It’s Ramadan! I didn’t need to tell you that, but maybe you needed a reminder. You’re not fasting (either you are pregnant or nursing), and with kids in tow you can’t commit to extra prayers in the masjid. The stillness and focus in your prayer is now replaced with incessant needs and cries of your babies. You spend hours in the kitchen preparing the meals and taking care of the needs of your kids and guests, with little time left over for reciting Qur’an. Everyone around you is reaching higher levels of spiritual elevation, and you feel left behind. Is this a fact of life that we should accept? Should we just set the bar lower for ourselves to avoid that guilty feeling that we’re not doing enough this Ramadan?
After recently hearing some pieces of advice on utilizing the most of Ramadan, I know I haven’t reached my full potential. Prior to that, I was beginning to accept that motherhood takes away from the ability to be fully devoted to Ramadan. Then I was reminded about the true beauty of this time. In the 30 days of Ramadan everything that you do is ibada (worship of God). Eating is a ibada, staying away from sins is a ibada, holding your tongue, reading Qur’an, protecting your gaze, contemplating creation, giving charity- these acts are encouraged year round, but in Ramadan they are transformed into something more. Angels perform various tasks for God year-round, and all these tasks are considered forms of worship. Ramadan gives us the potential to be like that, it is the only time of year where we can be similar to angels. SubhanAllah.
For the times when you feel you don’t have the time for true worship, like reading Qur’an or praying, remember the scholars used to say:
“The nafs, if you do not preoccupy it with good it will preoccupy you with what is bad.”
So if you’re not filling your free time with thikr, you will spend it on Facebook or chatting on the phone. Instead, we can make our daily tasks lead us on the path to Allah, even though they may not have a spiritual component. The following hadith is a wonderful example. The companions of the prophet (s) once asked him:
“O Messenger of God! When one of us fulfills his sexual desire, will he be given a reward for that?” And he said, “Do you not think that were he to act upon it unlawfully, he would be sinning? Likewise, if he acts upon it lawfully he will be rewarded.” (Muslim)
The next time you go to the gym, go to work, tend to your kids, provide a healthy, halal meal for your loved ones, or spend time with your husband- remember to approach it as an act of worship. Make the right intention, do your task with excellence, and remember Allah, Ash-shakur. By His will, for every step you take towards Him, He (swt) will leap bounds towards you.
Dalal is currently a chemistry graduate student who above all loves being mom to a precious 3 yr old.