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thank you sis zabrina.
This is Ramadan...
*Giggle*... wait a minute, am I the only one laughing here?
Ok, ok. By now, I am sure you guys already know that I can't quite tell jokes, but, hey, it sure didnt hurt to try, right? :))
But jokes aside, truly, I am so excited that Ramadan is finally here, alhamdulillah.
And I am thankful to Allah to allow me to taste the sweetness and delightfulness of this wonderous month again, this year, alhamdulillah.
Ya Rabb... Indeed, I am your thankful servant.
As a special treat for my beloved friends, brothers and sisters, I have in today's post Secret One (out of 25 Secrets) from my latest book- Life is an Open Secret- Ramadan Special.
If you like the story, please forward and share this story (without changing anything or any part of it and plus include my blog link and copyright too!) with your friends and family, inshaAllah. I pray that Allah accepts our deeds, and have mercy on us, and forgive us for all our wrongdoings this Ramadan, ameen.
My gift to you...
Secret One: A Pillar of Faith
From Small Beginnings, Come Great Things - American Proverb
That day I was admiring a beautiful house near my sister's place. The design of the house was breathtaking, subhan Allah.
Although I don't have any inkling whatsoever about architectural design, I do love houses, buildings and structures that reflect great creativity and genius. I could not begin to imagine the sheer hard work the designers and architects must have put into the design.
Thomas Disch once said,
Creativity is the ability to see relationships where none exist.
And I totally agree with Mr. Thomas here. This house I am appreciating has a perfect combination of classic, ancient and gothic with a touch of modernity in it, subhan Allah.
I chuckled at the thought of my very best effort in designing a house: a square box with a roof and chimney and a few squared windows and one door, with a sun coming out from behind it!
Got the picture?
So, obviously, I truly appreciate talents of people who can design such a strikingly beautiful house.
But then I got curious. Despite its gorgeousness and majestic outlook, the house was empty. I mean, it looked as if it had been left empty for years. The garden is full of weeds growing as tall as a 9 year old, cobwebs were everywhere, the main gate was all rusty and most windows were broken too.
It was then my dad told me that the house was empty for a reason.
“What's the reason, dad?” I asked him
“Well, it seemed that when the house was being built, the owner refused to follow the advice that it should not be three-storeys high as the ground it was built on was kind of soft. And if he still wanted to do so, he would have to build a stronger foundation for the house and use the right kind of piling as pillars. But he refused to listen and built the house his way anyway. And now, the house is not safe to live in.”
“Wow, what a shame and a waste of money!” I couldn't believe my ears, shaking my head in disbelief.
The owner must have lost hundreds of thousands of his hard earned money. Poor him…
As I reflected on that incident later in the day, it suddenly dawned upon me the words of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who once said,
"Islam is built on five (pillars): the testimony that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; establishing prayer; paying zakah; fasting Ramadan; and Hajj to the House (the Ka`bah)." (Al-Bukhari)
Don't I see that my beautiful religion too, has pillars and foundations of its own which I should adhere and follow? The pillars that have been identified by my Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) about 1429 years ago, and they still hold true until today.
And he (peace be upon him) had left us these pillars for one reason- the very soil also known as life that we all stand (live) on is, yes, you got it- soft!
Soft as in unstable, risky, dangerous, uneven, unbalanced, uncertain, unsafe and could be hazardous to our lives.
And if we failed to build the right kind of pillars as the foundation to our home (a.k.a. life) here on this earth, we might just end up like that wasted house- all beautiful but of no use to anyone!
Yikes! Na`udhbillaahi min dhalik!
Surely, that is not something that we want to become, you agree?
I, for one, truly do not want to be like that wasted house. Nope, I really don't.
Really. Really. Really.
In fact, I want to built a 'house' that I could live in happily and peacefully; where others could come visit without worrying if the roof is going to fall on them or the floor is going to suck them in. I want to build a place where people could call it a happy home and where others and I can find solace in, inshaAllah.
And as we all know, in just a few days, we shall be given a chance to strengthen the current foundation to our houses using one of the mentioned pillars- the pillar of fasting in the great month of Ramadan!
He, the Almighty has special instruction for us during this month when He said in one of His Verses,
(The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the Criterion (of right and wrong). And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, (let him fast the same) number of other days. Allah desires for you ease; He desires not hardship for you; and (He desires) that ye should complete the period, and that ye should magnify Allah for having guided you, and that peradventure ye may be thankful.) (Al-Baqarah 2: 185)
Yes, that is what we should be doing this month of Ramadan, you agree?
Thinking about this special month made me become excited suddenly. Why shouldn’t I, right? This is literally the only opportunity that I have to strengthen this one pillar as it only comes once a year and it only lasts for 30 days!
Yes, 30 days, my brothers and sisters. Only for 30 days.
We are given about 30-days to do whatever we should do to ensure that this one pillar becomes so strong that it would be able to withstand whatever hurricane, tsunami and turbulence that might come our way for the next 326 days (365 minus 30 days) until the next round of 'piling' comes- if we live that long, that is!
Oppss… such is the reality of life, huh?
And you know something else?
One of the best part of having Ramadan with us is this,
“When Ramadan comes, the gates of mercy are opened and the gates of Hell are shut, and the devils are put in chains.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Yup, all the gates of mercy are opened, my friends! Opened!
Isn't that amazing?
I began wondering, what is behind those gates of mercy. Do you wonder too, my brothers and sisters?
One thing I believe is that it contains a gazillion times of a gazillion things called mercy that we cannot imagine having, right?
Much like what the gates of banks would have what behind it. Yup, you got it. MONEY! And the gates of libraries would have books and the gates of schools would have children inside them, right?
So, I know that I must take plan my Ramadan well this year, inshaAllah as His Gate of Mercy is wide open for me, Ameen…
And coincidently, about a week back, I received something from a friend called 'Ramadan Planner'. It has a 30-day plan where we can insert / change / edit whatever information according to our fancy. And this Ramadan Planner is sure able to help us plan our recitation of His Book, our remembrance of His Names, our Charity to give away, our obligatory prayers time and supererogatory Prayers like the Tarawih Prayers and many other good deeds we plan to do during this Holy month of Ramadan- all charted in this wonderful planner.
Nevertheless, I will always remember what Will Rogers once said,
Plans get you into things, but you got to work your way out.
I surely do! And my dearest brothers and sisters- you know, you have to, too! So, let us all do it together then, you agree?
Let us start planning!
Ramadan Kareem to everyone!