Malam Panjang Ramadhan

#storytime #throwback

Entah kenapa setiap bulan Ramadhan, malamnya terasa lebih panjang. Mungkin karena pada malam hari masih banyak yang berkegiatan di luar rumah, dibandingkan dengan bulan lain.

Sama seperti saat itu di belahan bumi bagian utara. Ramadhan jatuh pada musim panas, sehingga matahari hanya tenggelam selama kurang lebih 4 jam. Meski demikian, malamnya masih terasa hidup.

Pukul 10 malam, hidangan buka puasa baru bisa disantap. Tiap urat di badan semua menuntut diberi nutrisi dan disegarkan kembali. Yah atau mungkin emang nafsu yang sudah ditahan kadang menjadi kelepasan, akhirnya hidangan diselesaikan dengan kilat.

Hari itu akhir pekan, tak ada keharusan berangkat pagi esok harinya. Mau berselimut saja tidak akan ada yang protes. Tapi malamnya musim panas itu menyenangkan—apalagi bulan Ramadhan. Aku ingin keluar malam itu.

Shalat tarawih berjamaah tak selalu kulakukan di Ramadhan itu. Jauh dan sudah terlalu larut malam, transportasi akan lebih sulit. Kecuali Jumat malam saat itu, transportasi akan selalu ada sampai cukup larut— karena penduduk lokal memiliki “jadwal” berkumpul dan bersosialisasi pada malam sebelum akhir pekan.

Lepas Maghrib munfarid di kamar kosan, bergegas aku berpakaian untuk keluar rumah. Sekali-kali mengejar tarawih di masjid! Aku berjalan menuju stasiun, yang kurang lebih 10 menit dari kos. Malamnya musim panas itu enggak gelap gulita, hanya membiru tua. Udaranya tidak panas, tetapi juga tidak begitu dingin.

Dari stasiun Bergshamra naik jalur merah, harus pindah ke jalur hijau di Gamla Stan—lebih mudah dibanding di T-Centralen yang harus pindah lantai. Dari jalur hijau kemudian keluar di Medborgarplatsen.

Medborgarplatsen adalah sentra keramaian di malam Sabtu. Letaknya ada di Sodermalm, daerah paling hipster se-Stockholm. Banyak club ngehits di sana. Syukurlah buat saya yang keluar sendirian pukul sebelas malam, suasana masih hingar bingar, jadi nggak takut!

Stockholms moskee letaknya di antara gedung-gedung 3 lantai. Penampilannya biasa aja, nggak ada yang heboh. Kalau sholat di sana, didominasi saudara-saudara dari Somalia. Aku nggak ingat ada khutbah.. atau karena aku datangnya mepet? Waktu itu langsung sholat aja.

Sholat selesai sekitar tengah malam, pukul 12. Lagi-lagi ketika turun ke stasiun nggak ngerasa serem alhamdulillah. Stasiun masih ramai, kadang ada teriakan orang mabuk, tapi santai aja. Walau sudah tengah malam, nggak ada rasa kantuk, karena sudah merasa re-fresh dari sholat berjamaah, dan merasa selalu ditemani sepanjang perjalanan. Alhamdulillah for the lovely summer nights.

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Mengingat Stockholm dari Jogja, tadinya cuman mau bikin status, gara-gara kopi eh jadi blog.

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Story of Ramadan in Summer

Muslims all around the world are waiting for the holy month Ramadan. During Ramadan, we are going to be fasting for one whole month. Fasting here means that we do not eat any food or drink from the break of dawn until the sun sets.

Luckily (yeah we are lucky!) for us who live in the northern hemisphere, we will experience longer fasting since it is summertime. In most part of Europe, the day will last for 18 hours, while in Scandinavia, it can last until 20-22 hours. While in extreme parts of the globe will be given some exception (rukhsoh) based on rules of the current scholars (fatwa), most people (who are healthy and able) will just have to stick with it. In the place I reside in, the break of the dawn (fajr) is at 01.50 and the sun sets (maghrib) at 22.10. Yeah 20 hours!

