A Muslims thoughts on Ramadhan

Ramadhan is always a great time for me. In my life, I'm always struggling with the ideal of putting God first in every aspect of my life. I know that God Alone should matter in my life, but in the hectic pace of life, ordinary mundane things start to crowd that feeling out.

In Ramdahan, fasting from food, water and sex sets a context within which I can try to establish God's presence in my life. I also know that we are not supposed to only fast from food, drinks and sex, but from all lust, all hypocricy, all lies, all dishonesty, all backbiting and all evil. To my surprise, I am able to achieve that to some extent. I can carry that for some months. I think it is like the fourth or fifth month after Ramadhan that it starts to slacken.

It was once said that the true meaning of Fasting is to Fast from anything that distracts you from Remembrance of God. I have loved that ever since I first read it. I think this became a shortcut for me to evaluate every situation before I get involved.

Ramadhan also helps me in my day to day situation in one other way. No matter how bad the situation, I can look past it and say that as Quran says: "life of this world is but illusion." Once I have done my best, I should give the rest to Him. I know that His Will always work for my highest good, no matter how difficult it may seem at that time. His Will *always* work for our highest good. Everytime this faith has been proven true, and as time passes this faith turns and matures into Conviction. Hopefully, this Conviction, this Yaqeen, will translate into the rest of my life and in every month but Ramadhan.

I feel very close to other human beings and the rest of creation as well. I am much more forgiving and accepting of my coworkers. I am more liable to overlook their frailties and petty jealousies. I'm like a man who knows that at the end of the day there is a pot of gold that awaits him. Every offering of love we make to Him and His creation, brings us that much closer to Goal. The Goal of The Eternal Bliss, where Allah, the Beloved God will lift the Veil from His Beautiful Face and reveal it to us in all its Splendor, Glory and Beauty. I long for that day. Yes, I do long for that day.

I long for the day that I will earn the privilege of being in company of Prophet Muhammad, Prophet Jesus, Prophet Abraham, Prophet Moses (may God's Peace and Blessings be upon them all). Then all the worries and problems become petty annoyances. And the mind becomes a little quiet, a little more quiet and a little more quiet, until I hear the quiver of that fragile flame of love and faith in my heart of hearts. It is like when we go to Pilgrimage to Mecca we don our coffins by symbolizing our deaths from this world and we exclaim at the top of our lungs: I have come my Lord, I have come. If only I could do a minor pilgrimage to Him every day of my life by exclaiming through my life and effort: I have come, my Lord, I have come. I have come to you and I won't go, I have come and don't let me stray. I have come, so make me yours. For verily Allah has promised in His Quran: "Certainly we are His, and to Him shall we return."

For the short term, I long for the day when the fact that God Alone Matters, and He Alone is Worthy of Love, Worship and Surrender and He Alone is God, will no longer be just intellectual convictions. They will become the staff of my existence. They will become my constant companion, they will be my everyday Experience. Until then, I must help that goal piece-meal by trying to establish His Constant Presence in my life. The only way I know that is to Remember Him constantly, no matter what I am doing. The second step is to observe that Ritual Space with constancy and perseverance, where I break the continuity of time and space and establish his Remembrance through prayer at certain times of day. That time and space only belongs to Him. My heart belongs to Him, and then this external space and this external time I have devoted to His Remembrance. In the midst of a hectic life, in the midst of a secular culture, five times a day,I strive to come in His presence and surrender at least for that brief discontinuity in the humdrum of life and I try to do it as dutifully as possible.

I hope this presence of God will persist all through the year until the next Ramadhan comes and I will have no room for anyone but Him and His Lovers and loved ones.

 {The following was compiled from messages posted on the Religion Forum on 16-18 April, 1991. By Jim Quraishi 72511,60.}