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May this month of Syawwal continues to be an avenue for my Muslim brethren to grasp the opportunity to fast the six days of Syawwal as highly recommended by the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam):

حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ أَيُّوبَ، وَقُتَيْبَةُ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ، وَعَلِيُّ بْنُ حُجْرٍ، جَمِيعًا عَنْ إِسْمَاعِيلَ، – قَالَ ابْنُ أَيُّوبَ حَدَّثَنَا إِسْمَاعِيلُ بْنُ جَعْفَرٍ، – أَخْبَرَنِي سَعْدُ بْنُ سَعِيدِ بْنِ قَيْسٍ، عَنْ عُمَرَ، بْنِ ثَابِتِ بْنِ الْحَارِثِ الْخَزْرَجِيِّ عَنْ أَبِي أَيُّوبَ الأَنْصَارِيِّ، – رضى الله عنه – أَنَّهُ حَدَّثَهُ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ

‏ “‏ مَنْ صَامَ رَمَضَانَ ثُمَّ أَتْبَعَهُ سِتًّا مِنْ شَوَّالٍ كَانَ كَصِيَامِ الدَّهْرِ ‏”‏

He who observed the fast of Ramadan and then followed it with six (fasts) of Shawwal. it would be as if he fasted perpetually.

During one of the first few days of Syawwal in Kelantan, I was fortunate to  meet Qayyim, a young boy gifted by Allah with a knack in learning, memorizing, and beautifully reciting verses from Al-Qur’an despite his visual impairment. He had won second place in JAKIM’s first season reality show, Adik-adikku.

Muhammad Qayyim Nizar Sarimi

Muhammad Qayyim Nizar Sarimi reciting some verses from Al-Qur’an.

As I sat listening to his wondrous recitation (subhaanallaah), I contemplated. Qayyim, among a few others of similar disability whom I know, can recite the Qur’an far better than any of us who are blessed with all the five senses.

It’s common to hear amongst ourselves that one who is physically challenged often have a ‘gifted’ ability of some sort. A compensation to cover up the loss – one would say.

Put it another way, it can also be a means of reminding us what we are capable of achieving if we but align our minds and determination correctly and put our faith in Allah. With all our five senses, aren’t we more capable of achieving better?

Let us take a moment to reflect.

According to one hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu), the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) has mentioned that eating 7 times the amount of 1 meal (which justly befits one’s stomach capacity) equates one to being a kafir. Na’uuzubillah.

حَدَّثَنَا إِسْمَاعِيلُ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي مَالِكٌ، عَنْ أَبِي الزِّنَادِ، عَنِ الأَعْرَجِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏:

‏”يَأْكُلُ الْمُسْلِمُ فِي مِعًى وَاحِدٍ، وَالْكَافِرُ يَأْكُلُ فِي سَبْعَةِ أَمْعَاءٍ” ‏

“A Muslim eats in one intestine (i.e. he is satisfied with a little food) while a Kafir (unbeliever) eats in seven intestines (eats much).”

This hadith moved me. I had searched online for it to obtain the Arabic text after hearing it from an Ustaz. Alhamdulillaah, may Allah bless the people who are contributing to Sunnah.com. May Allah protect His Revelation and the Prophet’s traditions wherever they may be for I had easily found that particular hadith at the said website.

In our Malaysian culture, food is easily associated with family-togetherness, gathering, festivities, celebrations, just to name a few. Indeed, food brings us together, but if taken more than the necessary amount, it brings forth laziness, sleepiness, and the like. We all know it. I know it. You know it. You don’t need rocket science to prove it! What we don’t want is for us to place ourselves further away from Allah due to barriers that we purposely took upon in order to satisfy our gluttony. Yet, no matter how clear as crystal the Prophet’s practices and instructions are, we are more inclined to fill up our tummies to the brim! Na’uuzubillaah.

When laziness kicks in, taraawih becomes extremely ‘heavy’. Forget taraawih, even congregational I’sya’ prayer becomes a burden. Astaghfirullaah. It becomes such a burden that one would even sleep during his prayer! From myself, I have left not one but many sessions of congregational prayer especially Subh and Maghrib. Had the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) known this, I know he would be very unhappy. May Allah forgive our sins and increase our awareness.

Today’s post serves as a reminder to myself and my beloved readers. Let us not forsake the offerings which Allah has promised us in the Qur’an, especially during this blessed month of Ramadhan.

Subhaanallaah.

Beberapa malam yang lalu, langit begitu indah sekali dihiasi bintang-bintang yang berkelipan. Barangkali kerana sudah begitu lama tidak melihat bintang-bintang, pengarang berasa begitu teruja dan begitu lama memandang ke langit ciptaan Rabbul-’Aalamin. Alangkah indahnya! Bahkan pengarang berasa terpanggil untuk menyuruh anak-anak memandang ke langit dan menikmati perkara yang sama.

“Wah, banyaknya stars!” Sakeenah kata.

“Banyaknya stars!” Sampuk Aneesah dengan pelatnya.

Malam itu kami memang teruja kerana belum pernah melihat langit sebegitu indah setelah sekian lama. Apatah lagi anak-anak kami. Mereka sejak lahir tidak pernah mengamati langit di waktu malam. Manalah tidak, seingat pengarang, langit jarang sekali berbintang. Kalau berbintang sekali pun, asyik diliputi awan atau kami memang tak perasan.

“Itu dia kereta sorong,” bisik hati pengarang tatkala melihat gugusan bintang yang bentuknya seperti kereta sorong. Kalian pernah perasan? Dalam banyak-banyak buruj yang ada, ‘kereta sorong’ itulah yang paling senang dicam kerana terdiri daripada gugusan bintang yang paling menyerlah. Antara bintang-bintang tersebut dinamai Alkaid, Mizar, Alcor, Alioth, Phecda, dan Dubhe. Entah bagaimana nama tersebut diberi tapi itulah yang dinyatakan dalam sumber International Astronomical Union (IAU).

Ursa Major

Ursa Major – atau lebih ‘mesra’ dikenali sebagai kereta sorong. Walau bagaimanapun, di tempat lain, ada yang memanggilnya dengan istilah ‘the great bear’, the plough’, dan ‘the big dipper’.

Istilah bahasa Inggeris untuk gugusan-gugusan bintang ini adalah constellation. IAU telah mengenal pasti 88 jenis bentuk/corak gugusan bintang di langit. Subhaanallaah, menarik! Bila lagi boleh melihat bintang-bintang di langit ya?

Ya Allah, pertemukanlah kami dengan malam yang tiada terhijab langitnya oleh awan agar kami dapat menikmati dan mengkaji langit-Mu. Moga bertambah keimanan kami terhadap Keagungan dan Kebesaran-Mu.

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