Day 0

The excitement had begun at the Maghrib prayer itself. I was happy: I made it. I had reached the Holy Month, alive. Allahumma Balligni Ramadan… would have been the prayer of all the believers in Shaban.

My mother made it clear not to rush back home immediately after prayer, instead to read Quran well.

One of the resolutions I had prayed for (planning wouldn’t have made it come true) was to remain as much disconnected with the worldly world. A ‘signed out’ lifestyle is the demand of this month. Signed out from the lures of this world: and tuned into the remembrance of Allah. I had come across Imam Gazzali’s thoughts on fasting where he discusses a very select group of people whose ‘fast of the heart from mean thoughts and worldly worries and its complete unconcern with anything but God. Such a fast is broken by thinking on anything other than God and the last day, as well as by concern over this world, except in so far as it promotes religion which belongs to the hereafter’

Although I am nowhere in that state of heart, wish I could be there in some Ramadan of my life.

The other benefit of the ‘signed out’ lifestyle is the pre-training for the final farewell from this world. The Barzakh lifestyle is free from food and drinks, wife and kids, friends and relatives, iPhones and ipods… Ramadan is a good time to abstain from such alluring sources so that it would be easy for the final adieu

One needs to build a mental preparation before the advent of Ramadan, not after it arrives. Ramadan is a guest, and we need to ready our hearts days before it comes.

Day 01

Oh! I wish I could build a masjid like the one where I pray Tarawih! The Jami’ is so finely built, so magnificently spacious, so elegantly designed… No. Not for any of these. The countless prostrations of Allah’s servants which touch its floors. That is the most envious part. Imagine the reward of its builder. Suppose the Return On Investment it derives. It is recurring unlike other worldly investments which are only one time profits.
At fajr, the Imam recited the part which had the verse “If My servants ask you about Me, I am near. I answer the call of the caller when he calls on Me. They should therefore respond to Me and believe in Me so that hopefully they will be rightly guided.
(Surat al-Baqara: 186)
I smiled in prayer. Allah inspired a new lovely meaning in my silly heart. How majestic is Allah, how charming is his Beloved. Only Allah can describe love in such a way. The meaning I felt is only one of those zillion meaning it can have. If Allah wills, I will reveal it to my friends at a later time.

Day 02

Food habit is a key factor affecting the spirit of fasting. The type, time & totality of food intake will determine how well we can perform during the day time and also the lengthy prayers in the night.
There is a tendency in us to give too much importance on breaking fast than observing it. This requires a correction in our personal and social life.
Sleep should be scheduled in such a way that it’s neither too much that we can hardly find time for remembering Allah besides our just obligatory prayers nor too less that we fall sleep during tarawih prayers.
One should use all his / HER’s brains, tech tools & energy for ensuring as much ibadah can be done on time. Nothing comes easy & fast & unplanned. Just as we keep post-it notes for reminders, schedule our meetings, prioritize our check list for worldly matters, we need to be more diligent when it comes to Ramadan.

Day 03

We need to break each day’s fast with the sincere hope & fear about acceptance of that day’s fast. Allah is not bound to accept all our deeds which are brewed with distraction, selfishness and laziness.
Talking should be kept to the minimum. Though it’s a hard one to follow, but it’s worth the pain. Quran describes the fasting of Zakariyya (as) and Maryam (ra) praising their silence.
We also need to take some time out before Iftar to read Quran and duas. Try to reduce the last minute rush and noise as much possible. It only makes our Iftar more amiable
Ramadan shouldn’t be the time to learn, but to practice what one has learned earlier. Spend as much less time on attending speeches & seminars & more on prayers and duas.
Once the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam asked his beloved wife Ayesha (ra) to knock on paradise. When she asked with what, he replied ‘with hunger’. The message is loud and clear: indulge less, abstain more.

Day 04

Thoughts of death give new meanings to life. The reality of our passage from this world describes, derives and defines the purpose behind our coming to this world. Love and hate in relationships becomes a silly thing if both parties involved focus on this reality.
And thoughts about this most forgotten aspect of our life helps to focus in prayer, at least for a while. Remembering our dead ones and praying for them give us a touch of relief. And we too one day have to join their league of grave-dwellers. May Allah make it easy.

