English Column: Rants on Raya
credits : hbmediawork
And so Ramadhan has left. The ibadah festival with all the delicious offers has ended. The blessed month with the one-night-shortcut to heaven has bid you farewell and yes, no more combo rewards for you.
Nu-uh, wipe your tears dry it won’t come back until next year, that is, if you’re still breathing, alive and kicking. Your bad breath now deserves a spanking – no more Mr. Nice Guy-like statement, “MashaAllah, this smells like musk for me!” And the worst part is, ladies and gentlemen, your worst enemy, your ‘aduwwun mubin, the devils are now let loose, hungry of clueless, succulent hearts to yum-yum on. Beware, they are everywhere, one is even now staring at you, unflinching.
That’s a lil bit too cruel, don’t you think?
Ever since I was a kid, the notion of Ramadhan as a month of ibadah, training and perseverance and Raya as the day of glory has always been ingrained in my mind. As I grew older, I learned that the sahabahs, companions of the Prophet pbuh wept until their beards are wet of tears when Ramadhan leaves, fearing that they have not obtained the best of the month, anxious if their sins were not yet forgiven and worried if there is no more Ramadhan for them next year.
My oh my, this has always been a conflict for my young, clueless mind. How, let me ask you, can I be sad to leave Ramadhan when there’s a truckload of cool stuff on TV on Raya? And mind you, all the ever so inviting, yummy, can-get-during-Raya-only food waiting on the table, the open houses, the new fancy clothes, and green packets that make you go mad they make you wanna shout ‘Oh Lord, why can’t everyday be Hari Raya??’
There used to be a trend of showing circus and magic shows on Raya back when I was small. David Copperfield somehow would get very famous during Raya then but now no more. Perhaps TV channels are no longer interested in him. That’s a good sign I guess. At least it makes it less obvious that all the devils are out during Raya hence making his magic works (hehe!).
Time has changed but some people’s perspectives have not. Replacing circus and magic shows on TV are now local and international movies that make people laugh and enjoy the happy Raya mood. Doubled with the slogan ‘Terbaik Raya’, everything seem to fall into place even though there are less and less takbirs on TV this year if you noticed. In previous years I could still remember seeing our country leaders, some ustazs and local artistes sitting together doing the takbir and the clip would be shown repeatedly throughout the first few days of Raya. That’s a very good sight for me. At least it ‘neutralized’ the horror movies that used to be so popular (talk about Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam and all other pontianaks) let loose on TV during Raya.
Then again, Raya will still be Raya. It is indeed, a Day of Glory for us Muslims for having successfully graduated from the University of Ramadhan. It is a day that should be enjoyed and cherished with our family and friends, a day to ask forgiveness (not that we do it on this day only) and to show our gratitude to Allah for all the blessings that He has mercifully bestowed.
Raya is also a day of reflection. On the occasional visit to the cemetery, we ask ourselves, “Have I prepared enough for my day to come?” and we ask that Allah bless our brothers who have left before us. As we leave the cemetery, we remind ourselves that we shall be left alone in the dark, just like the day we came to this world, alone, from the darkness of our mothers’ womb.
And perhaps the most important part for me is, having graduated from Ramadhan, is to reflect on what shall we become, now that we own the scroll everyone longs so much.
Will our endurance and perseverance leave us just like Ramadhan is now away? Will our diligence in controlling our desires halts with the coming of Syawal? Will we become the same person we were (or worse) before Ramadhan? If we don’t improve during Ramadhan, even with the devils chained, bound and gagged, what do we expect to become of us in the months after?
Lord, those are heavy questions, at least for me to answer. Let’s pray that Allah will extend his blessings of Ramadhan on us this Syawal and in the days after, as long as we are still breathing. Let’s hope that Allah will not put our efforts in Ramadhan to avail, like dusts in the air, or writings on the sand.
Let’s pray with all our hearts, that our Raya is really a ‘Terbaik Raya’ in the eyes of Allah. Amin.
And when My slaves ask You (O Muhammad ) concerning Me, Then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when He calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). so let them obey Me and believe In Me, so that they may be led aright.
(Al-Baqarah : 186)