Here we go. Last five days. Final stretch.
You know Ramadan is almost over when it’s time to get Eid gifts together. Every year I get more and more excited to give gifts to my little cousins. Observing the chaos of wrapping paper, exclamations of excitement, and wonder in a child’s eye is always a joy every Eid. I can’t wait for this one.
So…I said I would be posting every other night, but for the past few nights, I have really been trying to dedicate my nights solely to worship and self-reflection. Blogging honestly just wasn’t on my mind.
It has been a really good past few days, alhamdulillah. My very best friend moved here from out of state, and through different iftars and events, I’ve been reconnecting with so many other old friends. I didn’t realize until this week that I have so many people who I only see during Ramadan. Last night, I went to my youth group’s annual Qiyam-ul-Layl, a night in which we spent entirely in worship and prayer, and was reunited with all of my Qiyam buddies. We have been doing these Qiyams for so many years now; even though we don’t see each other any other time of year, when we get together for these annual nights, it’s like nothing changed since we last saw each other.
I was just blown away at how many beautiful and genuine young women I am privileged to know. Last night, in our night of personal growth, I found so many sisters whom I can lean on for physical, emotional, and spiritual support. I was lamenting to one of my friends how I probably won’t be able to finish the entire Qur’an in the next five days, seeing as I have nearly a third still to go, however without any hesitation, she goes “It’s not that bad. You can do it!” It was just a few simple words, but it was enough to keep me from completely losing hope. And even if I don’t finish the whole Qur’an, that doesn’t mean I have to stop reading it once Ramadan is over.
I recommend everyone to try doing a Qiyam-ul-Layl at least once during Ramadan. It doesn’t even have to be a formal event. Get a couple of friends over, prepare snacks and plenty of water, plan out which prayers you will do throughout the night and what other forms of ibadah you want to cover, create a schedule, and go for it. This all can be done individually, but I personally find it much easier to push myself throughout the night when surrounded by others also pursuing their own personal goals. As I am learning with my Qur’an goal, it just takes a schedule, with the occasional push from a sister, to reach that Ramadan accomplishment.
*Quote of the Day*
In addition to praying and reading Qur’an, a large portion of last night was dedicated to listening to various female Muslim speakers, engaging us in discussion of how we can gain a closer relationship with God. One of the speakers, in talking about du’a, mentioned the story of Prophet Ibrahim and Hajar, his wife. When he was ordered by God to leave Hajar and their infant son alone in the desert, Hajar only needed to look at her husband’s expression to realize that he was acting on God’s orders. Seeing this, she said, as the speaker quoted, “He is not going to waste us,” referring to God. She had so much faith in God that the moment she realized her situation was due to God’s will, she knew that He was going to take care of them.
The point of the story, in relation to our discussion last night, was that when we make du’a and ask God for things, we should never doubt that he is going to hear and answer our prayers. Those are words I really needed to hear last night. In this stage of life where everything about my future seems uncertain, I needed that reminder. This quote first of all gave me much more of an appreciation of Hajar than I ever had before, and also helped ease my anxious heart. God always listens, and it is an insult to Him to think that He isn’t going to take care of us.