Posted : 2007
Originally entitled Ramadhan: Meaning amidst the Mundane, by Maliha, Posted with permission

“Sufyan baba NO!”
“OMG! Those are my books habiby!”
“Not the wire! Sufyan WAIIIIT!”

Invariably most of my Ramadhan has been spent hauling Sufyan away from the DVD-Book Shelf-Electric Plugs-Computer-Kitchen Floor-etc. This rapidly crawling baby, who has no interest whatsoever in his toys, has developed a very pragmatic route around my suddenly extremely tiny living room. Whenever I bring him back to the center of the living room for the infini-th time; he would make a direct beeline for the next prohibited item on the list.

I also tried to fast most of the days, despite the fact that I am nursing. It was much easier when I was pregnant, I barely felt the difference last year. This year, I feel like a kid, giving a whoop of joy when the Maghrib adhan is finally declared (through my handy Fajr clock) and I can finally enjoy a glass of much needed water.

I really feel out of it this Ramadhan.

I tried to host more Iftaars this year to make up for the fact that I just don’t feel the “Ramadhan spirit”, to no avail.

Normally Taraweeh’s are my salvation; the tangible hours every night where you pray alongside your local community. I always look forward to listening to the mesmerizing voice of the Qaris/recitors; and the eloquence of their duahs at the end. I always feel the overwhelming sense of belonging; standing there after a long day of fasting and increased consciousness; with fellow brothers and sisters; knowing we may be strangers by all means but somehow there is the thin thread of Imaan that runs across all of us. Understanding deep down that all my hopes, fears, expectations, disappointments, are mirrored in every single heart beating to the rhythmic harmony of worship.

I went to one of the first Taraweeh’s this year, taking all the necessary measures to clean-feed-comfort Sufyan before I left him with my mom. I felt amiss throughout the Salaat, like in my bones I could hear Sufyan screaming his heart out. Since I forgot to carry my cell phone, I finished the Salaat and rushed back home. My worn-out mom confirmed that indeed, he was crying non-stop for almost two hours. Needless to say, I got the lecture of “the woman’s prayer is at home for a reason”; and from then on scrambled to pray at home whenever I wasn’t too exhausted. Since his bed time has become a bit late, I would sleep with him, then try to wake up before Fajr and pray in the comforting solitude of the night. Sometimes, I would wake up groggy to find that I can barely make it for the compulsory Fajr prayer before the light of dawn finally breaks through the infinite veils of the night. I wake up on those fateful days, with a sinking sensation that I have missed something too sacred to articulate.

I don’t mean to sound so wretchedly ungrateful; with so many people truly suffering around the world; I know I am incredibly blessed. It is just my first Ramadhan as a mother; and I know I have many more to come; considering the fact that I would like to have more children (Inshaallah). It is hard to conceive how women with multiple young children, actually find the time to *consistently* set aside to pray (extras), read, and reflect exclusively. I have found it to be hard for me to do so, and I only have one baby. Just one..

I take comfort in a precious sister’s reminder that “the mundane becomes sacred when you do it for the Creator and Sustainer…” Amidst the constant diaper changing-baby feeding-comforting-entertaining-monitoring, and countless house-stuff routines that I go through everyday I am trying hard to keep afloat the mundane; and somehow still squeeze out meaning out of seemingly random moments…

I am trying to take something of this blessed month to incorporate into my routine year long. After all, Ramadhan is supposed to be the spiritual battle ground that helps us modify our behavior for the long haul. In my more ambitious times I would list pages of things I would like to accomplish for this post-Ramadhan year. For now, I will content myself with trying to stretch my day a little more…and enjoy this fleeting time I have with my soon-will-be-a-grown-up baby before I look back at this amazingly hectic time wistfully; wishing i had appreciated it while I could…