Apart, yet still A Part

I look back and half of Ramadan is over in the blink of an eye. Before I know it, I’ll be saying that about my entire life. – Nouman Ali Khan

I can’t find a better string of words to sum up how I feel about the remnants of Ramadan. Weren’t we just preparing ourselves for the arrival of this blessed month a few days ago?

I have to admit that Ramadan 2020 has made me more acutely aware of the blessings I took for granted for the past years’. I’ve missed staying up for Qiyam at a mosque with my dear friends, heading to the neighbourhood bazaar to get affordable food for iftar, performing taraweeh with congregants at the mosque, communal iftar with friends and other family members…

But in hindsight, Ramadan 2020 has brought with it hidden blessings that I’m incredibly grateful to experience. I might not have the chance to do Qiyam but I get to schedule my day around daily prayers, carve some time to watch Islamic lectures online and catch up on the books I’ve always wanted to read but complained of not having the time for. I might not be able to go to the bazaar to buy food on days I run out of ideas to cook, but I find more time to try my hands on new recipes. There might not be a congregant to pray with, but at least I have my dad to lead our prayers together, and have a better concentration in it because I get the privilege of taking my daily siestas. Loved ones might be far away, but this distance is made nearer by dearest family and friends who surprised me with food, making sure we are well-fed. The following is just an appreciation post of the delicious iftar goodies I received from my loved ones – they’re all my absolute favourites!

I teared up when these delivery riders just keep showing up haha because on those days that I ran out of ingredients and decided to just settle for dates and tea, these food were delivered to me. I feel an immense wave of gratitude because when I think about it, isn’t this Allah’s subtle way of showing me He is taking care of me, through the rizq shared by my loved ones? It always feels great to be the one giving but it’s an undeniably great feeling too, to be on the receiving end of gifts, because feeling loved and knowing that you’re in someone’s thoughts is truly heartwarming. Perhaps that is why there is this hadith

Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Give each other gifts and you will love each other.” (Source: al-Adab al-Mufrad 594, Hadith Hasan)

My Lord has blessed me with beautiful souls in my path, and He’s blessed me with so much of which I have yet to even ask… how can I ever not be grateful? I cannot wait for when I get to finally meet everyone I’ve missed – I’d probably run for a hug and break into tears.

With the news of a gradual reopening of businesses and slightly looser restrictions, I’m looking forward to having my life back to pre-virus times, although I know it wouldn’t happen so soon. But I’m positive there will only be better times from here on now. I can still feel a little sad with the situation and the consequences it’s put us through, but sadness can exist simultaneously with a hint of optimism. It’s the attitude of a believer to look at the bright side of things. So if I claim to love Him, I must trust Him.

So while the future of our days remain freighted with a little uncertainty, I’ll stay hoping. I look forward to celebrating the end of this month with full conviction that we, as a community, have passed an unprecedented test that only serves as a reminder to keep our blessings in check. I want to praise Allah SWT in full glory. At least I know we are chorusing His name and greatness together from our homes – all of us apart, but still a significant part of this victory.

 

 


qiyam – a form of voluntary prayer prayed during the night
iftar – the meal eaten by Muslims after sunset during Ramadan
taraweeh – special voluntary prayers done during the nights of Ramadan
du’a – prayers
rizq – provision
hadith – a collection of traditions containing sayings of the prophet Muhammad which, with accounts of his daily practice

 

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