Teacher: Yes...it'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: Yes..it'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 ones..in 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 sin..you 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 tomorrow..now.(Ubahlah 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!”