A couple of pleasant surprises (for me, at least) awaited when Pak Abu and I attended solat tarawikh (special prayer during Ramadan) at our condo's surau (prayer hall) on the first day of Ramadan.
The bilal (muezzin) was a primary schooler, probably around 10, while the imam was a teenager no older than 15, albeit a competent one.
While I had never prayed in a congregation led by a teenage boy before, I was nevertheless impressed with both his fluency in reciting the many verses of the Quran and his humble demeanour.
After three consecutive days of tarawikh, it dawned on me the prayers were led by a different teenager each time. Later I learnt they are students of a religious school (sekolah tahfiz) nearby, who regularly participate in activities organised by the surau committee.
As I sat there in silent contemplation, I realized how inadequate I am in so many ways. Inexplicably, these young men had made me feel so jahil (ignorant) and unschooled. The spectre of my spotty agama (religious) past returned to haunt this sorry self. Oh boy, don't I have a lot of catching up to do!