Saturday, September 30, 2006

So this is Ramadan...

Alhamdulillah Ramadan has been (for the most part) going well. Spending time in community, listening to the recitation of Qur'an in Tarawih prayer, the khutbahs... Alhamdulillah I learn so much and find myself being charged by those moments. So why is that I say Ramadan hasn't been UNBELIEVABLE!?!?
Maybe it is because I had such enormous expectations coming into Ramadan... everyone telling me what a spiritual time it is, how incredible it feels, that my expectations were totally unrealistic, (or maybe fully realistic but I seem to be failing to meet them). Alhamdulillah the moments I have mentioned are great, but where I feel like I am still waiting for Ramadan to really penetrate, is all of the moments when I am not in community, or at the mosque, or listening to the Imam recite the Holy Qur'an.
I want so badly to wake up and feel "this is Ramadan" spend all day in a state of dhikr, reading Qur'an and when I pray for my prayers to be more dedicated and focused then they ever have been. Instead I find my hours disrupted by the daily tasks that fill my time: school, work, life in general, and I still struggle for focus in prayers. I pray with full entirety that Allah (SWT) would bring me closer to Him, help me to draw nearer to Him-- That I would feel as though I am totally in His presence, but alas I am still struggling with my sinful nature. I am always in fear that I will be one of the people who despite my fast, prayers, and recitation will be left with no reward for Ramadan. That my focus, my intention, my desire will not be enough to get me the beautiful reward this month has to offer.
Oh... I am so afraid.

I ask myself if my actions, speech, modesty, and thoughts have changed at all. If they have, will they stay that way? I still have pride, envy, anger, frustrations... What is wrong with me that I can't give it all up and be among the pious? In all of history there have only been three women who had perfect faith-- I suppose it seems unrealistic to think I could ever be the fourth, but how I desire to be. Isn't that how we should be living? In pursuit of perfection of faith? To live as the Prophet (SAW) lived and instructed us to? Why does it seem so unattainable at times? Why do I feel so inadequate?
I am so aware of my wrongs and my sins, yet there are days I feel powerless to stop them. Now in this beautiful month will they cause me to fail at achieving my reward? Oh Allah (SWT) have mercy on me and help me.

I wish I could be surrounded by strong Muslims all of the time. People who would teach and strengthen me. Surrounded by those who can teach me all that I am lacking, help make me into a better Muslima. Alhamdulillah I have people in the community who are knowledgeable and encouraging, but I pray for people I could spend time with. Muslimas I could spend nights with that would have knowledge to share with me..

Oh Allah (SWT) I pray for your help, that you would send someone (or 'some-many') to help me, teach me, and hold me accountable everyday. To show me who I am and who I am not. To help me live like the Prophet (SAW) did... increasing my love for him with every breath. Allah, please make all of us like him, make us all among the pious. Accept our prayers, and please accept our Ramadan.... Ameen.


Muslim Apple said...

Asalamu alaykum,

Ameen to your duas. My first Ramadan was spent entirely by myself and in those hours I made a lot of dua to Allah subhana wa ta ala to allow me to have good companions.

I went to my first Eid prayer and soon after that my dua was answered and continues to be answered in the most amazing ways.

May Allah subhana wa ta ala surround us with good believing companions and make us ourselves good believing companions. Ameen.

ARG said...

Summyah, please remember that no one, not even the Prophet will be able to earn paradise with their deeds, but the grace of Allah is what takes us there!
And I would like to mention a hadith:
Hanzala Usayyidi, who was amongst the scribes of Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him). reported: I met Abu Bakr. He said: Who are you? He (Hanzala) said: Hanzala has turned to be a hypocrite. He (Abu Bakr) said: Hallowed be Allah, what are you saying? Thereupon he said: I say that when we are in the company of Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) we ponder over Hell-Fire and Paradise as if we are seeing them with our very eyes and when we are away from Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) we attend to our wives, our children, our business; most of these things (pertaining to After-life) slip out of our minds. Abu Bakr said: By Allah, I also experience the same. So I and Abu Bakr went to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and said to him: Allah's Messenger, Hanzala has turned to be a hypocrite. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: What has happened to you? I said: Allah's Messenger, when we are in your company, we are reminded of Hell-Fire and Paradise as if we are seeing them with our own eyes, but whenever we go away from you and attend to our wives, children and business, much of these things go out of our minds. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if your state of mind remains the same as it is in my presence and you are always busy in remembrance (of Allah), the Angels will shake hands with you in your beds and in your paths but, Hanzala, time should be devoted (to the worldly affairs) and time (should be devoted to prayer and meditation). He (the Holy Prophet) said this thrice.
Sahaih Muslim no6623

Anonymous said...

assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullah

I usually do not send comments to sites and blogs, but I see, what I believe is a sincere desire for improvement and self- reform, purification and to attain spiritual assertion - and Allah is the best One to judge.

Know, siste-in-islam - may Allah steps towards him firm, that the path to Allah and the Home of the Hereafter can be a long one, and even at times difficult -UNLESS Allah bestows His Divine Accord and help upoon a seek His help. And turn to Him in supplication for all your needs for Allah's bouty and grace is indeed great and vast. Remember that through doing each good deed the next one is made easier and facilitated further. No effort is ever ever ever gone to waste. We humans don't always appreciate efforts - but Allah - the Knower of the Unseen and the Apparent - never forgets any single effort you make in His way. If you - may Allah guide you and keep you firm- put your hand out to Allah, He WILL put His arm out to you...if you take a step towards Allah He will take many steps to you, and if you walk to Him, He will run towards you!! It is not a one sided affair - rather it is reciprocated.

Secondlyremember that "the strong believer is better than the weak believer, but in both is khair (good; seek that which will benefit you, and seek the help of Allah - and do NOT despair; and should something which you dislike befall you then do not say 'if only such and such happened that such and such would have been' - for the word 'if' opens the door to Shaytan; but rather say: 'Qaddarallahu wa masha fa'ala' -that is what Allah has decreed and He does as He pleases'"

Having said that, some level of realism is needed in our aims and objectives, because "Every deed has a period of enthusiasm, and every period of enthusiasm is followed by a slackening off. If a person is moderate and avoids extremes, then you may have hope for him, but if fingers are pointed at him, then do not count him as anything.”

Finally sister, you should be aware, that eemaan is like a tree ok? It wasn't always strong the way you see it in your garden right now. It was once upon a time something a lot smaller and may even have gone through stages where it was emaciated and so forth. But on a whole, it requires watering, it requires tending to and it requires care, right? And thus is Eeman. It starts of as a small plant. This is when a person either first starts practising his/her faith or becomes amuslim. But then it is need of careful attention and care from its owner. Its soil has to be good. With Eeman, you have to have that sincere desire, and then take it up in steps. And eventually, with the permission of your Lord, you will find that perenial lines of the tree which you initially considered as insignificant, have given the tree of eeman much strength, enabling it to bear what was previously inconceivable for it. And by Allah that is true.

of course there may be points where one falls down, but it is really how own gets up that truely matters!

The rest of what I wanted to say, has been brilliantly alluded to by Abdurraheeem.

My Allah keep you and us all firm upon His path until the point of death, ameen.