Day 05

Ramadan is a time of abstinence as well as meditation. Problem is some do it at the masjids and some in front of the TV sets.
As an industry member once testified at a press conference in the Muslim world, “In-home viewing goes up from an average yield of four and half hours a day of TV viewing to six to seven hours a day TV viewing,”
“So it’s true that all year long TV is the favourite national sport of the Arab family – the virtual family member of the Arab family – but in Ramadan it becomes more so.”
And the drum-beat doesn’t end there. Ramadan is equally rewarding for the broadcasters as well not just as the viewers. What a shame that the channels make more commercial sense of the Holy Month than the spiritual sense by the commoners.
“Ramadan for us is the peak [not just] in terms of rating but in terms of commercial revenues and in terms of investments … I would give a percentage of 25 to 30 per cent of the total production investment and of advertising revenues to that month. So you take 75 per cent of your investments in programming and of your income from advertising and divide them over 11 months.”

Day 06

The purest of all love talked on earth is of the mother and child. It is selfless and string-less. Like the rain drops which comes down the skies to kiss the soil on earth. Like the trees which grow in the deserts to be eaten by its inhabitants. The mercy and care the mother shows is unfathomable. Now how can we imagine about the mercy of the Most Merciful? And what more to say about the first 10 days of Raman which is called the merciful 10?
If an atheist would ask for the proof for Allah, then His Mercy alone is enough to answer that question. Despite the sins and its doers in this world, Allah has let it remain. Alive.
May Allah show mercy on this writer, its readers and all the rest if humanity.

Day 07

Today I had a chance to meet with a prominent educationist from Kerala, again. His humility and silence was the same as before. Knowledge and age had given him a superb command on his genius. He remains calm no matter what we tell him. He was here at the invitation of the Government for delivering speeches on Ramadan. His students are full of praise for his wisdom and memory power especially. He has traveled extensively throughout Arab world and has ties with some prominent personalities, including ex mufti of Al Quds masjid.
During our conversation, he praised the punctuality and adventurism of the western world and their commitment to quality in life.

Day 08

The way Allah executes His Plans is amazing. He fulfills our needs in ways which we never imagined. He may answer one’s duas through another’s hands, sometimes with the neither of their knowledge.
And it is not possible to understand the wisdom of His Plans with our limited intellect. When we look back in our lives, we will see the events that we came across were the result of numerous individuals’ actions.
More importantly, we will notice His Mercy running through the veins of our life events. Without His Mercy, we are helpless and useless beings.
Even the garment of our relationships – with our parents, spouses, children and society at large- are knit by His Mercy. Without it, our hearts would be lonely with no feelings for anyone and from anyone.
Our feeling of love is out of His Generosity. And we need to thank Him, day and night, as long as we love and are loved.
May Allah have mercy on all.

Day 09

Islamic dawa has taken new form and shape compared to the early stages of Islam. In the primitive days, it was through the believer’s lifestyle which attracted the infidels towards the religion of Peace. His actions spoke louder than words. There were no pamphlets and CDs and websites to bombard the non-believers with Islamania.
The recent times have also witnessed inter-religious debates in which logic or reason is the greatest concern and virtue. This method has definitely won several hearts into the fold of Islam. It is appealing for the modern mind. Reasoning creates a spark in any mind, even of an atheist. Moreover, Islam is indeed the most logical of all faiths, as testified by a non-Muslim during such a debate.
However, there are certain dangers imminent in this methodology. Firstly, faith cannot be established purely by reason. Faith, after a certain stage, is driven by obedience, blind and deaf, to the commands of Allah.
In Sura Baqara, Allah says “This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear God. Who believe in the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them (Verses, 2,3)
Islam is to obey Allah beyond why and how. Literally, it is submitting one’s own life, including his logic and reasoning, to the will of Allah. Satan was accursed when he placed his logic above the command of Allah. When Allah asked him to prostrate before Adam, he protested saying why would he when he created out of fire and Adam with clay?
May Allah out of his Mercy help us to submit our lives and surrender our logic for His pleasure in the path shown by His Beloved sallallahu alaihi wa sallam.

