I was about 4 or 5 then, but I remember the day my mother brought me to the school she was teaching. Why she had done so I cannot remember. Nor can I remember whether I had been more than a handful in her class that day. But I must have been.
Sometime during that day, she led me to a bench in the school canteen and later handed me a snack and a carbonated drink. I remember that part so clearly even now as though it was only yesterday: on my right hand, I was holding a kacang epang and my left a bottle of ice cream soda. Both, had the taste which would appeal to any kid of that age and I was no exception. Though the very meaning of the word was lost to me then, it was, a heavenly experience.
As time pass by and along with it, the age of innocence, I began to learn that heavenly experience is not within an earthly grasp, but that heaven is.
Somewhere along the line between then and present, I also learnt that when the Prohpet Adam (a.s.) came out of heaven, he brought along with him 3 heavenly items: an Olive tree, a Date tree and Honey. While the fruits of the olive is not well known nor easily available here, the date and honey are in abundance especially during the month of Ramadhan.
Is not only norm but encouraged for muslims to break their fast with dates. This is not only in following the tradition of the Prohpet Muhammad (s.a.w.) but also for the nutritious effect of the fruit itself. Throughout this whole month the date is eagerly eaten, only to be equally and easily forgotten when Ramadhan draws to an end. It is as though the month of Syawal is the much more eagerly awaited month - a month of joyous festivity and endless television entertainment?
True, it is the month of Syawal we muslims celebrate. But the celebration is meant for the dedication in and for the month of Ramadhan. To be precise, it is only the 1st day of Syawal the celebration is called for.
In the month of Ramdhan, muslims are to self-impose restrain and discipline against the lust and temptations of this world. In reward for these acts which if performed in sincerity, Allah bestows the faithfuls His forgiveness, mercy and bounty. It is then I find it neither strange nor surprising that several friends weep with the departure of this month as though one would with a lover.
Try as I might I constantly find myself falling and failing to attain the platform they have. Perhaps, though I may not taste heaven here on earth, I hope and pray, I may even if just, grasp it. InsyAllah.