Input by Ustazah Siti Nuurunnuur
Some people call them first-world problems. But these so-called little annoyances in our daily grind can really get under our skin - especially if combined with other factors, like being hangry (that’s hungry + angry).
Life is full of challenges and tests. And when it all gets too much, patience can go out the window.
Here are just 3 of the things that can potentially make us blow our top in Ramadan:
Imagine that you have been eating from a favourite food stall every single time that you have been visiting a particular food court or kopitiam. And now that you have been fasting all day, you are really craving for it.
Well, what do you know... when you arrive at the stall, the halal-certification sign that they displayed before is nowhere to be found. Upon asking the staff for clarification, you are met with a nonchalant shrug or a quizzical response.
It is an unbelievably hot and humid weekday morning on our sunny island, and you have left the house with sweat dripping down your face and puddles in your underarms. The thirst is already real.
Finally, you get in your train. On the way to your station, your train suddenly stops in its tracks.
You have been stuck for the past 30 minutes, and now you are definitely going to be late for work.
Your boss announces a finalised date for the annual company retreat. There will be buffets, sauna-and-spa access, and all sorts of exciting physical activities lined up for everyone.
But hold up, it is in Ramadan when you will not be able to eat or drink from sunrise to sundown. Did no one on the organising committee point that out?
In the above situations, it can be really easy to act out of anger and annoyance. The most tempting immediate reaction might be to blame and complain loudly – whether in real life or all over social media. Perhaps, afterwards, we may even hold a grudge towards the persons whom we perceived had wronged us.
However, in our state of fasting (and otherwise), what would be especially befitting would be to act in the manner of beautiful patience.
In the Quran, it is written:
“So endure, with beautiful patience.”
This of course does not mean that we do not make the effort to improve our situation. It does, however, imply that we should persevere for change without resorting to yelling, cursing, banging tables or other ugly behaviour.
“O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.”
“Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him speak goodness or remain silent.”
At the end of the day, once we have done all that we can, we have to trust that Allah’s help is certain and is only a matter of time.
“O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.”