Ramadhan. To the naked eye, it could show weary, famished and thirsty faces. To the learned eye, it could suggest showing solidarity with the less fortunate. To the theological eye, it’s a kaleidoscope of entwining elements. Yet, when this month is expected to unveil itself during a global pandemic, what do our eyes envision?
For decades upon decades, a Ramadhan devoid of community was unheard of. The daily congregation at the mosque and the several Iftar (breaking of the fast) gatherings promoting a sense of solidarity was a given. But now, the local Musullas weep from loneliness, and many are left heartbroken as they waited all year round for the month filled with spirit.
But has a single soul not pondered over what a Ramadhan independent of others can bring to us? Question me not, sadness burdens my soul. But He is Al Hakeem, The Wise. He gifts us with boundless time to nourish our depths, quench our thirst for self-reflection, mend our shattered selves and heal the cracks in our character.
A Muslim. To the naked eye, it could show one abstaining from alcohol and pork. To the learned eye, it could show one inflexibly exercising the five pillars. However, to the theological eye, it’s a kaleidoscope of entwining elements.
Reciting the words of the holy Qur’an for contentment should be followed by reflection. Each verse should illuminate our fragile qualities of greed, hubris and dishonesty. This may be a struggle at first, however, soon it will come naturally. Thus, reading the biography of the Prophet [PBUH] should eventually be followed by reflection. Each story is able to lift our spirits and shower our mindsets with optimism. Generously donating the tax of Zakat (charity) should be followed by reflection. Each penny given should echo how abundantly one has been blessed from The Almighty.
“Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?” – Rumi
Doubt me not, the trauma brought by this illness is poignant. However, He, The Wadood, has provided a cure for every ailment. Our attitude should be focused on the plentiful time we have been blessed with to help others in need. Fellow humanity, that in itself is a form of worship. Often, the true foundation of Iman [Faith] is overlooked; the significance of character. It is reported that the Prophet [PBUH] said that, ‘Verily, the most complete of believers in faith are those with the best character and who are most kind to their families’ [Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2612]. When better a time to build ourselves holistically? Let us take this occasion to be inspired by the Sufi rituals; they are governed by self-reflection and nourish one’s inner soul.
So, what lies ahead of us is not a dreary Ramadhan in lockdown, but rather a new sense of worship.