It has taken me some time to write this blog as I have been moving house. My head was overtaken by carpets, paint and walls being knocked out. Alhamdulillah, I’m in a new house just in time to begin Ramadhan.
I couldn’t write until I had my ‘moment’. My ‘moment’ is that time of pure sincerity and concentration, you know, the one moment where you can say without a doubt that you focused entirely on Allah swt. Ashamedly sometimes that moment lasts only 3 minutes but honestly, it is the best 3 minutes ever. It gives you a boost, a recharge and the will to continue! For me, it was in fajr salaah after Suhoor this morning.
I had this desperation in me, this plea with Allah swt: Ya Allah it is You I need and You I seek help from, please please Ya Allah guide me to the straight path, not the wrong one where I will cause You to be displeased with me, pleeeeease.
Often in life, I do not know if I am doing the right thing, making the right decisions. Often in life, at key times like Eid, Ramadhan and yes even the old celebratory days like my birthday, I find myself completely alone. I have learnt that in those times I have my strongest ‘moments’ and so I have learnt not to dwell in self-pity or cry (too much). Instead, I have come to understand this is part of a plan and is good for me.
Alhamdulillah, I can only say it is through my several 3-minute moments in life that I have found Allah swt to be my best friend. He is always there, and always comforts me. SubhaanAllah, I tell the truth when I say that sometimes after my moment a friend will call and invite me round, or knock on my door or sometimes it is just an immediate ease of the heart.
More recently I have learnt how to be grateful at times when I’m low, not only at easy blessed times; that was difficult! I have trained myself to temporarily but politely block out people or situations that will make me sad, and then focus on all the good around me. That might mean you speak less to people, why? Because sometimes when talking to others you will talk about your problems, reminding yourself with sadness constantly on your tongue and heart. Whereas taking some time out and making yourself busy can help with that gratitude mindset. Give yourself a ‘pick me up’, it is amazing! Recognise your own behaviour patterns and know when to go quiet for a little while in order to give yourself that positivity boost.
Saying all that, my friends are brilliant too. Alhamdulillah. I always say to reverts – find a pious circle of friends, not just one or two. I can’t rely on two friends, they will get burned out with the amount of love I seek off them. I have an entire family and extended family to replace! I am now blessed with an entire family and extended, made of pious friends. Alhamdulillah.
So back to my suhoor, this is what it has looked like for the past 3 years: I have my tea and toast, large glass of warm water, I sit on the floor with my back against the radiator (which has been timed to come on 30mins before my alarm to get up) my feet are pressed against an American style fridge freezer (recently featured in a post by brother Saleem from GLM who helped the house move), the view to my left is the beautiful night sky, the moon, the view to my right is my front door – not much to say about that! The sound whilst prepping food is Qur’an and whilst sitting to eat it is a short video by Sh. Yasir Qadhi / Sh. Omar Sulayman / Sh. Ahsan Hanif – any of the short daily Ramadhan reminders. I am perfectly alone – just me and Allah swt. I love it. The stillness. I can concentrate, I can feel, really feel the atmosphere and the spiritual side. It is my favourite part of Ramadhan.
So, this Ramadhan if you are alone, if you are struggling to connect to Allah swt, if you are looking at others who have family, if you have a deep sadness – find your moment. Find your moment with Allah swt and make Him your best friend. Aim for gratitude. It is hard, I know. When you’re sad it doesn’t come easy, but try…just try, and keep training that mindset. Have an iftar with friends. The prophet (peace be upon him) advised us to surround ourselves with pious people for a reason. There is no room for shyness when you are trying to improve your deen and become a stronger person, so don’t be shy in needing others sometimes.
Life is a balance; at times you need to be alone to reflect upon Allah swt and at times you need to be with people to keep you smiling. Take this Ramadhan as your ‘moment’ with Allah swt – train yourself and set that goal. The outcome? You will learn to rely only on Him.
Allah swt says in the Qur’an: ‘Is Allah not sufficient for His servant?’ (39:36).
To conclude, I have asked others to share their Ramadhan reflections this year, so I will be posting them in due course (once I’ve unpacked some boxes, oh I forgot to mention my first suhoor in this house this year – alone obviously, surrounded by boxes, wiring, the fridge was not in a comfortable position and the radiator was covered in plaster dust – still amazing though alhamdulillah). Please look out for Ramadhan Reflections and share widely! Let’s spread our message.
Have a blessed Ramadhan.