I learned today that the between-work nap isn’t just nice, it’s necessary. I decided to forgo the nap to try to get a little organized with my work papers, and boy did I pay for it. I was exhausted for the whole rest of the day.
It got to the point where I didn’t know what to do besides lay on the floor ten minutes before iftar and close my eyes, waiting for the moment for me to break my fast. We all have those days. For some it’s the first day; for me it was the third. No worries. Now I know. Never skip the nap.
These past few days have been reminiscent of my last semester of college. The only way I have been able to describe what that was like to other people is that I was constantly on auto-pilot. Between work and school and homework, all I knew was where I had to be within the next six hours and what assignments I needed to have completed by then. No stopping to smell the roses. No pausing to assess if my studying techniques were actually working. No time to relish the fact that I was about to complete my bachelors degree. Just go to school, go to work, and make sure I was sleeping and eating and praying.
That’s how I feel now. Go to work. Read Qur’an. Pray. Sleep. Eat iftar and finally relax – and then blog about it all. As I was reading my 99 names book today, I stopped to wonder why I was working so diligently. Why was I setting all of these “assignments” for myself like going through the pages of this book or forcing myself to read 7 pages of Qur’an after every prayer or coming up with things to write in a blog post at the end of the day? No one else does that. If I really wanted to, I could just forget it all, fast from dawn until sunset, and continue with my normal life. Have goals, but don’t become so anal about completing them.
But then I remembered my life leading up to Ramadan. Where all I knew was what was required of me and what gave me pleasure. Sure, I could just continue that and spend my whole fasting day watching YouTube videos, and maybe sneak a page or two of Qur’an in here and there. However if I did that, I wouldn’t really be getting anything out of Ramadan. I would be completing what was required, but I wouldn’t be improving myself at all.
I need assignments and goals to keep me from wasting the whole month. I need to blog every night to give myself some sort of accountability that I am working to complete those goals and not simply pushing them off for a perpetual “tomorrow.”
So, I continued reading and came across the explanation for “Al-Rahman.” While it is most often translated to “Most Gracious” or “Most Merciful,” this author described Rahman as being an ever expansive form of mercy. He ties it in with compassion, saying “Real compassion is in force when one is able to alleviate the pain and distress which the pitied one is suffering,” and that Allah acts in this compassion to all beings, regardless of their religion or moral standing.
I witnessed this exact form of compassion and mercy this week. I was so nervous about working while fasting, partially because my job requires a lot of walking around to different parts of a building. Not only is my job not that bad for all that worry, but the facility I work at made a change this very week in a restructuring of their daily schedule that actually makes my job a whole lot easier. Because of this change, I don’t have to run around as much when I’m doing my work. While my body has been tired due to fatigue and lack of food, the actual work I am doing is easier than it has been for the past six months. It was the mercy of Al-Rahman that the change ended up happening during my first week of fasting. Alhamdulillah.
I was a psych major. I love the healing and feeling talk that is written in this book.