Thursday, August 4, 2011

My Lifetime Fasting Journey


"Orang Islam bersembahyang berapa kali pada setiap hari?"
I was sitting at the Pejabat Agama Ipoh counter, the officer asked me questions after I inform him that I wanted to embrace Islam. Mohd Azlan and Shiema were accompany me at behind. It was way back to 2008 year second weeks of Bulan Ramadhan.

There was one indian girl sitting besides foreign man at counter too, what I see was the officer muttering at her. "Kamu ni tudung pun tak pakai, kuku panjang pun tak potong, macam ni ke kamu mahu masuk Islam? Kalao masuk Islam main-main saja, lebih baik kamu balik!"


"Berapa kali orang Islam bersembahyang?"
I turn back to the officer who sit in front of me. Without hesitates I answer his question :

"Lima kali"

"You ada puasa?"
"Ada."

"Pukul berapa you makan pagi?"
Pukul berapa saya makan pagi... This question drowned me into years ago memories, when I was started puasa? Why Puasa? For what I fasting? The first time ever was while I studied at form 6, can't remember whether I was curious or playful with it. Shiema challenged me that I can't fast, so I was stop eating at morning till afternoon (but drank a lot water). A dare-to-be puasa game? Well I was 19... There were a lot of things I did without specific reason.

As I knew, fasting is not a new issue. There are few religion practicing it especially charity organization. World Vision's 30 Hours Famine is one of them, the rule in joining this "famine charity" is fasting for 30 hours..
(Read more about them at http://www.30hourfamine.org)


Going hungry — so others don’t have to

Every year, hundreds of thousands of students do the Famine. They go without food for 30 hours. They learn what it takes to overcome hunger. And they raise funds to help feed hungry children and families around they world. They refuse to be told they can’t make a difference.

Every $30 raised by your group can help feed and care for a child for a month. And because the Famine is powered by World Vision, you’re not just feeding kids for today — you’re helping them and their families overcome poverty for a lifetime.

Well... I never attended any of this 30 hours challenges before. Even if 5 hours fasting also makes me roll and yell out on floor. At India there are also wandering monk who called themselves as sādhu or "Holy Man". They are fasting also and assume that as important ritual to get closer with god. But the way they fasting can be 1-2 weeks nonstop. The more torture they feel means they will be more closer with god in their belief.

The rigor of the spiritual practices in which contemporary sadhus engage also varies a great deal. Apart from the very few that engage in the most dramatic, striking austerities—for example, standing on one leg for years on end or remaining silent for a dozen years—most sadhus engage in some form of religious practice: devotional worship,hatha yoga, fasting etc.  

For more information please visit
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadhu
http://www.adolphus.nl/sadhus/

I was not convinced among religions teachings, more to curiosity in studying different religions preaching and what role they are playing with. Later on I was studied that pig is one of the main problem in causing skin irritation and Fasting able to wipe out body's toxic. So I stopped eat Khinzir since Form 6, also trying to do some puasa. I was quite convinced with the scientific test report that claimed fasting able to let our body rest a while and push toxic out from body.

However, the fasting process didn't stay long. I was easily give up at 3pm-4pm. For me it's enough to starve from morning till 3pm, why should I keep starving myself till late night and nonstop for one month? I believe science is true in proving how body works, but I don't have the strong intention in doing it. It also make me looks awkward while asking for "a cup of drinks" while Pasar Ramadhan only sells huge plasticbag packing.

Year after year, I was walking on the path of finding Truth.
Until year 2007, I admitted God is existed. Where I found Him in Islam. I never think about that I may become religion follower because I was never been fanatic in any religion. A simple admittance which guide me to a whole different lifestyle and way of thinks.

Untuk apa saya berpuasa?
Selain lapar dan dahaga, saya tak rasa apa-apa kepentingannya. Akan tetapi sejak tahun 2007, apabila Tuhan memberikan petunjukNya kepada saya, mengenali siapakah Tuhan sebenarnya yang Maha Pencipta... Saya telah menjadi orang yang sungguh berbeza daripada sebelumnya.

Demi Allah SWT saya berpuasa.
Demi Allah SWT, saya menurut setiap perintahNya.

