Most people I know, whine when fasting far away from family (myself included!). Guess it’s a big deal since Ramadan in Malaysia is celebrated religiously as well as culturally. The former overrules with better priority for sure, but the latter is no shrinking violet! I guess that adds kicks to Ramadan in Malaysia, no? In the core we have sahoor, iftar, tarawikh, qiamullai, more Quran studies. The subs which completes the cultural formula, are best celebrated with family. Zero objection.
I spent about 11 days fasting far away from my family which apparently a big deal because that was my first time fasting on my own during uni years! After so long you know. I gotta admit I wasn’t the happiest kid initially. The thought of all the funs I am going to miss sicken my brain further. From table-full of foods to one nasi and air bungkus, from everything homemade to everything bazaar-made, from variety of choleks for moreh to…what moreh?, from stodgy sahur to Koko Krunch all day err day!
Imagine my friend, IMAGINE!
But one day, few minutes to berbuka time, Neeks Facetimed me. That woman who’s getting prettier by day told me from A-Z about her Ramadan in Cardiff.
“What are you having for berbuka?”
“Entah. I just asked Azzairi to get anything from the bazaar. You?”
“Tak selera pun.”
If I were placed in her shoes, I guess torture is not the word (not for her lah). While I am typing this out, I am already in my room, at home with zero worry about what to have for berbuka but Neeks is still surviving her days in Cardiff, counting days to berbuka with her family only one day before Raya. I can go nuts the whole time thinking about this.
That’s when I came to realize that my trial is not big at all! At least I am not hours-flight away from my family. At least I am not fasting for 20 hours straight! At least I do not have to perform tarawih at 12 in the morning, ya feels? (Not sure if I have such strength though!) At least I still have direct access to murtabak whenever I crave for one! And the best at least of all is that mine lasted for only 11 days not till a day before Raya! So why whine for nothing my dear self?
God is fair, He gives us trials best suit our respective capacity. And those trials definitely are not here for nothing. Reflecting back my days fasting in UM while sitting for final exams, it sounds terrible to some but I gotta admit I had a good time! Sudden attachment to the Quran because there is nobody out there who understands my unease heart and tetchy tummy at the same time except Him The Almighty, and His words are really soothing in nature. Not missing a day of tarawih because that’s the most therapeutic short-break after hours of squeezing my brain juice.
In return I undergone a Ramadan in a completely different spectrum from the ones I used to have. Shameful to admit this but after almost 23 years of living, the real gist of Ramadan came to hit my cautious. Like bammmm! The previous 23 years? I don’t know, missing flights maybe.
To souls who happen to stumble upon this writing, and currently fasting miles away from your beloved family, bear in mind you are the lucky one! Well it may not seem leggit but you truly are. I read somewhere a saying quoted by Ibn Majah; “The greatest reward comes the greatest trial. When Allah SWT loves a people, He tests them. Whoever accepts that wins His pleasure but whoever discontent with that earns His wrath.” The moment you accept this mojo, all restlessness will break loose. Trust me.