R'11 Day Ummm... :(

Bahhhh HUMBUG! Ramadan is over, Eid celebrations are continuing, and like the Sistah Scrooge that I am, I'm a grouch. Bahhhhh HUMBUG!

Ok, I actually don't use the term 'Bah Humbug' but for some reason, I find it quite fitting for this occasion. While the rest of the Muslim Ummah is happily celebrating and downing baklava and umm, shwarmas,  I'm reflecting on the past month, missing it dearly, and wish I could go back and re-live it all over again.

It was when I was standing for Isha prayer on the final day of fasting on Monday, with only two rows of women praying versus a previously jam packed prayer space, that it hit me. Ramadan was over, and women were praying Isha at home so that they could start preparing for the Eid celebrations. And then I was waiting for taraweeh to start and realized...taraweeh was no more! I was home by 10:30pm and didn't know what to do with myself! So I just reflected and blogged and was stunned that the most precious month of the Islamic calendar had ended. Sigh...

Eid yesterday was busy enough that I was caught up in the mubaraks and sister hugs and text messages and emails with Eid greetings. Little Sistah Scrooge reminders did occur though! My stomach was rebellious and didn't like any food I gave it, despite eating in small amounts and being unable to hold more than a cup of water in my bladder before making a beeline for the loo, UGH! But then the nighttime came and I didn't go to the mosque for prayer, which was another blow. Then I remembered I didn't have to get up for Suhoor, didn't have to write a blog entry for the Xth day of Ramadan, and had to pack a lunch to take to work. The water works really kicked in then.

Today was the toughest day though. I ate breakfast at 5:30am after fajr and panicked that I had mixed up the order of events, since during Ramadan, you eat breakfast/suhoor and THEN pray. I drove to work and took a longer more highway route just so that I could contemplate on being back to a regular routine. At work, I ate a snack with the rest of my posse, and even chewed gum to stay alert, something I hadn't done in a month. I worked out again with real vigour after a month, and while it felt good, ah, Ramadan was missed again.

I think that because this Ramadan was the most spiritual for me, I really miss it more than I've missed anything in my life! While I blogged about the screaming kids during taraweeh and parents ignoring them, I missed those HUMID summer nights we prayed taraweeh. SubhanAllah it seems like so long ago... I'd see my friends every night, be introduced to more sisters I didn't know, and on and on. Even on Facebook, I'd love reading what other friends were posting about Ramadan, such as duas that were inspiring and statuses I could relate to, which really kept me going. Speaking of friends, I added almost 30 more I had met during Ramadan, crazy-ness! And the reaction of friends to my blog was reassuring that I wasn't the only one fasting and feeling the same way, and that the entries were readable by a wider non-fasting audience! YEE-HAW!

Then while at Taraweeh on Sunday night, the Imam started to cry and had to pause during reciting prayer. It really touched me, but I wasn't feeling it at the same level. And then on Monday, I'm at work and people are texting about Eid and it's all over the internet, and then BOOM! It did hit me! Ramadan was over. I was expecting Eid to be on Wednesday, yet that didn't happen, and so I had to give up my one extra day of fasting that I had reserved to get INTO Eid mode. I felt ripped off!

Deep down, I'm admittedly just scared that all of the spirituality I gained during this month will be lost. It was hard work and took the mindset of fasting to bring that about. I barely watched TV (not that I watch much anyway outside of fasting), felt more focused and calm, and fought off any negative feelings or thoughts that came up. I'm holding onto those gains and don't want to let go. InshaAllah though, I can maintain a similar mindset from now onwards as Ramadan.

So overall, I finally understand why people cherish this month and pray that they are alive for the next Ramadan. I know why Imams focus SO heavily on preaching about heightened spirituality and prayer during this time. After completing night-long prayers on the 26th night, I understood what it meant to fight severe fatigue but to be rewarded by feeling focused and calm afterwards. Alhamdulillah.

And for that, I thank Ramadan 1432/2011, and pray that whatever gains we have made this past month, we InshaAllah carry forward with us! :)

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