Day 10

Tonight ended the Merciful 10s. But not the Mercy of the Most Merciful. It is as ever living as His Being. Humanity and the rest of the creations will see it full glory on the Day of Reckoning.
We all pray that He deal with us by His Mercy, than His Justice. Only then we shall be saved.
I concluded my thoughts of this one third of Ramadan recollecting the verse where Allah addresses His Beloved saying, “I Have not sent you but as a Mercy to Worlds”. What would be the secret of such a proclamation? What would it mean for the Muslim Ummah? What is its purpose for the rest of the worlds, seen and unseen, heard and unheard. For other solar systems, for other galaxies, for other… I submit to the greatness of His Beloved.
Sallallahu ala Muhammad, sallallahu alaihi wa sallam.

Day 11

Allahumma ighfirli dhunoobi, ya rabbal aalameen!
Man and women are capable of sinning. But the same are not able to forgive themselves. It takes the Most Forgiving to pardon them.
When we sin, we are actually acting against our ‘truest’ nature. It is a sin to tell lies. Reason one, Allah has forbidden it. Two, man is created in truth. Lying actually is harming that nature in us.
When we look back, our life is full of shortcomings. We have acted against the law of Allah and ourselves at numerous junctures in life. The only way we can fix, or say, undo, them is to seek Allah’s forgiveness. Unlike science fiction (strange opposites though) we cannot travel to past to press Control-Z. Only Allah can erase our past failures and turn them into gold.
The second 10 of forgiveness has started.
May Allah forgives our sins of past. And future too.

Day 12

Seeking Allah’s forgiveness is a continuous task (not just because we sin everyday). We maybe successful in sitting one whole night or half a day, but there is no surety of the response from Allah’s side.

Although Allah has proclaimed Himself as Most Forgiving, we are still worried whether He has forgiven our sins. Mainly because He has also said that He may forgive to whomever He wills. And there are no criteria for His decisions. No parameter for His Will. No one to question His choice. No one to argue with His Verdict.

May Allah forgive us all.

Day 13

Today, it has been a Time-based thought that has dawned.

Every Ramadan this has been the experience. The first 10 are very slow. The second 10 starts gaining speed. The last 10 passes too quickly.
Is this feeling my own? Can’t say.

Time is highly subjective. What may take 1000s of years for one can mean just 5 minutes for others. Our dreams are a first class example of this phenomenon.

Subhanallah, it is His Might and Knowledge that He makes different ones feel the same time differently over a high magnitude.
A journey which for some could take months can be completed within few hours by others. It is not the case of just technological advancements alone. But by the blessings of Allah the Almighty

Allahumma barik fi awqathinaa… May Allah help us achieve as much good in our lifetime.

Day 14

I have always wanted to write about this. Perhaps Allah destined it only now. It has happened many times before. And I am sure it would happen again.
In layman term, we call it coincidence. While we all have it in terms of meeting people or other occasions, here I am referring to the Quranic coincidences.
Time and again I come across experiences which are related to the Quran verses or chapters I have just heard, discussed or read myself. Let me explain it in three scenes which happened the same day.
Scene 1
As part of the marathon recitation of the Holy in a bid to finish it during this Holy Month, I had reached the part of Sura Hud. This Sura focuses on the justice and punishment of sin when man runs out of all chances for accepting Allah’s mercy.
Scene 2
I and my favorite Quran tafsir lecturer are on the way to the Friday prayer. We talk about the stress at workplaces and ways to cool the head. Tension does lead to various body reactions, including grey hair. So we contemplated the use of applying oil as a coolant for the head. Besides the fact that is a sunnah of Holy Prophet.
Jaabir bin Samurah (ra) was asked: “Were there any white hair in the mubaarak – blessed head of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam)? He replied: ‘He only had a few on the middle path, and when Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) oiled his hair, they did not show’”. (Shamaa-il Tirmidhi)
In this context we also talked about the Hadiths such as below
Abu Juhayfah (ra) says: ‘The people said: “Ya Rasulallah, (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam)! we see the signs of old age beginning to show on you?” Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) replied: “Surah Hud and similar surahs have made me old”. (Shamaa-il Tirmidhi)
Ibn Abbaas (ra) reports: “Abu Bakr Saddique (ra) once said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, you have become old’. (What is the reason? Due to this mild and soft temperament he ought to be young, and also according to his age he should still be young). Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) replied: “The recitation of Surahs Hud, Waaqiah, Mursalat, Amma and Kuwwirah has made me old’”.
Scene 3
We finally reached the masjid. Al hamdu lillah, on time. In the khutba which was about the patience of those who keep fasts, the Imam narrated the same Hadith, “Surah Hud and similar surahs have made me old”.
And it raised my eyebrows again. Another coincidence again.

