Saturday, September 23

Ramadaan Kareem

The Holy month of Ramadaan began last evening for my community. Al Hamdulillah, exponentially multiplied :)

The Muslim students on campus stood in prayer last night (taraweeh following ishaa') in the largest jamaa`a (group) outside of weekly Jumu`a (Friday) Prayers since last Ramadaan. I'm not a very community oriented person, but it was exceptionally nice to be standing before Allah, seeking of Him, with individuals who are in a similar time of life as myself--youth. And it's much nicer than having to be in a masjid with ill-raised children running around, literally screaming, as the rest of us struggle to concentrate on our prayers.

As I walked to the masalla (prayer area) of our student lounge, I realized that taraweeh is my favorite part of Ramadaan. At no other time of the year does it seem that all Muslims who would ever have any inclination to pray overcome whatever has ever kept them away. So beautifully to be present, to be, to exist with all the senses that have dulled now waking to bear witness to the words of Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta`Alaa.

After the closing dua`a (supplication), which is like the cherry on top of it all, and the prayer was over, I looked around and saw my sisters beaming with joy that finally, what Muslims consider a month of optimism and opportunity to better ourselves, was here...and we, in it at last. A time when the evil distractions that polluted our lives, that whispered into our souls, are chained away, and all we choose means that much I guess bad choices in Ramadaan, well, may just mean that we're determined, on our own accords and solely so, to destroy our own chances of entering the Garden in the hereafter.

As the last prayer ended, I was ready to leave. Ready to hide away from the beautiful atmosphere that surrounded me. Sometimes, when we see reflections of our souls, even a small glimpse, we want no companions around us, if only so that they do not even accidentally go where we see ourselves going. A direction so horrible that the "spiraling down" model wouldn't cover it. If that makes sense. I realize that everyone else isn't perfect either, but the fact was that they were illuminated with hope, having sought Allah's Mercy. But all I saw were reasons of why I am, and will always be, enslaved to seeking it from Him.

Like a flood, something heavier than I've felt in months, perhaps years, weighed into my soul. How ashamed should I be to sit before Allah and realize that all I have to bring to Him is an ill, self-destroyed soul? It's as if someone lends you a brand new car, and on the day when it is due back, you push in a crawling, dilapidated, engineless car--an engine that the owner had not given you permission to give away. What would you have to say for yourself? And all I could wonder for the rest of the night was how there could exist any procedure that could at least purify what is left, let alone restore my soul to the state in which He brings us to life, besides the Fires themselves. It's a horrifying realization, and I know that the realization that stood before me to be seen was only a child--a modified version--of what Reality will someday stand before me.

One of my sources of inspiration for studying psychology as well as titling this blog "Study of the Self" was in the
Surah, "Al A'laa." The last part of its nineteen verses continue to affect me every time I encounter it; It was recited near the end of last night's prayers. The verses seem to me to address Allah's Will, His Mercy, and how one would go about attaining it in this dunya (mundane place of this life). And then it suddenly reminds us that still, knowing what the previous verses, the Books, themselves, say, we humans choose the mundane over the Heavens. This blows my mind, because it is a reflection, an exact description, of the human soul's backwardness. That we will always struggle between choosing what we know is absolute and good over what is utter self-disillusion and destruction.

But Allah, Al-GhafuuruRaheem (The Oft-Forgiving, The Merciful), always acts purposely. And I suppose I could read about the purpose of this Holy month, but I think I'd rather define its noble purpose in my life by embracing it in the best way I ever have, and looking back later at what Ramadaan was for my soul. Maybe, the meaning of the "Holy Month of Ramadaan" will be more significant, more alive, to me then than it would have been read on pages. Inshaa'Allah.

Ramadaan Kareem


EA said...

"I realize that everyone else isn't perfect either, but the fact was that they were illuminated with hope, having sought Allah's Mercy. But all I saw were reasons of why I am, and will always be, enslaved to seeking it from Him."- The guilt of unatained idealism is always such a cruel splinter..

Noora said...

salaam samira,

beautiful post, mash'Allah. i wish i got to meet you when you visited town! next time, insh'Allah!