Wednesday, 11 August 2010

May Your Days Be Filled With Love & Light...

So Ramadan is upon us and I’m ecstatic because I absolutely love this month. It’s the one month in the entire year that I feel most like myself. It’s the one month that no matter what happens, my spirit, aura and environment is infused with a sense of serenity and peace. I’ve come to love this month so much, that I actually get depressed when it’s over… like I have to reach for the 5HTP kinda depressed.

But I wasn’t always like this. There was a time when I used to dread this month. A time when I felt like I was missing out on things, like Ramadan somehow held me back from life. And then there was the fear, I can’t quite explain it. I used to be petrified all through the month because I always felt that God was going to come to me at some point and that scared the shit out of me.

I can remember, about 7 or 8 years ago, when I was one of the people going out the weekend before Ramadan, trying to cram in all these activities because I thought that it was the norm and that Ramadan meant that we’d never be able to do them again. So I’d go and watch all the movies I could, or eat out as often as I could… all in anticipation of what seemed to be this HUGE mountain of restrictions and prohibitions that would sit heavily on my shoulders.

Thankfully, these days the sentiment is different and I’d welcome The Almighty with both arms, in fact I’d beg Him to visit, if I could. There’s no fear, only a deep respect and reverence and boundless love. In the past 5 to 6 years, I have come to understand that Ramadan is not this burden I have to bear. Ramadan is not a curse I have suffer. Ramadan is not a pain to be endured.

Instead it is a gift. It is our gift from our Most Merciful Creator. He has given us this month to take a step back, reflect and reconcile. This is the month where we assess our responsibilities and establish our true priorities… away from the confines of a material world. This is the month in which we grow spiritually and try to become better people, people worthy of The Almighty’s endless blessings. I wish everyone observing, a blessed and auspicious Ramadan. I sincerely hope that we all take this opportunity to make the best of it.

In addition, as a conscious practicing Muslim, I'm always mindful that these are blessed days for others too. All the best to my Christian family & friends who observe/celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the 16 August and the Nativity on the 8th of September. All the best to my Hindu friends celebrating/observing Ganesh Charturthi on the 23rd of August and Krishna Janmashtami on the 2nd of September. And all the best to my Jewish friends celebrating/observing Rosh Hashanah on the 9 - 10 September and Yom Kippur on the 18 September. 

May your days be filled with love and light...

7 comments:

  1. Ramadan Kareem Azra, to you and your family.

    PS. How long is the fast in South Africa this time of the year?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Here it will start from 5.15 am and go till 830 pm! Although I hear Europe is a lot longer!

    ReplyDelete
  3. mezba - We begin fasting tomorrow (the 12th); Sehri ends at 05:16am, Fajr is shortly afterwards which is around 05:30am and Iftaar is around 05:50pm... but thats just in Johannesburg.

    Durban begins at 05:06am and break at 05:33pm and Cape Town begins theirs at 06:11am and break at 06:17pm.

    A couple of years ago, when Ramadan was in December, I remember we began at 03:30am and broke our fast at 07:10pm ... At that time CT broke theirs at 08:30pm.

    My uncle in Amsterdam says that he's Sehri ends before 3am and that Iftaar is after 9pm. He's working in Sweden for a few weeks and says that at this time of the year, Swedes don't have Esha or Fajr because the sun never really sets so it doesn't get dark and it doesn't rise either (its always on the horizon)... they have 24 hour sunshine days. In that case, they follow the closest city's times so he fasts with Amsterdam.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This reminded me of my own history - and it's probably like that for many people. In our youth, the month is all very ritualistic and thought of as one big prison - where you can't (or you're not SUPPOSED to) watch TV or movies, etc. Like, fun time is over - and now for 30 days, you become 'religious' and do what's expected of you.

    And then when it's over, you go back to 'normal'.

    It also depends, largely, on what things are like at home in the month; and what kind of religious upbringing you've had.

    But I think that, once you get some level of spiritual maturity - everything changes; and you finally see Ramadan for what it is.

    For many of those in that stage I described at the beginning - I think it's just a matter of growing up; or having some kind of awakening that pulls you out of the ignorance of heedless youth and opens you eyes to reality.

    Ramadan mubarak to you too...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ramadaan Mubarak Azra....

    May you days be filled with love and light too.....

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love that the sacredness of this month softens the characters of even the most irreverent, myself included. Have a peaceful and productive Ramadaan:)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dreamlife – I truly believe that something like Spirituality definitely comes from Allah SWT. Because I know many people who are of age, and even older, that still have that mindset of going out to “party” before Ramadan. There’s definitely an understanding that can only come with His Will. InshaAllah they will get hidayah :)

    Blue – Thank you, hope you’re doing good wherever you are ;)

    Saaleha – Wish you peace and productive procrastination too ;P

    ReplyDelete