After reaching home, I was almost on the last line of the poem, I believe in the mirror of love, when my buddy Zubair called me from the city of Prophet, Madina. He was excited to have reached there, again. I was even more excited that he called me at a moment when the subject of my poems was directly related to the place from where he was calling.

For sure, these coincidences are not without the knowledge of Allah.

In fact, I think it is not right to call them coincidences at all. They are like any other event, planned and decided by Allah. Just that we don’t get their inner meanings.

Day 15

Well begun is half done.

Well, the Greek philosopher may have meant whatever he meant. However, I am sure of the second part of his axiom. Half the Ramdan is over. Did I start it good? Only Allah knows.
There is also a common tendency for the believers to develop a relaxation mood as the Eid festival approaches. Although the climax lies in the last 10 in which eager believers seek the Night of Power, they also mentally prepare for the Eid festivities – food, clothes, apparels and accessories – whom to meet and where to meet friends and relatives.
One good tip would be to do away with the shopping havoc well before Ramadan or at least before Last 10. Two reasons I can quickly count. The time wasted in shopping is time lost in Ramadan. Second, Shopping markets are the wrong place to be in the month of Mercy, Forgiveness and Refuge from Hell. Markets are the playground of Devils, as opposed to Masjids of angels.
May Allah keep our first and second half of Ramadan at its best.

Day 16

Everyone likes to be taken seriously. Even my son demands I look at him when I am telling him a story. I am not sure if I can tolerate someone talking to me while having something else running in his mind.
Imagine we are doing the same attention crime in front of Allah the Almighty! My prayers and duas are filled with mayhem and distraction. It is as sinful, I feel, that I should ask His forgiveness for performing such prayers. It would be His Mercy if He answered such inattentive calls.
Body sinned, heart stained and soul sinned, only Allah can forgive.

Day 17

To break fast in Ramadan – What would be the best place? The best food and drink? The best sight?
Answer is simple. Having Iftar at Masjid al Harem with Zamzam and dates and looking at the Holy Ka’aba.
A lesson I learned during the Umra pilgrimage in the year 2003.
A matchless moment. Right after tawaf of His House, resting in the mataf, looking at the Ka’aba, whispering His names, invoking His Grace, selfless brothers competing to serve you Zamzam, it is piety on your left and right. Pigeons encircling the skies, Allah’s dhikr charges the air, driving your heart into a frenzy of cries. The sight of Ka’aba fills your heart with light. Everyone is in prayers. The right moment for duas to be accepted: before iftar. The right place for the sanctity of prayers: right in front of His house. What else would a slave want? The Master is right there saying: Call me and I shall answer you.
Subhanallah.

