An Imperfect Effort

It’s the middle of the night and I am attempting to complete an advent calendar for my son.  This Ramadan, for the very first time, my son will be fasting a few hours each day inshaAllah.  To encourage him, I decided to create a calendar that would contain treats for him to have with Iftar. I hope you’re not imagining a beautiful, hand crafted work of art.  Our advent calendar is a simple cut out of a crescent moon and star on which 30 plastic baby food containers have been glued and numbered.

I got started on the calendar about two weeks ago. I gathered the materials I would need and situated myself on the living room floor.  My son quickly came over to see what was going on.  My initial intention had been to surprise him with the advent calendar on the first day of Ramadan.  However, I quickly realized that I couldn’t possibly create the whole thing while he was sleeping and manage to keep it hidden from him until Ramadan, so it became an art project for the two of us to do together.  As we worked, I focused on the joy this was bringing to my son and ignored how imperfect the whole thing was turning out to be.

As I sat there with my son, trying to complete the project, as his little sister tried to “help”, I thought about how easy everything is for Allah, al-Baari, the Originator of all things.  “Verily, His Command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, “Be!” and it is!” (36:82)  Not only did He, Al-Baari, create us and all that exists out of nothing and without effort, He (swt) created it all perfectly.

Our calendar was something special, just for my little boy.  It wasn’t color coordinated or elegant.  I’m sure no one would ever “pin” or bookmark it if they found a picture of it on a website. I had made duaa for help in completing this task and for it to be something that would increase the love of fasting and Ramadan in my son’s heart.  That’s all that really mattered. Using the materials we already had on hand, we completed as much of our project as we could and left the rest of it for later.

So here I am, Ramadan having already started, one kid fast asleep, another refusing to sleep, trying to figure out which treats I can put in each of these 30 little boxes.  Allah willing, it’s going to be a great month.

Yasmeen Afsar

Yasmeen is a mother of two who enjoys reading to her kids and trying new things.

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