Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Fasting while we can | Recurring good deeds


Sunday morning in Penang. The rain had just stopped. Was visiting my late father. The atmosphere was captivating. It was as though the smell of the rain, the moderate temperature and the stillness of the graveyard, all blended in one essence for my spirit to savour.

It's a real dwelling place that which we see in the photo. They have migrated to a realm so different than where we are. So we say the prayer: 'O Allah forgive them and forgive us, verily we will be following in their footsteps to meet You O Lord.' 

We should take advantage of the time and space we are in now. We are up and about on earth with a nimble body. We are in a position to fast, pray and do a lot during Ramadan. But their deeds have been accounted for, the ink for their record book has dried. There's nothing more to add except maybe if they had in their lifetime performed recurring amal jariah. Jariah means continuous so I heard from an ustaz in Cambodia, one ustaz who's determined to focus more on the jariah aspect of his amal. That's like smart saving. The returns of which is compounded. So don't just do amal, do amal jariah.

We are here on this earth. We are fasting for a limited period of time in a day. We are continually fasting. The dwellers of barzakh are continuously "fasting". They are continuously in qiyam while we try to stand to pray for a longer period in Ramadan as compared to other months.

When Ramadan comes to an end, we will pay zakat fitrah for our bodies. Of course our bodies need to make zakat payout. Our bodies must be put to good use for the sake of its Creator. Ramadan, of all months, is the time when we exert our bodies a lot more for the sake of Allah. We have to stretch ourselves from dusk to dawn. We have to literally stretch ourselves during teraweh prayer. And the night is stretched further to make time for sahur - a time slot of the day which does not exist in the other months.

Ramadan is indeed a gift for the living, for us all who are still breathing. I wonder how many breaths we will end up taking this entire month? The dwellers of the barzakh might want to relive Ramadan if they could. They might be lamenting: 'Oh the breath that I wasted during the x-number of sacred months throughout my life.'  Or they could be enjoying the fruits of their hard work in Ramadan? Allah knows best the state of each soul who returns to Him.

Let us pray so that Allah forgives our fathers, mothers, uncles, aunties, grandparents, cousins, siblings, neighbours and friends who are occupying the barzakh. We will indeed be following in their footsteps. And when the day comes, let's hope our families and friends will remember to visit and say a prayer or two for us.


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