May Allah bless us all with such moments. Again and again…

Day 18

Today Islam is a world phenomenon. Muslims are in billion plus and growing. The globe is filled with Masjids and Madrassas. Islamic learning has spread its wings across all the media known to the world. There are kingdoms and republics across the political landscape of the world.
But this glory did not happen with ease.
They were the results of sacrifice by several generations and selfless service lasting for centuries.
The first of its kind – the most decisive one- took place at the Battle of Badr fought during this Holy Month. The Companions of the Prophet were in a state of fasting as they marched and charged at the enemy of Oneness of Allah.
Those 313 did not have with them tanks and jet fighters. Barefoot and empty-stomached, they were the ones who saved Islam from extinction. With Allah’s help and Prophet’s directions, they became the spiritual forefathers of the billions of believers in the later generations. Their victory was so decisive; Time would not have marched further otherwise. In the words of their Commander, the Beloved Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, “O Lord, forget not Thy promise of assistance! O Lord! If this little band were to perish, there will be none to offer worship unto Thee.”
The Companions went for the battle ill-equipped and null-prepared, but in state of fasting. And because they won I can call myself a believer. My faith is a prize of their dedication and sacrifices.
What sacrifice have I made? Any drop of blood I shed for His sake? How much sleep did I lose for His religion? How many minutes I spent under the sun in obedience to His Rasool?
May Allah overlook my lethargic faith pampered by ease and comforts.

Day 19

Early morning as I was driving with the Holy Quran channel played on the radio. My co-traveler and I were listening attentively to the Hadith narrations on the channel. The collection was related to the topic of duas. There was touch of sleep on the canvas of our minds due the late sleeping hours the previous night. But since we were heading to the office, we could not afford to curl ourselves into the couch of sleep.
During such a moment, we both suddenly exclaimed ‘Subhanallah’ almost at the same time. ‘I have heard many, but this one never caught my attention’, said my friend. ‘What a powerful statement. The Muslim leaders who oppress their non-Muslim subjects be better warned’, I said.
Our sleep went to sleep on its own leaving us to a long discussion.
Allah is not bound by a single community. He is the Lord of all peoples. He does not tolerate injustice, whether from believers or others. And His Beloved made it clear to the followers of Islam. There is no place for injustice in Islam. Oppression cannot be justified even if it is committed on those outside the borders of faith.
“Fear the dua of oppressed, even if he is a non-believer”

Day 20

A third is over. The 10 of asking forgiveness has passed. I need to read more of Quran, in order to finish it by end of the Holy Month. And I should be asking Him more. Attach to Him and detach from this world. At least as much as I can.
The night prayers are approaching. Timing sleep and controlling diet is important. To stand for duas, sit for Quran and lie down for His dhikr. All postures of the body and states of soul are for Him.
The last 10 is the best 10. To seek refuge from hell and ask for paradise. To beg for His Pleasure which is the ultimate a servant can achieve.

Day 21

The hunt for the Night of Power has begun. It is no more fun to sleep at night. The sun of His hope shines in the dark hours of night. Iblis is constantly trying with his devious ways to distract the slave of Allah. But the slave fights in his little capacity aided with the guidance from Allah.

He stands and weeps for long repenting his past sins. Only Allah can forgive his faults no matter how much excess he has committed. The slave is confident that his sins cannot beat the Mercy of His Master. He only needs to raise his hands and ask. Ask as never before. Ask as if the reply is most certain. Ask as if Allah is waiting to be asked… as if Allah likes to be asked.

Day 22

Allah wills whatever He willed. There is none to question why He blesses certain people with whatever He blesses. He decides in whose hands shall e the dominion of love and rule of the world.

But it is the duty of the blessed to share the fragrance of such blessings.

It was the night of the 23rd Ramadan. A grand night for this slave of Allah. A majestic moment to inhale the mercy of Lord.
Love is not to be argued or debated. It is to be experienced and accepted. May Allah give all such fortune.

