Spanning from May 6th to June 3rd, Ramaḍān this year has been one of the most exciting things I’ve experienced in a long time. Now, I know I’ve mentioned it in my previous ‘Writing to my Beloved’ post, but I have to say it again. Ramaḍān came into my life this year like a blessing. You know that feeling when you know you need something but you can’t quite pinpoint what the feeling is or what you need to resolve it? Yeah. I was at that point. But then the blessed month made its appearance, and I won’t lie to you. This month has been both long and hard, despite the fact that in hindsight, it felt like it flew by. There were days when I definitely doubted myself, my faith, and most of all, my reason for being – yes, it was that deep. I often worried that the things I was saying/doing were merely a lip service rather than a true heart which is firm upon His religion and honestly, there’s nothing more terrifying. There’s this verse from the Qur’ān that has always stuck with me and shakes me to my core, especially on the days I am worried about being a hypocrite without intending to:
وَإِذَا لَقُوا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا قَالُوا آمَنَّا وَإِذَا خَلَوْا إِلَىٰ شَيَاطِينِهِمْ قَالُوا إِنَّا مَعَكُمْ إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُسْتَهْزِئُونَ
And when they meet those who believe, they say, “We believe”; but when they are alone with their evil ones, they say, “Indeed, we are with you; we were only mockers.”[Qur’ān, 2:14]
I never want this feeling for myself. To be saying with my tongue that I believe in Allāh ﷻ and the message of Islām, but in my heart of hearts, rejecting my faith. And so I have been trying every day to renew my intentions and remind myself of what I believe and why I believe the things that I do. In many ways, I realise now that this is what I should have been doing all along, but truth be told, maybe I wouldn’t have appreciated it as much had I always done it this way, you know? Sometimes to feel something, you really have to throw yourself out of your comfort zone and question everything you ever stood for.
Throwing yourself into strange and foreign situations brings you out in your rawest form. In the unfamiliar, you will find the parts of yourself you’d lost or run away from. I know that all of this sounds like a very lonely experience, but it really isn’t. You soon realise that nobody else can guide you back to yourself but you, and the only steady factor in it all (with the exception of your own self) is the guidance from your Lord. You’re the only one who can decide the direction you’re going in, and sometimes, just sometimes, it feels nice to know that Allāh ﷻ is out there watching your back in the sense that you will only go through what He wants you to grow through.
There’s this saying that I read during Ramaḍān (in these glorious daily reminders) that has settled itself somewhere in my heart and grants me ease on days that I am worried about the direction of Allāh’s ﷻ guidance:
رُبَّا أعْطاكَ فَمَنَعَكَ وَرُبَّا مَنَعَكَ فأَعْطاكَ
Sometimes He gives while depriving you,[al-Hikam al-Ata’iyyah, no.83]
and sometimes He deprives while giving to you.
I am unlearning so many of my old traits and letting the trust in Allāh’s ﷻ plan exist at the forefront of all that I do. Being blessed enough to live through this month of Ramaḍān and learn so many new things about both myself and my character, I only pray that I am able to remain steadfast in His way and understand when I need to take a step back to renew my intentions. May Allāh ﷻ grant us the strength to keep ourselves in check and allow us all to leave this Ramaḍān better than when we entered it. May He allow us to feel the love and light He has placed in our hearts, and on the days we fall short on our supplications to Him, allow our silence to speak volumes. Āmīn Yā Rabb.