Letter to Ramadan #7 (2018)


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IMG_0326.jpgDear Ramadan,

Watching you depart hurts me a little. That’s because there are a lot of things I wish I had done or had done better. However, this is not a letter of complaint. It’s a letter of appreciation. Ramadan, I’ll miss you.

I’ll miss finding it difficult to concentrate without coffee, or staying warm without some hot drinks. I’ll miss witnessing the way my soul (nafs) easily deviates  without God’s assistance and reminders. I’ll miss realising how I need God’s mercy and forgiveness more than anything.

I’ll miss feeling uncomfortable about big feasts, and waste food and drinks at iftars. I’ll miss being conscious of my consumption and the need to live more frugally and sustainably because wastefulness reduces the values of God’s blessings.

I’ll miss catching up with friends, breaking fast and praying together. For a while I felt isolated and forsaken due to several reasons, and I kept asking God to give me a remedy for my heart. Alhamdulilah I think the supplication was accepted because this year the sense of isolation has vanished. I’ve learned to restrict my use of social media and focused on the people that truly matter in my life.

I’ll miss trying to recite the Qur’an, albeit very slow, instead of just listening to the audio like previous years. I will miss crying at some verses, feeling intimidated by some , and then finding so much joy in others. I’ll miss the sweetness of remembering that this is the month that the Qu’ran was revealed, which is perhaps why Allah commands us to fast: He wants us to detach ourselves from trivialities and celebrate the Qur’an in our best and most elevated state.

I’ll miss listening to SoulFood Podcast, which provides an in-depth guide on how to get nearer to God. I’ll miss feeling motivated to make some changes.

I’ll miss those moments trying to decide whether I should go to the mosque for tarawih or stay at home, whether I should stay or leave after 8 rakats, whether I should control my tongue or snap at someone, whether I should wake up for suhoor or sleep in, whether I should overeat or moderate my eating at iftar, whether I should recite the Qur’an or watch a film, whether I should continue with my translation or relinquish, whether I place trust in God or rely on my ego, whether I let certain things go or hold on them as if they were mine forever. All of these struggles remind me that my nafs  (lower self) is always active and eloquent, that it has defeated and will defeat me several times, and thus training the nafs (lower self) would be a lifelong project.

That’s why I’ll miss you Ramadan. That’s why I’ll need you.

May Allah allow us to meet each other again.

But for now, thank you. Alhamdulilah