Laddu is Lethal

12:35:00 PM

بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم

On one fine chilly night, the MSA students of NIU and I gathered around a campfire for our end of the semester meeting. Once in a while, firewoods were thrown in to keep the fire alive. Ustaz started his talk by telling us a story of his childhood...

Ustaz revceived his early education from a rural school, situated on top of a hill in India. The students there would be free to do anything in the weekends. On a particular Saturday morning, he and his friends were jogging away and abruptly stopped where they thought was a perfect sport for sunset viewing. They were killing time, mesmerized by the view of the sun slowly emerging in the horizon until suddenly, their gazes were interrupted. One of them gasped "We haven't prayed 'asar yet! Quick! Let's race to school before we miss it!"

Physical (P)

Ustaz had a nickname given by his fellow friends. It was "Laddu". What is Laddu? Laddu is ball-shaped desert, extremely sweet that is fatal. Even the most bitter person could bleed honey after eating laddu - to exaggerate lah kan. Why was he called by such a sweet name? Maybe because he was, a person, sweet? Or even more precisely, because as a little boy, his body shape was a perfect round like laddu.

Frantically, all of them were running and running with all their might. Gradually, Laddu was slowing down that he literally saw his friends fading away from him, one by one. He called and called for his friends  at the top of his lung, begging to wait for him. Motivated by the approaching Maghrib, one of his friends screamed back, "No way man...We gotta catch up for 'Asar!"

Emotional (E)

Ustaz's movement and energy were restraint by his weight. Although he was slowing down, his heartbeat was still skipping a beat! He was losing his breath. With tears rolling down his cheeks, saddened by friends' flees, he started reflecting upon what just happened. He had an epiphany. "My good friends were with me just now. We laughed and jogged together, enjoying each other's company. But all of a sudden, everyone left me. Everyone was chasing for something. Everyone was chasing for that one goal. While me? Because of my own disadvantage, I doomed to be left out. Is this how I want my life to go on? I cannot send somebody to chase the goal for me. I need to change."

Intellectual (I)

From that day onwards, because of that little reflection he had (E), he decided to change. All it took for him was to eat moderately and exercise for 20 minutes, daily. On average, people walk for 15 minutes a day and all he needed to do was to make himself busy so he could walk a little longer. Exercise to him, was just doing anything that would increase his heart beat. So, he walked with speed, purposefully, as how he knew the Prophet Muhammad SAW did. He was already eating healthily. His food was organic and homemade.

He only had to control the portion of the food he was eating for every meal. A healthy diet doesn't cause a pain a bit. He consumed fruits before eating anything heavy, a single serving of rice was always enough if he chewed his food the way Rasullullah SAW did. It gave him time for his tummy to process the food and send off signal telling that he was full. He though to himself, if my body can grumble to me telling when I need food, surely it can tell me when I've had enough. Eating moderately was something alien to him. As long and as much as food was made available to him, he would binge on them, craving more and more and not knowing when to stop. He lost touch with his own body.

From what seemed like a heavy assignment on him, the life changing program became a habitual routine. It took him some patience to see the result over time, but at the end of the day, it was more  manageable and lasting.

Spiritual (S)

Bila kita kejar akhirat, dunia akan berlari mengejar kita, bila kita kejar dunia, akhirat berlari meninggalkan kita. Dunya adalah jabatan akhirat kita. In other words, because of his physical weaknesses, dia tertinggal dan ditinggalkan. That is what chasing for dunya and akhirah is like. Because of his turning point, he got the best of both worlds. Today, he is not only an ustaz who preaches and reminds. Better yet, he is an exemplary ustaz whom people can look up to and follow by through his words, actions and look. Eating as an ibadah makes a whole lot of difference in a person's outlook on food.

Based on his story, I was reminded all over again of who I really was and what I was capable of being. The only thing I have control over is really, just myself. As for that reason, I watch what I do to see what I really believe. May Allah strengthen our iman and elevate our positions as stronger muttaqin. Amin.


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