Monday, September 28, 2009

Syawal 1430 Hijri

The memory of first Syawal 1430Hijri and Eidhulfitri for the year of 2009 is being recorded in many digital cameras of my family members as shown in a few photos here. This is the first time of my life in celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri with the most of pictures taken compared to past Hari Rayas.

I am indeed grateful and thankful to ALLAH S.W.T. to be granted this privilege of being together in a peaceful gathering to commemorate the mostly welcomed Hari Raya insofar as I could recall during my childhood days with new attire from top down and the joy of seeing the same thing being repeated on my grandchildren is one of the signs of ALLAH's Blessings to those who follow the righteous path as shown by the Al-Quran and the Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W.

It is my fervent hope that I am able to continue the practice of bringing together all the family members as a gesture of Silaturrahim which is espoused in Islam and thereby increasing the awareness to all that it is a religion of Peace, mind body and soul. It is not just a mere passing fancy but it encompasses the whole universe and all the beings occupying it. Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Walillahilhamd!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Farewell to Ramadhan 1430

My experience during the Ramadhan of 1430 Hijrah is indeed a fulfilling one because I am blessed with good health and feeling a sort of wellness which I am very grateful to ALLAH S.W.T.

Although I supplicate for the meeting of Lailatul-Qadar which promised the reward which is better than a thousand months, only ALLAH knows all. According to Imam Al-Ghazali if the "Puasa" begins on a saturday, then the Lailatul Qadar falls on the 23 rd night of Ramadhan, which falls on the night of September 13, 2009 AD. It is also said the morning following the Lailatul-Qadar would be neither hot or cold but just in between and the morning has a bright glow. I noticed that it rains slightly that particular morning and it was pleasantly cool and in fact the whole day remained shady from the normally hot spells and sudden downpour in Klang Valley at this time of the year.

I believe that as long as one performs all the obligations of the fast in accordance with Shari'ah then you would be conferred with that most blessed night. Thus I say farewell to this year's Ramadhan sadly because there's no other month in the Muslim calendar that carries such great significance when the Al-Quran was first descended from the Lauhul-Mahfuz to Baitul-Izzah, and then only it was revealed in stages over a period of 23 years to our beloved Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. through the Archangel Jibril A.S.

InshaALLAH let us pray that we be given the Blessings and Mercies from ALLAH S.W.T. and be bestowed the grace of seeing the next Ramadhan 1431 Hijrah.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Last 10 Days of Ramadhan

Muslimin and muslimat as believers look forward to the final ten days of Ramadhan fervently to be spared the Hellfire if they have diligently performed all the conditions of the Saum (fast) with the exception of those who are allowed to 'buka' due to factors beyond their control such as the old and sickly or women undergoing their periods and those who had just delivered but they have to make up for it by fasting before the next Ramadhan or paying the 'fidyah'.

During this last leg of the fast, it is made more significant by the presence of Lailatul-Qadr which simply means that special night which is better than a thousand months where the Angels of Mercy will be coming down to Earth to see who deserves to be spared the Hellfire, thus one must not miss the chance of this benefit by performing the non-obligatory prayers and reciting the Al-Quran especially on the odd nights of the 21, 23, 25, 27 and 29 Ramadhan. Although I have been told about " Malam Lailatul-Qadr " since I was small and the stories of how those who seemed to have experienced it said that one of the sight to behold is that the the crown of the tree will be prostating itself, but I had not seen it with my own eyes. But what is more important to me is that I want to be spared the Hellfire just as others do when the time comes.

Once I was told by a very senior person whose son is now a "Wakil Rakyat" for a Selangor state constituency that he saw the colour of the fire in a furnace in the Pohang steel plant in South Korea as white rather than yellow and definitely it could be in the region of thousand degrees fahrenheit. I shudder to imagine how one could live in such a place if that is the home of those who are thrown there in life hereafter.

Since I have been taught by the Ustaz that what is promised by ALLAH S.W.T. is true, then this is what I supplicate most to ALLAH that I and all my Family members be spared the Hellfire. In order to be given this blessing we as believers must not let this opportunity to pass us by during this last ten days of Ramadhan and do the needful by sacrificing some sleep especially on the odd nights so that we shall be spared the Hellfire, InshaALLAH.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Winds of Change for the OPA

OPA stands for the Association for Old Putras, of which I am a life member and it was OP Sheikh Ghazali aka Arab who urged me to convert from ordinary membership so that I save myself the hassle of settling my dues every year. When I first got a job after graduating as a Settler Development Officer in FELDA, Arab and another OP whose name I have forgotten were already there as Agricultural Officers.

I am indebted to Allahyarham OP Ridzuan Md Piah and OP Hamzah Pilus for making me to give some effort to attend OPA activities initially. I thought that the least I could do in order to show my appreciation and have a sense of belonging to my alma mater is to be involved in one way or another with the activities organised by OPA.