Day 23

Everyone have their own views on certain maters. They may be influenced by their own experiences or their reasoning. Allah has given each individual a unique identity which also includes his opinions, views and perspectives. And these differences at times lead to conflicts. One side may be right and the other side maybe more right.
When we look back in Islamic history, we can find numerous instances of such differences. We can find differences based on clan rivalry, rule of state and election of the ruler, jurisprudence reasoning, philosophical interpretations and more.
It is not worthwhile to scan the sincerity of intention and ambition of each side. Our duty is to respect their status as great ones and understand the times they lived. By taking sides, we are only risking our Akhira. For surely, we are not going to be held accountable for the decisions and actions they undertook.
The world today, in all its good and bad, is a result of their notions and actions. And only Allah is capable of deciding between the sides. He is able to decide one as right and also equally able to forgive the other.
Say (O Muhammad ): “O Allâh! Creator of the heavens and the earth! All-Knower of the Ghaib (unseen) and the seen. You will judge between your slaves about that wherein they used to differ.” (Sura Surah Az-Zumar : verse 46)

Day 24

The Beloved of Allah is the greatest God-fearing and God-yearning who endeared Allah more than of His creations. He never spoke a word nor nurtured a thought other than Allah. His ambition and motivation was always based on Allah’s remembrance.

It is the same Prophet who dignified the importance of good health of the body. He used to ask and persuaded others to ask Allah for sound health and well-being. Only a sound body can remember Allah with a sound mind.

In the dua of Qiyamul Lail, this point is what came to my mind when the Imam asked for the cure of the sick. Right from the toothache of my son, I thought about the countless sufferings of those in hospital beds, war-torn countries, poverty-stricken people… The physical suffering of one can give mental agony to the other. Pain multiplies, joy fades.

May Allah give them all good health and well-being. Only a sick person can realize the value of good health.

Said the Beloved Rasool sallallahu alaihi wa sallam,
“Pray God for forgiveness and sound well-being. No blessing other than faith is better than well-being”. Tirmidhi

Day 25

Ramadan is a month of sacrificing our desires of food and drinks, sleep and rest. But Allah has also left enough ‘space’ for enjoying His blessings in its due amount and right time.
Masha Allah, one such blessing is my mother’s dishes. The physiological explanation may be that my taste buds are used to her ingredient mixing. But what about the psychological aspect? Even the mouth-watering MNC food brands come nowhere closer to her mix. The five star chefs fail to impress my tongue and heart. Her preparations are the best starter and dinner for my belly.
It may be she cooks the food adding few teaspoons of her affection and a pinch of love which is what appeals to we children’s hearts.
My mother’s recipes may not be a great deal to mention in the Ramadan journal. But our thanks for little things make us capable of being grateful to Allah for bigger things.
The Beloved صلَ الله عليه وسلم said,
من لم يشكر القليل لم يشكر الكثير
“Whosoever is not thankful with a little won’t be thankful with a lot.”
Praise is to Allah for such a mother. May Allah have mercy on her just as she pours her love for me.

