Pearls of Ramadhan
This year is the first time I’ve ever done a series of Ramadhan Reflections on my blog and let me tell ya: it’s challenging having to write consistently when your brain is tired and all you want to do is sleep. I was also down with a fever halfway through Ramadhan which put me off my consistent blogging streak by one week.
However, this is one of my best Ramadhans yet and the serenity I feel within my heart is overwhelming, alhamdullilah. I know this feeling will probably not last but I’m grateful to have been given this gift however temporary it was.
I’ve come to learn that gratitude and inner peace are two sides of the same coin. Even on your hardest days, if you’re able to look pass the stress and the pain, and see Allāh in everything, you can still draw sweetness from the bitter experience.
Since today is the last day of Ramadhan, I think reviewing what I’ve learnt this past month would be a good way to end this series.
Things may never turn out as you plan and it’ll still be OK.
I had a fever 2 weeks into Ramadhan and it put me off track. I tried to write among other things but I couldn’t because my whole body was in pain and I was too fatigued to do anything; I did try but it was difficult to stay awake in the process.
Initially, I was frustrated over this because I felt that I’ve been hitting my weekly goals for many months now and all of a sudden, I had to start again. After some reflecting, I realised I was just being too hard on myself. Taking a break for one week, especially when you’re unwell and can’t help it, is completely ok.
Not only that, I had to ask myself why is it I get so devastated when things don’t go as planned? Is it not enough that there’s a roof over my head and food on the table? Is it not enough that if plan A doesn’t work, I definitely have the ability to give plan B a chance?
More frequently than not, we are unable to accept life’s pitfalls because we are so fixed with our idea of what is good for us instead of trusting that only Allāh truly knows what is the very best for us.
‘Pride’ and ‘arrogance’ usually come to mind when the word ego is mentioned. Pride and arrogance aren’t limited to when we think we are better than another person—it’s also when we believe that our plans are better than what Allāh has planned out for us.
Our egos would have us think that our way is the only way but if we surrender to the Wisdom of Allāh, we would see that the paths have been paved for us all along, we just need to keep following it.
Your good deeds are a reflection of Allah’s Generosity.
It’s natural to feel good when you’ve done something noble because being virtuous does not come easy all the time. However, know that when you’ve done a good deed, it’s Allāh who has facilitated you to do so. You were simply put in the right time and place by the Almighty therefore don’t feed your ego after doing a good thing; give thanks to the One who ALL good is from: Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'alā.
The nafs (ego) only sees itself in all things and this acts as a barrier between us and Allāh.
When Jibril ʿalayhi salām asked Rasulullah ﷺ: "What is ehsan (excellence)? He ﷺ replied: "To worship Allāh as if you see Him, and if you cannot achieve this state of devotion then you must consider that He is looking at you." [Narrated Abu Huraira]
Shaykh Muhammad Al-Ninowy: “Ehsan is that you worship Him (Allah) as if your seeing Him. Often a time we are consumed with ourselves in our worship, we see our deeds, our Salah and not Him, this itself becomes a veil. It is your intention, your love for Allah, your reliance on Him that brings you closer to Him, not your deed, but your deed is a pre-requisite.”
If you were to polish your heart with dhikirullah (remembrance of Allāh) and remain in a state of tawadhu’ (humility), even if the whole world were to shower you with praise, you’ll remain unaffected because you know the Source of all good. It is Al-Fattah, the Opener, who opens up our hearts to do good.
We are always in need of doas.
In a discussion with my friend A, she expressed her fear of being insincere and doing good for reasons other than to please Allāh, to which I replied: When we rely on ourselves to keep our intentions pure, we are bound to sway. But if we rely on Allāh, the Turner of Hearts, and surround ourselves with righteous people, then surely we’ll be protected.
I’m a huge believer of making doa all the time. When you wake up, before you sleep, before you eat, while driving, while cooking—doa all day and all night. I also always ask people to pray for me, not because I’ve a lot to fear or to ask for, but because I know I’m never too good to not need them. I know I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for everyone’s kind doas.
No doa is too small nor too big if you are sincere.
Whether it’s something as small as preparing a meal, or as big as a pHd thesis, seek assistance from Allāh from the beginning to the end. Though we are capable of achieving great things; no one can do everything without any help whatsoever.
I pray that your Ramadhan has been nothing short of a beautiful experience. May we continue our efforts to be in a state of taqwa and leave behind what distances us from Him, even when Ramadhan leaves us. Amiin.