After the First Week

July 7, 2014

To be honest this Ramadan sort of crept upon me. I spent a lot of energy for the past two months (if not more) advertising and organizing MCVspeaks 2014 for my company Modern Community Vintage. Ramadan fell the following week and I had little time to prepare, contemplate or even anticipate its arrival. In past years before Ramadan I would make my Ramadan list. It would typically go like this: dress more modestly, watch less/no TV, listen to less/no music. I’m not sure if there were any other consistent goal but those were always on the list. In the past couple of years since taking a spiritual path in Islam I no longer watch TV or listen to music and though I’m sure there’s always room for improvement, I dress fairly modestly with muted colors and a covered style. 

10387981_421289761345982_471875927_nSo the old goals have been achieved year long, but what are the new goals? Over the past weekend I went to an iftaar with my family to a family’s house in New Jersey. As we rode to our destination the city streets and apartment buildings turned into massive stretches of trees as far as the eyes could see, small creeks and upon our destination we were no less impressed, a beautiful home and backyard surrounded by greenery and warm welcomes. We sat in the backyard, greeted the other guests and waited for the beloved time of iftaar (sunset) to come in. Fifteen minutes before iftaar one of the gentlemen stood to give a small lecture. It was no more than fifteen minutes but it was powerful and concise. “The fear…” he said “… is not that you will stop fasting in Ramadan… the fear is that it will lose it’s meaning…” It’s been more difficult for me to come up with a clear Ramadan plan in the past years because my old tried and true plans are no longer relevant. Another thing the gentleman said in his talk was that it’s impressive to know Al Fatiha (the first chapter of the Koran) when you’re younger or have become a new Muslim, but it’s not impressive to only know Al Fatiha when you’ve been Muslim for 10, 20 years.

Maybe at some point it was impressive that I stop listening to music or traded in my “bun” headscarf style and draped it over my shoulders. But it’s not anymore. There has to be some new goal something else to achieve, some higher height to reach. Certainty I haven’t reached perfection but some how dealing with the same old things for so long and finally overcoming it there is an empty feeling of –what’s next?

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This Ramadan for me hasn’t been the greatest –yet, because I’m not quite sure what to do with my time and I don’t find I have the energy or stamina to do much of anything. But I guess I do know what to do: more remembrance, more reading the Koran, more prayers and less time wasting. But for some reason this first week was a bit weak for me. Next week I’m heading to Jordan, being in an environment where everyone is living in that place only for the sake God I assume there will be people constantly remembering God, reading the Koran, and praying late at night. I hope this spirit will revive my Ramadan, so the beginning is not like the end.

How about you? How’s your Ramadan going? And if your not Muslim what are some things you’d like to know about this Islamic holy month?

5 Comments

  • Zaakir Abdus-Salaam

    Thanks for sharing Nuriddeen. Often Ramadan is just seen as the month of fasting; no food, drinks, or sexual contact with ones spouse from sunrise to sunset. But a careful examination should point to a much deeper purpose. In this month Shaytaan is locked up. There is no wispering of evil in the ear during this month. So why then do we still see evil all around us, and perhaps even within ourselves? Well, within all of us, is an animal self, a portion of our soul that is most inclined to vain desires, and evil. It is refered to in the Qur’an as the Nafs. We are born with it, it stays with us until we die, and it is most likely to listen to the wispers of the shaaytan. But through Allah’s mercy, Ramadan is the month that we, through fasting, reading Qur’an, extra charity, and setting limitation on wordly activities gain the strength we need to overcome both our Nafs, and shaaytan. May Allah make us successful in this war against our nafs, and give us the strength to to increase our connection with him during this Ramadan.

    Zaakir

    • Noor

      Ma sha Allah Ameen and thanks for sharing the true meaning of Ramadan. I’ve long realized that my biggest enemy is not the devil but the evil with myself. May God guide all of us.

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  • mildredsakina

    Hello:)my name is Sakina and i am not a Muslim but am generally curious about the whole event in general.What happens in the morning prayers?do you recite the Kuran before praying?what exceptions are there for not fasting?what is the significance of the hadiths?what are taswidas?(is that correct?)
    🙂
    i like this blog by the way,very new and refreshing.I am fascinated by Islam in general because of my work enviroment,i find Islam intriguing:)

    • Noor

      Ma sha Allah thanks :-), I wish I could answer your questions in a simple way but I cannot (sorry) because the morning prayer is pretty intricate. I’ll try to email you a good resource to explain the prayer in detail. Some exceptions for not fasting are if you are sick and have to take medication, i.e. if fasting would harm you (as determined by a physician, preferably a Muslim one). In general the significance of hadith is that they preserve the words of the final messenger of Islam. In sha Allah I will be emailing you with better resources because I can’t do justice to your questions her (or maybe this is a good post idea!) Talk to you soon <3

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