Category Archives: Diary

.: ramadan notes 5: better than a 1000 months

“And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr is? The night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months ( Al-Qadr:2-3)”

As the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) informed us, the Night of Power (Arab: Al-Qadr) can be found in the last 10 nights of Ramadan and he further went into more detail by informing us that it is in the odd nights.  It means the night of 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 29th of Ramadan. There is no history in the Quran as to when the specific date is.

If Ramadan were a marathon race, the last 10 days of Ramadan is as if that sprint (to finish line). This is the time for Muslims to really buck up in their religious deeds when night comes. Ramadan will soon be over. If we manage to secure The Night of Power (Laylat Al-Qadr) just once in our lifetime, it’s like doing religious deeds for 83 years. And the night comes every year!

In Qatar, on the last 10 days of Ramadan, tarawih  (extra prayers performed by Muslims at night in the Islamic month of Ramadan) are shortened, leaving closing prayer (Witr) to be done on the last third of night, to be added up later with more and longer tarawih prayers. A mosque nearby my villa compound, for instance, conducts 11pm – 12.30am midnight prayers whereas other mosque starts at 12am or 1am. Who can’t resist the temptation of 83 years equivalent rewards of good deeds? Even if it requires staying awake past midnight praying to Allah. Those who can afford to devote their time in the remembrance of God stay in the mosque for the final ten days of Ramadan. This worship is called Iʿtikāf (retreat). They observe a fast during the day and occupy themselves with the remembrance of God, performing voluntary prayers and studying the Quran, day and night, apart from the obligatory prayers which they perform with the congregation.

We know, however, some people waste the entire last 10 days of Ramadan preparing for Eid, shopping and frequenting malls, etc. neglecting prayers, good deeds and the Night of Power.

I pray that each and everyone of brother/sister Moslem manage to secure The Night of Power and May Allah be pleased with all of you.

 

 

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.: ramadan notes 4: random pictures

Random pictures from several occasions.

The quietest road traffic is ON FRIDAY MORNING, DURING RAMADAN, IN SUMMER. Photo taken on Al Shamal Road around 6.30 in the morning
The quietest road traffic is ON FRIDAY MORNING, DURING RAMADAN, IN SUMMER. Photo taken on Al Shamal Road around 6.30 in the morning

 

Al Gharrafa Street on Friday Morning. Ramadan. Summer
Al Gharrafa Street on Friday Morning. Ramadan. Summer

 

Souq Waqif is boisterous during Ramadan at night, even after past midnight
Souq Waqif is boisterous during Ramadan at night, even after past midnight

 

Group iftar along with temporary bachelors :) at Bandar Aden - Yemeni Restaurant, Souq Waqif
Group iftar along with temporary bachelors 🙂 at Bandar Aden – Yemeni Restaurant, Souq Waqif

 

Iftar with Yemen cuisine at Bandar Aden
Iftar with Yemen cuisine at Bandar Aden

 

Group iftar at the Indonesian Embassy Doha, coinciding with Nuzulul (the descend of the) Qur'an celebration.
Group iftar at the Indonesian Embassy Doha, coinciding with Nuzulul (the descend of the) Qur’an celebration.

 

 

 

 

 

.: ramadan notes 3: nocturnal sauna

Completing Taraweh Prayer, I was in Souq Waqif, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaves, sipping iced mocca latte along with other local bachelors. Fortunately one table inside air conditioned shop was available. Cool enough to beat sauna-like weather outside. We went only outside to accommodate smokers within our group and then sauna comes. It’s probably around 34 deg C but humidity has already risen to maximum 84% that we’re dewy. Phew! It’s come now a period of hot and humid. Hot may be bearable especially for long time residents like me (5 years huh!), but hot and humid? Suffocating, sweaty. On positive side at least we can reduce our weight, said my friend.

It was around 10pm and people started flocking the souq. Until we left at midnight, the area were still boisterous. Even on the roads!