Day 26

Since morning my heart was throbbing for the night festivities.
Every moment of Ramadan is precious. The last ten is even more. The odd nights the most! Enlivening the Night of Power is the booty of the believers. The heart had only one prize in mind. To win the Trophy of His Pleasure, before it meets the Lord on day of Hashr.
This night charity flows like a breeze. Water and eatables are distributed to all. Kindness on the roads, upon pedestrians who cross. Quran is fervently read, as if it was just sent. On cheeks tears rolled, on lips Allah’s praises extolled.
On the night of 27th, Ramadan reaches its zenith. We left early, but that it wasn’t good enough. As we reached, the roads from far was closed. That night there were going to be more believers on the road than cars. The gardens and parks were going to be watered with Allah’s servants’ tears.
We placed our prayer rug on the footpath. The streetlight gave me enough radiance for Qira’at. I gave a look into the sky. No, I could not see the angels or the ‘Ar Rooh’ descending from the skies. Yes, the fault was mine in my eyes and heart, not of the creatures of light.
The Imam started with Sura Ar-Rahman (Most Merciful). Subhanallah, What a choice, for the night full of Grace! What could stop it (the Grace) from descending from the skies! What a key to open the doors of His Mercy! What a stick to knock on the heavens!
The second verse, is an ocean of meaning terse. He taught us to understand Quran in a language we can understand, not in wild Greek alien to those on earth.
The second Sura was even more endearing. Its reference in the verse
“And those Foremost (in Faith) will be Foremost (in the Hereafter). These will be those Nearest to Allah (verse 10,11).:
Sabiqoon, or the foremost ones, are those who prefer and crave for the closeness to Allah than the blessings in paradise. I remembered the poem I wrote earlier based on this topic, “His Nearness, our Paradise – Rabia Basri’s reply to Jaihoon” (http://www.jaihoon.com/872.htm). In her intense love of God, Rabia was more interested in meeting Him after death than entering paradise or escaping hell.
The Imam reached the part where Allah reached the last where Allah asks a direct question,
68. Tell Me! The water that you drink.
69. Is it you who cause it from the rain clouds to come down, or are We the Causer of it to come down?
70. If We willed, We verily could make it salt (and undrinkable), why then do you not give thanks (to Allah)?
I thought about the mineral water bottles given by volunteers lying in front of me. What if… if they were like Allah asked? So little thanks do I give for His countless blessings.
After a few raka’at, as we sat for rest, I recalled a hadith which the Beloved so lovingly prayed for.
“May Allah bless the man who gets up during the night to pray and wakes up his wife and who, if she refuses to get up, sprinkles water on her face. And may Allah bless the woman who gets up during the night to pray and wakes up her husband and who, if he refuses, sprinkles water on his face.” (Ahmad)
Mine, who was at least a thousand and half miles away on her vacation. I picked the phone and rang. But she was already reciting His Book while listening to the melody of Kerala monsoon rains.
We reached the final dua session in Witr. All cried as if they were little infants crying for their mothers.
‘O Allah! Who created us and fashioned us. If You don’t forgive us, there is none besides. We have nowhere else to knock. You have other slaves too: more pious, more virtuous. There is no shortage of those who call upon You. Answer us, as You have promised. Sent us not empty handed fro Your majestic Presence. O Allah. O Most Merciful. O the who knows in and out. Forgive us and protect us. Ya Ilahana…’
We returned with eyes swollen and body shivering. There were no cars, all people around.
I called my grandmother in Kerala and she was having her sahri. We prayed for each other.
That night I didn’t sleep.
Allah had given a gift that night as I heard my offspring speaking of his love for the Beloved of Almighty
‘I love Rasool more than Allah. Why did Rasool have to die?’ And he runs around playing reciting the Durood.
It reminded me of the lines of Allama Iqbal, the ardent lover of Madina
“Prophet is the strength of my heart
A little more than Allah
Is he dear to my heart”
“Train your children to acquire three characteristics: love of your Prophet, love of his family and reading the Quran, for the bearers of the Quran will be in the shade of Allah on the Day when there will be no shade except His, with His Prophets and His chosen ones.” (Narrated by al-Suyuti in al-Jami’ al-Sagher)
Masha Allah, everything is with the bounty from Allah.
As Allah says, “And as for thy Lord’s favor, declare it.”

Day 27

Anything and everything about Allah’s Book is wonderful. It is the all time wonder of the world.
Books in general have certain parts which are important and others which are not. There may be paragraphs added for introductory purposes. Phrases inserted to support other words. Spacing, cover design, introduction, back cover synopsis all of which are not present in the case of His Book.
Even in factual books, the authors add some bit of imagination and fiction.
Each alphabet in the Quran is bare essential. There is no ‘unnecessary’ content which could be removed. Each word is fact. There is no fiction of any sort in this Majestic Word of Allah.
Such is the Book of Allah. And he has promised to protect it from human intervention. It still is, as it was.
There are no chapters which you need to ‘fast-forward’ or to be ignored. Every bit of it is revealed by Allah requiring no proofing nor editing.
One may read it a thousand times. Each time, he will derive a new meaning or inspiration. Allama Iqbal, the poet philosopher who maintained a ruthless spirit on originality of ideas, depended on same book throughout his life. As Mian Ali Bakhsh, the life-long domestic assistant of Allama Muhammad Iqbal, confesses “Now and then, when he did not feel satisfied with his composition, he was extremely restless. While composing he would often ask for the Qur’an to be brought to him. Even otherwise he called for the Qur’an a number of times in the day.”
No wonder, towards the end of his life, the ardent reader of Quran, he asked to remove all the other books from his home library except the Holy Quran.
May Allah bless his soul. Politics aside. Philosophy aside. Poetry aside. His love for Prophet and Quran, zindabad!

