For the 29/30 days of Ramadan I’ve challenged myself to try and write my daily reflections and share them via Haya wa Iman. Insha’Allah they are words of benefit.
We’re now entering our eighth day of Ramadan. The excitement of the beginning of Ramadan has potentially worn off for some of us. We’ve resumed our regular routine minus the eating. We’re tired. I know I’m tired (lol). But Alhamdullilah we’re still pushing on.
For a lot of us we place Ramadan as the time when we try to be everything we want to be. And this should be our aim. However, this can be exhausting and disheartening when we don’t match up to an idea of “what we should be.” We want to be the hijabi, the one standing in prayer every night, praying Fajr at the masjid. Masha’Allah these are all desirable goals but we also have to be honest with ourselves and know what’s possible in order to remain consistent throughout Ramadan and after. We have to take attainable steps to close the gap between who we are and the best version of ourselves.
During the intention setting—that finally happened—I mentioned one of my goals was to pray tarawih at least three times. And someone asked, “oh three times a week? Nice.” Slightly embarrassed I said, “Oh nah, I meant like once a week.” There was a little laughter, myself included but I know me and I know tarawih is my challenge, so starting at a minimum was the only way I could ensure consistency. As I continue to shape and renew my intentions I try to keep this in mind:
Beware of leaving a wird (act of worship) for fear of not being able to persevere in it; for this is foolishness. You should not do, in each period of time, whatever happens to suit your energy and free time; on the contrary you should have a minimum that you perform, which you can add to whenever you feel energetic, but never fall below when you feel lazy (Book of Assistance).
I’ve had some troubles this week and I had to reflect a lot on my words—the tongue will get you every time. One of my foremost intentions this Ramadan was to pay greater attention to speaking a word to the right or remaining silent. A friend today said Ramadan is “my personal boot camp.” I thought man, how am I measuring up and the only way to truly know is through reflection.
Again, from the Book of Assistance (my companion piece this Ramadan):
You should have a wird of reflection in every twenty-four hours, for which you should set aside one or more hours. The best time for reflection is the one in which are the least preoccupations, worries, and most potential for the heart to be present, such as the depths of the night.
It has been said: ‘An hour’s reflection is better than a year’s worship.’ ‘Ali, may God ennoble his face, has said: ‘There is no worship like reflection.’ And one of the gnostics; may God have mercy on them all, said: ‘Reflection is the lamp of the heart; if it departs the heart will have no light.’
The chapter “On Reflection” ended with this:
It has been related that God the Exalted has said: ‘Son of Adam! Give Me an hour at the beginning of your day and an hour at its end, and I will take charge for you, of all that is in between.’ It has also been related that the record of a servant is shown to God at the end of each day, and, if at its beginning and end there is goodness, God the Exalted says to the angel: ‘Erase what is in between!’
Yo, Allah is Ar-Rahman, Ar-Rahim. Let’s reflect and keep pushing to that better version.