When I was small, truthfully speaking, Ramadhan wasn’t exactly my favorite month of the year. I would hesitantly part ways with my food and my parents would restrict us from going to movies and cinemas. To me, this simply means I have less time to have fun considering I’d be too tired during the day and would be frequenting the mosque at night for Tarawikh prayers. I would focus instead on the coming of Syawal and the long holiday, raya cookies, the massive duit raya that I presume I was going to get and the things I would buy with my imaginary duit raya.
It was a phase I went through as a kid, and it lingered longer than I was willing to admit -___-
The turning point only came a couple of years ago, when I began questioning the significance of Ramadhan in a Muslim’s life. I mean, honestlyyyy, there must be something that fuels the positive energy in Ramadhan, right?? The curiosity led to a series of “investigation” and this is a small fraction of what I found out:
How beautiful is the month of Ramadhan, the month where Allah glorifies the earth with His mercy, opens doors for repentance and showers us with abundance of rewards. Unlike the previous generations who lived for hundreds of years, our lifespan today is rather short but ever so thoughtful and fair is He in His dealings to multiply the rewards earned in Ramadhan so that our good deeds signify hundreds of years of living.
No wonder everyone so semangat to be good in Ramadhan. Hehe.
Once, a colleague asked an Ustazah how do we know if our ibadahs are accepted by our Lord, whether we have fully benefited from the holiest month in Islam? Her answer was rather simple – if you have changed permanently for the better, God Willing you are on the right track. But if you remain the same as before Ramadhan (as it was for me, for a lonnggg time) you know there is a huge room for improvement.
At the end of the day, how many of us truly fast and persevere, how many of us “passed the test”, and came out of it….a better person?
In all honesty, I know I wasn’t one of them.
Ramadhan, for a long time was just a month where I “pause” my negative habits and “resume” them upon its departure. And it wasn’t until last year, when the questions above were posed to me that I began to realize how many Ramadhans have I wasted, how many golden opportunities to change that I have let go of.
I couldn't afford to let another opportunity go.
So this is my reflection, a reminder to myself that hits too close to home. It is based on my personal experience with Ramadhan and I hope it doesn’t in any way offend others :) I pray that this Ramadhan, we will be able to improve ourselves and achieve our targets - what ever they may be. I pray that we will be able to truly embrace the beauty of Ramadhan and that it will be our stepping stone to become a better Muslim.