#CeritaIqbal : Fasting day in Australia (Part 2)

oleh M. Iqbal Ramadhan di Brisbane, Australia

At the first day of Ramadhan, I woke up late. I had set my alarm at 3.30 to have sahur, but I woke up at 4.45 which was 20 minutes left into Adzan Shubuh. For information, nowadays, the season is turning into winter start from around June to August. But, don’t be so surprise because the average of winter here maybe only 13 degrees Celsius. However, at that night the temperature touched down to 9 degrees and for me that was pretty chill and required me to use my winter jacket for sahur. This sahur was different like I used to have before, no one get up and I need to cook my sahur by myself. I cooked chicken curry with rice which I was prepared it at night before, so I just need to reheat it on the stove.

After finished sahur, I avoided to sleep, instead I reviewed yesterday material because I have a class at 8. It was really hard not to sleep after sahur and the brain didn’t work properly as our blood circulation is centralized into our stomach. The sun went higher and I ought to hurry to go to campus. In the campus, the day went very flat, the atmosphere of Ramadhan is likely the normal day without food. Not all of my classmates know that I am fasting at that time until recently when someone offered me a food at break time and I politely refuse to accept the food and saying I am sorry, I am fasting today. Surprisingly, she didn’t know what fasting is. Then, I explained it in simple terms to her that regarding of my believe, we call it as Ramadhan month where not only do we resist our self from food and drink from 5a.m to 5p.m for a month but also control all of our negative emotion. By doing these, we are able to improve our self-esteem to be a good person for society. At the end, she nodded her head that she understands what I told about and make a respect.

After class, I was hang around with my friend then directly went to the Multi Faith. In Multi Faith, there had been some people waiting for Adzan Maghrib. One unique thing, 15 minutes before Adzan, almost all the people there do volunteering for preparing the place for breakfasting. First, we need to open the divider of another room in order to make extra spaces. Then, we divided the job for each person for time efficiency. The group divided into two groups, the first group should set up the place for eat on the backyard and another group set up the prayer room. That was really fun, I could meet new muslim friends from all around the world and share the story. The best moment is when you meet a muslim friend from another country that really suit you to talk and hang out together, I am so grateful.

When Adzan, we went to backyard and sat on the mat making circles to eat light meals such as dates and a bottle of water. Before we were served with the main meals, we need to pray Maghrib first. Similar like in Indonesia, after Maghrib people made line to get the food and because it is the first day, the line is very long which need half an hour to get the food for myself. The food was the Middle East typical such as long grain rice (briyani) with chicken curry on top.

As Indonesian, we have our own society which consists of the Indonesian people who are currently in Brisbane whether they are citizenship, Permanent Residence, or even students, and usually they always arrange Ifthor Jama’I every week. Firstly, this event was held at Queensland University of Technology, but unfortunately I was not there because that was close with my exam date and I need to study at that time. However, in week second, it was held at University of Queensland, which is not too far from my accommodation.

First of all, the event was started with “pesantren anak” from morning to afternoon, then followed by speech from Indonesian Ustadz an hour before the time. I worked as a volunteer to organize the food and the distribution of main meals with some Indonesian guys. That was the first time I broke my fasting eating fried food (gorengan). In addition to the food, the main meals that we served also traditional food, we served “soto betawi”. A large number of people attended the break fasting from different backgrounds and cultures, but they still love the food and they said it is so tasty as we put many herbs and ingredients to make the food delicious.

As the time goes on, now in the last ten days of Ramadhan, the atmosphere quiet different from Indonesia where almost all “masjids” organize I’tikaf every night. Here, it is quite hard to do I’tikaf. Most of the masjids which held I’tikaf, they do not provide sahur and it is very inconvenience for students who do not have a transportation to find food at night. Alhamdulillah, there is one masjid that belong to Indonesia community in Brisbane called Rocklea (the name of the street). In night 25, that was my first time do I’tikaf. I did it in masjid rocklea with 7 others Indonesian. Well, I thought it would be exciting because not many people and the environment is convenience. However, someone asked everyone to help him prepared the sate for sahur. I was surprised as my purpose there to pray, with all respect, I offered him help to prepare the sate until 1 a.m and continued with reading Al-Qur’an. In the next day, only 2 people did I’tikaf and someone brought the sahur for all of us.

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