Ramadan Log DAY 14: Surprising Blessings

I set a new record today. It was 2pm by the time I woke up. I would be ashamed, but that was honestly the best night’s sleep I’ve had all month, alhamdulillah. And it was worth it. I stayed up until Fajr last night writing. I had been on writers block for months, but I finally found inspiration last night and ran with it.

Today was the culmination of another Ramadan tradition for me. Every year a group of women in our community have this one day where we put baskets together with various living essentials to distribute to shelters and human service centers in the area. After filling the baskets, we all break fast and have dinner together. It is a special day, one that brings me together with people I sometime only see at this party. Even if it’s only once a year, it is every year. As a girl of routine, I really like that. We realized that next year will inshaAllah be the 15th year that we do this. Alhamdulillah.

I don’t know what’s going on with me, but I’m actually being social this Ramadan. Subhanallah. Big parties with such a variety of people always make me nervous, but I have now been to four different events of that nature and as far as my sociability goes, it hasn’t been a problem at all. I guess that’s what happens when you start going to things independent of your parents. You actually make friends. Let’s add that to the list of unexpected blessings this month. πŸ™‚

We’re about halfway through the month, so I figure I should update you all on how my goals are going.

I miss music. And my K-pop blog. 😦 There are a few times when I’ve listen to the radio in the car, but never K-pop because I know once I start I’m really going to want it back. It’s not even new songs that I’m missing out on. It’s the old songs on my iPod and YouTube playlist. I am so used to using that as background noise for whatever I’m doing, and I’m really trying hard to get used to silence this month, but it’s tough.

Fasting from TV is alright. I get moments here and there, especially after iftar, where I really want to watch a movie or catch up on my shows, but it’s manageable. I’m pretty busy with other things that I don’t miss TV as much.

My Qur’an goal…it’s going I guess. I usually read 8-10 pages after Fajr, Dhuhr, and Asr, but I did miss a couple of readings this week. And quite honestly, 9 pages is A LOT. I am fine until I get to about page 6, when my attention starts to dissipate and I think about all of the other things I could be doing. Unfortunately, if I still want to finish on time, I’m going to have to up the page count to 12 after each prayer, which now looking at it seems really daunting. I could try doing 6 pages before the prayer and 6 after, but praying and reading 9 pages was already taking me a half hour for each prayer.

Maybe I’ll start doing a couple of pages after Isha along with my 30th juz recitation…but I’ll let you know how it goes. I know it’s not required to finish reading the entire Qur’an by the end of Ramadan, but I remember how great it felt last year and I want to do it again inshaAllah.

*Quote of the Day*

Another brand new person in my book of Companions today! I read about ‘Ikrimah, the son of Abu Jahl, Islam’s greatest enemy in the time of Muhammad (S). In beautiful irony, ‘Ikramah ended up a Muslim, and eventually died defending Islam. My quote for today actually comes from the Messenger (S) himself. When ‘Ikrimah pledged his faith to Islam and was presented to the rest of the Muslims, the Messenger (S) said, “‘Ikrimah ibn Abi Jahl comes to you as a believer and a muhajir (a refugee). Do not insult his father. Insulting the dead causes grief to the living and does not reach the dead” (Hamid 107).

I have never been comfortable with people saying negative things about those who have died. From people in history to people in my own life, it just feels wrong to bad-mouth someone when they aren’t even alive to defend themselves. I can’t say I’ve never done it before, but I don’t like it and I was never sure what the moral opinion was on it.

I guess this quote shows that even if it is the worst dictator in the world, it we shouldn’t do it. In this particular quote, this was the Messenger (S) talking about Abu Jahl, a man who did terrible things to him personally, and died in his attempt to kill the Messenger (S), and yet the Muslims were told not to insult him. That (1) says something about the Messenger’s (S) character, and (2) sheds light on the question of what these negative comments actually do for anyone. The person is dead. There is no point in hating them anymore.

This also shows how sometimes, the apple can actually fall very far from the tree. Abu Jahl was an enemy of Islam, but his son became one of its strongest supporters. Using this story as guidance for our lives today, I urge everyone not to judge a person based on the family from which he or she comes.

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