Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Umrah in Ramadhan

Alhamdulillah my husband and I are back from our umrah trip. We left Malaysia on 3rd day of Ramadhan and arrived home on the 16th of Ramadhan. Thank you to friends who have wished us well and safe trip. You have been in our doa cited at the most mustajab places on earth.

It was a fulfilling and enriching trip. Being tetamu of Allah, we cannot describe how grateful we are to the All Mighty for allowing us to perform the umrah and ziarah again. It was even more blessed because it is Ramadhan. As we know, solat sunat in the month of Ramadhan is equivalent to pahala solat fardhu whilst solat fardhu is equivalent to 70 times pahala.

Then there is this hadith from Abu Hurairah r.a. which quoted Rasulullah s.a.w. to say mafhum nya "Melakukan sekali sembahyang di dalam masjidku ( Masjidil Nabawi di Madinah ) ini adalah lebih baik daripada 1 000 kali sembahyang dalam masjid yang lain melainkan Masjidil Haram".

It is further explained in another Hadith by Jabir r.a., Rasulullah s.a.w. bersabda "Satu sembahyang di masjidku lebih afdhal daripada 1 000 sembahyang di masjid-masjid yang lain kecuali Masjidil Haram di Mekah dan satu sembahyang di Masjidil Haram pula lebih afdhal daripada 100 000 sembahyang di masjid-masjid yang lain."

There is always this unexplainable reason why we miss being at Tanah Suci for those who have been there, and for those who have not been there, the yearn to go. The last time beloved husband and I went was in 2007 and somehow, in April this year, there was a calling for us to go. Alhamdulillah, ada extra money to spend hence all arrangements were made.

There are a lot of experience to share, challenges, suka and duka. I will not narrate everything in a single posting, hopefully in the coming posts. Although I have been back for 5 days already, I am still very tired. Catching all the sleep which I can get and in between trying to finish the Quran. Regrettably I did not manage to finish the Quran over there because the weather was hot and staying in the mosque for too long may have its repercussion. Madinah was at 55 degrees C whilst Mekah was slightly lower, around 48 or 49 degrees C.

The trip was short and of course there is this insatiable feeling that we wish we were there longer. Umur panjang, insha Allah ada rezki ke sana lagi. See you in the coming posts, insha Allah.

By the way, Selamat Menyambut Hari Kemerdekaan yang ke 53!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

RT Before Ramadhan

Bandung was no more chill as it used to be. When I first stepped into Bandung six years ago, I remembered it was as cold as the places at the foothill of Mount Kinabalu. According to Bapak Faizin, our supir for this trip, Bandung also suffered from the global warming. Many trees near Setiabudi are cut off because of the need and greed of certain quarters to construct golf courses as opposed to maintaining the green lung. What a waste!

Even Kartika Sari has greens in the middle of the eating place.

Sup buntut for me and beloved husband

Avocado juice yummmmmmyyyy!!!

Machet in Bandung is even more extraordinary that Sunday which we arrived. Apparently it was due to, firstly the nearing of Ramadhan and secondly because of the highway which connects Jakarta and Bandung. Driving up and down Jakarta - Bandung would only take slightly less than 2 hours, thus the Jakarta city folks have all the reasons to shop, eat and unwind at Bandung.

The warm weather in Bandung and the machet obviously did not dampen our spirits to shop. If we can struggle through Tanah Abang in Jakarta last year, shopping at the FOs and Pasar Baru in Bandung was such a simpliciter. Because of the effortless shopping, the damage was unbearable!! What more for this time round. The holiday was four days three nites and we were nonchalantly taking our own sweet time to do whatever needs to be accomplished. Anyway, no regrets… money is meant to be spent, ye tak?

Like the previous practice, we do our raya shopping one or two weeks before Ramadhan. Not that we are some big shots who do their shopping overseas, it is just that we find shopping in Indonesia fits our budget pretty much. There are 7 members in the family, which does not include the bibik, the mother, and the in-laws. So when we spent the money in millions of Rupiahs, albeit sounding humongous, after auditing the things which we got for ourselves plus the expenses, I think we should be able to survive another spree.

Also it was a shopping holiday for me and husband. Other than shopping for the family, which we only do technically once in a year, it was time to get away from the hustle bustle of work. I needed the break badly. Waking up in a hotel with someone to make up your bed, a view of the mountain and country side to enjoy, a shopping complex just next door to the hotel and a supir to drive you round really make every single bit of the holiday a well-deserved and treasured moment.

A view from our hotel.

And the damage...., Aiyohhh!!! This is only part of it! No wonder the locals here view that "shopping is cheaper than seeing a psychiatrist"!

Guess after the shopping is more or less settled, it is now time to focus on the ibadah puasa.

Here is wishing everyone, Selamat Menyambut Ramadhan al Kareem and mengerjakan ibadah puasa dan ibadah yang berganda ganda pahalanya di bulan mulia ini dengan penuh tulus.