Ramadan 3rd, 1423
Stop! You have the time
It is 8:45 p.m., Friday the third day of Ramadan al Mubarak 1423 Hijri. I have just finished my taraweeh prayers at home as the sever flue I am having is preventing me from going to the Mosque to attend the usual congregational prayers.
I am also still intoxicated with an overwhelming feeling of happiness and pleasure for finishing the recital of, so far, the fourth division of the Quran although I have started on the second day of Ramadan not on the first one. It has always been an uneasy task for me to recite the Quran completely within a period of one month until students at the club of the English language came to me and asked for my help in translating a paper that they wanted to distribute among other students at the Department of English.
The paper proposed a simple way for reciting the Quran once even twice a month without sensing any kind of difficulty. Actually, I don’t think that ELC students at that moment could imagine that I was really in need for an advice on the matter. The way was very simple. It says that since each division of the Quran is made up of about ten sheets of papers, you can recite two sheets of papers (i.e. four pages) before or after each compulsory prayer. At the end of the day, one whole division will be recited. And it worked!
Yes I could recite more than the paper suggested and I found it extremely easy which stunned me for a while, for how come I could not learn this way years before! Actually, when I came back home with the ELC sincere advice in my mind, and after salat al-isha’, the TV was turned on and my family were watching a program called “Maraia”. At the beginning of this program, an actor was asking his secretary about “khabeer al-seesan al-sini” (The Chinese expert of chicks). I did not join my family, and rather decided to apply the new lesson that I learnt. And indeed, I started reciting the Holy Quran per the instructions on my ELC colorful slip of paper and as I said I had to do the taraweeh prayers in my room because of the flue. The result was astonishing: I completed the recital of two divisions instead of one and had the desire to proceed with the third one! I joined my family to see the TV still on, and the actor in the “ckichen episode” of the comic series still talking just a few seconds before the end.
In retrospect, reciting the Holy Quran was not a difficult task. The difficult thing indeed was to determine your priority: is it spending half-an-hour or so watching “halal” or “haram” programs on TV, or spending half-an-hour or so proving at least to yourself that you do obey the orders of God whom you “claim” to LOVE!
Last Ramadan, I used to go to the mosque and attend the taraweeh and with bitterness I remember that once on Friday while I was heading to the mosque, I said to myself: “Is it necessary to go to the taraweeh everyday? I really sometimes feel tired so let me rest for a while”. Yes I said that, forgetting that I never felt tired spending the time, or verbally wasting my time, staying agape and staring at the screen for hours after hours after hours. I forgot how I used years ago not to miss any prayer of taraweeh at the mosque in Ramadan. I forgot past days when I never let anyone before me sit just immediately behind the imam. Yes, I said to myself “It is not necessary to attend the taraweeh everyday”. But just one hour later, God only knows, I found myself lying in bed in the hospital with nothing moving in me except my eyes. At that time only did I understand how necessary it was for me to pray. At that time in fact I prayed to God: “O God! I pray you let me be healthy again just to let me practice my prayers.” Instead of going to the mosque, I drove to the downtown to buy something for my sister. On my return, the car slithered into a valley and I found myself flying out of the car and losing conscience and breaking my arm, which took a long time to completely heal.
When I had the car accident, I knew for the first time what it is like to face death: it is to see that you are going your way to hell in part for not reciting the Quran during the day and over the night.
It is a time where nothing can help you except a moment that you spent in life preferring reciting the Quran to watching the “chiks”-like rubbish programs on TV.