Saturday, May 27, 2017

Welcoming Ramadhan 1438

Today is 1 Ramadhan 1438. Alhamdulillah, I still make it to another Ramadhan, another opportunity for myself to renew spiritually and evolve to be someone better. As one grows older, one gets more conscious of not being able to make it for the next Ramadhan. I pray that I will complete this Ramadhan successfully and be much better than last year's.

Ramadhan is the month of obligatory fasting for Muslims save those who are travelling and those who are medically unfit (to be replaced on other days when possible). The fasting starts from dawn to sunset except in countries in which the days are excessively long. Here, there is flexibility on following the duration of fasting. Some take the rules of 18-20 hours maximum and it was said Muslims in Norway follow 14 hour duration (see here). In Islamic jurisprudence, there is the Law of Necessity to treat exceptional cases and such is the case for fasting in countries with long days. I recall myself fasting in summer in UK. We will start fasting at about 3-4 am and end it at about 8pm. It is certainly challenging but I find it fulfilling with all the spiritual activities.

This Ramadhan, me and my students will attend a workshop in Singapore. Having to fast elsewhere, can be a challenge. No homecooked meal and no eateries open early morning for our suhur. But we are mentally prepared for this and will somehow store up food for this. For me, Ramadhan does not mean we work less but in fact it means we should strive harder. Thus our decision to be there for the workshop. This workshop is particularly interesting involving the abstract idea of topology in mathematics applied to materials. In fact, this workshop includes two of the last year's Physics Nobel Laureates, Kosterlitz and Haldane. Looking forward to the event.

I also almost missed sending my son to a pre-university matriculation college for this workshop. The 5th of June was the date of registration. Instead, my son had chosen to take up Foundation Studies in IIUM, Gombak and we will be sending him there on the 4th June (also the day I'm taking the flight to Singapore, late at night). So this seems to be working out fine.

All my sons are now at home for the first few days of Ramadhan and am hoping to have a good time together. I would also like to wish all colleagues, friends and readers, a happy blessed Ramadhan.

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