Part Two: What Ramadan Means
I begin with mentioning the perfect and beautiful name, Allah (SWT)
Tracing old footsteps in Madinah
As soon as we arrived in Madinah I felt lost and not able to eat. I traced my footsteps several months ago. Fever developed and I was not able to eat at all, and if I did, it would not stay in my stomach.
I lived on zam-zam water and dates on both occasions: breaking fast as well as sahur. We stayed in a hotel about 350 meters away from the Prophet’s mosque and even then I had to struggle walking to and fro.
My heart felt stuck in my throat and I wept because my body hurt so much. I had to avoid informing my mother as I could imagine how worried she would be. The first trip to the Prophet’s mosque I fell to my knee as soon as I arrived at the door. I wept uncontrollably. I was not able to carry my body another step.
Several sisters surround me and asked, “Sister, do you know where you live? Please let us have the address so that we can send you there.”
“Sister, are you alright? Is there someone you want us to call, shall we call your husband?”
“Sister, please stop crying and don’t be sad. Enter the masajid, mosque please, it is waiting for you. Cry your heart out before Allah (SWT).”
I looked into their eyes and nodded but my voice remained in my stomach. They rubbed my back and offeredsoothing, kind words. Finally, I was able to say that I wanted to be inside the masajid. They helped me in getting up and sent me to the spot where I wanted to be.
‘O Allah, I asked for patience. I have never been so patient in my entire life and this trial is as if it is breaking me apart. What is it I need to learn and embrace so that I can feel well and whole again?’
I had exhausted all avenues for resolving the challenge I faced and yet remained entangled. ‘I do not know what to do. Please help me to accept things as they are.’
The fever came down with the decree of Allah (SWT) but I was still not able to eat. Zam-zam and dates were the only source of supplement. Amazing food. Subhana Allah!
Seeking strength in Makkah
As I circumambulate Ka’abah, I was crying my heart out.
‘How will I be able to get through this, O Allah! How will I attain patience when I have not gone a day without weeping, as if I could not accept this. I need a closing cycle and I have stumbled upon walls, all the time. My voice echoed in the desert; dry and silent.’
‘Thank You for helping me to have closure to some challenges that have been left open for a long time. Somehow, O Allah, this challenge that I am going through seems harder. I know You lay not a burden more than a servant could handle. I feel pain as I am not able to understand fully just yet.’
‘Help me to understand O Allah…!’
Two years later the issue came to closure and I picked myself up to continue traveling and learning the wisdom of being a human and a Muslim. I attended several discourses on The Nature of Man and Psychology of The Human Soul based on epistemology of Tan Sri Professor Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas.
It brought me to revisit some questions that were ingrained deep in my being:
‘What is my purpose and how do I fulfill it?’
‘How do I attain presence in solah?’
‘How do I improve my relationship with al-Qur’an?’
‘What is so special about fasting during Ramadan and Laylatul Qadr, the night that is better than 1,000 months?