September 17, 2008
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Ramadan Kareem! May Allah accept from me and from you (fast, prayers)!
This beautiful month that we’re currently going through is truly a blessing from Allah. Some might see it as interruption of their normal routine and having to go hungry and without water for long hours – but that’s just one way of looking at it, and it’s certainly not Islam’s point of view! This month gives us the opportunity, through that change in routine, to stop and reflect upon our lives and priorities. For eleven months, we’re stuck in a more-or-less fixed routine that eventually makes us lose sight of the big picture – in fact, few even know there’s a ‘big picture’ to life at all!
Alhamdolillah for Ramadan! This month is like a large alerting sign on a highway – “Watch out! Remember Allah before you reach the end of your journey” – and it removes that drowsiness that comes upon the lone driver on a long journey. Ramadan really and truly opens your eyes to a higher goal in life, to connect everything to Allah. Even people who’re not close to the Quran and do not practice Islam in their lives, do feel there’s something special about this month. As for those who do recognize the value of this month and sincerely fast, pray and try to purify themselves, this month is a true gem!
For me, Ramadan this year feels really special. All praise and gratitude be to Allah, I’m thinking more and more about the goal of life and the Day of Judgment. Every moment is a gift from Allah to keep on doing good, to keep adding to our accounts deeds that will help us on the Day of Accountability. This time that we have right now is like the preparation time before giving an exam – those who have sense will prepare well ahead and will prepare well for the date they know is sure to arrive. As for those who live in a state of denial and have a half-hearted approach towards preparing, their nervous state and total disarray on the exam day is something any student can imagine. Similarly, we are currently in the preparation state – how serious are you about your exam?
I just finished reading two books, “Gems and Jewels” and “The Precious Pearls” by Darussalam publishers. The tidbits and lessons from Islamic history and sayings of scholars in “Gems and Jewels” were quite eye-opening. “The Precious Pearls”, a book about the ten companions who were given the glad tidings of Paradise by the Prophet(saw), is equally amazing. What hit me, in both these books, was the amazing and inspiring conviction of faith that raised the ranks of men and women in the Sight of Allah. They believed 100% what they received from the Prophet(saw) and they were prepared to give away their wealth, bear physical injuries and even sacrifice their lives in the Way of Islam. To read about these people and their services for mankind really made me reflect, “What have I done for Islam? How has my Islam made a different to my life? Am I making a difference to humanity? What am I doing to further the message of Islam?”
If I can find solutions to these questions this Ramadan, I will have gained a treasure!