muslims globally this year most probably on Sunday 20th September 2009 i.e. if the new moon of Syawal or tenth month in the Islamic calendar of Hijrah were to be sighted. The start of Fasting during this month of Ramadan was celebrated uniformly by Muslims all over the world last August 22nd.

Personally, this fasting ritual coupled with anxiety over the coming celebration of Eid ul-Fitri does somehow pose some kind of perplexing issue of balancing between one’s spiritual and worldly agenda.

Given a choice, I would really opt for a much more spiritual and religious outlook toward life in general. The big BUT is that worldly pursuits still need as much attention, if not to give them top priority.

And the real issue actually is to simply go for the middle ground without trying too hard to be neutral about it all. Doing things in moderation is the best way to go about it, really. However, it is worth remembering that once we decide to chase after the highly successful and much more rewarding full blessings of the Hereafter, worldly gains will slowly but surely follow from behind (I still don’t get it yet, though, what that is supposed to mean).

Meaning to say, I could go for the extreme choice in life of ‘holistically’ submitting and completely devoting myself to Islamic piety in true accordance of the “Sunnah” or Islamic teachings as were practised by our beloved Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalam (Peace be upon him) and the “Sahabbah” (loyal followers) during the early days of Islamic civilisation. I mean, imagine the Messenger of Allah only slept on dry date palm leaves as his daily bedding throughout his lifetime! (Whereas all the King’s Men of the Day mostly sleep like kings themselves in king size beds, no less) 😉

I could emulate that kind of lifestyle, no problem, since it was one of the ways of the Prophet or “Sunnah” anyways. It is said that if we practise even one “Sunnah”, we will be rewarded with “Pahala Mati Syahid” or rewards equivalent to death in martyrdom… (in the Hereafter, that is).

It could even be in the most basic form of the way one dresses as well as how one lives on a daily basis without too much excesses or materialistic displays of wealth and sophisticated luxuries.

One “Hadith” or tradition of the Prophet recalled that during the Prophet Muhammad’s time, one of his followers built a huge personal dwelling (almost mansion-like home). And the Prophet always passed through the street along which the friend’s big luxurious house was constructed. The Prophet showed his dislike at such extravagance so much so that the new home owner decided to demolish it and rebuilt a much less ‘intimidating’ residence. If he had lived until today’s modern age, wonder how our beloved Prophet would react to the current trend of lifestyles of the rich and famous in the Arab world?!

I guess the logic in the above story is that why build excessively-lavish homes when a decent one will do as long as there is a roof over one’s head, in a manner of speaking? Look at what tragically happened in Indonesia during last week’s earthquake there, for example. The mostly Muslim Indonesians who lost their houses simply thanked the Almighty for the blessed gifts of their lives still intact although they had to resort to living under makeshift tents now… 😦

And here I am dwelling about how to beautify and re-decorate my home in order to enjoy the Hari Raya this year? All these years, I have never really entertained visitors in my 12-year-old rundown home… so why bother now?! Besides it will cost me a real bomb! And it’s a fortune I cannot afford at all for many years to come…

Come hail or high water (is there such an expression?! Hehehhe), the fasting month is set to end in less than a couple of week’s time. The only main reason to celebrate the Eid Mubarak is if I could in all honesty complete the obligatory fasting ritual with a perfectly ‘balanced score card’… if not then I certainly do not deserve to join in this religious celebration of having successfully overcome all obstacles, temptations during the war within oneself against “Nafs” or literally ‘lustful desires’ for worldly leisures and excitement for the sacrifice of the True Faith in Islam and merely for the sake of Allah the Almighty Lord of the Universe. Still not too late to achieve full marks for ‘bonus rewards’ during the Night of Power or in Malay, “Malam Lailatul Qadar” which is lots better than a thousand months.

Don’t know when that night will come, though… could have happened already or it could occur on odd days of the last 10 days of Ramadan.





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