The day of forgiveness…

Most of you know that I’ve been fasting for the past month. Today is the last day of Ramadan, and even though (honestly) there are part o me that relieved the fasting part of it is over, but there are part of me that’s really sad that it is over. Ramadan is a holy month for Muslim, it is the month that all sins are forgiven, the time where we truly can redeem our self and reborn as new person that is sin free.

Tomorrow is EID or Eid Ul-Fitr [Eid in Arabic means festivity, whilst Fitr means purity] so to sum up its mean the festivity of purity. Victory is another word use a lot during the festivity. EID is also the day of forgiveness, the celebrations involved apologizing to others and forgiving those who have hurt you in turn.

This holy month always brings a mixed feeling for me. I have many – many fun loving memories of my childhood especially during this holiday. The house is glowing with decoration and the smells of the traditional holiday food cooking in the kitchen….

My Mom normally already picks the new prettiest clothes for us to wear for the celebration tomorrow and I can’t wait to wear it! That night all of the kids at the neighborhood come out and play and we chant Takbir – glory and praise to Allah, we play fireworks … it’s like a whole block party, even better, it’s the whole nationwide party cause majority of Indonesian is Muslim and we all celebrate EID!

Tonight the EID eve or end of Ramadan is one of the best night for me to have as a child… the whole atmosphere seems to filled with love, happiness, laughter, with Takbir always at the background. Can’t wait for tomorrow, the EID where after prayer we went and visit relatives asking for forgiveness and for us kids, we’ll get money!!! YAY!

To me, EID is a very beautiful holiday, it’s about thanksgiving, forgiveness and charity. No gift exchange involves, no material stuff. All pure humanitarian holiday from the heart. We supposed to ask forgiveness from each other. This is the year where I know I have the best parents ever. They will humbly ask forgiveness from us – their child. It’s always makes me cry when my mom and my dad will hugs me and ask for forgiveness – sincerely.

I mention earlier how I feel a bit down because again I spend holiday away from home… here in this place, where even most of my friend doesn’t share my excitement of this holiday – gosh I’m such a baby! I look at my family’s picture on Facebook on how the holiday is back home and it’s always bring tears….

Beside the normal pray I said, I also pray for peace and little hope maybe I will be given a change to celebrate next holiday with my family and share that special moment with my two girls. Amien.

Eid Mubarak to you all.

Waiting till sundown…

Today is the 17th day of Ramadan – meaning 17 days of fasting for Muslim. I’ve been fasting since the 3rd day of Ramadan. And so far everything is good. The 1st week I have lower energy than usual and not having my morning coffee is a huge adjustment to my routine. Other than that it’s all good.

I also learned that between 2 – 4 pm is usually the worst time of the day. That’s when my hunger and thirst reach its peak and of course, it’s mostly the busiest time at work as well so I struggle a bit during that time.

I’m not going to lie, fasting is hard, there are times I feel like “forget this, I’m going to eat something!” but that’s just my temptation talking, so far I can suppress that feeling and stay fasting till the end of the day.

Yesterday I have to do several errands before headed home, it was very hot yesterday and I feel like I can use a big gulp of soda. Then as I stop on the red light, there’s a homeless guy holding a sign asking for help. There’s a few of unopened bottle of water in my car and also a box sandwich that I took home from meeting cause I can’t eat it due to fasting, I offer it to him and he graciously took it. He immediately opens the water and just gulps it as if he hadn’t drink in a while and maybe he hasn’t.

As I drove off he keep on thanking me and there’s a look on his face that I can’t never forget, such gratitude that shows. At that time it hits me, one of the reason for Ramadan is for us to be more compassion towards the unfortunate one. Through fasting, we all experiences hunger and thirst, and will sympathizes more with those in the world who have little to eat and drink every day.

During fasting, no matter how thirsty I am I couldn’t just buy a drink and drink it or just grab any food and eat it. No, you have to wait till sundown before you can eat and drink. Fast food places and restaurant and convenient store are all around me but I couldn’t just stop and grab something. It’s just like that guy at the intersection. No matter how thirsty and or hungry he is, he couldn’t just go there and grab something. At least I only have to wait until sundown, who knows how long he has to wait until he has his “sundown”.

At least I only have to wait until sundown….. I need to remember that feeling, that look on that guy’s face as he gulp the drink.. this feelings and lessons that I experience should stay with me throughout the year.

To all: May Allah accept our fasting, forgive our sins, and guide us all to the Straight Path. May Allah bless us all during Ramadan, and throughout the year, with His forgiveness and mercy, and bring us peace and all closer to Him and to each other. Amien.

Welcome Ramadan

Here I am, finding myself (almost) in the midst of the Islamic Holy month of Ramadan in Colorado. Ramadan is the holiest month in Islam, most people only known it to be the times where Muslim fasting from sunrise to sunset. That’s part of it, it is the time where Muslim practice a strict self-discipline, abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations.

This is also the month where Muslim More than ever) asking for forgiveness for previous sins and preventing oneself of committing new one. It is also the time where we emphasis forgiveness from each other – not just God, but with friends and relatives. Refrain from speaking ill of one another or even just thinking impure thoughts.

The idea behind fasting is as practice of self control, to draw focus from earthy material stuff and to think of those who are less fortunate by understanding the true meaning of hunger and thirst are. Hopefully we all will be more compassionate as person and reborn to be a better person, a better Muslim.

I would like to enter this holy month with clean slate. Therefore I ask for forgiveness from you all in case I say (wrote) something that offended you, or un intentionally say or do something in appropriately or hurt your feeling. May the light that we celebrate at Ramadan show us the way and lead us together on the path of peace and social harmony.

Salam, Sendie –Lou

What I wrote last year during this time…

The beauty of Ramadan….