It’s a few minutes after suhoor* and I am seated at my desk, listening to AlMaghrib’s online webinar, ‘In a State of Shukr’. As I’m typing this, Shaykh Saad Tasleem talks about the importance of being grateful-
No matter what you go through, there is always something to be grateful for.
Every time Ramadhan comes around, I feel grateful to be granted the opportunity to meet this blessed month again. This year’s extra special, though – I get to enjoy the whole of Ramadhan uninterrupted and schoolwork-free, yay!
It is as though Allah had planned my school holidays to end right before Ramadhan visited so I could do all the things I’ve been aching to do – to read, to write, to learn more about the deen. I couldn’t be more excited to have the entire month to myself to reflect, recuperate, recalibrate (and hibernate) at the comfort of my home. This month, I wanted to focus on my personal development. And so I made a conscious decision to exercise discipline in distancing myself from social media as much as I could. I needed to get away from the noise, clutter, and distraction, and reclaim my peace, organization and focus. And my time.
The deliberate ‘social’ lull made a remarkable difference in my life – I feel a certain kind of tranquility and freedom. No one knows what’s up except, well, you. It made me realize what ridiculous amount of time we have wasted every day sometimes just mindlessly scrolling and clicking on things that will pull you further and further into the abyss of procrastination. I’ve read somewhere that on an average, human beings spend a total of 4 out of 16 waking hours of their lives on social media. That’s a lot of time that can be done reading, learning, baking, playing sports, anything! It’s pretty sad that de-tech-ing has become a thing…a necessary thing to do, nevertheless. I am reminded of how our Prophet (saws) used to hide in a cave to contemplate and get away from the noise and corruption happening in Mecca. Similarly, it is important to take our time and focus off some things we know to be unsettling for our soul, to be a virtual recluse and just live. We all crave to seek solace through a healthy, temporary escape, once in a while. I admit that it’s easy for me to fall into the trap of spending too much time on social media and so I decided that Ramadhan would be a perfect time to practise self-restraint.
As a result, I find myself having the luxury of time to properly sit and write. I have the time to clean, cook and do the household chores. I have the time to dedicate myself to learning beneficial knowledge from learned scholars, and contemplate and study the Qur’an. I have the time to read my curated stack of #RamadhanReads. I also find more time at my disposal to gather with family and friends during iftar* and do prayers together, get myself involved in events and causes I believe in… and simply occupying my time with things that make my heart full.
All praises to the Almighty for blessing me with the gift of time, health, and energy – all of which could be taken away at any time He wills – to completely immerse myself in Ramadhan this year and reap as many rewards as I can without much worldly hindrances. I was (and still is) determined to seize this opportunity because Allah knows it will never come again!
Speaking of taking the time to cultivate my soul, gain more knowledge and develop myself, it’s funny how Allah decided that He didn’t just want me to keep what I know to myself – He also wanted me to share what I have gained to others. So of course when my dear friend Aida asked to join her in co-hosting her tea party, I didn’t hesitate.
I’m stoked to co-host this tea-less tea party (because Ramadhan, yknow) with these amazing ladies, Aida, Nisa, and Shahirah. There will be illustrations, apparels, barre classes and personal sharing sessions. Looking forward to connect with fellow sisters and talk about how our passion and purpose can remedy negative emotions, insyaAllah.
May we be gifted the opportunity to meet Laylatul Qadr* and may we be steadfast in chasing after abundant good deeds for these last ten days and beyond.
And may we always remember to count our blessings especially the one we tend to overlook every day; His precious gift of time.
And if you were to count Allah’s favors, you would not be able to number them; most surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. – Qur’an [16:18]
suhoor* = pre-dawn meal before we start fasting for the day
iftar* = an evening meal to break our fast
laylatul qadr* = the night of power that is better than a thousand months; the holy qur’an was sent down on this night