Nicotine withdrawal symptoms were hitting me really hard as I was cutting down on my pack of fags 2 weeks prior to Ramadan. This time around they include a sharp pain at my sternum and coccyx, which were abnormal. Fagging in between lectures was a norm at my college. I would smoke not less than 20 sticks in a day, that’s RM18 per day and RM540 per month down the rabbit hole. My thoughts were directed to the Charity Right campaign by Mercy Mission to donate a meal box for RM250, which could provide one meal a day for a family of 6 for 30 days. Can you imagine nearly 1 billion people go to bed hungry every night? I could have sponsored 2 families per month. Wow! Where was my empathy and understanding of our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions who survived only on dates for months to strive for the Deen?
This Ramadan, I was determined to quit smoking. Thanks to my non-fasting friends who would respect my abstinence during the blessed month. A WhatsApp image from a group came handy with the supplication to recite to get rid of bad habits. “
Oh Allah, protect and safeguard me from all sins and evil habits forever and help me to completely abandon the evil of smoking forever”.
I would recite this supplication every time I crave for a ciggy. The Noble Quran says “And spend in the way of Allah and do not throw yourselves with your own hands into destruction”. Yes, I’m aware of the pack-age of destruction that comes with the pack of cigarettes. Every smoker wants to quit someday!
Determined to join me to quit smoking this Ramadan is my non-fasting buddy Jasmine. Jasmine and I started the habit a couple of years ago at a birthday party just to be cool like other girls who thought they were hot by blowing mist through their nostrils. Oh, didn’t I tell you I am a girl from a conservative family? My parents would skin me alive if they ever find out about my well-kept secret. I would mask the tobacco smell with Mentos mints and Estee Lauder’s Jasmine White Moss, which Jasmine got me for my 21st freedom birthday. I would hide the pack and lighter on my waist underneath my jeans. It has now left a blue-black geometrical mark on my hips. Hips don’t lie, do they?
It was the last day of Sha’ban, my dad as usual gathered us at the dining table and reminded us about the virtues of Ramadan. My younger brother was nodding to every advice my dad was trying to plant in our minds. Every Fardh has 70 fold blessings, a Sunnah the reward of Fardh, increase the recitation of the Quran, give more charity..etc. I was murmuring “Slow down, slow down”. My brother giggled when I whispered in his ears “Papa don’t preach”. My dad was agitated with our side play and stared at us through the corner of his eyes. Well dad too needs to make a quantum leap this Ramadan in managing his anger and tidying up the mess in his car and the pile on his work table!
What about Mom? Mom should stop nagging, period! Mom’s got a string of standard nagging advices. Every time I’m alone with Mom, mom would tell me to focus on my studies and be a good Muslimah and fear Allah’s wrath. Mom’s words of nagging wisdom typically would start with:
- You should not miss Fajr prayers “Whoever prays Fajr is under the protection of Allah (How could I get up early in the morning when I chat till 2 a.m?)
- Dress modestly and cover your Awrah completely (Yes, I wear a hijab and my skin is not visible through my clothes, butt (pun intended), I love wearing tight jeans). Cover your derriere with a long blouse. Have you not heard about salwar kameez?
- Do not sweet-talk and flirt with a non-mahram;
- Do not have physical contact with a non-mahram (Ma, how do I avoid fist-bumping and shaking hands with male friends?). The Hadith reminds us “It is better that a steel nail is driven into your head than for you to touch a woman who is not permissible for you.”– (Is the Syaitan telling me that this is only meant for men? – I could decline politely by telling men that I am in the state of Wudu’ (Ablution))
- Do not feast your eyes with indecent pictures and videos (How could I avoid these stuff, they’re all around us and the social media. It’s like walking in the rain without getting wet).
- Stop listening to Beyonce, Gaga or Bieber. It will not guide you to paradise. Instead tune in to Al-Afasy, Al-Muaiqly and As-Sudais. Pondering and memorising the verses of Quran sharpens the memory and the Shahadah would come naturally when one breathes her last. Of course I wouldn’t want my last words to be “”Baby, Slow Down The Song” or “Chaiyya Chaiyya”.
- Stop gossiping and indulge in vain talk.
I had to interrupt Mom with “Okay Mom, slow down, slow down. I’ll fast and observe the conditions”.
Mom would conclude to quote the 3 types of fasting by Imam Al-Ghazali:
- Fasting of an average Muslim (one who submits to the Will of Allah Almighty), one who fasts only from food, drink, and marital relations.
- Fasting of the Mu’min (believer) – one who fasts from everything that is forbidden – bad language, bad thoughts, looking at bad things, listening to bad things, etc.
- Supreme type of fasting is that of the Muhsin (one who has perfected his faith in Allah Almighty) – and this is fasting from everything other than Allah. To such a person, a Knower of Allah, nothing in the world exists besides Allah. Wherever he looks, he sees Allah, whenever he thinks, he thinks of Allah!
This Ramadan, my goal is the fasting of the Mu’min inshaAllah.
Written by Abu Humairah.
“The writer has been in the legal field for 2 decades and had spearheaded a welfare organization. Currently leading the legal affairs department at Zilzar. Among the works done by the writer includes paper presentation to OIC, Pahang Islamic Museum, Social Organizations and in the Masjids.The writer enjoys preparing faith related and motivational articles and conveying theme-based messages.”