My second Tarawih in the Haram alhamdulillah! Today’s reciters are Shaikh Abdur Rahman As-Sudais and Shaikh Abdullah Al-Juhainy. Alhamdulillah we pretty much have our system figured out from last year’s experience- Iftar and Maghrib in the huge outdoor courtyard, dinner in the food court and finally Tarawih in the new expansion area- which is least crowded and totally heat-free.
The Haram atmosphere is so uplifting with the vast myriad of colors, people, races and languages. Despite the diversity, you could sense the same vibes all throughout the Haram of generous giving and gracious taking. Children line up at the masjid entrance before iftar to distribute dates, Laban bottles, water and yogurt to passers-by. Aunties come along with their bags of samosas and spring rolls to add some flavor to the meal. And you can’t miss the huge thermoses of Saudi Qahwa (coffee), packed with caffeine and rich cardamom- a great way to kill sleep during Tarawih. No one is left hungry. The generosity spreads a feeling of unity, brotherhood, and mercy- as if each of us knows the other and bothers to care.
I wonder, “If such compassion was spread on a wider scale- throughout the other 11 months of the year- would we still face problems like world hunger?. If we have so much to give during this blessed month, why do we hold back during the rest of the year, when poverty is equally widespread and hunger pangs are an everyday ordeal?”
It all boils down to our incorrect perspective of Ramadan- “I just gotta be extra good, extra generous, extra pious for 30 days and then I’m free.” But Ramadan’s purpose is the exact opposite. Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala has given us this month as an incentive to improve, a chance to train ourselves for the rest of the year.
Look at Ramadan as a 4-week training course to get you back on track, to remind you of your duties towards the Creator and the creation, and to bring out your full potential. It’s the perfect time to develop those good habits you always wanted in your life, and eliminate all the bad ones that have been bugging you time and time again. Don’t walk out of this Ramadan without a lesson learnt, your character improved, or your piety increased.
O Allah! Make us of those who grab this opportunity and make the most of this Ramadan, by increasing our concentration in worship and striving to come closer to You.
قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ رَغِمَ أَنْفُ رَجُلٍ ذُكِرْتُ عِنْدَهُ فَلَمْ يُصَلِّ عَلَيَّ وَرَغِمَ أَنْفُ رَجُلٍ دَخَلَ عَلَيْهِ رَمَضَانُ ثُمَّ انْسَلَخَ قَبْلَ أَنْ يُغْفَرَ لَهُ وَرَغِمَ أَنْفُ رَجُلٍ أَدْرَكَ عِنْدَهُ أَبَوَاهُ الْكِبَرَ فَلَمْ يُدْخِلَاهُ الْجَنَّةَ
The Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “May his nose be rubbed with dust, the one who hears my name and does not Salah upon me, and may his nose be rubbed with dust, the one who enters into the month of Ramadan and it leaves him before he is forgiven, and may his nose be rubbed with dust, the one who finds his parents with him in their old age and does not enter Jannah through serving them.”
-The Sahara Bloggers (Niqabinja)