By Khudeja Sattar
I hear many engaging in conversation about Ramadhan and how this year it will not be the same. I can imagine this means different things for different people. For me, well I am hopeful that this could be the best Ramadhan yet - I say this from my heart. Allah has placed us in this current situation for a reason. We have a choice whether we dwell on the things we do not obtain or have control of or focus on all the blessings we have and make the best of our situation. I choose to go with the latter.
This year, InshaAllah will be quite different as there will be no grand Iftars, little socialising and sadly, with a heavy heart, no attending the masjid for congregational prayers or seminars. There will be no live prayer from Makkah on our televisions with the melodious recitation of Shaykh Sudais. Nevertheless, do not lose heart. Even though the doors of our masjids are closed, this does not mean that our hearts are too. Our hearts are open to connect and worship Allah the way He has commanded us to in this time and space. Yes, Allah has decreed this for you and I, that we shall bear witness, InshaAllah, to this month during the lockdown due to Covid-19. Think of this as Allah's way of saying to each of us,ėI want this time with you, will you come to My door?ď a door which is always open.
We are aware this month is such a blessed month, where the doors of Jannah (Paradise) are open and the gates of Jahannum (Hellfire) are locked. This month, the Quran was revealed when our Lord, through Angel Jibraeel (Gabriel), commanded our beloved Prophet MuhammadÔ∑ļto read whilst in Cave Hira in Makkah. Now, you and I are all in our caves i.e. our homes, therefore let us read. Read the Quran not just with our voice, but with our hearts.
Ramadhan is a time for reflection, and this year I‚Äôd like to think we will all be reflecting and contemplating with a much greater sweetness
Ramadhan is a time for reflection, and this year I‚Äôd like to think we will all be reflecting and contemplating with a much greater sweetness. Remember, Allah has placed us in our caves. I ask myself what is the meaning of this? To me? For me?I hope we can achieve the real essence of this meaning which resides in our fitrah (natural disposition).
I reminisce, with great fondness, fasting as a child. The fasts were shorter than they are now, and I remember I would walk around all day with a brown paper bag filled with all my treats, just waiting for 4 pm to break my fast. I waited somewhat impatiently, and this taught me discipline as I awaited the allotted time, regardless of how difficult it was. Now, I take such delight in the simple things like water. The moments just before the fast breaks, I sit with my loved ones and talk to my Creator in silence with a heart so overwhelmed with need. It is a hot sunny day and I have been thinking of this moment - when can I have a sip of cool water? Imagining how it would feel as I hold the glass and take that first sip. To feel the coolness of the water flow through my throat and quench my thirst. I sat there as I recall seeing the glass of water; so mouth-watering. And then I began to cry; as I noticed my water was clean and how those less fortunate would not have water, or even if they did, would it look like mine. This made my heartache and made me realise like never how thankful I am for clean water.
Allah provides us with beautiful patience, resilience and strength during Ramadhan. I am aware outside of Ramadhan, if I have missed breakfast, by lunch I am falling over with hunger but during Ramadhan, I am taken care of. I recall my non-Muslim friends and colleagues asking, how? Not even a sip of water?Ě. I reply, not even thatĚ. I understand how strange this may sound to them and if I was unfamiliar with fasting I would perhaps ask the same. Allah gives me the strength and even though I may be thirsty or feel the pangs of hunger it is okay because I've got this as Allah is with me.
Raise your voice and get connected