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Seasonal

July 7th, 2013

RAMADAN….WHAT DO YOU WANT OUT OF IT?

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Written by: moeadra
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Ramadan article

RAMADAN….WHAT DO YOU WANT OUT OF IT?

 

Picture this. You’re at the airport and you make your way to the ticket counter. Your luggage is ready and you know that you are going on vacation. You approach the counter and the sales person asks you, “Where are you going”? You stand there with a big smile on your face and say, “I don’t know, anywhere!” At this point the salesperson looks at you like you’re crazy and replies: “I’m sorry, but you need to know your destination in order for us to issue you a ticket”.

As ridiculous as this scenario sounds, this is exactly how many of us go into the month of Ramadan. We know that Ramadan is approaching and we know what we should be doing to prepare, but we are at a loss when it comes to following words with action. A successful Ramadan is all about planning; you must have a clear vision of what you want to gain and specifically how you are going to achieve it.

Whether you are a working professional or a mother with children, you will find that simple strategic planning of your schedule before Ramadan will free up your time drastically for ibaadah (worship).

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Ramadan? Is it hunger, Taraweeh, or iftaar parties? Maybe ibadaah? Whatever it is, it is clear that Ramadan has become a culture, an entity with a life of its own. When I was growing up, I remember the constant reminders: stop watching TV! Stop gossiping! Stop fighting with your siblings – it’s Ramadan! Unfortunately however, that’s all it was; a time to stop. Like a light switch that goes on and off.

Once Ramadan arrives, the light of eman goes on. We watch our tongues, guide our actions, and engage in as much good as possible. We’re praying on time; we’ve switched off our TVs and dusted off our Qur’an. We’ve been able to quit smoking and stop listening to music all at the same time. But before you know it, Ramadan ends and the light is switched off. Darkness.

We’re back in the darkness of our old habits. Despite the 30 days of spiritual boot camp, our motivation begins to dwindle. We find ourselves sinking back into the very habits we gave up during Ramadan, devoid of the light that Ramadan brought. Is this the purpose of Ramadan? Was Ramadan really meant to be a time of temporary change, being a “super good” Muslim one month out of 12? Why not strive to be an outstanding Muslim 12 months of the year? Ramadan is meant to be a time for positive permanent change. That means striving to be the best Muslim, one that worships and serves Allah in the best possible way – 365 days a year!

 

ITS OKAY, I’LL DO BETTER NEXT YEAR

Did you end last Ramadan with the feeling that you could have done better – better with your time, better with your worship? Did you promise yourself it wouldn’t be the same this year? Many of us end Ramadan with feelings of regret. We make promises to ourself that we won’t repeat the same mistakes the next year. But a year passes, Ramadan returns, and you find yourself armed with the same excuses.

The truth is however, every year hundreds of Muslims die before they reach their next Ramadan. We are not guaranteed to live – the next Ramadan, the next month, or even the next day.

“Wherever you are, death will find you, even if ye are in towers built up strong and high!” (An-Nisa:78)

Neither you nor I know whether we will live to see the next Ramadan. Take advantage of the life you have been given now to prepare for Ramadan, and the life to come after it Insha’Allah. Build the habits of success by fostering good habits that last long term and are not lost in the face of temptation. Don’t let yourself waste your time this Ramadan only to feel guilty at the end of the month. Guilt is a passing emotion; it leaves no change in our actions. Rather, feel regret so that you can you can have the resolve to not go back to bad habits or sin. Once left behind, leave it behind so that real progress can be made.

Indeed, our motivation in all aspects of our lives can fluctuate and our eman (faith) is no different. There will be highs and lows and that is to be expected. What we want we can work on is learning how to pull our eman back up when it reaches those low points. So use this Ramadan to help maintain a spiritual high throughout during this beautiful month and beyond.

 

Your sister in Islam

Amirah Mauthoor

 





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