“I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.” ― Laura Ingalls Wilder
I have been called a ‘diva’ numerous times by friends and families. Reluctantly, I have to admit that I am guilty as charged. I am a self confessed ‘diva’. I am so used to the luxury of life that I am quite reluctant to step out of my comfort zone.
I don’t do outdoors because I do not like to get dirty or dusty. When my kids suggested we go camping, I almost went into cardiac arrest. I do not enter a toilet or restroom until I am satisfied that it is squeaky clean. I wilt under the sun and would normally run to an area that is air-conditioned. I simply cannot survive without air-con. To me, everything must be hygienic. Even when our cats steps outside, when they enter the house, I would immediately wash their paws and if need be, give them a bath!
For that reason, I have never had ‘iftar’, in unfamiliar places or even the masjid. I prefer to be in the comfort of my own home or my mum’s, plus, I am a picky eater. I am quite fussy when it comes to food.
This year, however, I decided that I needed to conquer my ‘diva-ness’. It took a trip to a refugee centre in the city, that made me realised that I needed to step out of my comfort zone to appreciate the blessings and barakah that I have been given by God Almighty. I heard real life accounts from the refugees about their plight. They left their homeland with just the clothes on their backs and have been surviving on scraps and handouts since they arrived. Most of them have families to feed. SubhanAllah! …
So, yesterday, after performing terawih prayers at the masjid, I told my husband that I wanted to have iftar at the masjid. My husband looked at me incredulously and asked, “For real? Seriously?”. I said yes, he looked sceptical but said okay….
Of course, the girls were non too thrilled to hear about my plan and started whining. Gosh..! They are beginning to sound like me! So, I told them to give it a try plus the ‘cook’ is taking a day off. If they wanted to have iftar at home, they will just have to eat biscuits!Hhhmmm... That effectively put an end to the protest….
So today, we went to the masjid about half an hour before maghrib. I honestly did not know what to expect. Some of my friends, who had experienced breaking fast at the mosques had told me to expect some pushing and jostling especially when the food is being served. Hhhmmmm…..that doesn’t sound very encouraging….anyway, I have set my mind so off we went.
Much to my surprise, everything was done in an orderly manner. (remind me to strangle my friends!). There was only dates and a sweet savoury, which I have no clue what it was, that was served to break our fast. I have to say, it was one of the simplest fare that I have ever eaten but it was the best. The simplicity of it made it absolutely delicious..
“O ye who believe! Eat of the good things that We have provided for you, and be grateful to Allah, if it is Him ye worship.”
Surah Al-Baqara 2:172
Narrated Ibn 'Umar: Allah's Apostle said, "A believer eats in one intestine (is satisfied with a little food), and a kafir (unbeliever) or a hypocrite eats in seven intestines (eats too much)."
Sahih Bukhari book 65#306
After breaking our fast, we prayed maghrib and then went again down to have our dinner. When we came down, there was already a queue but nobody was pushing. Everyone waited for their turn. We joined in the queue and took our food. The food was fantastic. It was not gourmet but it tasted sooo good. Even the girls were enjoying their food.
I suppose that when one does not have expectations, then, whatever good thing that comes your way would be a bonus. I went to the mosque with an open mind and devoid of any expectations and what I received, was indeed a feast.
It goes to show that it is not the food or people or place that makes you feel utterly satisfied and your meal enjoyable but, it is your intention. If your intention is to be grateful for whatever rizqi that God Al Mighty has given you, then the simplest fare will be a mighty feast. The baraqah of sharing food in the mosque with fellow Muslims brothers and sisters also adds to the equation of a satisfying meal.
Amongst those who broke fast with us were the foreign workers and some not so well-to-do families. Looking at them, I realised that I have been selfish all these while. I have taken for granted the finer things in life whereas these people may not have proper meals three times a day. I am indeed blessed….Alhamdulillah..
Ramadhan is such a blessed month and we should take the opportunity to share food with others.
“The Prophet (PBUH) said: "Whoever gives food to a fasting person with which to break his fast, will have a reward equal to his, without it detracting in the slightest from the reward of the fasting person."
(Hadith - al-Tirmidhi)
I came home from the mosque feeling elated and happy. I have conquered the ‘diva’ in me and came out unscathed. Even hubby was amazed. Tomorrow, we shall have our iftar at the mosque again InsyaAllah. …So, am I willing to give up air-conditioning now? …Hold on……let’s take one thing at a time, ok? No need to rush into things. …
Ramadhan Mubarak my brothers and sisters and may you have a blessed one……..