Monday, August 1, 2011

Salam Ramadhan

In recent years saw an awareness grew inside me as I went through some hardships. I had once lost my job due to 2008 economic crisis. I realize that everything has to be earned. Even my job. I tried to take the easy way out but to my surprise, as easy it seemed to others, I couldn't land any job within the public sector. Why couldn't I? Something must be wrong.

Somehow I managed to get to offer my service to the government but on contractual basis. I wasn't complaining at first as I thought it was a normal practice in public sector before someone is being employed on a permanent basis. As the time passed by, we inquired to the management about our status and after many failed attempts, we finally got the answer - the government can't afford to employ us.

It was really surprising!

Then I started to care for my money having been an abiding tax-payer annually. I started to scrutinize most spendings by the government that had come to my knowledge. My source could be limited or not even correct but the main thing is - I started to care. I voiced out my dissatisfaction. I wrote of my opinion. With that, I am now a different citizen of Malaysia than I used to be.

Then, came the football madness. Also in recent years, I started to become a fanatic fan of my national team. The most recent was the 2014 World Cup qualifying match between Malaysia and Singapore. I shouted out loud, to the top of my lung, profanity at most, most of the time through out the match. Of course to Singapore, be it the team or the fans attending it, or to any Singaporean who might be watching the match from home or just to any Singaporean on earth. I became a hooligan. After the match, we looked out and headed towards the Singaporean fans seating area. We challenged them. We want to fight them.

My patriotism seemed high. Indeed. Was it worth it? For others, it's acceptable or even honorable because that shows how I love Malaysia.

Last night marked the 1st night of the holy month of Ramadhan. I joined most Muslims to the mosque to pray and thank my Lord for allowing me to meet yet again another year in my life. Being less religious, I didn't go to the mosque quite often. Yesterday at the mosque, I saw faces who were calm and full of happiness to welcome the arrival of Ramadhan. These are the faces of the devout. Immediately, I recalled the negative faces I've put on lately for the sake of the country or the national football team. Was it worth it?

Would I be the same for my religion? Would I be the changed person like I did for my country? Would I be able to achieve the serenity of what my religion teaches? This is what I should hold on dear and fight with my life for it. For by belief. For Islam.

Last night, the atmosphere was beautiful. The mosque is on top of a hill with lush greeneries surrounding it. The sound of cricket and insect as if they were chanting 'zikrullah' to the Almighty. The sky seemed calm. At the background, the sound of Quran reciting filled the air. I felt small. I was humbled.

I pray to Allah for longevity because the path I'm charting is nowhere near the right path. I want to change course. No other right time than now in Ramadhan. Welcome, dear holy month.