Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ramadan Redemption

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!



10 comments:

Kak Teh said...

Puteri, there's a saying: when you notice that the policemen are getting younger, you know that you are growing older. And for us, dear Puteri, everyone is getting younger; the pilots, the doctors, and yes the imams and bilals. Our ustaz and imam is so young, and glamour pulak tu! We also had another ustaz where we congregated at another house - lagilah muda...and like you said, and I thank you for saying it first, we certainly have a lot of catching up to do.

Puteri Kamaliah At-Tarawis said...

Like they say here, "tau takper!" kita belum lost cause lagi kak teh...hehehe. It warms the heart to see these kids so competent, at this challenging time and age too.

believe it or not, kak teh, I questioned the wisdom of my sister ana when she decided to send her only son to sekolah agama after primary school. now 17, he is a hafiz and I am so proud of him (and ashamed of myself for my earlier objection).

MrsNordin said...

Don't we all? I sure need to catch up a lot and fast coz it's all rusty inside!

On sending children to sekolah agama, I fully support it, provided they go there to learn the religion and what not and not to be swayed into ridiculous teachings and ideologies which may affect the children's behaviour. You know.. ini haram, itu haram, kind of thing. That, I don't agree.

But yes, I'm even thinking of sending my little boy to sekolah agama when he grows up so he can become a brilliant Islamic scholar. This, I think, is a lot to do with making up for what his Mummy is lacking.. that's all. But I'm sure my dear husband will not agree.

Anonymous said...

Im glad to hear your surau is willing to have teenagers to lead congregation prayers. Sadly though many in kampungs who are so proud to join prayers led by these young hafiz or just because they are not old enough.
It is pity that we Muslims failed to respects these teenagers and put them in the right place and practice their Quran in the rightful manner.

Seri Serodja said...

while i just watch my only son, growing gracefully waiting for his next stroke to attack, what kind of sickness that he must not receive any stress, how can I guide him without getting all fumed up to read qoran when his makraj is at the wrong places..talking about tahfiz..I will not be blessed with one but I am have ason..

Elviza Michele said...

Salam Puteri,

I hope this comment finds you in the best of health and disposition.

I have a confession to make: I have been reading all your posts (from the 1st one until the current one) and I love it to bits.

You left a comment on Tea & Scones and I go there often. Once, I spotted your comment which led me to this blog of yours. And now, I am just hooked to it.

Selamat Berbuka.

Puteri Kamaliah at-Tarawis said...

Mrs N, I think all of us are guilty, one way or the other, of this neglect. In pursuit of worldly things, kita momentarily 'terlupa'. But deep down the iman is still there, a little shaky but still ada. now all we have to do is fortify it.
the current Islamic school system is not bad, actually, lebih terbuka and more progressive in its thinking, bukan macam dulu2.. myopic sikit.

Anon, I too am happy that the surau ppl have no qualms about asking these boys to lead prayers and such. I think it defeats the purpose if we deny them the opportunity to put what they learn into practice. The way I see it, it helps build their self-confidence too. They are our Islmic beacon for tomorrow.

Seri, oh dearie me. I share your pain and heartache. Our children are the jewels of our hearts and it pains us so when sickness befall them. I hope your son will recover...

W'salam Elviza and tq for the kind words. You have the cutest lil fella. Gerrrammm! I too have singgah-ed a couple of times at your lovely abode, cuma tak tinggalkan pawmark. from now on, I shall..

bergen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bergen said...

How's Pak Abu these days without golf? he he

Puteri Kamaliah at-Tarawis said...

bergen, I was about to write a 'ngomel' piece about that golf of his. the golf puasa didn't last very long la! for thepast couple of days, the kakis (himself included of course) played 9-hole at 5pm finishing at 7pm just before buka posa... (sighh)