Ramadan is a holy month in Islam where each day Muslims observe a fast ( no eating or drinking ) from dawn to dusk. This year was the first year that I observed all the fasts (Alhamdulillah), and really spent time reflecting on my spirituality. The unique position of being stuck at home whilst fasting, gave me alot of time to think and I thought I’d share some of my thoughts.
The first thing that hit me was how much harder it is to fast at home than when at school or work. I found that when I wasn’t reading Quran or making supplication prayers I was really feeling guilty as there really wasn’t anything else for me to do, therefore no excuse could stand. How much of our lives to we devote to distraction and side projects, neglecting our spirituality to such an extent that we lose touch with it?
I realized as the month went on that I was really distanced from my faith, and that my ideas of an Islamic way of living were heavily influenced by the people surrounding me rather than nurturing an inner conviction in my faith. In my research I found that Islam is logical and provides metaphysical frameworks which nurture humans in the best possible way- ie from tapping into our need for structure in 5 prayers, to the idea of modesty for both men and women- allowing me to comprehend aspects of the beauty of faith, like that of a warm pillow, ( which contrasts the corruption spread by man) for myself.
But I am no-where near a substantial level of piety at the moment; I mentioned before that I was completing the fard actions ( necessary obligations) and I have far to go in my journey . Sometimes I found myself getting overwhelmed by so much thinking about what I ought to be doing and what I shouldn’t be doing, like I could change myself and personal outlook in the click of a finger. But there is no compulsion in religion- even from yourself. IA I hope to traverse an organic path, where I voluntarily with my full heart and consciousness take steps to worship Allah, rather than jump in at the deep end and come gasping up for air at a later date.
I also noticed that my mind became quieter with the meditative practice I was following in prayer and my daily routine. I would stay up all night and sleep during the day, waking up to join my father for a long walk. It was a slow lifestyle and I was feeling unproductive, not really accomplishing any studying. But on our last Ramadan walk, I reflected on the past 4 weeks and I realized I had fallen into the productivity dogma which I so dread. The month wasn’t a waste. It was an invaluable investment in my spirituality, an almost revert experience, which I hope to carry forward into the future (IA).
EID AL-FITR MUBARAK MY LOVES!