originally posted : Sep 10, 2008

Like all earlier ones, I was gearing up for this year’s too in full. Resolutions were made and conditions to adhere them were laid. I didn’t want this harvest to end without a grain in hand!

The sweetness of this Holy Month began from Night One! After having Sahri in the pre-dawn hours, I left for the fajr congregational prayer at the local mosque.

All believers seemed energetic and ambitious to grab the blessings. Of the three 10s, the first 10 is known for Mercy. Everyone’s lips and hearts seem to whisper with the dhikr, Allahumma irhamnna ya arhama rahimeen! The Imam recited a portion from the Holy Book which evoked a new meaning in my heart by the Mercy of the Most Merciful. I would explain the alchemy of it towards the end of this journal. Insha Allah.

Masjids are normally full during the month. One gets to see all bros in the neighborhood who are otherwise missing in the remaining 11 months of the Hijri Calendar from the ranks of prayer. Since it a matter to be dealt by their Creator, I don’t wish to speak further on that.Simsarul Haqq

A new habit we have nurtured at home is watching Quran Tafsir on our brand new 32-inch LCD screen. Albeit my reservations while buying it from the SONY outlet, I think it was a wise choice. While the pixels inspire optical sensation, the sound of Al Haqq arouses our hearts. We have chosen commentary of Sura Yasin (known as the Heart of Quran) to inaugurate this Holy Month.

After coming back from Fajr, I said to my Second Half reading the Holy Book, ‘I am going to perform 20 Hajj pilgrimages’. She wasn’t taken aback as we had watched together hours back the virtues of reciting the Sura Yasin. (If I am not wrong it is reported by Tirmidhi in Nawadirul Usul. Honorable skeptics, don’t ask me more about the source)

Right after I finished Sur Yasin, my wife called me outside. It was raining slightly. Imagine joy of a faster when it rains in early dawn hours during summer in the desert region? Need I say more. In an article written by the webmistress of Jannnah.org, the time of rain is one of the occasions when Dua is likely to be accepted.

I raised hands in dua, Allaahumma Sayyibann Naafi’aa “O Allaah, (bring) beneficial rain clouds.” (Bukhari – Fathul-Bari 2/518)

It was during these days that at my workplace, some brothers were offic-ially sponsored for Umrah journey. They were leaving right after Dhur prayer. I bid them all a blessed safe journey and it reminded me of my own journey years back. Wah! Imagine experiencing breaking fast with Zamzam looking at the House of God. And celebrating Eid sitting beside the Beloved of Almighty. Mouth waters, heart sighs…

At home, I have made it a point to be part of Kitchen Inc. as much as possible (say, a few minutes!) But of course, relieve at least half hour before adhan to be engaged in serious Ibadah. It is common in as many households I have seen to be running around looking for spoon or other items when adhan is being called. The point is: the occasion before opening fast is such a blessed time which should be spent in duas and not shouting for lost and found items on the dining table.

Getting back to the ayah which I heard during the Fajr prayer,

“When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way.” (2:186)

While the verse is generally taken for the closeness between God and the servant, a new shade of meaning dawned on my heart. Allah says he is close to his servants and listens to their supplications. But to whom shall we ask? Who shall tell us about Him and His attributes? Whose answer would make our prayers answerable by Allah? Who would give us a convincing answer such that our Reason would bother us no more about a God whom we have not seen, heard or felt? Scientists, thinkers, poets, mathematicians: Allah has appointed none of them to tell humanity about His closeness.

To know about the vastness of the garden, we have to believe the breeze. To imagine the color of the Rose, we cannot doubt the words of the Nightingale. To know Allah, I need to ask His Beloved Rasool. Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam.

With all these magic in mind, I smiled inside. Subhanallah! The rain after the prayer only helped to cool my love-anguished heart. Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam.

Before Ramadan began, in a light-hearted moment I told my love that when in paradise, I would be in the joyful company of hoors, she replied in an indifferent tone, ‘That’s ok. But make sure you don’t spend too much time on the PC or else they would go away”.

I will stop typing for now.

– Jaihoon