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Bachelor of Taqwa from University of Ramadhan

Monday, 30 July 2012

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On the tenth of Eidul Fitr, two old friends decided to meet each other. They wanted their special meeting to be at a special place, which is at their previous high school. It’s kind of killing two birds with one stone, missing a buddy and missing a school. With the combination of both, it brings back old unforgettable memories.
So they meet up at the musolla of the school.
“Assalamualaikum broer!” says Ameer to his old friend. “Long time no see. How have you been?”
The two of them hugged each other.
“Waalaikumussalam!” answered Ali “Yeah, it has been some time. I’ve been good.”
The both of them had a chit-chat over some old stories. Then Ameer asked Ali a question “You just graduated right from IIUM? What was your bachelor? Bachelor of English was it?”
“Me? Bachelor of English? No. That was a long time ago. Now I have a bachelor of Taqwa” said Ali confidently.
“Bachelor of Taqwa? From what university?” Ameer confused.
“From University of Ramadan” says Ali.
Introduction: Not only fasting but so much more
The semester from the University of Ramadan is the shortest short semester in the world. Only four weeks of studying. But what Allah expects us to achieve is very high, we may or may not be able to stand up to that expectation. During this short term period, Allah has prepared for us an intensive training. Towards the end of the semester, we will hold the scroll of Bachelor of Taqwa!
This university is not only about fasting but so much more:
“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous” (Al-Baqarah: 183)
Allah has revealed to us saying that the sole purpose of fasting is to attain Taqwa whether it is in or out of the month of Ramadan, it doesn’t matter. But the fact that fasting has been prescribe to us within a specific number of days, we should attain a taqwa that is double, triple and quadruple during the month of Ramadan
The month of Ramadan is not the month of fasting. Many malay says “Bulan Puasa”, that is wrong. The month of Ramadan is the month of Taqwa (Bulan Taqwa). Fasting is only a ticket for us to enter in a new world full of wonders!
Loose ourselves in Taqwa
We may be familiar with the word Taqwa, but we may not know what it means. For those who still are unaware of the meaning taqwa, this is what it means:
Umar ibn Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) asked Ubbay ibn Ka’ab (may Allah be pleased with him)”What is the meaning of Taqwa?”
Ubbay ibn Ka’ab said, “O Amir ul Mu’minin, have you walked on a field that had a lot of thorny plants?”
Umar said,”Yes” Ubbay ibn Ka’ab said, “So what did you do?” Umar replied, ”I lifted up my clothes and I was very careful,” Ubbay ibn Ka’ab said, “That is Taqwa!”
We are walking on a field that is full of thorny plants. Shaytan and his followers will try to seduce you and invite you to Evil. So having Taqwa in Dunya is lifting up your clothes and being careful, so that you would not touch this evil. From this hadith, we can extract that the meaning of taqwa is being careful as we go along life’s road. And that is the definition of Taqwa and we ask Allah to make us of those of al- Muttaqeen.
Taqwa is the source of energy in a person. With taqwa, a person will go to the masjid, make good friends, go to talks, keeping the environment clean and do good deeds.
Taqwa is also the shield to social problems, vandalism and sins. With this shield firm at heart, a person will never steal even though they are no CCTV or to vandalize public property or do anything that will increase your account balance of sins.
Taqwa is the strongest piling in one’s heart to withstand the world’s ‘deadliest’ trials and tribulations in life. With taqwa, a person will be able to stand and prevent himself from the most seducing sin in life.
Keep on Searching for Taqwa
Although we are still 2 months away from Ramadan, our journey of searching for Taqwa should start now. We need to start now. If we want to win a 100 meter sprint, we need to train as hard as we can to beat that 100 meter world record! We can’t expect to win on that day by not training. If we have trained hard, the 9.58 seconds world record by Usain Bolt can be beaten for sure!
The same goes to Ramadan. For all our sins to be forgiven by Allah is one bonus in our life. The prophet once said, narrated Abu Huraira:
“Allah’s Apostle said: “Whoever establishes prayers during the nights of Ramadan faithfully out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards (not for showing off), all his past sins will be forgiven.”
Ramadan is only an intensive training course for us to charge up our batteries of taqwa. The real threat is staying firm for eleven months.
The Process of Taqwa
What are the subjects that we need to take in order to attain this bachelor? Let’s review one by one.
First: Mu’ahadah (Keep promises)
Allah says in Surah An-nahl: 91:
“And fulfill the covenant of Allah when you have taken it, [O believers], and do not break oaths after their confirmation while you have made Allah , over you, a witness. Indeed, Allah knows what you do.”
For us to fulfill our promises with Allah, between us and Allah, we need a quality time special for the two of us. We can have a talk with Allah and share our problems with Him, at least through our prayer because “It is You we worship and You we ask for help” Al-Fatihah: 5.
Second: Muraqabah (Feel close to Allah)
Allah has revealed in Surah as-syu’ara: 218-219:
“Who sees you when you arise; and your movement among those who prostrate.”
The prophet when asked about Ihsan, he said “it is that you should serve Allah as though you could see Him, for though you cannot see Him yet He sees you.” (Narrated by Bukhari, No. 50 dan Muslim, No.9)
In the fierce battle between ikhlas and riya’ taking place in our heart, feeling close to Allah will make ikhlas prevail. This feeling will make us consistent and persistent in doing good deeds and never backing from moving forward.
Third: Muhasabah (Introspection)
Allah has revealed to us in Surah al-Hasyr: 18:
“O you who have believed, fear Allah. And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow – and fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.”
(1)    Fear Allah (2) Every soul should look up the plan for tomorrow  (3) Fear Allah
This is introspection, by doing this it can make our intentions clear, urges use to repent and makes us remember Allah more often.
Fourth: Mu’aqabah (Scholding oneself)
Allah has revealed in the Quran in Surah Al-Baqarah: 179:
“In the Law of Equality there is (saving of) life to you, o ye men of understanding; that ye may restrain yourselves.”
For example, a guy loves to eat KFC. KFC is like drug to him, if he goes a day without KFC, a part of him on any particular day will be gone. But in the same time that guy wants to get rid of his habit of sleeping after subuh prayer. How he wants to get rid of it, he will not eat any KFC if he goes to sleep after subuh. This is a form of Mu’aqabah.
Fifth: Mujahadah (Spiritual Struggle)
Allah has mentioned about Mujahadah in Surah al-Ankabut: 69:
“And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.”
We have to be strict with us when it comes to worldly pleasure. We need to keep on fighting the urges in ourselves that wants us to accept temptation. Keep on fighting! If we keep on fighting these urges and we manage to overcome it, that is the best feeling we will treasure.
Conclusion: Keep on searching
Mu’ahadah makes us adhere to syariah.
Muraqabah makes us feel peace and tranquility when we are close to Allah. “Verily in the remembrance of Allah that heart do find rests!”
Muhasabah helps us reflect who we are and what we have done. It makes us have a better plan before time.
Mu’aqabah in a way inflicts pain to the heart in order to gain something more important. It suppresses our desires from going wild.
Mujahadah helps leave our love behind!
After we have finished all these subjects and graduate with flying colors, we will feel confident to say “I own a Bachelor of Taqwa from University of Ramadan!”


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