Sunday, May 27, 2012

It's That Time of the Year Again

Student:   It's the month of Rajab now. I sincerely need some words of advise from you, my teacher.

Teacher:'s time to do some reflections and serious preparation for Ramadan.

Student:   What should I reflect on?

Teacher:   Your previous Ramadan...was there any significant change in you after the last Ramadan?

Student: ........I think so....may be...

Teacher:   Tell me...Why do we fast in Ramadan?

Student:   Umm..cleansing the soul...

Teacher:   Yes...cleansing the soul to attain Taqwa...which means self restraint, God conscious, steadfastly vigilant in practicing Allah's command...

Student:   Taqwa is self restraint?

Teacher:'s all about self restraint... In Ramadan, we restraint ourselves not only from the unlawful things..which we should do all the time...but in Ramadan we restraint even from the lawful order to develop a high level of self discipline and patience.

Student:   What about soul cleansing?

Teacher:   That too..and by fasting the physical body is weaken in order to strengthen the spiritual self. Don't you notice that it's always easier to perform long prayers and Quran recitation in Ramadan..?
It's a month dedicated to self improvement, continuous struggle to be better..

Student:   Sometimes it's really daunting..this struggle of being better..when I look around me..I feel that I am not strong enough like other people..

Teacher:   Of course it's good to look at others to make comparison, we need a bench mark...but changing to be better is not about being better than others..

Student:   Shouldn't we compete with others?..

Teacher:   Yes...but  the thing is...when we change for the sake of competing with others, sometimes we tend to take the easy way out..and feeling complacent..

Student:   Easy way out?

Teacher:   Well..haven't you experienced that when you see someone committing a would feel that you are better than that person because you didn't commit that sin?

Student:   Yes..sometimes...Who should we compare ourselves with then?

Teacher:   If you are serious in improving yourself..if you are really sincere.. there's only one person you need to compare with..

Student:    And the person is.....?

Tecaher:   The person is, YOU. Compare yourself with who you were yesterday. After all, it's immaterial how good we are in comparison to others.

Student:    I understand now... we should be better today than yesterday.

Teacher:   Yes...and my teacher taught me that in order to change, 3 things are needed. First, change yourself, because you can't change others, second take small baby steps, small changes are easier to be consistent at, and third start now...not diri sendiri bukan orang lain, ubahlah sikit-sikit dan ubahlah sekarang)
May Allah bless our teachers.

“Those who state their deeds today worse than yesterday are cursed. They who today are the same as yesterday are losers. And whoever todayis better than yesterday, they are the fortunate ones"

“O Allah bless us in Rajab and Sha`bān and enable us to reach Ramadān!” 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Teachers

One of the precious pleasures in life is having the opportunity to learn from a great teacher.
Someone who is great even without flashy accolades, because his qualification does not require endorsement from an institution, but simply from  the way his teachings enlightened our hearts. Someone whom with just a few words could inspire you.
Someone who, despite his wise being, humbly admitted to you that  he is still learning. Learning from the University of  Life. Braving through the toughest tests, the most challenging assignments and heartbreaking crisis. He is still struggling towards success, because his goal is not to be a scholar but a righteous man.

Everywhere I turned, I saw many great people who would tell me that their life was never a bed of roses, but they have the exceptional ability to learn from it all. They will tell you that there were good times and hard times, but none was ever a bad time. It was just either good and pleasant or hard and trying. Because of all the trials and challenges that they faced, the one that has brought them on their knees are the ones that in the end produced the most gratifying outcomes. The one that taught them the most. The good times made them grateful, and the hard times increase their patience. Life is simply magical.

I've been blessed with the opportunity to meet a few of them, either in person or in their writings. Their simple words went deep and remained forever in my heart.
Because they have done it. They have taken the journey, they have suffered and fallen, they are jewels in the making.
Look around you, with your heart not your eyes. Look for the most beautiful eyes and the prettiest smiles and search for the kindest hearts. That's how you'll find them.
And you will be amazed that the most beautiful eyes are the ones that has cried the most tears, the prettiest smiles hides the deepest sorrow and the kindest hearts has felt the most pain.

They are the teachers who live under the shadow of the greatest teacher of all, Muhammad (peace be upon him), our beloved prophet.

Their steps are the one I shall follow, InshaAllah.