Before the Month of Ramadan: a Personal Reflection
By Hasan Abdulmalik on July 26, 2009
Reprinted from Ummah1.com Islamic Community
أشهد أن لا إله إلاَّ الله و أشهد أن محمد رسول الله – I bear witness that there is no god, but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His messenger. All praises are due to Allah, who gave us the blessed month of Ramadan and I am truly a grateful servant of Allah for His mercy and blessing.
Over the last few weeks, I have been doing some personal introspection, thinking and pondering about the upcoming month of Ramadan. Like many other Muslims from around the world, I am going through a self-assessment process and critique of my life over the past year. I am contemplating about the fate of my future based on my actions and Allah’s mercy. In this process I recounted how many Ramadan’s that I have fasted in my life (over 30, Alhumduillah) and I quickly realized that as you get older the month of Ramadan has so much more significance.
With this reality in mind, I am looking forward to hearing the upcoming news that the crescent moon has been sighted to begin fasting, or that we have one more day of the month of Sha’ban, and then Ramadan with definitely begin. By then, I am in a spiritual zone and even the annual Ramadan fitna doesn’t bother me. Such as, the repeated confusion of whose sighting of the moon we are going to abide by (local or oversees), or is there going to be a unified Eid prayer this year (or Eid’s on two separate days), or who will lead the Taraweeh prayer, (I sincerely pray that one day our leadership will get their act together).
At this stage of my life it really doesn’t matter, I just go with the flow and avoid the self-inflicted fitna. I just want to enjoy the spirit of Ramadan with the brotherhood because everyone comes to the Masjid during Ramadan. Gosh why couldn’t everyday be like Ramadan, when the Masjid is packed and we are pleasantly uncomfortable because there no room to pray, I can live with that.
For me Ramadan, it is like being acquainted with your best friend again, (or BFF in text language), the one that you have not seen in a long time, and you miss the friendship and camaraderie. Your friend is coming to town and you are going to be able to hang out like old times and pick up the friendship from where you left off. In the process you reminisce and think of the old times, and if you are one of those Muslims that has moved from your home town you can identify with this feeling.
In some metaphorical ways Ramadan is like your best friend that lived next door, the one that you grew up with and then moved away. You clearly remember every day of how you could not wait to go outside and play with your friend. You would spend every waking hour with your best friend and never grow tired of each other. Now that friend has come to visits you and will be in town for a while. Your excited because it is going to like old times again.
In thinking about the our beloved UMMAH, what is our the friendship with Ramadan?
Ramadan is that good friend that positively says to “hang in there fasting is difficult but it is good for you” and then you feel better and can endure the struggle of a long day of fasting.
Ramadan is that good friend that encourages you to do good and reminds you to “don’t say such and such, because backbiting does not please Allah.”
Ramadan is that good friend that tells you the truth especially when you don’t want to hear it. A friend that says to you “get your priorities in order before it’s too late.”
Ramadan is that good friend that cheers you up when you are down, by always reflecting on a positive alternative to any situation. The friend that has the right words to say even in the most troubling of times.
Ramadan is the good friend that encourages you to fast (sincerely) because it brings Allah’s mercy ten-fold, and reminds you that fasting can save you from the fire of hell.
Ramadan is the good friend that is strict and punctual about religious obligations. The friend that reminds you of Allah and keeps you in check, The benefit is that out of respect you are mindful of your words and actions in their presence.
Ramadan is that good friend that gets you into shape and helps you exercise. Spiritual shape that is and the exercise is to pray Taraweeh at night and endure the minor in convince of standing for a long period of time, because traditions says that standing long in pray brings light to your grave.
Ramadan is a good friend that is a spiritual guide and comforts your soul through pray and the recitation of Allah’s words.
Ramadan is that good friend that gives you hope, because you have been disobedient to Allah and Ramadan reminds us of the unlimited opportunity to receive Allah’s forgiveness and mercy.
Ramadan is that good friend that says I am here to help you, but you have to be willing to help yourself, so turn off the TV, video game, stop gossiping and remember Allah much if you are to prosper.
Ramadan is the good friend that we all need. It is my sincere pray that all of us on UMMAH and our family and friends have a blessed Ramadan. May Allah grant us all the highest level of paradise.