Ramadan came almost a month ago to visit us and how is she leaving us? In what state did she find us? Did she find us poor and is leaving us rich in spirit? Did she find us bankrupt and is leaving us with the wealth of remembrance? What promises are we making now that she is leaving for another year, knowing in our hearts that we may not be here to see her again? Did we set some goals for ourselves? Even though we are anticipating Eid and all the joy that comes with it there is also a sense of sadness that Ramadan is leaving. Did you notice yourself doing anything different? Did you start making some improvements? Did you find yourself having hope after feeling hopeless? Did you find strength that you forgot you had? Did you realize that you are stronger than you often gave yourself credit for having?
So how do we set goals for ourselves so that the spirit of Ramadan is taken with us through the rest of the year. The last thing we want is to be “Abdul Ramadan”- servants of Ramadan. Instead, taking the glimmers of light that now radiate from within, we should seek to magnify it in our daily lives.
Is it now that we pray all five of our prayers if we weren’t doing it before? Or add one or two more to whatever we were doing? Do we start to add an additional day of fast on a Monday or Thursday? Do we stop backbiting? Do we give more charity? What do we do to continue to build our relationship with God, so that God becomes the eyes by which we see, the ears by which we hear and God becomes the basis of all our actions.
Let us use the growth from this month as a place of strength and humility because while we will find strength that we have within us, we also realize that we have areas of growth. Let us use this as a catalyst to seek forgiveness from those around us whom we may have hurt/upset in some way whether it was un/intentional or not. Imam Ghazali says that there is no time when two people sit together without one person offending the other. So we should keep this in mind and be humble in our dealings with each other. Yet at the same time knowing that we expect mercy and forgiveness from Allah, we should be quick to show mercy and forgive others ourselves.
Let us find those we love and those we interact with and seek their forgiveness. At the same time, let us set a goal or two for ourselves to take with us from Ramadan. Don’t try to do too much, because sometimes we feel this “high” and we want to “do it all” but that often leads us to give up before too long.
Write down your goal/s and then share it with a friend or two or maybe a family member so that they can help keep you on track and help you to continue to grow and to become the best you that you can possibly be.
In the same spirit, I would like to ask for your forgiveness on behalf of myself and my family, if we have done anything to hurt/upset you in anyway- please forgive us.
Any mistakes from the Ramadan Reflections series are my own and any good comes from God. Please keep us in your prayers during the remaining days of this month and thereafter.