Pada tahun 2008, hati saya bertekad untuk memeluk Islam dan menurut setiap perintahNya sebagai Muslim. Bagaimanapun saya menangguhkan pengislaman saya sehingga Bulan Ramadhan atas nasihat rakan baik saya. Maka pada waktu sebelum Bulan Ramadhan saya mencari-cari maklumat tentang ibadat puasa dan hukumnya. Apabila bulan Ramadhan menjelang, Saya terpanggil untuk menghadiri kursus jabatan pula.

Sebelum menghadiri kursus jabatan di KL, Mohd Azlan (rakan kerja) telahpun menjemput saya dan 2 orang rakan lain untuk duduk satu malam bersama keluarga dia di Nilai, Negeri Sembilan. Di situ mulanya saya memberitahu Mohd Azlan bahawa saya sedang berpuasa tetapi saya masih menyimpankan niat saya ingin memeluk Islam. Mereka hanya menyangka saya ingin menjaga perasaan mereka sebagai orang Islam.

Semasa duduk di rumah keluarga Mohd Azlan, mereka turut mengejutkan saya bangun seawal 4.30 pagi untuk makan sahur. Saya nampak mereka telahpun menyusunkan banyak pinggan lauk dan 2 mangkuk besar nasi putih. Saya amat terperanjat dengan meriahnya keluarga Muslim menikmati sahur bersama-sama, ini adalah kali pertama saya bersahur dengan orang Islam dalam seumur hidup. Sebelum datang ke rumah Mohd Azlan, saya hanya makan biscuit dan air kotak Milo di rumah sewa. Tidak berpunya kawan atau saudara yang menyambutnya bersama, juga tidak menjumpai restoran yang buka seawal 4 pagi.

"Ng, tolong baca doa !" Ahli keluarga Mohd Azlan mengusik saya.
Semua orang berketawa dan saya hanya tersenyum. Alangkah baiknya jika saya ditakdirkan mempunyai keluarga yang beragama Islam? Tetapi saya tidak menyoalkan urusan Allah SWT, pasti ada hikmahNya di sebalik setiap urusan. Tiada sesiapa boleh hidup berseorangan, komuniti yang kuat akan terbina atas dasar agama yang sama. Sekiranya Tuhan tidak mewajibkan puasa pada bulan Ramadhan dan digantikan dengan tarikh yang disukai oleh umat Islam masing-masing, pasti tiada orang akan menikmati sahur bersama keluarga juga tiada pasar Ramadhan yang menyenangkan selera.

Saya amat bersyukur kerana mempunyai peluang untuk meraihkan Sahur seperti setiap muslim walaupun sekali. Mereka juga tidak berasa segan dengan kehadiran saya.. Perasaan tu mesra sekali.

"Pukul berapa you makan pagi semasa puasa?"
Pegawai di Pejabat Agama dengan muka tegas bertanya saya lagi, sementara perempuan india yang duduk sebelah sana sedang memotong kukunya sambil dimarah-marah oleh pegawai lain.

"Pukul empat pagi."

"Ok, buka puasa pukul berapa?"
"Tujuh setengah malam."

He nodded.
Then he walk away and go to take a form. What I can see is full paper of details requirement and one empty bar at bottom. "Tuliskan nama Islam yang kamu nak kat sini." He said, "Ahmad ke, Abu ke, Ali ke... Inilah nama Islam yang akan kamu gunakan pada masa depan."

Without hesitate I wrote down my name alphabet by alphabet. This is my new identity, a brand new name for me to live with as Muslim. And I am going to tell the whole world that I am a Muslim. Muhammad, Ikhwan (Persaudaraan), Ng (Family Name).

Later on the officer hold my hand and ask me to recite Kalimah Syahadah. I recognize this Kalimah Syahadah, I read this verse before at the very first time I opened my heart to Almighty God. This time I read it again as an announcement that I am officially Muslim. I was fully understand that my life is going to be harder and full of challenges, despite criticizes and humiliates will stick to me, I have no regret in choosing this path. As my greatest honor to God alone. 

A remarkable Ramadhan month in 2008.
Also was my first time in doing full month puasa in the name of Allah SWT. It draw an end to my so called "play2 puasa" or experimental fasting. My journey to Puasa will keep continue till forever.


