In a week, the Muslims in Malaysia and around the world will observe the ritual of fasting in the month of Ramadhan.
The Yusouf Thaiyuooob advertsements are clear indication of this, even if the anak bulan is not sighted anywhere within Malaysia. Speaking of which, we could measure the exact time the sun would next appear at the intersection of the Earth's surface with the plane perpendicular to the Earth's axis of rotation and midway between the poles (for those of you who are mentally challenged - the equator - I know because I stole the phrase from wikipedia) and yet every year our Mullahs would put on their best robe and tie their best serban and still go to some teluk somewhere with teropong and whatnots and try to sight the new moon. Hell, I mean, we can trace porcine DNA from a bar of chocolates dudes, and yet we still do that. Oh never mind.
So, Muslims will start the fasting ritual from dawn to dusk. No eating. No drinking.
And no drinking.
But anything in between and thereafter - as it would appear to some people - is OKAY.
At night, many Muslims would go the mosque and pray. Because you get more good points (pahala) for praying, reading the Quran, sedekah and generally doing good deeds during the month of Ramadhan.
On the other side of the coins of course is that hotels will start launching their buka puasa buffets at 100 bucks (plus plus) per person. The spread will be full of food and drinks yang beraneka jenis dan rasa serta warna. During breaking fast, Muslims - and non-Muslims alike - would gather around the spread like the Muslims gathering themselves in front of the Ka'bah for circumambulation. The tey eat and eat and drink and drink before they fast again the next day. Awesome.
Elsewhere, some Muslims would behave like their whole body cells are made of the cells ffrom the penile tip or g-spot. They would be so sensitive towards anything they deem wrong. Non-Muslims would not be allowed to eat or drink within 5.75 metres of them. Low cut dress or anything revealing some ketiak or peha, (boobs can be considered under advisement) would be prohibited.
It's funny and strange. Because during Ramadhan, Muslims are supposed to withstand temptation, to fight evil temptation and to stay pure. But soke Muslims in Malaysia do so by trying to REMOVE all temptations, so that they would not be tempted. Classic.
So, if you cannot fight or withstand temptation, remove all of them. Like prevention is better than cure. Camtu-camtu lah bang.
And as is usual with this time of the year, we would be hearing about government schools - even private ones I suppose - not allowing non-Muslims kids to eat or drink within 100 metres of the Muslims kids. Some might even move their canteens into toilets.
At nights, some Muslims would pray and pray and pray till dawn. And the next day they sleep at work. Not realising that sleeping at work is a breach of trust. And God dislikes those who breach their trust. And those who break their promises. But that's okay by some, because they have gain many good marks the night before and these good marks would out-balance the bad ones. Sort of a profit and loss columns on the balance sheet lah.
Having said so, I am sure many Muslims in Malaysia - and elsewhere - are good human beings. Those who observe the fasting ritual quietly and even spiritually. They go about with their daily routines just like on any other day.
Let's hope this Ramadhan bring all of us enlightenment; the realisation that we are but a small speck of dust in His entire scheme of things; that as difficult as life may be to us, there are millions more who are worse off.
Let's pray that this Ramadhan bring us clarity; peace of mind; humility and strength.
May God accept all our sacrifices.