Friday, September 29, 2006

Sabr - the true lesson of Ramadan

A post after a long gap - today is the fifth of Ramadan in India and the first Juma. It also holiday season with Durga Puja / Dussehra festivities over the weekend.

At home today, attended Namaz-e-Juma at Nahoda Mosque in Calcutta. The sky was overcast but thankfully no rain during Namaz. The multitude spilled out of the mosque and onto the roads... a usual feature here when the faithful suddenly strengthen their faith (perhaps a topic for discussion - Why do Muslims lose their religious fervour after Ramadan?).

The Friday Sermon (Khutba)is traditionally in Arabic (started from the time when the mosque had imams from Egypt)with today's theme being the benefits of Roza. The essence of Ramadan lies in man controlling his 'Nafs' or desires and exercising 'Sabr' or patience.

I recalled hearing the recitation during Tarawih a couple of days earlier in which Allah says 'Seek help through Sabr (Patience) and Salaat (Prayer)' (Quran 2:153) ; the relative importance of 'Sabr' being enphasised even over Prayer. In fact, the early muslim era is a perfect example of 'Sabr' when the faithfuls faced persecution from the Meccans. It is perhaps their patience which strengthened their faith and made them extraordinary men of character and success.

After that Tarawih when I got into my car to return home, I hesitated a bit before putting on the Air Conditioning trying to apply the message of Sabr ... this is going to be a Ramadan of Sabr; and without AC!!

PS: A Janaza (funeral) after Juma Prayers in the mosque... Inna Lillaahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Raji'oun (We are for Allah and to him shall we return). Lucky be recalled in Ramadan.


Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Beautiful picture! Amazing colours. Feels like being there.

Yes imagine passing away in Ramadan. After passing away in Mecca during Hajj, I think that is the second most preferred time to pass away for any Muslim.

It is interesting how many Muslims are so comfortable about talking about death and dying. Many even wish for a certain place to die in.

kaya said...

I have wanted to visit Kolkatta for as long as I can remember. My mother was born in kolkatta and I still have some family there.
That picture and its colours are so evocative of those bygone days, which you can almost inhale when you hear of them.

Hannah said...

I love the idea of "a Ramadan of Sabr"...