I remember that day, exactly on May 17, 2018, was the first day of Ramadhan month 1439 H. It was such a blessing to me, indeed, to meet again with this holy Islamic month. Unlike previous Ramadhan, in 2017, I had a motorbike accident. Praise to Allah SWT, this year I could meet with Ramadhan month and I could complete daily fasting and prayers in this month. Also, my body felt healthy and things were alright. Again, all beautiful praises are only for Him. He, the Best of All Creators, is Allah SWT.
The first days of Ramadhan 1439 H were, still, busy at work. However, I was not that all busy. The office hours started at 08:00 am and ended at 03:00 pm. Meanwhile, work days were from Monday to Friday, although occasionally, I still went to work until Saturday. Working harder than average government employees, somehow, since I was working at a private educational institution.
Now, let me share with you answers of my own question to me: “What did I learn from this Ramadhan 1439 H? What are the things that I see as ways to grow myself individually and as a member of a society?”
The above question was only a hint. Everybody has their answers actually. This time, I compose this writing in a sense of writing a diary. I hope that in the end, it brings useful things to whomever this post is read. To answer the question, I have three things that I learned during Ramadhan 1439 H.
The first thing I learned in this Ramadhan 1439 H was patient. In Arabic, patient means sabr, or sabar in Bahasa Indonesia. To be patient, is hard. Being patient when you spoke to others and being patient when you listened to others who spoke at you and about you are two essential things in social communication. I began to realize that what matters is our attitude toward what we said about others. What we said to others is much more important than how we responded to what others said about us. I learned how hurtful it was to listen to utterances that provoked my emotion. Such utterances also led me to grow hatred within myself. I felt that I did not want to accept it. For several days, I felt trembling and my body went weak. Then, I delved into what it means to be patient. I opened the Qur’an and I learned it. (To read Qur’an once is never enough for me). I then realized that the problem was not in me. I only listened – being the passive information receiver. What did I do as a listener? I did nothing. The main problem was the person(s) who spoke. Have they spoken good words? Have they considered their verbal and nonverbal language well in accordance to people to whom they spoke? Hurtful, it was, indeed. However, I learned that to confront these sorts of people is easy: do not have to pay attention that much. The person who knows exactly who you are is yourself. Thus, I learned that to utter words that are good to hear for people bring many more advantages than to utter words as I desired in my emotion. In the same time, I noticed that our attitude to what others said is also important, in order not to grow anger or revenge. Allah SWT dislikes an individual whose heart is filled with revenge, but He condemns those who spoke no good.
The second thing I learned in this Ramadhan 1439 H was the power of sedekah, infak, zakat, or giving freely for charity. At first, from economic standpoint, to give freely would not bring me any profit, especially when money is what you gave to others. I used to think like this – being the rationale guy, the economic guy. I began to share what I have to others, firstly, in a small amount of rupiahs, not that much. I learned to give money in conditions where I could. The rest of money that I have was saved, in case that I will need them one day for me or for my family. Slowly but sure, I noticed that the blessings that I received were far more beautiful than what I gave. There was a feeling of gratefulness in me. To see how people smiled at me and uttered nice words to me was indeed such a nice blessing. To feel happy is what money cannot buy. In fact, I did these three deeds occasionally – under circumstance when I had permissibility to do them. Finally I learned that it was not that minus to do these deeds. Allah SWT promises that to Muslims who do good charity only for the sake of His Mercy will enter His Heaven in no difficulties after the Day of Judgement. Do you know how much the Heaven is? Beyond selling all this universe.
The third thing I learned in this Ramadhan 1439 H was that realizing how things were meant to be, when Allah SWT decided that they were not meant for you. He knows what is best for you. In 2011, I successfully obtained scholarship to study in the United States of America for gaining a master’s degree in the field of English. This year, in 2018, I was not successful to get this scholarship again for the second time. I still remember the feeling of being a failure for many times to get a scholarship until I could get one. If only I am living in such a welfare life, or having abilities to get far more all life necessities I need for myself, then, I might not necessary in need of a scholarship; even I will give scholarship to those who are in need of it. In fact, I am not in that kind of life, so of course, I tried to think of gaining a scholarship. I might not be able to enrich myself financially due to conditions in my country, but with a scholarship, I might enrich my knowledge and expertise in the field, so eventually I could enrich my students’ knowledge and expertise as well. I might view this as a life-long investment, where I will positively get the reward from Allah SWT with His Heaven (if He will). There is a bigger gap to enrich myself financially, where as a matter of fact; I enriched people to whom I worked – the private sector. After facing such failure, I looked at other sides that life gives to me. How marvellous! I learned that Allah SWT gave me many other beautiful things that sometime I took for granted. I still have my beautiful family, my mother, father, siblings, wife, and my son. For whom I worked that hard in life if it is not to for them? I learned that may be this time, Allah SWT does not let me get this scholarship for reasons that I myself could comprehend days later. Seeing them happy and have full of hope to me had me grown stronger. I will do my best again in this year and in the upcoming years to obtain a scholarship to study overseas. Would it be other countries like Australia, England, or may be to study English for doctoral degree in Saudi Arabia? Who knew? Keep trying, never lose hopes.
In brief, the three things above are beautiful things that I have learned after Ramadhan 1439 H. I hope that Allah SWT accept the deeds that I had done only for Him. He is the Best-Knower of all matters, either the matters are spoken out loud or hidden under the bottom of the ocean in everyone’s heart.
May He forgive all my sins, aamiin.
To Him, we all will return.