Friday, August 23, 2013

Past revaluations

Sometimes, after prayers, I would contemplate my life while still sitting upon my prayer mat. And, once in a while, like this morning, I had (another) epiphany.

Thinking about my future, about what I wish I should be doing after I retire, I realized, that while I am dreaming of the future, what I am yearning for is really the past. Because all the things I want to do.... are really the things I used to do, a long long time ago..

I remember those good old days (they are always "good old days" in retrospect), when I would live my life on a whim. Back from school, I would have my lunch, change and then, whenever I feel like it, off I go on my bicycle to see a movie. I love science fiction (saw Star Wars IV 6 times), or I would take in a Kung Fu movie or if I am in a melancholy mood, I go to watch "Sofie's Choice" or "Terms of Endearment" or "Out of Africa" (yes I have a crush on Meryl Streep) and even occasionally, I watch a love story... "Goodbye Girl" (Richard Dreyfuss and Marsha Mason) was the most memorable one for me.

Or, I would just go to the riverside to have a "Rojak Mee" under a shady tree looking nothingness, as the wind from the Malacca Straits rustles the leaves and the Muar river flows lazily, lapping the rocks on its banks.

Or, I would just stay home, sit in front of the Hi Fi set, put on a record on the turntable and let the music blast away, ensuring the neighbors know how cultured I am. I love music, and I enjoy all kinds of music. I listen to Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra and Nancy Wilson and Dean Martin, I love the blues (B.B.King), I listen to J. Geils Band (the Freeze Frame album), The Eagles, Bee Gees (the spirit having flown album), I love Linda Ronstadt (I have 5 of her records), locally, I am a fan of Jamal Abdillah, Sheila Majid, I bought Fairuz Hussein debut album, I even like Black Dog Bone, Carefree, Freedom and Sweet Charity. I love S.M.Salim and occassionally listen to P.Ramlee songs (especially, the jazzy ones like Putus Sudah Kasih Sayang and Tunggu Sekejap).

The irony of it all, while these things I did when I was still in school and living off my father's pension (Allah bless his soul), this morning, still seated cross-legged on my prayer mat, I am contemplating the wealth I will need to accumulate within the next few years so that I can do all these things again, after my retirement.....

However, at today's prices, I wonder, is retirement an option? (Sigh...) Better get dressed, I am late for work....

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I know

Dearest Allah swt,

I want to thank you (although, somehow with you, the word "thank" seem so minuscule and grossly insufficient) for letting me see through another Ramadhan.

I don't know what you make of this Ramadhan for me, but I actually feel this time was better than the last. But, I now seek you forgiveness because the reason this Ramadhan is better than the last, is because the last one was "crap" (for lack of a better word). During the the last one, I did not read the Quran and missed many tarawikh prayers. This time, praise be upon You, I took time to do some reading, although, I have just finished juzu' 10 (pathetic, I know, Ya Allah.... please accept it). And, this Ramadhan I only missed one night of tarrawikh, but please forgive me my Lord, I had to send my son back to his hostel (bad excuse, I know).

The one (of many things) thing that I have yet to achieve is to do tahajjud, Ya Allah. This is a heavy task for me. For, sleep is one of the great worldly pleasures that you have endowed upon me that I am not strong enough to resist. But, I am toying with the idea of doing it.... I know, Ya Rahman Ya Rahim, that you recognise the intention even before the deed.

Ya Latif, Ya Karim, I thank you for all that you have given me. I do not know what good I have done to deserve all this. Yet, I know that you know that I will always have something to ask from you.I have many times heard the teachers say, that it is ok to ask from you, because you are rightfully The Giver. I know, Ya Allah, that I cannot even lift a finger without your will, and I know that each breath that I take is really at your ultimate pleasure. I know that the next one could very well be my last.

Thus, Ya Allah, I know I sound ungrateful, but, I must ask these things from you:

Ya Allah, please forgive my parents, cleanse them form all of their sins, big and small, and please take care of them as they have doted upon me when I was growing up. Put them together with those you love, your apostles.

Ya Allah, I ask for you to care of my wife and children whom I love very much, yet I am unable to be there for them at all times. Please show them the correct path, the path of those that you have guided, not the path of those who earn your anger nor of those who go astray.

Ya Allah, please forgive my father-in-law and mother-in-law and brothers and sisters, my brothers-in-law and my sisters-in-law, my uncles and aunts, my nephews and nieces, my grandnephews and my grandnieces, and all my fellow muslims and muslimahs, be they are alive or have passed on.

And, please, Ya Allah, please forgive me for all my stupidity, my arrogance, my forgetfulness, my insolence, be it towards you and towards my fellow man.

For Ya Allah, I know, that you are the Affuwun Kareem, and I know you love to forgive..... So please Ya Allah, forgive me...

I wish your blessings upon his Majesty Muhammad (pbuh) and upon his family, and all praise be to you, Lord of the universe.

Amin.