During Ramadan, we invited folks to guest blog, but no one took us up on the offer! I lovingly encouraged my dear friend in London, Mr. U.R., to share a reflection. He lovingly agreed: )
Here it is:
Reflecting on the month that’s been and the months that are to come
What a month of Ramadan it has been! The long daylight hours, the superbly hot
weather, and having to go to work have all challenged me and pushed me out of my
comfort zone – just what this month is intended to do. However, I persevered thanks to
the strength given to me by Allah SWT, alhamduliLah. There is a line in the Qur’an that
Allah SWT only tests us to the means that we are capable of bearing. Mash’Allah, I’ve
proved to myself that under such intense pressure, I can push myself further.
During this month, I did feel like everyday was a routine – begin my fast, sleep for a few
hours (if my over-sized bladder allowed it), go to work, return from work and break
my fast, go to the mosque for Taraweeh prayers, return late at night (around 00.30),
stay up and read the Qur’an, eat and drink and keep the fast…and so on, for 30 days.
However, it was the last few nights of the month that I really began to appreciate what I
had achieved, really reflect on the journey that I had just experienced, and began to feel
sadness that I may not be able to experience Ramadan again. Insh’Allah I will. I pray that
I will. Why? I’ve listed the reasons below. But, I think the true essence of Islam shines
through the month of Ramadan than any other Islamic ritual. This is a month that we
strive to be better Muslims, to eat and drink better, to liaise and converse kindly with
one another, especially with those who we have a difficult challenging relationship,
we pray more and open the Qur’an to read and understand it, we share our food
and wealth with those who are more needy than us and we do it all with Allah SWT’s
support and guidance. AlhamduliLah.
For me there are three reasons I will miss Ramadan, and insh’Allah I will be around next
year, and healthy and able to experience this one more time.
1) To have the opportunity to re-engage with my faith and my Creator. How many
times have I selectively not responded to Allah SWT’s call to prayer, not opened the
Qur’an and recited the text and the list goes on. Ramadan provides me with the chance
to re-write my wrongs. I’m told that Allah SWT’s mercy is never ending. No matter
how many times I do wrong, I just need to call to my Lord and ask for His Mercy and I
truly believe I receive it. This makes me think that in a society we don’t erase or forget
someone’s shortfalls, do we? We never forget with some of us distancing ourselves
from those who fail to live up to their convictions. Yet, my Creator continues to erase
my wrongs and continues to shine His Glory in my life via family and friends, work and
income, health and so on. May Allah SWT grant me another Ramadan and to guide me
back to my faith. Ameen.
2) Additionally, this is the one of the year that I find myself belonging to the local
Muslim community. From sharing food at iftaari sessions to smiles and Salams, I really
feel like I belong. It is a shame all this caring and sharing behaviour ceases to exist postRamadan. So, during Ramadan I lap it up. I enjoy the smiles, the conversations, and the
congregational prayers. I went to the last Imaan iftaari event and was bowled over with
the love that was in the room, mashAllah. The love was so incredible I was still smiling
when I got up the next day. I pray that Allah SWT continues this communal energy and
to keep Ummah together. Ameen.
3) Finally, this time of year I pause to think what am I doing with my life to achieve
the afterlife? Why have I not been thankful? Why have I not performed my obligatory
duties? Why have I been rude to some people? Ramadan provides me with the chance
to reflect on my situation and it nourishes me and motivates me to be better. I pray
I continue to thrive towards Islam and pray that Allah SWT protects and guides me.
With this month drawing to a close, I want to wish you all a very Happy Eid, filled with
lots of laughter and love. Peace.