It’s not only about struggling with hunger

When fasting, we are recommended to take early meal before the break of the dawn (suhoor) and we must eat as soon as the sun sets (iftar). Sticking to these times is part of the legibility of the fasting. This means, our biological clock will have to adapt. Not only the periods of meal, but also sleeping times as well as productive time.

Last year I had to fast when I was in southern France, for summer school. Maghrib was at 21.00 and Fajr was around 03.00, around 18 hours fasting in total. It wasn’t, alhamdulillah, that hard with the hunger and thirst. But it was very hard to get to sleep at night and wake up again before 03.00, then sleep again until 07.00 or 08.00. I have to really obey my phone’s alarm.

Biological clock

Sleeping-time-wise it is easier in Sweden. Say you have a routine at 9am until 5pm, you sleep as soon as you finish fajr prayer (around 2.30am), then wake up around 8am to get ready to work (much simpler since you don’t have to think about breakfast). Then as soon as you came back from work, say at 6pm, get to bed straight away. Three hours nap is good to help you stay up at night. Then wake up at 9pm to prepare some food, and finally at 10pm you can enjoy your iftar. Then you just stay up until fajr again.

Like having a long flight, we like to have as few transits as possible. When I was fasting in France, I had three sleep period or “transits”: after work, after night prayer and after morning prayer. In Sweden there are fewer “transits”: after work and after morning prayer.

But sometimes our body doesn’t follow that logic. It’s not easy to eat again after midnight after you had a big iftar meal. It isn’t easy to get to sleep when you don’t feel sleepy or get up when your eyes still wants to be closed. Suddenly your alarm clock and extra dark curtain become your most important equipment when Ramadan falls in summer.

Energy-saving mode

Most of the time at 9pm, you almost have no energy left. But you just have to prepare the food, if you haven’t already done so. Usually for me, I want to have the most delicious food for iftar. So I usually prepare a few things in the menu.

Therefore it is super important for me to be at “energy-saving mode” during the day. I try to do less of the unimportant things, to talk less, not to get into situation that I have to rush or make my body worn out, but still stay in focus of work and prayers.

Temptation 

To be honest, it is super hard not to be thinking about or be tempted by food during the day. But the temptation is not over after iftar. Prophet Muhammad SAW taught us to fill our stomach with: 1/3 food, 1/3 water, 1/3 air. However once we break the fast, there is a big temptation to eat a lot. If you go to a Muslim country like Indonesia, people just get sooooo creative in terms of cooking during Ramadan. The best of food are sold during this time. Ironically, sometimes we are prone to wasting food during the fasting period.

So, is it that hard?

Before coming to Europe, I had the question whether I will be able to fast when the day is long. When I arrived in Sweden, it turns out that the weather is much cooler than in my tropical country, even in summer. It is also not that humid. It’s like having a big air conditioner outside. My first fasting in Sweden was surprisingly easy, I don’t feel thirsty so much even after more than half day fasting. So even though we had 20 hours without food, we are given better weather to deal with it 😉

Ok that really was just to cheer myself up, but I’m not going to lie. Fasting is a struggle, fasting is difficult. In the summer and in tropical countries. But this is faith put into test. In Islam we believe that Allah will never put us with tests we cannot handle. He is always fair in every way. Plus remember the wisdom, the lesson, the good deeds given later in this world or in the hereafter.

 

Six Questions of The Great Imam Al-Ghazali

Once the great Imam Al-Ghazali gathered with his disciples and asked six questions.

The first question was

“What is the closest thing to us in this world?”

His students have answered the parents, teachers, friends, and relatives.
Al-Ghazali replied:

“Those are quite correct but the closest to us is ‘DEATH’ because it was the promise of Allah Almighty that every soul shall taste death.” (Ali Imran 185)

Then the second question was

“What is the furthest from us in this world?”

