Monday, February 2, 2009

Greetings, Farewells, and Prayers =)

Assalamualaikum warahmatullah hiwabarakatu.

My dear friends,
Have you ever wondered why it is easier for us to say ‘hello’ instead of our much more appropriate approach of ‘Assalamualaikum’?
*pic= just to cheer things up =)*

I myself, must admit that I too at times had difficulty saying the more appropriate to my muslim friends whom I do not usually say so.

I sometimes envy those who could say ‘Assalamualaikum’ much more at ease, even to strangers here in the States. We might say that those are their usual approach (the Arabs) and they are more at ease with it like we are at ease with ‘hello’. But why not take them as an example and try to make a change?

Changes are never easy, but they are not impossible. Take things step by step, and you will be surprised at the results! =)

Have you ever heard about the rumors that say the word ‘bye’, in Arabic actually translates into “fi hafzil baba”, which somewhat means under the blessings of the priest (Christianity). Some had other ideas of the origins of the word ‘bye’ means sort of like under the blessings of God.

At first, I was told that saying the word ‘bye’ is actually a way Christians are trying to conquer Muslims as it means under the blessings of the priest. I then read another person’s opinion regarding this issue, which I think is much more relevant and thoroughly thought through.

One person gave his/her opinion (it was a nickname back there) and said that it’s really up to you if you want to use the word or not. Because in the end, what matters is what YOU yourself think of the word. If you want to think of it as just simply a medium of wishing farewell, then so will it be. But if you want to not use it just because, then so be it.

In my personal opinion, what matters is what You yourself think about it, as He is the All Knowing and Almighty =) He’ll surely know what u are thinking of =)
And anyways, though it may be ‘under’ the blessings of the priest~ their teachings did indeed originated from Jesus/ the Prophet Isa, which is also one of our beloved prophet, isn’t it? So.. Once again, it’s really all up to you! ;)

That is why sometimes you can hear me say tata or see ya instead of bye bye, but after reading that particular person’s opinion, I trust in Our Almighty’s Judgement =)

My dear friends,

Do you remember how many times a day we must do our prayers?

Yes, it is 5 indeed. Glad you guys remembered =) How about the names of each?
Even though the 5 names may differ a little at other parts in the world, like our usual Zohor is called Zuhr here in the States, Asar is Asr, but the basic 5 is still there.

However, do you take care of your 5 times prayers?

Nobody’s perfect. Yes, this is so very true. The person who is almost perfect, or perhaps he is indeed perfect, would be our dear prophet, Nabi Muhammad S.A.W. (peace be upon him=pbuh)
However, do you think this will be a good excuse for you to give when we will be questioned by Allah S.W.T., during the day of Judgement, when every human being since Adam and Eve will be on Padang Mahsyar, bare naked?

I did not manage to perform my 5 prayers because.. Nobody’s perfect!
What? My prayers? I can just Qada’ later!

Oh my dear friends, how shameful would that be.

Let me share with you my experience that made me perform the 5 prayers. I never really did my 5 prayers, until when I was about 11 or 12 years old; during standard 5 or 6 when I was in primary school.

As usual, we would have the Pendidikan Islam (religious studies of Islam) lessons every year, learning about prayers to recite during our 5 day prayers, basic rules in Islam perhaps in every aspect.

By the way, have you ever noticed the term Agama that we usually mention to refer to our Islamic studies back in primary school and high school? I just realized that it was weird to name our Islamic studies as Agama casually, as Agama does really mean RELIGION. There are indeed many types of religion present in our world today. Perhaps the name is just simply inappropriate then >.<
Whenever our Ustat or Ustazah (the Islamic teachers) question us about some certain Surah or Doa, either the ones we could read before we sleep, before we eat, or the ones we recite in our prayers, most of us would be scared to death. (I’m not kidding!)
I am indeed impressed with my friends back then who knew all the Surah and Doa, which made me envy them.

Oh how I despite the Doa Qunut/ Kunut, because it was quite a long one and I had a hard time memorizing it. It was sort of like the ‘BONUS’ question from the Ustat or Ustazah; recite for me the Doa Qunut/Kunut!

This Doa is only recited in the first prayer of the day; Subuh. If we did not know this Doa… Well, it is then very obvious that you did not do the first prayer of the day. >.<

My Ustat who questioned us about this Doa, then asked how many of us did not pray for Subuh that day? Many did raise their hand, including me. He then asked about the 5 prayers; again, many raised their hand, not excluding me.

Of course, he then sighed in disappointment, but did not stop there. He then explained;

How many hours do you have a day?
We said 24.
How many minutes is there in an hour?
We said 60.
How many seconds are there in a minute?
We said 60 once again.

He then asked us to multiply those numbers; 24x60= 1440minutes a day. Yup, we did not have to multiply it with seconds, and he gave us a very short yet effective speech that made me do the 5 prayers.

How long does it take for us to perform 1 prayer?
We said around 5.
He then said for average, the young children perhaps performed around 2-3 minutes prayer. (You know how kids tend to read VERY VERY FAST)
Now multiply that by 5.
3x5 = 15 minutes.

He then explained; Allah S.W.T. gave us 1440 minutes a day. Can’t you even spend 15 minutes to remember Him and perform the prayers that He had kindly gave us such light responsibilities, when He does not forget about us for 1440 minutes everyday?

When I think back about his statement now, I think he also meant that Allah S.W.T did not forget about making our heart beat, our cells continue to do its’ functions, our lungs allowing us to make every breath, our blood cells to run through our blood veins, and everything that a human could ever think of, or could NOT possibly think of. Imagine what would happen, if HE forgot to make our heart beat for 3 minutes? Or perhaps 15 minutes a day?

Though he may had made that short statement for that very day, it sure indeed give a huge impact to me, and changed my life at that moment =) (well not literally)
Then I started praying 5 times a day.

Yup, doing something new surely is weird for anyone, anywhere, anytime doing anything at all. But I knew I was doing the right thing, and as time passed by, I was over it in no time =) As I have mentioned before.. Changes are never easy, but they are not impossible! =D

That is all so far for my blog this time =)
(Assignments and exams are crashing onto me like.. like.. Pouring cereal into a bowl when you are very very hungry! XD)

Till then,
Assalamualaikum =)

*My dear sister, btw =)