Sisters, reflect on what you are REALLY doing this Ramadan.
Assallamu Alaikum Warohmatullahi Wabarakatuhu –
Ramadan is for the purification of the soul. It is the time to shed excessive worldly (dunia) baggage – yes, this means letting go (even just a little) of your work, computer, money, love, clothing, shoes, shopping, gossiping, jealousy, and all things that take you away from remembering Allah Swt. However, it isn’t just about letting this excessiveness go but replacing that now empty space with iman and taqwa by adding more supplications, prayers, Quran, dhikir and the rememberance of Allah swt.
Allhamdullilah, sisters around me invited and insisted that I should attend a halaqa led by sister Yasmin Mogahed. Honestly, I was skeptical but immediately was replaced with amazement and gratefulness. I had been looking for this type of halaqa forever. It wasn’t just the lecturer but it was the sisters who attended – masha Allah! These sisters came with open hearts and were non judgmental. These sisters that came had many different backgrounds, situations and ethnic groups. I had never been surrounded by so many different ethnic groups that were color blind. We were all one. Sisters. Listening. Learning, Not judging. Sharing. Reflecting. Everything was done in a timely manner, with full co-operation, with 100% respect for time and organization. I am truly amazed.
The lecture last night was a slight deviation from the book we are discussing: Purification of the Heart in that we spoke about Ramadan, Fasting and how it relates to reaching a purified heart.
Insha Allah, I will ask permission from sister Mogahed if we can add a live podcast/ recording to future postings about the lectures. But for now let me just give you the key take-aways.
- Fasting is for us. Fasting allows us to work a “muscle” called Taqwa. We abstain from the normal daily things that are Halal for us – food, water, milk, intimate relationships. By doing so in the context of Ramadan [remember in Ramdan Allah swt. has chained syatain to give mankind a fighting chance to reclaim our hearts and souls] it allows for people to focus their efforts on this ‘muscle’.
- Taqwa is important for humans (people of this world). But in order to gain Taqwa we need to understand it. What is it? Here is an example: The month of Ramadan is the month in which we fast. Right? We abstain from eating, drinking and having intimate relations (there is more of course but I don’t want to digress) and in this month even though there are moments where we are with ourselves and no one is around us we still do not sneak and grab food to eat or water to drink. We could. But we don’t. Why not? I mean no one is around to “see” us. By abstaining, even without the presence of another person is Taqwa. That feeling of no, I won’t eat, drink because Allah is watching even though no other person is in the room with us. This is the muscle that we are working out. And during the month of Ramadan Allah Swt. has made it easy for us. Why? Because syaitan has been chained up. The only thing left for us to fight is ourselves (Nafs) and mankind (our other fellow humans).
- The element of Taqwa is extremely important for us humans because without it we will be left only with desperation and the question – What is the point? What is the point of this life? Why are we here? What are we doing? There is no point of living… and this leads to suicide and major depression.
- Taqwa allows us to understand that our temporary lives in this dunia (earth) has implications for us in the hereafter, the day of judgement and the return to Allah Swt. It allows us to hope and strive for something greater than ourselves. To build Taqwa is to release ourselves from focusing (obsessing) on things that are temporary in this world. And instead of making it a focus to making it a natural course of life. Take it easy. It’s just a job, it’s just a friend, it’s just something materialistic. Do not despair. Our eternal life is coming. Jannah Insha Allah!
So, in essence. Please take time to reflect about what you are doing this Ramadan. What have you been focusing on? Cooking? Cleaning? Entertaining? Do less of that. Be quiet. Listen. Let go. Fill your heart with rememberance of Allah Swt. Dzikir, Du’a, Praying, Quran. Empty the heart of materialistic (dunia) things and fill it with rememberance of Allat Swt.
May Allah accept our fasting, forgive our sins, and guide us all to the Straight Path. May Allah bless us all during Ramadan, and throughout the year, with His forgiveness, mercy, and peace, and bring us all closer to Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala and to each other.