1. Customary it is in my big family in Bentong, Pahang that on the 1st day of Shawwal, after the Eid prayers, that everyone will gather at the main living room in the house. It is the time where Eid wishes are extended and everyone warmly embracing each other, seeking for forgiveness from any wrongdoings that one may have committed against another. For the young ones, it is also a time each of them would look forward most as they receive their 'duit raya'.
2. It had been 6 years since I was last involved in such a session, thus I definitely found the occasion this time around slightly more profound than usual. But the one very emotional moment that will forever remain ingrained in my memories was definitely the time when I shook my mom's hand and we hugged each other.
3. To me personally, the hug felt like a hug of sheer relief and gratitude. And I think my mom probably shared the same thoughts too. We just remained silent in our embrace, taking all our emotions in, letting the tears run down our eyes, sobbing heavily. It was sheer relief that after everything that has happened in the last 2 years with me being tested with the big C, I am finally reunited with my mom and dearest family for an Eid celebration. It was also a hug of gratitude, that despite the circumstance of my disease, Allah has allowed me to cherish yet another Eid with the ones I love most.
4. Celebrating Eid this year was like tasting a very sweet victory, having battled my way through the month of Ramadhan beforehand. Fasting during the recent Ramadhan was quite a battle for me, given my health. Although some suggested that I don't push it if fasting was affecting my health, I just couldn't tell myself to concede to defeat. What more having missed more than half of my Ramadhan last year as a result of chemotherapy treatments. That certainly spurred me a lot, and alhamdulillah, I succeeded in my so-called battle. Thus the celebration of shukr when Eid eventually came.
5. Insha Allah in the coming entries, I plan to share my personal experience of fasting despite my health circumstance, which I found was almost like a 'jihad' in its whole experience. I would also like to apologize for not posting any entries for quite a long while, which was down to commitments during Ramadhan as well as health circumstance. Nevertheless, I thank those who kindly dropped by with a message or email to check on my well-being, may Allah reward you for the actions. I seek everyone's support and du'a, may Allah provide us with the strength and istiqamah to remain as obedient servants of Rabbul Jalil.
6. May the momentum we have built during the blessed month of Ramadhan will be carried on not only in this Shawwal but also the upcoming months. May Allah accept our deeds and grant us His forgiveness, for only Him can save us from the torments of Hellfire, naudzubillah. I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone Eid Mubarak and Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
Happy Eid everyone!
p/s: Pictures courtesy of my dearest brother, Mas Jaffri Masarudin.