A Ramadan Testimonial of Repentance and Renewal

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This is Day Nine of the 2018 #30Days30Writers Ramadan series.

Ramadan brings a beautiful nostalgic rush to the mind. Sitting outside the house in a quiet town on Long Island, the light breeze sweeps over me a familiar aroma. And, I am reminded of the street of teenage years. I am reminded of several Ramadans I spent in the local masjid of Oke Alaro in the beautiful city of Ibadan in Nigeria.

I remember the tafseer gathering of my Shaykh. I remember the euphoria in the air at iftar time — the orange sellers and professionals stopping their vehicles in front of the mosque. The football games at the back of the mosque coming to an end. The sun waning, the dates, water and beautiful sense of community. I remember a month full of tarbiyah … but it had not always been like that.

It was 2008. The height of my teenage years. We were exploring and rebellious. There was a state-wide public-school strike. I tasted alcohol. I experimented with partying. An entire day would go by, and what dominated my thoughts was the love I had for a girl from the neighboring Queen’s School Ibadan.

I had no business with prayers. I seldom read the Quran. Then …

One day in my grandmother’s living room, I was reading the Quran, without understanding the meaning. I was just reading with zeal, at the top of my voice, and then …

I began crying. I mean, uncontrollably sobbing. It got so intense that I couldn’t continue reciting. I later took a shower, went to the mosque and read a translation. Then …

About a week later, I had forgotten the incident. Life was back to normal.  I missed prayers; didn’t read the Qur’an, and well, thought about the girl from Queen’s School. Then …

It was months later, and it was the beginning of Ramadan. I went to the mosque for dhur prayer and I did not leave until after asr. I sat in the mosque with a few brothers, and we discussed Islam. We did the same thing till iftar. Then …

Throughout the month, my days were filled with reading the Quran, discussing Islam, listening to lectures, engaging in dhikr, standing in qiyam at night and reading books on Islam.

The month eventually left. But my renewed love of God, of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and of Islam stayed. Ever since then I’ve gone through spiritual highs and lows, but that Ramadan left me with the greatest gift of all: consistency in salah, the five daily prayers.

Ramadan is a month of spiritual revival, faith renewal and abundant repentance. I’m a testimonial of this. It comes and guides us through the Quran. You just have to allow it.

About Tohib Adejumo
Tohib Adejumo is the author of "Love in Ramadan" He is a research assistant at CUNY Research Foundation. You can read more about the author here.
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