Ramadan 2021 is almost here

Given today’s context, this Ramadan, like the previous one, will not be celebrated as usual, pre-COVID times. Families and friends will not be gathered around a table to break their fast, some of us might be confined alone, without the ability to pray night prayers (taraweeh) in a small group, and most of us may spend a significant amount of time reminiscing the good old days. However, today’s difficulties should not impact how Ramadan should be experienced and cherished.

I apologize for the grim start to this post but I couldn’t avoid the elephant in the room. I believe that one way to celebrate Ramadan is to remember its blessings and plan it in advance.

Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven. – Said by Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) as narrated by Abu Huraira, Sahih al-Bukhari

Evaluate your heart

Faith (Imaan) comes with its highs and lows; I always compare a person of faith (mu’min) to a surfer that is in constant search for the next wave. This analogy makes sense to me because I compare my faith to a tide. A tide can come in three forms: it can be high and rising with each successive wave pushing higher and higher; it can be high and falling with the energy in each wave subsequently decreasing; and finally, it can be low with each wave becoming less powerful and flatter.

Unfortunately, today my faith compares to a low tide that has reached a plateau; as much as this saddens me, it motivates me to attain a higher level. In order to feel closer to God, the first steps I took were:

  • Admitting the distance that I feel and finding ways to address it.
  • Paying attention to the content I was absorbing; I decided to switch out a Netflix series with a religious one.
  • Engaging in conversations about God and learning more about my religion. 
  • Staying consistent with my prayers. 
  • Realizing that in order to overcome the lows of faith; I needed to understand the essence of it. 

The essence of faith: Legal vs. Real

Faith can be grouped into two groups as explained by Nouman Ali Khan; the first group is “legal faith” while the second one is “real faith”. Real faith can then be sub-divided into two categories: spiritual and intellectual.

In layman’s terms, a person can obtain legal faith by affirming his/her faith by saying the Shahadah (first pillar of Islam). A muslim can not question another muslims’ legal faith. If a person is known to be muslim; then he or she should be treated and respected as one by other muslims regardless of his/her actions.

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Ramadan 2018: my personal miracle

“Taqwa” translates into “being conscious of God” and “Al-Muttaqin” refers to those who practice Taqwa.

Ramadan is the celebration of a prayer fulfilled; made by Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and his eldest son, Prophet Ismael (AS) as they were building the Kaaba. It’s English translation (not-word-per-word) is as follows:

“Make both of us Muslim before you and from our future generations, give us at least one Muslim nation and from that same nation, give us a messenger who will recite your revelations.”

The Holy Quran (God’s revelations) was sent down to Prophet Mohamed (SAW), a descendant of both Prophets Ismael (AS) and Ibrahmin (AS) on Laylat al Qadr (the Night of Decree) during the month of Ramadan.

So, instead of celebrating and engaging with God’s words for just a night, we get to do that for a whole month; how beautiful is that?

Ramadan is all about the Quran; read it, listen to it, turn its ayat into supplications. Be engaged, understand, and most imporantly, fill your heart with love for God’s words.

The Quran is divided into 30 juz(s), that is approximately 600 pages. If you read 4 pages after every salah, then you would have read 20 pages by the end of the day. Do that every day for 30 days and you will be able to complete the Quran. (START TOMORROW, I mean that LITERALLY).

Having said that, I am going to disengage from Ramadan and turn my focus to fasting.

It is important to comprehend that the purpose of fasting is different from that of Ramadan. We usually get the two mixed up (guilty of that myself) and I’m here to clarify things out:

Continue reading “Ramadan 2018: my personal miracle”

Pourvu que ça dure…

“Pourvu que ça dure…” is a french phrase that translates into “I hope it lasts”.

This blog post is long overdue… I recently turned 26 and thanks to that, I am here, writing this, for you to read:

I have learned many things the past year and though, I can’t list them all down, I will  highlight a couple of things that you may find useful. But, before getting started, here is a disclaimer: this post may contain spiritual content*

*I usually avoid spirituality in my writing, mainly because one’s relationship with one’s creator is rather a personal matter than a public discussion… BUT, I’m making an exception today; so, let’s get started:

The soul before the body

I believe that my soul was created long before my body came into existence. I also believe that my soul lived in a past realm before this lifetime and will continue to exist past the lifespan of my body, into a future realm. And after this realization, I started wondering why as humans, we tend to nurture our bodies more than our souls.

And I came up with this:

We are infatuated by the seen rather than the unseen. What I mean by “the seen” is THIS LIFE. We all want to live our lives to the fullest: have a good job, travel, look good, dress well, have a picture perfect family, and by all means be referred to as “HIGH POTENTIAL”.

BUT, as much as we should go to the gym to stay healthy and be fit, focus on work to nurture our minds and satisfy our egos… we should also tend to our souls…

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that we all should strive to live to our fullest potential in this lifetime… But, what about : “the unseen”? the afterlife? having peace of mind and ease of heart? I know, it can be hard sometimes, trying to be of great character under shitty circumstances, practicing patience when impatience is of your nature, thinking well of God when your world is falling apart -> yeah, shit does hit the ceiling sometimes.

Continue reading “Pourvu que ça dure…”