Prepare for Ramadhan: Be compassionate, do good and receive God’s Blessings

Part 1

Prepare for Ramadhan: Be compassionate, do good and receive God’s Blessings

Ramadhan’s coming, and what better things that can be done to welcome it than to prepare for it before it arrives.

Last week’s Muis-prepared Friday (4 May 2018) prayer sermon, “Purifying the Heart in Preparation for Ramadhan”, delivered in all Singapore mosques, urges Muslims not to allow the holy month of Ramadhan pass by “without leaving a positive impact in our lives.”

Strengthening ties

The message says: “Allah enjoins upon us – in preparation for Ramadhan – to rectify and reinforce the ties we share among ourselves and to better our perception of others.”

The message urges Muslims to be compassionate and helpful to all people regardless of race and religion. “Let us purify our hearts and minds such that we view others, regardless of race and religion, as fellow beings that deserve respect and fair treatment. We must ease the affairs of others – be they our brothers in faith, nationality or humanity.”

The message reiterates that Allah (the one God of all) loves the person with whom the people around him have ease and peace.

Muslims excitedly welcome Ramadhan, the month of mercy and forgiveness, and pray for Allah’s blessings in our good deeds.

Health and family

In similar context, two functions I attended recently emphasised the fact that Muslims ought to begin preparing themselves for Ramadhan before it begins on 17 May.

The first function, held on Saturday, 28 April, was organised by MAEC of the Siglap Community Centre. Themed “Persiapan menjelang Ramadhan” (Preparation ahead of Ramadhan), two specialists in their own field, gave their thoughts and advices on what to do at least a month before the start of the holy month of Ramadhan.

Dr Fadzil Bin Mohamed Hamzah explained the importance of having good health in facing the rigours of the Islamic full-day total fasting from dawn to dusk every day of the month.

The second speaker, Ustaz Hamrey Bin Mohamed, talked about the ‘importance of increased family unity and togetherness in upholding the virtues of Ramadhan.

The Guest-of-Honour, Dr Mohamad Maliki Osman, Senior Minister of State and Mayor, South East District, in rounding off the event, mentioned that it is important for Muslim to prepare themselves well for Ramadhan by being healthy as to be able to successfully complete the month’s fasting in order to enjoy Aidil Fitri together with family members.

Motivational talks in preparing for Ramadhan: Dr Fadzil Bin Mohamed Hamzah (left) and Ustaz Hamrey Bin Mohamed discussing the importance of having good health and loving family.

Guest-of-Honour Dr Mohamed Maliki Osman in his address to the audience also emphasised the importance of maintaining good health and family bonding not only for Ramadhan but every day of our life.

After the talks, the audience, both male and female, performing the maghrib solat (the daily fourth and after-dusk prayer of the day) in congregation.

After the maghrib solat (after-dusk prayer), the audience gets treated to nasi ambeng (traditional Indonesian dish eaten together, usually using fingers, from a big plate in camaraderie spirit). Dr Maliki (extreme left) and Dr Daniel Tan (on Dr Maliki’s left) also joined the gathering for the dinner.

The ladies are in excited mood too; some taking selfies and didn’t mind if only half the face is captured.

The second function, a joint-initiative of the Moral Home for the Aged Sick and Masjid Al-Taqua (Taqua Mosque), both located at Jalan Bilal, was held on Sunday, 29 April at the moral home to discuss ways to ease the car-parking congestion at this small road shared by the moral home, the mosque and a number of residential homes.

Car-parking issue

In Ramadhan, the Taqua Mosque receives a bigger number of Muslims from about 4 pm to 10 pm daily for the iftar (breaking of fast after dusk) and the terawih (long Ramadhan-night prayers performed after the isyah prayer). Many who drive to the mosque park their cars along this road, posing inconveniences for the Jalan Bilal residents in getting in or out of their own carparks.

Mr Daniel Tan, Chairman of the Siglap Inter-Racial and Religious Confidence Circle, was the emcee of the event while the discussion panel, led by Dr Mohamed Maliki Osman, comprised Mr Chang Meng Teng, Chairman of the Moral Home for the Aged Sick and Mr Azman Ariffin, Chairman of the Taqwa Mosque Management.

Various suggestions were offered by the panel members and the audience, including the suggestion to provide a return bus shuttle service from the Tanah Merah MRT Station to the mosque.

In his closing remark Dr Maliki said that, as this was not a weekly 2-hour use of Jalan Bilal like for the Friday prayers, but, on the other hand, the Ramadhan activities of the mosque entail a one-month parking inconveniences for the residents, so further practical suggestions and action would be undertaken by the focus groups of the mosque to tactfully solve the issue.

The audience listening to Dr Mohamed Maliki  talking about options to solve the car-parking problem at Jalan Bilal during Ramadhan. He is flanked, on his right, by Mr Chang Meng Teng, Chairman of the Moral Home for the Aged Sick, and Mr Azman Ariffin, Chairman of the Taqwa Mosque Management.

Dr Maliki as well as the rest of the attendees, after the car-parking discussions at the moral home building visiting the special one-day Ramadhan Bazaar in front of the Taqua Mosque.

After the tour of the bazaar, Dr Maliki and all the others attended a short talk about Ramadhan at the Taqua Mosque after which a briyani lunch was served to them.

Spiritual rewards

Ramadhan is a month when Muslims get much spiritual rewards for observing righteousness which includes deeds that would make people, both Muslims and non-Muslims, enjoy serenity and peace. In the case of indiscriminate parking when going for prayers, such righteousness includes avoiding parking along roads that would inconvenience the residents and avoiding parking close to bus-stops.

Indeed, Ramadhan is a training month for a Muslim’s spiritual and social development. Muslims need to be aware of it and practise righteousness as constantly as reminded by Allah in the Qur’an.

Allah says in the Qur’an: “Allah loves those who act right” (Qur’an, 3:76) and “If any does good, the reward to him is better than his deed…” (Qur’an, 28:84)

With such good messages directly from Allah, let us, as from now, aim and aspire to be a gracious and excellent community that inspires and radiates blessings to all.

(“Part 2: Prepare for Ramadhan” appears on 12 May 2018)

Shaik Kadir
9 May 2018

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