Friday, August 19, 2011

English Column: How’s your Ramadan?

“Don’t lose hope, still have time”
Picture by Shattered Infinity
The very question that whenever people asks us, we cannot answer. Even if we answered it, the answer we replied is not an honest answer.
What is the question then? The question sounds like this “How’s your Ramadan?”
I do not know what will you answer, but for me, whenever anyone posts me that question, I’ll answer between two answers. Answer number one will be a long silence and a nod in the head whereas answer number two will be “Ok laa…” (in Manglish.)
If you can answer like this “My Ramadan is great!” I’ll give you my respect of honour because that answer indicates that you have fulfilled what is asked in this hadith:

“Whoever prayed at night in it (the month of Ramadan) out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.” [1]

What is asked in the hadith above? Two things; one, you have prayed at night of Ramadan with full of sincerity only for Allah and two, you have been hoping like mad for Allah to shower His reward for you.

By saying “My Ramadan is great!”, from my point of view, you are actually saying that “my sins have been forgiven.”

It is not that I cannot answer it; it is because I don’t have the guts to say “My Ramadan is great!” I’m simply just a coward to say it.


Judging from how I treat Ramadan until today that is the 18th of Ramadan, I surely know that Allah has not forgiven my sins.

For today’s article, let us ponder, “Do you think Allah has forgiven our SINS?”

Friday, August 12, 2011

Help me! I’m slowing down!

“Help me! I’m slowing down!” says the rabbit
picture by TIO… of

Have you ever experienced you set your alarm clock at full volume for Sahuur, but you end up waking up when the light of dawn (or even dhuha) is shining in your eyes and the feeling of depression and hunger that you just missed your only appetite of the day? 

Can you still remember the moment when you’re fasting; you were so thirsty and hungry and tired that you were so disturbed, intimidated and annoyed by the presence of non-fasting people eating with full of pleasure in front of your eyes?  

Can you remember again the time when you spent all day long thinking of what you are going to eat for iftar and then after iftar you felt bad because you missed a day of rewards?  I am sure that you remember the sinking feeling when you went back to sleep after Subuh, and woke up late for work/class in the mode of not-in-the-mood for anything plus being lectured by your mom for wasting half of the day?  

Have you ever felt so energetic for the first ten days of Ramadan you could finish more than 10 juz of the Quran but towards the middle and end of Ramadan, you can’t continue on reciting and you just don’t know why?  

Answer these questions honestly, reply “ T_T “ for yes and “ ^_^ “ for no. No need to answer it to me. Answer it in your heart and let it be a little secret between you and Him.  

I’m not being all great here, frankly, this is what I’m feeling and experiencing this very instant as we approach the 12th of Ramadan. “Help me! I’m slowing down!” Are you experiencing the same as me, love?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

English Column: Our hopes in Ramadan

“My hope is to be free from SINS!”
Picture by ~JosCos of

I’ll tell you the truth about Ramadan. What is the truth? Ramadan is our visitors. Not an ordinary visitor but VVVIP. Ramadan is a visitor that brings a lot of fortunes. But the question is:
  1. How do we treat Ramadan?
  2. It is already day five, have we treated it wholeheartedly?
Let us look back the hadith that is often repeated every year again and again, time and again:

“Whoever fasted the month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith (i.e. belief) and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his past sins will be forgiven, and whoever stood for the prayers in the night of Qadr out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven .”[1]

Here, the hadith is translated as “hoping for a reward from Allah” for the word “ihtisaba”. But the literal translation of “ihtisaba” is not “hoping for a reward from Allah” but is “counting.”

What does it mean by “counting”? What are you “counting”? The mathematical equations that you are “counting” are how you treat Ramadan.

Hadith ihtisaba

There are several narrations that narrates the hadith on ‘ihtisaba’, I’ll list three of them.

(Read More)

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