His students answered China, moon, sun and stars.
Al-Ghazali replied:

“Those are quite correct but the furthest from us is ‘THE PAST’ because in whatever the circumstances, whoever we are and whatever vehicle we use we cannot return to the past. Therefore we have to keep this day and the days that will come with a deed in accordance with the teachings of Islam.”

The third question was

“What is the biggest in this world?”

His students answered the mountain, earth and sun.
Al-Ghazali replied:

“Those are quite correct but the greatest of which is the ‘DESIRE’. So we must be careful of our own desires. Don’t let them lead us to the Hellfire.” (Al A’raf 179)

The fourth question was

“What is the heaviest in this world?”

His students answered steel, iron, and elephants.
Al-Ghazali replied:

“Those are quite correct but the heaviest of all is ‘HOLDING TRUST’ Plants, animals, mountains, angels, and all creation of Allah could not bear to caliph (leader/vicegerents) on Earth when Allah asked them to. However, human beings were proud in carrying out this favour that led most of them to Hellfire due to their failures of keeping trust. (Al Ahzab 72)

The fifth question was

“What is the lightest in this world?”

His students answered wind, dust, cloud and cotton.
Al-Ghazali replied:

“Those are quite correct but the lightest for human is ‘LEAVING THE SALAAT (five times prayer)’ because of jobs and business.”

The last question was

“What is the sharpest in this world?”

His students responded in unison, sword.
Al-Ghazali replied:

“That is quite correct but the sharpest of all is ‘THE TOUNGE’. Because of it, Man can easily backbite and hurt his brothers.”

What is the lightest thing in the world? It is leaving the five times prayer.

Enam Pertanyaan Imam Al-Ghazali

Suatu hari, Imam Al-Ghazali berkumpul dengan murid-muridnya lalu beliau bertanya :

Pertanyaan pertama :

“Apakah yang paling dekat dengan diri kita di dunia ini?”

Murid 1 : Orang tua
Murid 2 : Guru
Murid 3 : Teman
Murid 4 : Kaum kerabat

“Semua jawaban itu benar. Tetapi yang paling dekat dengan kita ialah MATI ( Surah Ali-Imran:185) . Sebab itu janji Allah bahwa setiap yang bernyawa pasti akan mati.”

Pertanyaan kedua :

“Apa yang paling jauh dari kita di dunia ini ?”

Murid 1 : Negeri Cina Murid 2 : Bulan Murid 3 : Matahari Murid 4 : Bintang-bintang

Iman Ghazali :

“Semua jawaban itu benar. Tetapi yang paling benar adalah MASA LALU. Bagaimanapun kita, apapun kenderaan kita, tetap kita tidak akan dapat kembali ke masa yang lalu. Oleh sebab itu kita harus menjaga hari ini, hari esok dan hari-hari yang akan datang dengan perbuatan yang sesuai dengan ajaran Agama.”

Pertanyaan ketiga :

c

Murid 1 : Gunung Murid 2 : Matahari Murid 3 : Bumi

Imam Ghazali :

“Semua jawaban itu benar, tapi yang besar sekali adalah HAWA NAFSU (Surah Al A’raf: 179). Maka kita harus hati-hati dengan nafsu kita, jangan sampai nafsu kita membawa ke neraka.”

Pertanyaan keempat :

”Apa yang paling berat didunia ?”

Murid 1 : Baja Murid 2 : Besi Murid 3 : Gajah

Imam Ghazali :

“Semua itu benar, tapi yang paling berat adalah MEMEGANG AMANAH (Surah Al-Azab : 72 ). Tumbuh-tumbuhan, binatang, gunung, dan malaikat semua tidak mampu ketika Allah SWT meminta mereka menjadi khalifah(pemimpin) di dunia ini. Tetapi manusia dengan sombongnya berebut-rebut menyanggupi permintaan Allah SWT sehingga banyak manusia masuk ke neraka kerana gagal memegang amanah.”

