Last night was one of the last nights of this Ramadan and I spent it in beautiful ibadah surrounded by my Muslim sisters. It was our youth group’s annual Qiyaam Ul-Layl, where we stay up for the entire night and devote our time to worship and spiritual improvement. It is always such an experience every year, and with each new year, I love the event even more. The organizers create a whole program out of it, with group prayers and discussions led by female scholars of Islam, but throughout the night we are encouraged to do whatever we need to do to get the most out of the night. I spent quite a bit of the night in our little mosque area reading Qur’an, which is just the epitome of peace and tranquility.
Interestingly, the “theme” of this year’s Qiyaam was building a connection with the Prophet Muhammad (S), which is perfect considering how much I’ve dedicated this month to doing just that. Throughout the night we heard stories and quotes from the Prophet (S) and about his life, many of which I had just read in my Muhammad book. It was amazing hearing the stories I had just finished reading and learning how they can apply to our daily lives. They even addressed the conflict of being told to love the Prophet (S) without really understanding why, which is exactly what I overcame this month! Alhamdulillah.
We also spent a lot of the night learning how to compose really powerful duas. One of the facts that they established is that dua is the act of talking to God. In Islam, we don’t go through idols or other people to talk to God; we talk to Him directly, no matter where we are or what state we are in. At the beginning of the night, we were each given a notebook to log our thoughts and feelings, everything we wanted to talk to God about, and at the end of the night, my friends and I composed all of these thoughts together and put them into a dua, asking for God’s protection and help in our affairs. I was skeptical about the exercise at first, thinking it was a kids activity, but I found it incredibly beneficial for myself. In writing out everything I wanted out of my life and the afterlife, I learned things about myself. I guess some of my duas were already answered, because the activity allowed me to lay out my priorities and really think about how I would be able to accomplish the goals in my life. The process has already begun. 🙂 I really encourage everyone to try this. Writing really can help you organize your thoughts and understand what you are really asking for when you call on to God for help.
While I did get very far in the Qur’an last night, I’ve been so busy and tired today that I’m a few pages behind. Tomorrow is potentially my last chance to finish the Qur’an, and inshaAllah Allah will allow me the time to complete my goal. I am just one page into the 29th juz (out of 30), giving me about 40 pages to read between now and tomorrow night.
All day today I had training for a summer camp job, and between the training and the Qiyaam, I only got about four hours of sleep, and I didn’t have the time nor energy to read any of Muhammad today, so no quote for today. I would like to finish the book before my last blog post of the month, but to be honest my main priority right now is finishing the Arabic Qur’an, so we’ll see if I end up finishing Muhammad tomorrow. Even if I don’t, I do promise to write a post about my thoughts on the end of the book once I am finished with it, even if it’s after Ramadan.
*IFTAR PICTURE OF THE DAY*
I sincerely hope everyone has a good and blessed last day of Ramadan tomorrow! Tonight and tomorrow are our final chances to squeeze out the last drops of blessings and ibadah of the month.