In that year, (2004, I think), an earthquake struck a remote mountainous part of Afghanistan and I can just imagine what those poor souls were going through in that winter. The rest of the country was in the thick of the Judaeo-Christian War on Terror fought in a Muslim country, maiming and killing civilians. Aid was short in coming. Islamic Relief (UK) had dropped in a flyer in our letter box and I read of this Muslim engineer from UK who had gone over with the IR Team to open up communication with the stricken area. From that day on Islamic Relief has been the main recipient of our Zakat and a beneficiary in our Will.
'Man was telling us about his experience at the CIMB Bank (not the Setiawangsa branch) just a few weeks before Ramadan.
|'Man and Aisha taking a break at our porch|
She (snapping) : Tak tahu baca? Tak pegi sekolah kah?
'Man : Bukan. Saya lupa bawa cermin mata.
A male bank officer then came along to help him. I asked 'Man why didn't he report her rudeness to the manager. Man said, "Ala Kak, siapa 'nak pandang dan layan saya. Ini perkara biasa untuk 'Man. Kena di DBKL, di klinik, di mana mana saja orang tak pandang saya."
That little episode brings me to the end of Ramadan. Tomorrow will be 1 Syawal - our Hari Raya. I wish to convey my warmest greetings to family and friends and to AsH's followers and readers, far and near.
If only, oh if only, Muslims in Malaysia would endeavour to continue the discipline, the devotion, the sincerity and commitment of Ramadan into their workplace and to our fellow beings for the other 11 months of the year. Think what Muslims could achieve if these values are practised not just in the month of Ramadan.
Every Christmas, our local Animal Rescue Charity shop would remind people that "A puppy is not only for Christmas". People, out of the goodness (?) of their hearts, imbibe the spirit of "goodwill to all men" by giving away presents of puppies, kittens, and bunny rabbits etc. By the twelfth day of Christmas or a little later, these prezzies would be abandoned and discarded like Christmas paper wrappers.
In the same vein our ibadah to God and our fellow human beings and all living creatures are not only for Ramadan.
This Hari Raya, most especially, will not be a Selamat Hari Raya for as long as the genocide in Gaza does not stop.
As for Malaysians, be they UMNO, PKR, DAP or PAS Malays, the 'can't-be-bothered' Malays, the mayonnaise and belacan Malays, the 'I-am-holier-than-thou' Malays, the 'I'm-alright-Jack- and-sod-everybody-else' Malays, the smug and full-bellied modernized Malays, the 'in-the-kingdom-of-the-blind-the one-eyed-man-is-king' Malays, and septuagenarian Malays like me - we should go down on our knees and remember that "but for the grace of God go I". For we, at least, can greet our brethren with a Selamat Hari Raya.
We are endowed with Peace. Now we have to work for Justice.