Pertanyaan kelima :

“Apa yang paling ringan di dunia ini ?”

Murid 1 : Kapas Murid 2 : Angin Murid 3 : Debu Murid 4 : Daun-daun

Imam Ghazali :

“Semua jawaban kamu itu benar, tapi yang paling ringan sekali didunia ini adalah MENINGGALKAN SHOLAT. Gara-gara pekerjaan kita atau urusan dunia, kita tinggalkan solat.”

Pertanyaan keenam :

”Apa yang paling tajam sekali didunia ini ?”

Murid- Murid dengan serentak menjawab : Pedang

Imam Ghazali :

“Itu benar, tapi yang paling tajam sekali didunia ini adalah LIDAH MANUSIA. Kerana melalui lidah, manusia dengan mudahnya menyakiti hati”

Apa yang paling ringan di dunia ini? Yaitu meninggalkan salat.

Laa ilaaha illallaah

(Emha Ainun Nadjib)

Laa ilaaha illallaah
Tiada Tuhan selain Allah
Tiada ada selain Allah

Demikian lelaki itu berdzikir
Demikian mulutnya berdzikir
Demikian kakinya berdzikir
Demikian tangannya berdzikir
Demikian jiwanya berdzikir

Laa ilaaha illallaah
Tiada Tuhan selain Allah
Tiada ada selain Allah

Lelaki itu terhimpit
Di tengah jejalan orang-otang
Di tengah mereka yang berebut jalan
Di tengah tenaga yang mendorong
Menyeret dan menekan
Tetapi ia tetap tegar
Tetapi ia pelihara keyakinan
Ia arahkan mata ke satu titik pandangan

Laa ilaaha illallaah
Tiada Tuhan selain Allah
Tiada ada selain Allah

Jalan begitu terjal
Jalan penuh batu dan dajjal
Angin merasukkan khayal
Tapi sukmanya mengebal
Tapi sukmanya terus berdzikir
Keringatnya terus berdzikir
Langkahnya terus berdzikir

Laa ilaaha illallaah
Tiada Tuhan selain Allah
Tiada ada selain Allah

Matahari menancapkan cahaya di matanya
Tapi ia tidak silau
Bumi menyemburkan bau harum di hidungnya
Tapi ia tidak tersengau
Kibaran rambutnya terus berdzikir
Derap hidupnya terus berdzikir
Desah nafasnya terus berdzikir

Laa ilaaha illallaah
Tiada Tuhan selain Allah
Tiada ada selain Allah

Orang-orang di sekelilingnya berebut tempat
Orang di sekitarnya berebut kursi
Berebut pisau
Berebut mahkota
Berebut kostum
Berebut simbol
Tetapi senyum lelaki itu terus berdzikir

Laa ilaaha illallaah
Tiada Tuhan selain Allah
Tiada ada selain Allah

Orang-orang meloncat dari bumi
Tapi tak bisa sampai ke langit
Orang-orang bagaikan burung
Ditinggalkan terbangnya
Orang bagai api ditinggalkan panasnya
Orang bagai bom ditinggalkan ledakannya
Tapi tegak dada lelaki itu terus berdzikir

Laa ilaaha illallaah
Tiada Tuhan selain Allah
Tiada ada selain Allah

Inilah jimat
Inilah kunci
Inilah logam
Inilah kursi
Inilah jaman
Inilah tambang bumi
Tetapi sang lelaki hanya berdzikir
Tetapi jantungnya hanya berdzikir

Laa ilaaha illallaah
Tiada Tuhan selain Allah
Tiada ada selain Allah

Lelaki itu pergi ke gunung
Lelaki itu mengarungi lautan
Lelaki itu melintas gurun
Lelaki itu merambah hutan
Lelaki itu pergi pergi
Akhirnya kembali
Ke dalam diri
Ke dalam Allah yang menanti

Laa ilaaha illallaah
Tiada Tuhan selain Allah
Tiada ada selain Allah