It’s almost here. ^_^
On one of my very first post on this blog, I said that one thing I love about being Muslim is how, no matter who we are or where we’re from, we all come together in unity this one month…to join, as I put it, the Worldwide Secret Fasting Club.
I need to feel part of that club again. In the past year, it feels like we as Muslims have become so disunited, choosing sides in political debates that have no winner, judging each other in our “Muslimness,” and sometimes just being plain rude to each other. I need to feel that we are connected again.
I also need to reconnect back to myself and to this way of life that I pledged to lead. In some ways, I feel like I’ve lost myself in the past year, yet in other ways, I feel as though I am more religious than ever. In reality, I think I may have just lost sight of my priorities in life. I am really counting on Ramadan as an opportunity for me to fix that.
In thinking about this coming month, I got a bit antsy about all of the challenges that come with it. I put so much effort into Ramadan last year, and part of me wanted to take it easy this year. Maybe I won’t try to read the entire Qur’an. Maybe I don’t need to take on a whole new book in addition to the Qur’an.
But then I was talking to a relative the other day and coincidentally, we got on the topic of reading Qur’an during Ramadan. In explaining why I pushed myself to read so much Qur’an last year, I realized that I do want to do it again this year.
Ramadan isn’t about taking it easy. Ramadan is about pushing myself to see what I am really capable of. I felt so accomplished last year when I finished reading the entire Qur’an. And I did it. Even if it was hard in the beginning, I actually did it. So what is stopping me from doing it again this year?
Less than 24 hours ago, I was so incredibly nervous about Ramadan. Yet today, I find myself excited. Sure, there will be struggles with self-discipline and perseverance, but there is also the joy in being with family, celebrating with fellow Muslims, and learning things about myself on a day to day basis. Islam puts such an emphasis on Jihad, #TheStruggle, so I shouldn’t be shying away from the possible challenges. I should be embracing it.
For those of you who joined me during the April challenge, know that this isn’t going to be like Blogging from A to Z. I have no idea what is going to come out this month. These will just be my raw, unplanned, day to day thoughts as I go on this 30-day journey.
Those of you who were with me last year: I finally did it. I finished Muhammad: his life based on the earliest sources by Martin Lings. I’m ashamed to say that it took an entire year to finish those last 20 pages, but at least I finished before this coming Ramadan. I don’t really have an explanation for why it took me so long besides the fact that I just got distracted and kept forgetting. In the end, I still think this is an amazing book. I have mentioned this before on this blog and it is still true: I really developed a love and connection to our Prophet Muhammad, may peace and blessings be upon him, because I read this book. Reading his story in the format of a novel was exactly what I needed to feel that connection. Thank you, Mr. Lings, for writing so eloquently and giving me the opportunity to know my Prophet (S). If you want to know who Muhammad (S) was, and want to read his story and develop that “love” that we’re all told we are supposed to feel, READ THIS BOOK.
They’re saying tonight is going to be the new moon, so inshaAllah (God-willing) I may see you all tomorrow!