At 2009, I was attended Chinese New Year gathering for reverts.
Out of my expection, I saw the same officer again.. He gave me a big smile and introduce his chinese reverts wife who work as Ustazah. He is not really serious type of guy, may be that's what job position asked him to do so in registering Muslim. I was glad to meet him and chat a lot.



Sesungguhnya Islam itu persaudaraan
Sesungguhnya Islam itu persaudaraan

16 comments:

  1. Assalaamu'alaikum bro. Ng,

    Thanks for the sharing. It is indeed interesting to know brothers experience in knowing Allah. At least born-muslim brothers and sisters could learn from brothers and sisters of non-muslim family on how they have to face hardships but still is enthusiastic in learning.

    I personally think that the 'officer' is lack of courtesy when I first reading your experience. I met few officers in religious departments like this too.

    It does not matter in which area of service but some people treat others like those people have no feeling or soul. Maybe they just work for the sake of work and make a living from that. Not because of the service for Allah and ummah but we are nobody to judge anyone.

    Only hoping that Allah be merciful and forgives everyone of us leading us with His guidance.

    Anyway, wishing you, your family, honorable sisters and brothers selamat berpuasa. Praises to Allah for this opportunity. May this blessed month being a solid stepping stone for everyone to be close to Him through Quran and Sunnah tradition ^^

    ReplyDelete
  2. Assalamualaikum wb.,

    Saya byk belajar dari blog anda. Teruskan wadah blog ini untuk saya turut merasai nikmat Islam dari seorang yang pernah berada di luar Islam.

    Catatan kali ini amat memberi kesan kepada saya supaya saya lebih menghargai ibadah puasa saya.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Assalamualaikum akhi.. best nyer crita anta.. terkedu sebentar dengan cara pegawai pejabat agama tu.. ermm

    semoga anta teruskan kongsi pengalaman2 , banyak yg ana belajar.. :D

    ReplyDelete
  4. May Allah preserve you my Brother.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Assalamualaikum Mr Ng. Welcome:) May you have a smooth journey. InsyaAllah. (I'm still learning too. )

    ReplyDelete
  6. sinner in repentance:

    Walaikumsalam, There are a lot of people who eager to know how was it while registering as Muslim, and I have been think about it over and over again for months.

    Finally it end up with my fasting experience, combined with how I registering at Pejabat Agama.

    ReplyDelete
  7. ummufatihah:

    Walaikumsalam wbt.

    Saya bukanlah orang yang hebat sangat dalam bidang agama, insyaAllah apa yang dikongsikan boleh memberikan gambaran bagaimana seorang mualaf menuju Tuhan yang Maha Esa.

    Semoga kita bersama2 mengerja ibadat puasa dengan lebih baik...

    ReplyDelete
  8. Dzarief Zuhdi:

    Walaikumsalam. InsyaAllah saya akan cuba berkongsi lebih tentang pengamalan saya..

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous:

    Walaikumsalam.. InsyaAllah, let's learning puasa together forever :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Salam bro.

    Some of my not-yet Muslim friends participated/organized the 30-hour famine event. [they occasionally tie up with World Vision for some activities].

    By being a part of that event, they somehow got a glimpse of how Muslims observe Ramadhan. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Assalamualaikum,terharu skjap sy bca kisah awk.menarik!may Allah bless you.Islam itu persaudaraan.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hajar :

    When I browse through their website about 30-hour famine, most interesting part is they mentioned about christian preaching in practice it.

    Apparently God have been prove to us that fasting is a ibadat that did being commanded to umat before Islam.

    ReplyDelete
  13. RisaTego :

    Walaikumsalam, cerita saya hanyalah pengalaman peribadi sahaja.. Semoga bermanfaat juga kepada pembaca. May Allah bless you too.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Allhamdulillah, im officially being muslimah in 2007.. :)
    Sukar diucapkan dengan kata2, hanya syukur yang tidak terhingga :)
    Allahuakhbar!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Syukur alhamdulillah... Hidayah itu milik Allah SWT yang tidak ternilai. Allahuakhbar..

    ReplyDelete

Assalamualaikum wbt and welcome to my blog...
May contact me via 012-3979998 or email lifemualaf@gmail.com if you have any private message.

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