WHEN you see plenty of sneak peeks at Lebaran collections on social media, it’s almost that time of the year! I’m grinning like a Cheshire cat as I type because I’m a little too excited at Hari Raya.
To me, nothing beats Hari Raya. But as I grow older, I appreciate Ramadan so much more. I find solace in it and I have been trying to make the best of it.
There’s so much beauty and goodness in the month of Ramadan. Hari Raya, on the other hand, feels almost like a reward after making through a month of fasting as we celebrate, dressed in colourful outfits, stuffing ourselves with mouthwatering rendang and ketupat as well as meeting family and friends whom we rarely see.
But before all that fun and festivities, we have one month of blissful Ramadan for spiritual cleansing.
We were all guilty of skipping fasting when we were children — it’s part of our best childhood memories, isn’t it? Stomachache was a common lie. Some sneakily licked the water droplets while showering.
Despite our mischievous behaviour during Ramadan, our parents always taught us to focus on pleasing the Creator.
Our daily routine includes breaking fast and performing tarawih together — Ramadan brings our family closer together.
Years ago, I got the golden chance to experience Ramadan and Syawal away from home. I spent three years in Queensland, Australia. Often, when it was Ramadan, I had to sit an examination.
Nothing beats Ramadan at home, but the people around me during my years in Queensland made it feel like home. Without the support of our families, we had to depend on one another to make the best out of Ramadan.
The best part was the gathering for the breaking of fast. From preparing food for the predawn meal and buying food at the Malaysian bazaar for the breaking of fast to performing tarawih together, these are the memories that I truly cherish.
IMPORTANT BUSINESS MONTH
Ramadan is a crucial month from the business point of view, especially in the fashion industry in Malaysia. In the early years of Mimpikita, Ramadan was manageable as it wasn’t that hectic.
Four months before and during Ramadan are the busiest months now. With the rise of other brands, the competition grows even stronger. As we increase our production for this month, work at the office becomes fast-paced.
We are expecting a lot of customers at the boutique. Fitting sessions will be non-stop in between the selling and marketing of our collection. Just like any other year, I hope the team and I can manage through this hectic period this year.
I miss the Ramadan while I was younger, away from the business. I miss not having to worry about work just a focus on showing my reverence for Allah but it proves to be a challenge year after year.
Hence, in the midst of the Lebaran chaos, I tend to deviate from my initial personal and spiritual goals for the holy month. So this year, I’ve made a few Ramadan resolutions with hopes of achieving them, if not all at least some.
I look forward to Ramadan as a month of detox for the mind, body and soul. I look forward to invest 30 days in gaining closeness to Allah with hopes that it remains firm even after the month passes.
I look forward to focusing on Islam and really trying to leave bad habits for good. I look forward to Ramadan as it is almost like I’m charging my batteries when it comes to my faith.
I struggle, we struggle who doesn’t? But come Ramadan, it is the ideal time to rekindle our spirit and faith to remind us what to believe in, what really matters and our efforts to be the best version of ourselves.
Ramadan is the time to unwind and focus on spiritual cleansing. It would be unfortunate if we let the month pass without making full use of it. Last but not least, I also look forward to delivering my twins in Ramadan.
I pray we get to celebrate more Ramadan in the future. I wish all my Muslim family and friends a blessed Ramadan.
The creative director of Malaysian fashion house Mimpikita shares her escapades in life, fashion and everything in-between. Follow her on www.instagram.com/nurulzulkifli and www.instagram.com/mimpi_kita