Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Ramadan post-mortem

What is with you - you might not realise that you have it with you.

Usually, I'd make it a point to do extra acts of worship during Ramdan - everyday go for terawih, recite the Qur'an and so on. During my fast, I'd be self-conscious of my fast and have thoughts of sacrifice, patience and the good feeling that I was being blessed. I felt the Ramadan "magic".

This year, it was very different. Since Zayed's arrival, our daily routines changed, and needless to say, the Ramadan schedule was a major hurdle, mainly in terms of sleep. (My wife got the brunt of it - waking up early for the pre-dawn sahur and sleeping late due to housework and Zayed's inability to sleep sometimes.)

Unlike previous years, I couldn't feel the Ramadan magic. I'd be tired, hungry, and wasn't afraid to admit to myself that I felt so. I would feel sleepy and lethargic at work. I missed a record number of terawihs at the mosque as a result of the need to sleep.

But good things came out - we went to my mom's house almost everyday to break fast. I truly appreciated my wife's energy to take care of Zayed and prepare the pre-dawn meals. I performed a record number of terwaihs at home. We hosted a record number of iftar sessions at home!

Eventually, my wife and I decided that tangibly, it seemed that we weren't able to perform the regular and 'prescribed' acts of worship - but we were able to tell ourselves that we were taking care of another human being in the house who wasn't around at Ramadan last year, and that we'd be rewarded for these little inconveniences, like the lack of sleep.

Eid passed. And the Friday I went to work, I totally, totally missed Ramadan. I missed the waking up before Fajr. I missed the iftar. I missed the need to perform terawih. I felt why God decided to just give us one such month of bountiful rewards. All it took was one wholemeal sandwich in the morning of Friday to sustain my breakfast and lunch. I didn't feel like eating dinner either.

And then I realised that truly, the magic of Ramadan was with me, but I had not sensed it then.
But I'm extremely thankful that I was given this feeling of longing... and not the certain feeling of apathy I felt at times during Ramadan.


TheHoopoe said...

It's getting there, bro - the true spirit of Ramadhan. It is not to be felt just within that month. It gives you that sweet taste on that month - but, truly, it wants you to carry on with it in other months. That sweetness was meant to spur you into a continuous motion of what it truly means after Ramadhan...

Ramadhan, and as much as other Islamic worships, is internal. You make it as much you want of it - or just the bare for it, and then it comes to visit you again next year to check on you.

Many people spoke and write about being so excited with the coming of Ramadhan and missing it terribly when it leaves them.

That is not the point really (at least to me): the point is, despite others who may not share your emotions, you must carry Ramadhan through the months and years through your worship habits, eating habits, consciousness of God etc ... that you inculcate during Ramadhan.

If you do, then you will not miss it, as it has never left you and you have never left Ramadhan.

Has anyone ever considered the opposite - that indeed, Ramadhan misses us more than we missed Ramadhan? And it gets tired that year in and year out, it does the same thing for us? And then, we leave it just to meet again the next year ... and the routine goes on and on ...

Just my thoughts :)

NunBun said...

I think the toughest thing in the world is to remain in Ramadan when everyone else around you feels that everything's over with the ketupat and pineapple tarts... sigh. I think that truly, the goal is to make every a Ramadan - it just takes extraordinary effort.

But it's the journey to get there. There's no free lunch! (bad pun, but works) We have to strive hard to get results in the next world...

the seeker said...

Thanks for this entry. Really opens my eyes up. Also the comments from Hoopoe. Sometimes I feel I'm really stuck in a box. Not able to see out of the box. The comments made by Hoopoe and my recent experiences in Holy Lands, sort of force me to look out of the box, to be more open minded and think things in different perspectives. Thanks for the reminders bros. Appreciate it very much.