Ramadhan - A Month of Gratitude
We offer all thanks to Allah swt, Who has granted us the opportunity to meet with Ramadan again this year. Alhamdulillah, May Allah swt grant us the strength, the spirituality and the humanity in this Blessed month of Ramadan.
This is a month in which Muslims are ordained to fast from dawn to dusk; a month where, in the daylight hours, we hold back from food and drink and sexual desires – from those activities that are permitted outside of Ramadan. But also a month where we check ourselves and abstain from self-indulgence, and other sinful activities, and from the kind of gossip which is so easy to fall into; a month in which Allah swt promises multifold rewards for all our good deeds.
This is encapsulated in the Qur’an in Surah Al-Baqarah, ayah 183: “Oh you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn piety and righteousness" (Q 2:183).
Yayasan Albukhary embodies the spirit of this ayah. To attain piety – to strive to be of the muttaqin – one must abstain from all the self-indulgence and extravagance in this world. The act of fasting is one such act, so that we reflect on the have-nots and their daily tribulations and we strengthen our own inner selves to face such tests.
Through the founder’s charitable acts the Yayasan has lined up many activities during this month.
Al-Bukhary mosque in Alor Setar Kedah, will provide daily iftar and free porridge to all the community. In this month of spiritual activities, there will be, insya’Allah, the performance of tarawih and the ‘qiam mu lail’ (night of vigil) and the continuous reading of the Qur’an.
Insya’Allah piety will be attained when we have sincere giving. Yayasan Albukhary is synonymous with this as it is the founder’s personal philosophy that is rooted in the Muslim values of Taqwa (submission to God) and Ihsan (compassion). Taqwa means that we are conscious of God in everything that we do and many ayat in the Qur’an associate taqwa with charity and with giving. We are reminded that all that we have – our wealth and our knowledge and ability – come as a gift and a test to us from Allah s.w.t.. It is hoped that through charity, through giving to others, dignity will in turn be given to those in society who do not have the means nor the opportunities to help themselves and that the lever of help will, Insya’Allah, empower them to be more independent. Yayasan Albukhary’s flagship programme – ‘Ihya Ramadan – will witness the giving of 20,000 boxes of food kits to the poor in Kedah. Aside from the daily iftar there will also be a mass iftar to draw the people of Alor Setar together to make the community know each other, to bind their hearts and to move the people towards greater spiritual upliftment through meaningful sermons.
Over the past three Ramadans the ‘Spirit of Ramadan’ has been captured through the pictures and images that are now showcased at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM) in Kuala Lumpur. We are very pleased to announce that the past exhibits will, for the first time, be shown at the Albukhary Complex in Kedah. We hope that the people of Alor Setar community can benefit from walking through the galleries and seeing these images for themselves.
Let us reflect on the spirit of Ramadan that we have already mentioned in Surah Al-Baqarah – that this spirit is our constant battle to make each of us a better human being through righteousness; through being morally and ethically upright. We strive to follow the example of our beloved Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and to be a Rahmatil lil Alameen – to be a blessing to all around us.
It is through gratitude that we can see ourselves do more for others and we are thankful to Allah swt for giving us the livelihood that we have today.
We take this opportunity to wish all Muslims Ramadan Kareem. We make dua that in this Ramadan we may strive to be better than in past Ramadans and we pray that may Allah swt bestow on us the clothes of taqwa and the Blessings of this beautiful month.
Dr Shamsiah Abdul Karim