During Ramadan, life in Qatar is really upside down. The city turns to nocturnal. It is buzzing at night (some stores close at 1 am!) and hibernating during the day (don’t expect stores to open before 4pm)

.: ramadan notes 2: iftar-brotherhood

Yesterday I attended a mass iftar sponsored by RAF and organized with Indonesian Muslim Society in Qatar, Indonesian Embassy and other prominent Indonesian organizations in Qatar. This is probably the n-th consecutive year for mass iftar. The Sheikh bin Abdullah Foundation for Humanitarian Services (RAF) also holds separate iftar feasts for other expatriate community such as Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Srilanka, Pakistan and Philipine. Held in Tariq bin Ziad School near Indonesian Embassy, the mass iftar was attended by approximately 600 Indonesians. Few Malaysians also joined.

Unlike last year, this mass iftar was served with Indonesian iftar package, managed by three Indonesian restaurants in Qatar: Restaurant Jakarta, Central Restaurant and Griyo Solo.

Before breaking the fast, in collaboration with Ministry of Interior, the committee held traffic safety awareness presentation. Ustadz Dr. Agus Setiawan, MA from Indonesia also presented a short religious sermon focusing on the values of working and five potentials of Muslim world.

It was a nice experience for mass iftar including opportunity to socialize with other Indonesian fellows.

Thank you RAF and all committee members.

Indonesian mass iftar by RAF
Indonesian mass iftar by RAF

 

Representative from Malaysian Embassy, Indonesian Embassy and RAF
Representative from Malaysian Embassy, Indonesian Embassy and RAF

 

Posed with Indonesian Ambassador to Qatar  near 2014 Election stand
Posed with Indonesian Ambassador to Qatar near 2014 Election stand

 

 

 

 

.: ramadan notes 1 : mysterious iftar package

“Whoever gives food to a fasting person with which to break his fast, he will have the reward equal to his (the fasting person), without it detracting in the slightest from the reward of the fasting person.”

In Ramadan, Moslems try to reap as much rewards as they can, including rewards from giving iftar for breaking the fast. I was going home from a non-work related meeting when I saw a plastic bag hanging at the door knob. Alhamdulillah, an iftar package for this lonely fasting man – (a local bachelor,  husband who stays in town due to work circumstances while his family is away/has been sent back home). The package is so generous that its leftover can still be consumed for my suhoor.

I don’t know who sent this, for sure one of my complete neighbor. It is not uncommon for me during any ramdan local bachelor time yet this attention and good deeds flattered me.  May Allah give you the equal reward of fasting person. Jazzakallah.

Iftar

Why should I clear my own table?

whyshouldiclearmytable

It was a weird weekend where we went to home furnishings store just to have our dinner: yup…meat balls! We sat at one very clean table in a modern-minimalist-designed restaurant. I struck at a rhetoric question displayed on acrylic triangle on the table. Why should I clear my own table?

Yes, why should I?” , you may think; if I am in this country that cheap services are common; from petrol station attendant, groceries helper or foodcourt I-clean-your-mess helpers.

So I cleared my own table and then sat for quite a while…observing restaurant patrons if this question really works

…and (I was surprised) it did.

People follow what ‘suggested’ by the question. Are they doing it because others doing it? because it hits their bottom line (you should clear your table so that we can maintain our price low) or it is a polite thing to do? You won’t never see this in mall’s food courts nor in fast food restaurants.

Wonder if this sign is put in those places…..

Do you clear your own table?

People discuss in the net about this question: http://www.yelp.com/topic/chandler-should-i-clean-up-my-table-at-fast-food-places

The Sign

One of the many du’a (prayers) I had made in Masjid Al Haram during my umrah last Feb is to have a good and succesful career at work.

Few days later, while I was in Quuba Mosque in The Prophet City of Madinah, a headhunter rang me. Not a good time. However, I gave a hint to talk briefly. She then talked about an exciting opportunity with a supermajor. I didn’t discuss much further and in detail about it owing to the situation at that time.

Will this be the sign? I don’t know.

During the last few months I have been a witness to departures of close friends to move to another companies: two went to UAE, one to Oman, one to Aberdeen, one to Saudi, one to Australia, and two to Indonesia. While it is normal thing to expect from a life of an expat, but still it left me with a question: what if I were they.

I am repeatedly comforting myself and I am afraid that I am creating a too-much comfort zone inside and around my life. Sigh.

Imaginary inner voice:  “Just go back focused to work Wahyu and get another Outstanding appraisal like last year!” 🙂