Yet Another Ramdan is here. And I must express my gratitude to the Creator for having made it. In one piece and in good shape. Al hamdu lillah.
The Spiritual Powerhouse
The human mind suffers from a general problem that the oft repeated customs and practices bring about boredom and lethargy. But the Holy Month is a great exception to this generalization.
Despite observing it from known childhood, the Month has remained a spiritual energy powerhouse enriching with intimate experiences with the Creator. Every year, like all believers, I look upon it with renewed enthusiasm and expectations. To undo the past sins and build a better future for my soul. I win, I fail and the circle goes on.
The psychology of age(ing
Years 30+ have passed since arriving on the planet; and keeping the 60 years average lifespan, I am half done. Actually more than half. With the health curve expected to fluctuate downwards, I am not sure if I can retain the spirit of fasting with the same psychology. I have heard from elders that the state of health is directly proportional to that of fasting.
Every year along with the balance sheet of errors I made in life, I also prepare a scorecard of the good things Allah has blessed me since last Ramadan.
And I share it with the command of Allah “Proclaim the bounty of your Lord”. My family has had a new member, my second son. In the creative world, two new books have been published. I have traveled to new destinations which I have dreamt since a long time. Recognized with better prospects at my career. And many more blessings which the Most Merciful has generously poured upon this sinful slave.
Forced and blessed by circumstances, I am passing this Ramadan with my eldest son without his mother. So this Ramadan has been a test of patience with single parenting the four year old. Times more than once a day we make and break treaties of peaceful coexistence. Nevertheless I have realized the length and breadth of the patience Mothers have. And that the child is best handled in the Mother’s lap than at the Father’s hands. I am sure my son will have a lot to share about his father when his mother returns from her maternal vacation.
Eat the flesh, leave the bones
That Ramadan is the month of Quran (i.e its recitation) is known to all, including the writer. But keeping the relationship alive with the Holy Book after the month is over is the real challenge.
It has been my unfulfilled wish to keep constant touch with the Word of Allah throughout my life. Rumi and Iqbal, my favorites, were the products of this Book. The charm and balm found in their writings is a direct influence of Quran. They ingrained the Divine Word in their hearts and baked their thoughts in its oven, leaving behind the trivial issues. Says Rumi :
[i]” MAN ZE QURAN MAGHZ RA BARDASHTAM!
USTAKHAN PESH E SAGAAN ANDAKHTAM!
I have lifted the marrow from the Quran
And left the empty bones for the dogs to quarrel upon[/i]
(For those who miss the poetic taste, the metaphor bone and dogs fighting over a bone are typical examples of Persian poetry used to show how unlearned people fight over a useless thing….)
Allama Iqbal especially used to recite the Book in the early dawn. It warmed his mind so much that ‘flames burst from the veins of his thought’. The influence of Quran on the mind would be like (or better than) the morning jog has on the body: keeping you fresh and energetic rest of the day.
Our time Poverty
It has been reported that Abu Hanifa,Imam Shafi and al-Bukhari recited the entire Qur’an each day and twice a day in the month of Ramadan. Allah had blessed them with the baraka in time which we can only envy living in this era of time poverty.
Whatever the differences in religious matters, I have resolved to nurture no grudge or ill feelings towards fellow Muslims who differ in perspectives. No believer out there is holding on to beliefs just for the fun of it. No groups lack the evidence in support of their claims. He or she is sincerely convinced with evidences from the Quran and Hadiths supporting their point of view. I don’t mean to agree or justify every single opinion opposite to mine. But I ought to respect their beliefs which are based on the broad frame of Islamic belief system. Faced with the question of survival, this is not the time for Ummah to push the other side to hell simply because he or she is not convinced with your set of proofs. Only Allah is capable of judging between the differences of the Muslims. May Allah unite Muslims on truth.
One who does not thank people, does not thank Allah. Keeping in view these words of Rasool sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, I am grateful and full of prayers for my country which, though constitutionally secular, has strengthened the Islamic world with unprecedented contributions of scholarship and culture. The secular government pays from its treasury as part of the subsidy for Hajj pilgrimage. The life and honor of Muslims here are safer than the neighboring Muslim nations ruled by dictatorships, where civilian die from street gun battles, political assassinations and Masjid suicide bombings are regular events so much that the natives feel nothing new about it.
I cannot but be grateful to Allah for being part of this great nation.
Today the country celebrates its 63rd Independence Day and has indeed invited the attention of even the World’s Super Cop:
“Indians around the world can not only look back on their history with pride, but can also look ahead to a future filled with hope and further progress.”
May this Ramadan become a source of guidance and light to foster peace and unity among Muslims all over the world.
Aug 15 2010