I am not a Christian but this is some sort of a confession that my spirituality had waned lately. I was still firmly rooted in my faith in One true God and the articles of faith in Islam, but the soul was restless and I lacked peace of mind. I was still searching for that alluded internal peace. I was distracted by the rat race and the mechanical aspects of our fast paced life. I was too busy at work. Too busy thinking about finances ( huge financial losses in stock market, to be precise), and other aspect of my mechanical, worldly life. I have set high standards for personal spirituality and I felt like I was reeling. The start of Ramadan was like the bell at the end of a round when a beaten up boxer is on the ropes. Then came my favorite part of the year- the month of Ramadan. The month of divine mercy and forgiveness.
Today is 11th day of the month but I felt the spiritual jolt from the very start of the month. This is the month when my mind and soul are at peace, and this particular Ramadan is no exception. I needed the recalibration. I needed the introspection. I needed to ask for forgiveness (Istighfar) from the Most forgiving, Al Ghafoor. This is the perfect month to seek forgiveness and repent for straying. To be clear, I was still offering my Salah(daily obligatory prayers), and was reading the Qur’an daily, which I have been doing for over 30 years. But the mind and the soul were not totally in it like they should have been.
Ramadan is the month to attain Taqwa, or God-consciousness and this is exactly what I needed. The financial losses and the rat race is put into perspective. Islam asks for putting your trust in God and this month is a strong reminder. My internal feelings about Allah had never wavered but the outwardly and the conscious mind was too clouded with the worldly affairs. I feel like the boat (of life) was rudderless and I got my hands back on the rudder and the boat is sailing smoothly again. The internal peace was missing for the past several months but I found it again- thanks to the month of Ramadan.
As I have mentioned in my prior posts, this month is about much more than fasting, though it is the most prominent part of it. It is about establishing, or reestablishing your relationship with Allah, asking for forgiveness, and reaffirming your faith. It is about doing good- to others, not worrying about ourselves so much. It is about being kind, and tending to the need of the needy, and appreciating the innumerable bounties of our Creator. It is about being thankful for what we have, rather than worrying about what we don’t have.
Thank you, Ramadan! Thank you, Allah for this month and all the bounties and blessings You shower upon us during this month. I pray that these blessings on all of us will continue beyond this month, InshaAllah (God willing).