I’m not sure if I ever explicitly said this on my blog, but I am so thankful to have parents and relatives with whom I can have actual two-way conversations. I did a lot of that today and it feels so good, alhamdulillah. Keeping that door of conversation and confiding open with my parents is one of the best things I have ever done (and for them to respond back has been an amazing blessing).
This Ramadan has really given me a lot to think about. I mentioned a few days ago that I hoped I didn’t go through Ramadan unchanged, and while things in my daily routine haven’t changed a whole lot, I think I’ve learned quite a bit about myself so far this month.
For example, not listening to music has made me realize that I use K-pop and music as a distraction – a way to forget about my problems for a moment. When I get distressed or irritated, I usually soothe myself by listening to music. This month, I get distressed and irritated, but then I realize that I can’t listen to music, which just makes me even more distressed and irritated. Then when I cool down I realize that I’m feeling this way because I’m forcing myself to actually think about my problems, instead of drown them out. I don’t think I’ve ever been more conscientious of the world or my life than I am now.
I noticed that this year, I’ve had a lot more “negative” posts in my Ramadan Log than I did last year. I feel like everyday last year I was discovering something new about myself or the world or learning some new enlightening piece of information and this year I’ve just been…complaining? Monotonous? I wish I had words of advice to give you every day, but hey, I’m still trying to figure out how to do this thing called life too. I guess my advice for today would be to recognize what your means of escape is and try the experiment of not escaping and really think about what you’re escaping from.
I mentioned this concern, about not having anything interesting to blog about, to my mom yesterday and she responded in a very interesting way. “It’s the power of the Qur’an.” Last year, I was reading through the English Qur’an every day. I’ve replaced that this year with the Muhammad book, which is interesting, but nothing can replace the effect of the Qur’an. Interesting. I guess the words of God do have a way of opening up your mind, in a way that words by any human cannot.
Speaking of Martin Lings, we’re still in the period of war in Muhammad. I can’t wait for this section to be over. Reading about actual war going in in Israel/Palestine, only to be relieved of the news by reading about war in my book is just too sad for me. I did learn something interesting in today’s reading though! There was a period around the second anniversary of the Battle of Badr I think when the Muslims were migrating around, for reasons I’m not totally sure, but it was still considered a time of “war;” it was during this time that Muhammad (S) taught the Muslims a modified version of praying strictly for armies in dangerous situations. I didn’t even know a prayer like that existed, but it is a very practical ritual that was needed (and that sadly is probably needed today in other parts of the world).
During all of this war and conflict, I was happy to read about another of Muhammad’s (S) marriages, this time to Umm Salamah. The story of their marriage is a nice one.
“Abu Salamah and his wife had been the most devoted couple, and she had wanted him to make a pact with her that if one of them died the other would not marry again, but he told her that if he died first she should marry again, and he prayed: ‘God grant Umm Salamah after me a man who is better than me, one who will cause her no sadness and no hurt.’ Four months after his death the Prophet came and asked for her hand in marriage. She replied that she feared she was not a suitable match for him. ‘I am a woman whose best time hath gone,’ she said, ‘and I am the mother of orphans. What is more, I have a nature of exceeding jealousy, and thou, O Messenger of God, hast already more than one wife.’ He answered: ‘As to age, I am older than thou; as to thy jealousy, I will pray God to take it from thee; as to thine orphan children, God and His Messenger will care for them.’ And so they were married…”
The prayer that Umm Salamah’s first husband made is a really nice one. I never really thought of a spouse wishing for the other to find someone better when he/she dies, but it is actually a really loving and perfect wish.
*IFTAR PICTURE OF THE DAY*