Day 28

After repeated requests again and again from my patient Dad, I finally threw the once-beautiful Flower Bouquet into the garbage.
When she was brought home, she was all pretty. The petals were youthful and colors bright. Anyone who looked felt joyful. She was a perfect collection with the perfect fragrance. But she is now old and decayed. Her colors dim and faded. No more fragrant. Petals withered and sad. All I can remember was her fragrance.
Life too is not very different. We decay after death. People who love us the most are the same crowd who dump us in the grave. Not because they don’t care, but our smell would get unbearable. Our good deeds alone are the fragrance we leave behind.
May this journal too serve such fragrant purpose, even after its author has faded.

Day 29

All good things come to end in life. Ramadan which began one day has also to end on another day. Life is a continuous cycle of sunrise and sunset, of zero to a full moon and vice versa.

End of Ramadan is also a moment of mixed joy and pain.

The harvest of Ramadan is about to end. The manifold blessings, lengthy salawat, eager duas, the emotional moments, non-stop qira’at…
But then there is the expectation of Eid celebrations. Families, Friends, new dresses, meetings, modest games, dishes…
Personally, I am excited too to reunite with my family who were on a ‘voluntary vacation’ in Kerala.
Insha Allah… Tonight I would be flying over the Arabian Sea to arrive at Calicut at Fajr. I am not sure as yet whether the month would last 30. Nevertheless I have decided to celebrate my Khatmul Quran in the world of angels, in between the mountains of clouds.
I remember the words of my better half the as she made her dua request: ‘make dua as you are a traveler (with more chances for acceptance). Also you are in the skies, closer to Allah by a thousand miles as compared to earth below.’
I would be first going to the resting place of my late beloved leader who passed away in Aug 09. I see his presence in anything that I can feel proud of my home state, be it political unity, educational progress or religious leadership. Probably I would attend Eid prayers with his sons in the masjid where he is buried.
Another occasion of joy is the release of the Arabic translation of my poems entitled Ummi Hiya Jannathee, in gratitude to my mother. May Allah accept.
I wish, like all believers, for another Ramadan and several more in life. I never know if Allah has accepted my empty stomach and sleepless nights. If He does, it is out of His grace and kindness. I only pray He does.
Whenever I recall this incident, eyes and heart get soaked in the love of His Beloved.
he Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) arrived and led the prayers. After they had finished they all greeted each other and everyone was walking back home. The children running and playing in excitement, smiling and laughing, without a care in the world. As the Prophet (pbuh) walked back home, he suddenly became aware of a little boy (Zuhair Bin Saghir) sitting by himself on the side of the path. The little boy was crying and looked very sad. The Prophet (pbuh) bent down and patted him on the shoulders and asked ‘why are you crying?’ ‘Please leave me alone’ sobbed the little boy. The boy didn’t even see who was talking to him. The Prophet (pbuh) ran his fingers through the boy’s hair and very gently and kindly asked him again why he was crying. This time the boy said, ‘My father was martyred fighting, and now my mother has married again and my stepfather does not want me to live at home any more. Today is Eid and everyone is happy. All the children have new clothes and nice things to eat, but I don’t have any clothes except what I am wearing. I have no food and I don’t even have a place to live.’
The Prophet (pbuh) said to him, ‘I know how you feel, I lost both my mother and father when I was a little boy.’ The boy was surprised to hear that it was an orphan who was comforting him, and when he looked up to his great surprise it was the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and he immediately jumped up to his feet out of love and respect.

The Prophet (pbuh) said to him ‘If I were to become your new father and Ayesha you new mother, and Fatima your new sister, would that make you feel better?’ ‘Oh yes, that would be the best thing in the world!’ The boy started smiling. The Prophet took him home and gave him new clothes and good food on this beautiful day of Eid. The boy indeed had a wonderful Eid that day.