Monday, 18 August 2008

Nisfu Shaaban

Last weekend saw the passing of half of Shaaban, or nisfu Shaaban (nisf is half, in Arabic). It is a day celebrated with fasting. Yes, in Islam, celebrations take on a different nature than those we normally would have. Birthdays, for instance, are supposed to be a day for reflection about being a better person, besides rejoicing another year of life.

Nisfu Shaaban indicates Ramadhan is just round the corner. I normally would fast as much as I can in Shaaban and even Rejab (the month before).
When a lot younger, when I was about 10, I used to hope my mother would forget the day. How could she when her cousins and neighbours made a fuss of it. The eve of nisfu Shaaban would see the whole kampung going to the kampung surau to perform congregational prayers, read the Yaasin (a chapter of the Quran) and zikr (chant prayers).
I had hoped she would forget the day because, not used to congregational prayers, I felt very uncomfortable, standing so close to each other. The floor was rather hard, as well, spread over with a thin mengkuang mat. It was hot too. Not like the suraus and mosques these days -- equipped with air conditioning as well as carpeted. After prayers, the eating would start. Now that was worth waiting for.
Islamic celebrations start the evening before. For instance, nisfu Shaaban is the 15th of Shaaban, but we would start celebrating the evening of the 14th, with the congregational prayers. The next day, which is the actual day is the day for fasting.


U.Lee said...

Hello Jooli, Puasa month starting already? That means Hari Raya another month, huh?
Disini we lost touch re Malaysian festivities, only when papers mention 'adil fitri' to the Muslims here then only we know.
Fasting is good...and I certainly admire all of you.
It takes a lot of faith, will power and love of God.

Jooli, you sure one very eloquent lady, you keep well and have a great week, best regards, Lee.

jooli said...

thanks for compliments.

Puasa is 1st Sept this time. Raya is 1st Oct. Jemput datang rumah di ampang. Got lontong, rendang,ketupat nasi (of course) ketupat pulut (hopefully),lemang (will be bought).

Ya, puasa is not easy. Really needs faith.

Selamat ber-weekend!

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