Monday, 3 July 2017

RAYA REFLECTIONS - Understanding the deeper meaning of Aidilfitri


IT is that time of the year again, where we end the fasting month and celebrate our self-restraint against vice and weakness. For those who are fortunate, it is also that time where we get that rare chance to leave the hustle and bustle of our busy schedules and return to our roots.
Personally for me, this return home bears a significance beyond the familiar gathering. It is an annual opportunity to rekindle our ties with those who are close to our hearts, in which for various reasons, we rarely find chances to meet.
During this festive season, we will meet those whom not only surrounded us during our growth, but also influenced our thinking, values and culture and made us who we are today.
When seen from this perspective, the forgiveness we give and receive brings a deeper meaning to the celebration of Eid. It equates to a blessing from all those who have contributed to our well-being.
Forgiveness, and the act of forgiving, opens the path to self-improvement. As the saying goes - a problem can only be solved when the problem is acknowledged. In order for forgiveness to take place, one must first admit to requiring forgineness.
The act of visiting family and friends during the month of Syawal also holds meaning beyond mere tradition.
We usually take this opportunity to catch up with those whom we seldom meet, those outside our scheduled routines, so much so that it would be unlikely that these personal networks are maintained if the festive season did not take place.
Such is the power of the festive month - it keeps our bonds of family and friendship. The interactions we have serve as updates, which in turn add to our knowledge and experience through the act of sharing.
As we converse and catch up with old friends, little do we realise we are actually learning new things from those outside our common circle.
Most importantly, Aidilfitri is meant as a joyful day. As Malaysians, we are blessed and privileged to have celebrated the month of Syawal in peace and harmony. However, let us not forget that there are those less fortunate, and carrying out their Raya prayer in poverty, famine, persecution or war.
Therefore, let us be mindful of the factors that make up the peace and harmony and protect them to celebrate Hari Raya with joy and happiness.
Lastly, for many of us, the Raya holidays is the longest break we will have in any given year. While it is an opportunity to take our minds of work and spend time with our relatives and friends, it is also an opportunity to reset and rejuvenate ourselves physically and mentaly, in order to do greater things upon our rweturn to work.
I hope that we all had a joyous and fruitful Aidilfitri. For those travelling from their hometowns this week, I prsy for a safe journey home.
Again, I take this opportunity to wish all my readers Selamat Hari ray, Maaf Zahir dan Batin.
The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive Institute

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