In the past from what I perceive the OPA's focus had been to keep abreast with developments of the RMC and provide the linkage with those who had been fortunate enough to go through the regimented life as a Budak Boy and the thing that I always associate it with is the Annual Dinner. Apart from that I hardly could connect with the association except for recent attendance of talks organised with the support of the OPA secretariat.

However at the recent Buka Puasa do organised by the OPA I begin to see a wind of change in the OPA when the President spoke of amongst other things the effort he's taking to see to the welfare of the less fortunate OP's or those who had taught there as teachers who otherwise suffer their predicament silently where only those who are their family members and close friends rallying to extend a helping hand. I welcome this new focus and I agree with Maj- Gen(B) Dr Termidzi that as more and more OP's are getting into the Senior citizen's list they also are prone to all sorts of health problems and are too shy to ask for help from the Association. So it is a welcoming news that a fund is set up for the purpose of extending this badly needed service whenever it merits anyone in such a situation. For those who are still young and have the means to plan for their future in health matters should give this a serious attention. No matter how careful one could be, but there's no guarantee that one could not fall ill in their old age. Let us give generously to the newly established Welfare Fund.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

An Eventful Day in Ramadhan

About ten o'clock on the sunday morning of 06 September and 16 Ramadhan of 1430 Hijrah, I was informed by a short message on my cellphone that Zawawi's mother had passed away of old age and will be brought to At-Taqwa Mosque in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail for the solat jenazah and then to Bukit Kiara Muslim burial ground.

So I quickly dressed and told Nasimah that I would be going to pay my respects to Zawawi's mother and join my friends at the mosque. On arrival at the mosque I saw Hamzah and Mohamad Noor ( Gear ) seated around a table with a few others and greeted them with Salam. Then Zawawi came and I conveyed my condolences and he said the Imam of the mosque would be coming soon for the solat jenazah.

After the solat jenazah I took a lift with Mohamad Noor's car together with Hamzah and we followed the rest of the crowd to Bukit Kiara. The burial site is much further inside and we had to drive again after being told by the caretaker that it is one kilometre from where we originally parked the car.

The weather was hot and fortunately I brought two umbrellas as was suggested by Hamzah. When the talqin was recited by the Imam, it invoked in me that we would all be going the same way but only ALLAH shall determine that moment in time, not even a second earlier or later. Later in the evening when Hamzah dropped me off after the Buka Puasa do at OPA Penthouse in Saujana Resort, that I told him the talqin is meant more for the living than the dead and it's encouraged by Rasulullah ( S.A.W.) to accompany the deceased right up to the burial rites. Only then if one is willing to be reminded that our passage in this world is only transient and the final place for all believers will be the hereafter.

I stood barely a few metres from the Imam who was seated with Zawawi and his brother-in-law when the talqin was recited. It still rings in my ear when he said that do not be afraid when the two angels appear and start asking questions as who is your Rabb and your Prophet and what is your religion amongst the other questions. Thus I told Hamzah later that how would one be able to answer correctly if your preparation for the hereafter is less than satisfactory. Therefore we must constantly remind ourselves to perform our obligations as a Muslim diligently and without fail so that we would be able to face our fate when we are six feet underground.

After the crowd dispersed I met Yusof Ali Zain whom I have not met for a very long time and another colleague Samsudin Osman. I reached my house after going back to the mosque again to fetch my car, at about three o'clock as I stopped at two other places on the way home. It was a poignant moment of a day in Ramadhan especially when you are reminded of how fragile life is and what should one prepare to face that crucial "Question Time " where only your deeds which one performed when alive is the only salvation.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Buka Puasa at KGNS

Yesterday 03 September I waited for Hamzah to fetch me on his way to Kelab Golf Subang for berbuka puasa with friends. He left his house at Tropicana about 6.30 pm and while on the way he messaged me that he was stuck on the LDP.

Perhaps he was thinking that traffic would be normal and he would arrive at my house fifteen minutes after he left his house. Fortunately we arrived at the Golf club just about five minutes from breaking fast time.

When I entered the restaurant with Hamzah, I could discern from the passage leading to the seated area someone in baju Melayu and songkok and it happened to be Dato' Mahfar Sairan. He's there not as a host but as a guest. The host is Dato' Yahya Yakob, an Old Putra one year my senior in RMC and we served together in Information Ministry way back in 1992.

The group comprised mainly of his golf buddies and though I am not a golfer but Hamzah asked his permission to bring me along and he consented. Since we are all Old Putras, none of those present are stranger to me.

It was an enjoyable buka puasa, because we had a separate table and made our orders separate from the buffet served. We performed the maghrib prayer together at the surau and then only had our meal. We broke up in time for the Isyak and were supposed to go to Tengku Kelana Mosque but Hamzah and I gave it a miss due to the congestion for parking there and made it to Al-Hidayah Mosque instead. Alhamdulillah ! Hamzah dropped me home after the Terawih. Thank You Dato' Yahya Yakob and Hamzah for the wonderful Buka Puasa.