The Ramadhan Post

Assalamu aleikum

Take your tune chords out; it’s time for a singalong!! (O Tannenbaum/Christmas tree/Kuusipuu, which ever it is in your language, im sure you know the melody)

O Ramadhan, O Ramadhan, The month when we’re all starving. We cannot eat, we cannot drink, we cannot smoke, we can’t get l**d.O Ramadhan O Ramadhan, is it time to eat yet?

O Ramadhan, O Ramadhan, The time we spend in cooking! We pass hours with pots of grub and then at night we eat a lot, O Ramadhan O Ramadhan, The Holy month of heartburn

O Ramadhan, O Ramadhan, Your nights are spent in prayer. I slept half way thru taraweeh, as did the brother next to me. O Ramadhan O Ramadhan, All day I will spend sleeping.

The reason for this musical masterpiece is not to make fun of Ramadhan (and seriously, you can stop singing now) , but to bring out some of the most common  mistakes we fall into during it. A lot of non-muslims have asked me why we fast on Ramadhan. What is the signifigance of staying without foor AND water. A lot of people seem to think that the purpose of our fasting is to empathize those who have no food and remember the poor by making ourselves taste hunger.

( I could insert a pic of a hungry African kid here. But I won’t. This is not that kind of a blog)

And it is true that Ramadhan IS the moth of empathy. At the time we break our fast, we are (of should be) truly grateful of the fact that we have something to break our fast with. Which is more that you can say about many of our muslim brothers and sisters.

But the main purpose of Ramadhan is to battel once lower self;nafs. At Ramadhan, as we all very well know, the satan’s are locked away, so they are not the ones behind our desires, wants and wishes. Unfortunately very few people seem to realize this, and thus they spend the holy month by worshipping their nafs MORE than usually; many of us seem to spend the whole day prepairing for iftar. The food at iftar has to be superextraspecial, so we spend hours and hours at the kitchen cooking, baking and stirring. The other day I met this sister at the grocery store. She told me that they had already been shopping for food for 3 hours in the morning but she still had to come back to get something they had forgotten – being originally from a muslim country she expressed how she was already tired at the idea of cooking the whole Ramadhan. I honestly can’t balme her…

Everyone who knows me, knows that I don’t cook. I can’t cook, I won’t cook and I really couldn’t care less in learning how to cook. I think cooking is the stupidest way to waste ones time. (now do all take into account that there i’m married to paki; thus i don’t mean the kind of cooking where you cook so you and your kids could have a warm meal, but rather the asian style of cooking (and arab) where you spend hours on end at you kitchen, cooking something that you could have gotten straight from a jar.)

And cooking is only one side of the problem; after cooking, we actually eat all that stuff as well. Muslims on Ramadhan are a common joke in hospitals around Europe; a lot of muslims apparently have  to go to hospital because of overeating. Plus we throw away a lot of food, since no one ever finishes anyway. And call me uptight but the last time I checked both overeating and israf were considered as forbidden in islam.

I was watching Baba Ali talking about Ramadhan the other day, he made a real valid point on Taraweeh, talking about how people picker and argue over whether it’s 20 rakats or 8. Since when, he said, has taraweeh become the most important prayer? And I do agree with him; on ramadhan we don’t spend half as much time nor concentration on isha as we do on taraweeh. (by the way, it IS 20 rakats. If you think it’s 8, you’re wrong. pheww… ). A lot of people over eat at iftar and the go to taraweeh feeling drowsy: many of us fall asleep during the prayer or feel that it’s a chore getting all those raka’s done.

Allah subhana wa ta’ala says in the Quran, the meaning of which is near to ” Fasting is for Me (alone) and it is (only) Me who rewards it.” But instead we make even Ramadhan be about us. How selfish is that? We think of the rewards we are getting from the actions we’re performing. When in fact we should be greatful for this chance Allah has given us, to perform deeds (not to gain rewards)but to please Him. Since His pleasure is more important than the greates of rewards.

We should consider nafs as enemy as big as shaytaan. At Ramadhan the shayateen are locked up, so the only thing pushing us ot haram is our nafs. It’s a drag, not having anyone else to blame but oursleves, but this really is a good way to notice which of our bad traits come from shaytaan (the handy scapegoat) and which really are just the by-products of our ever hungry nafs. There’s no pleasing it, because it is the side of us that always wants. Instead of concentrating in fufilling it’s demands we should, then, concentrate in diminishing it.

It is said that we should check and correct our intention, niyaa in the beginning of, in the middle of, and at the end of a deed. And then we should still make istighfaar (ask for forgiveness) since most probably there was still something wrong with our niya. The correct niyaa for every deed is that it is performed for the sole purpose of pleasing Allah, who has created mankind only for His worship.

Did that get a bit difficult just now? Sorry if it did: what i’m trying to say is that:

The true purpose of Ramadhan is to battle our nafs. The best way to battle one’s nafs is through hunger, since food makes all the other desires grow too.

If it takes more time to prepare a meal than it takes to eat it- trust me, it’s not worth it.

Even if you’re one of those twisted people who enjoy cooking, make sure it’s not taking time away from your ibaadah (worship). If you can’t keep track of the amaals (deeds of worsihp), make a checklist of things to do everyday. This is a good idea in and out of ramadhan

Don’t overeat, no matter how good the food might be. Eat to your fill and stop eating before you feel you gotta open up a few buttons.

Remember to be grateful; at least we know our fast is from sunrise to sunset. There’s a lot of people on this planet who don’t know when they will get their next meal.

Remember Quran- this is the month Quran was sent down to our beloved Prophet (sallallaahu aleihi wa sallam). Read the Quran and also read a translation of the meanings in your language, in order to benefit more.

Ps. I’ve been thinking it might be a good idea to start making Ramadhan resolutions (like new year’s resolutions, only on Ramadhan); think of a quality in your character you ‘d like to develope, or a n amaal you’d like to start: start it right away and try to remain steadfast after Ramadhan as well.

Ramadhan Mubarak to all of you who have nothing better to do but to read this blog. You are appreciated ^.~


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