It's the new year again, and Muslims rejoice because on this day 1430 years ago, the Holy Messenger Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) was ordered by Allah to commit to the Hijrah, the migration from Makkah to Madinah.
In some nomenclature, the Hijrah is termed the Flight, which means the Muslims were fleeing from their tormentors. In a way, this is true, as they escaped torture and persecution by their own people.
In other conceptions, the Hijrah is the moving on, the development, the continuous cycle of existence. Of finding greener pastures to graze in, of finding a better way of doing things, of becoming a better self.
As for me, I have my plate full with a new baby, a new home and a new environment to adapt to. I often get calls and sms's from friends and fans who read the blog who ask me, "What silat are you doing now?".
My canned response is "Silat Kehidupan" or "Silat Mencari Rezeki", because in a world where financial uncertainty and personal security issues run rampant, my first priority is always my family.
A quick survey amongst friends from my former training group proves that I'm not alone. Everyone else has committed their own Hijrah. Some have new children to feed, travel hundreds of kilometers to work every day, struggling to make ends meet, finding the funds to keep those ends together and more.
Although my time has shrunk down to the rare post on this blog, every time I pass my trusty sword Saiful Azraq or my sturdy keris Al-Bahr, I can't resist unsheathing them and going a few rounds of imaginary wounding. I miss those days, and those days miss me.
My only consolation so far, is that friendships last longer than training arenas, and even though keeping in touch with silat mates has become more difficult, the odd sms here and there gives me the strength to carry on with my Hijrah.
To all pesilat around the world, Maal Hijrah to a better us. Wassalam.