Ramadan Reflections '13, Day 29 and Eid ul-Fitr: The Final Iftar
I was reading an article by an Imam, I can't remember who (perhaps Suhaib Webb), who addressed this notion of Muslims saying they're not "feeling" like it's Ramadan. Luckily, the author said, we don't receive rewards during Ramadan based on how we feel and if we have that "Ramadan glow"... we receive it based on our intentions and actions. This is an incredibly important point for so many of us to remember, since I too thought I had to reclaim that "feeling" from two Ramadans ago when everything seemed perfect. This Ramadan taught me that intention and focus on the task at hand are more important than anything. And that prayer, reading the Quran, and saying dua are not the only forms of worship during Ramadan, as acts of kindness or time spent in other positive ways also counts towards our rewards (InshaAllah!). I need to remember this point for the future and be ever more thankful that our relationship with Allah is not based on feelings, but on behaviour and intention.
This year again, I leave Ramadan with the longing that it would continue. This holiest month of Islam has so many benefits, it's hard for me to say goodbye and re-enter the routine of daily life. While it's Eid today and fasting is complete, I'm up at 4:00am because I didn't want to miss praying Fajr right when it starts. After our bodies have eased into a routine that didn't take much effort to get into (the beauty of Ramadan and Allah making things easy for us), I don't want to lose this, for a few more days anyway!
Looking back over the month and the goals I set out prior to Ramadan in my "Instagrams and Iftars" entry, I think I was able to stick to most of them (ahem!!) Alhamdulillah! I admit that the social media one fell to the wayside, but I tried to use my time online in a positive way to increase my knowledge base about Islam. Ramadan definitely helps you hone in on spiritual worship, and on time with that, and this is something I want to carry forth with me. Not just solely with the five prayers a day, but also the multitude of other ways a Muslim can praise Allah. I don't want to fall into complacency and allow other aspects of my life to take over. Yet I also need to learn to forgive myself and try harder when I do slip up, since reality dictates that it most likely will happen. We are all human after all.
And just like that, as quickly as Ramadan arrived, it left us. SubhanAllah, this month really did go by in the blink of an eye. But so too do our daily lives. *Sigh*
There's a lot I'll miss about this month, including how amazing the human body is and the miracle that Allah has designed. Just think back to the start of Ramadan and how quickly your body adapted to the starvation mode it was in, day after day, yet how functional we remained. And how quickly we adapted to the change in routine and sleep patterns, eating cycles and what we eat, and how your stomach probably shrank over the month (as did my bladder, which is not a good thing!). I think back to the first week and how it seemed as though I lost more water than weight, but as time went on, our bodies had to use fat stores for energy (and unfortunately, mine also ate up whatever muscle I had gained over a year of yoga!). SubhanAllah, the body is miraculous and all the more reason to take care of it, and not subject it to detrimental "things".
So, as Ramadan winds down and we spend today and the next couple of days celebrating Eid, I think it's worthy to reflect on the past 29 days and to create a plan moving forward. When will you fast your make up days if you missed any? Are you going to fast the 6 Sunnah days of Shabaan, and if so, how will you schedule them in? What benefits did I reap in this month and how can I bring them forward with me to daily life? Am I a better person after Ramadan than before? For each one of us, this reflection will be different, but we are all working towards the same goal. And that is to increase our spiritual relationship with Allah.
And on that note, I wish you all a blessed Eid and pray that we all move forward into our post-Ramadan lives with the intention of sustaining what we have been practicing for the past month. InshaAllah may we all be steadfast in worship and have the purest of intentions with everything we do. May kindness grace our actions, thoughts, and tongue. And may Allah make our post-Ramadan lives as fruitful as the past 29 days