I think I’m entering that middle of the month slump. We’re so far into the month now that the excitement of all of the new habits and goals are beginning to fade. On top of that, we still have a little over half a month’s worth of fasting and mental diligence to plow through.
A couple of days ago I didn’t have time to read Qur’an after one of my prayers. Yesterday, I was cut short a couple of pages because I had to leave for an event. Today, I was cooking, so while my food was in the oven, I quickly prayed Asr, but didn’t have time to read my eight pages before it was already time to eat.
I can feel my Qur’an goal slipping away. I’m already almost 20 pages behind in my schedule, and now I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make it through to the end by the time Ramadan ends. I know, it’s not a huge deal if I don’t read the ENTIRE Qur’an in one month; inshaAllah, I’ll still get the reward for reading something, even if it isn’t a specific amount, but it just makes it so much harder to push myself to continue the habit of reading eight pages when I know that it won’t amount to the goal I was originally hoping to complete.
I mean, I guess it’s not totally hopeless. I have a lot of the 30th juz memorized, so I could probably read that whole section in one sitting if I needed to.
But like I said, my motivation has been harder and harder to find these past couple of days.
Muhammad was on the sadder side today. I reached the chapter called “The Year of Sadness” in which both Muhammad’s (S) wife, Khadijah, and his Uncle, Abu Talib, pass away. I mentioned this when I read of their marriage, but I love the relationship between Muhammad (S) and Khadijah. “They had lived in together in profound harmony for twenty-five years, and she had been not only his wife but also his intimate friend, his wise counsellor, and mother to his whole household including ‘Ali and Zayd” (Lings 96).
Martin Lings includes a much more detailed account of the death of Abu Talib, which was just tragic to read. While it is sad of course, I am glad I was able to read this. Those stories that show the very human qualities and emotions of Prophet Muhammad (S) are the ones that speak to me the most.
In the following scene, Abu Talib is on his death bed and Abu Jahl and other leaders of Quraysh have just angrily stormed out of the house after Muhammad asks them to accept Allah as the one and only god:
“When they had gone, Abu Talib said the the Prophet: ‘Son of my brother, thou didst not, as I saw it, ask of them anything out of the way.’ These words filled the Prophet with longing that he should enter Islam. ‘Uncle,’ he said, ‘say thou the words that through them I may intercede for thee on the day of Resurrection.’ ‘Son of my brother,’ he said, ‘if I did not fear that Quraysh would think I had but said the words in dread of death, then I would say them. Yet would my saying them be but to please thee.’ Then, when death drew near to Abu Talib, ‘Abbas saw him moving his lips and he put his ear close to him and listened and then he said: ‘My brother hath spoken the words thou didst bid him speak.’ But the Prophet said: ‘I heard him not'”
Anyone who has ever lost someone that they love knows the feeling of wanting nothing but peace and happiness for that person. Imagine the Prophet (S), watching his uncle, his caretaker for most of his life, about to die, knowing what lies on the other side of death for a person who does not accept Allah, and then watching him die without knowing if he actually made is declaration of faith or not. I had never heard this story before, and the uncertainty and sadness of it really touched me.
No wonder it was called the Year of Sadness.
*IFTAR PICTURE OF THE DAY*
The Chicken Pastries turned out really nice, alhamdulillah! I got this recipe online from Amenakin. They are basically like mild chicken samosas.
Subhanallah, look at how beautiful those blackberries look. If you want to enhance the design of any fruit tray, add blackberries. I guess that’s one of my cooking “secrets.”