Ramadan 2007: A Daily Personal Log

quran1.jpg

As Ramadan approaches, I would like to begin to prepare some mental notes on the significance of fasting for Muslims. I can begin with the following:

O who believe, fasting is decreed for you
as it was decreed for those before you;
perchance you will guard yourselves.

The month of Ramadan is the month
in which the Koran was sent down,
a guidance for the people,
and clear verses of guidance and
criterion.

[Quran: Chapter 2, 183] 

September 2007 Day 1:

It is the excitement of the moment to reflect on the thought that so many people around the world are observing their fast on this day. To hear the athan here where I am currently living is like music to my ears. To watch the people walk to their local mosques for congregational prayers gives me a feeling of happiness. May this Ramadan bring an enlightenment of knowledge and an increase of faith to everyone. Even non-Muslims who are coworkers express an interest to fast. I don’t discourage the intention but my concern is do they understand the reward attached to fasting?

Would you encourage a non-Muslim to fast?

 

September 2007 (Day 2)

The day at work went well, ALhamdulillah. One of the things I did at the end of the day was to take the time out to ask students What is Ramadan? Why is it so important? Inquiry kicked in and responses were given at the right opportunity. I have non-Muslim students and they too benefited in listening to the remainder of my Muslim children’s responses. We are having a Ramadan food drive all next week. We added not only what the meaning of Ramdan is but I wanted to see what their goals (simple of course) would be for themselves, family, neighbors and ect. I really enjoyed reading what they wrote. I noticed that many of these kids do have  a sense at least at the basic level of their religion. I am glad to see the work their parents have taken to educate their children on religious understanding.

When driving back home, I felt the day went well. However, tiredness overtook me and I could not keep my eyes open. I came home and needed to lay down.  After an hour I began to cook. Simple as my husband said. It is not a focus on quatity or quality of food spreads on the table but more the motive of why we fast on the spiritual and intellectual level. So yes, I thank Allah for yet another year of fasting and that it brings a new level of faith.

Even my son took part and pretended he fasted too, Mash’ALlah he is under the age of 6 but insists he wants to. I get excited when children express their interests.

September 2007 Days 3-4 (the weekend)

Alhamdulillah, a weekend that has provided some tranquility and light exercise. It’s amazing how childeren will get you to stand up and move with them. My son has been reminding me that he needs to take off a link from his Ramadan chain which is actually helping him count how many days are left in Ramadan.  As we have just started Ramadan, I feel like I need to maintain strong faith for my son and be an example. I am a little concern when religion is not equally balanced in the home. As a parent, I feel that raising children is a responsibility of both parents.  My son is at the age of understanding somethings and questions many. How do you propose that children be taught Islam?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ramadan has been going fine, UNTIL we were invited 2 days ago to my in laws home for iftar. After that day, my sleep patterns changed. I have only had a minimal of 4 hours for each one of those days. You know you just can’t say NO to a late dinner even after what was presented on the table was quite sufficient. Sleepless feelings during the day time makes me moody. That day, was a moment of gathering with family and for the first time I attended a taraweeh at the mosque. The feeling of standing in prayer with so many sisters left in impact of spiritulaity. Insh’Allah I will write more on this experience.

Thursday-Friday (Days 7-8)

A horrific experience for these days as I was confined to being sick with much to worry. I was at work and as I was standing and trying to talk I could not breath and I had to place my hand against the wall. Earlier that morning before work, I had gottten up ate, prayed and went back down to sleep for a couple of hours. Later that morning, not even an hour after reporting to work, I began to feel my throat dry and I felt confused. I did not think much of it until I was not able to catch my breathe. I visited our local infirmary and was asked a bunch of questions, what did I eat the night before and so forth.  Well, my temperature was taken and I had the beginning symptoms of a fever. I had no other choice but to break my fast.  I did not want to do this but as my throat started to feel hotter I realized that I had no other choice. Later that day, I began to feel worse, as chills and pain in my joints started to progress. I had to leave work early. I stayed home for 2 days I did not fast but just tried to recover from what I had eaten. Apparently the figs that I had eaten at the time did taste well but apparently I may had taken some that were probably just beginning to go rotten.

Have you ever had an incident during Ramadan where you are so into fasting and somehthing just suddenl interrupts that flow?  All praises to Allah, I feel much better now of day 9.

Saturday, Day 9

A day indeed of trying to complete domestic chores and keeping up with other tasks such as watching the clock. I really did not feel really well again today as I thought I would. My recovery has been slow and with fasting it made it even harder to clean and tidy up things. I had to make several breaks for this matter. Anyway, Allah is great. I had no mood to cook dinner when my sister in law surprised me with a stuffed seafood dish platter that just came right on time. All praises die to Allah. This reminds me of the story I read when Aisha (peace and blessings onto her) had given away her last piece of bread to someone who came knocking at her door. The generosity she displayed while fasting later arrived at her door with a dish from someone. This story reminded me that Allah watches over us. May Allah bless my sister in law.

Friday, September 28-Saturday, September 29 (Days 16-17)

I wish I could find the time each day to sit in front of the computer to open my heart to what has been a challenging Ramadan for me. I am happy to hear stories of complete contentment from others. I too have felt content but the challenge I have faced is observing my prayers on time. I am trying to improve in this area. It is being able to remove myself from what I am presently working on to answer the call to prayer. I feel fortunate to be able to expereince a live athan calling and too many times when I have responded in a timely manner I find myself not being consistent each time. I am struggling with this. This was not part of my resolution this Ramadan but I have discovered that it is an ongoing practice I must be willing to change and Insh’ALlah I hope it can be achieved. So far, reading the Quran has been an area of improvement and spending more time in the evening with less cooking and more time speaking to my child about this month. Children can be so oblivious about what goes around them but I have found out that by tapping into their interests and questions can just be exciting to know as Ramadan has given me an opportunity to make it memorable for him.  Is it easy to teach children about Islam while living in a world so full of electronic gadgets that seem to amuse the youth and fill their minds with super heroes that are non-existent in real society?

Sunday, September 30, 2007 (Day 18)

It is the last day of the month. Not only are we midway through Ramadan, but 2007 is only 2 months from ending. As I look back on this month, Ramadan began, school started and it was back to work for me.  There were many things I confronted along the way which were uncertain about my life lving abroad but the more I started reading and realizing that Allah intends to tests us in everything we do. Living and working abroad has been an intersting experience, especially now that I have watched how 4 years of what we have worked and lived abroad has meant for me seeing how well the adjustment has been accepting for my son who is surrounded by a culture that speaks Arabic. I have been able to watch him speak and even interpret some phrases for me, Mash’ALlah. On the other hand, for me it has been a big roller coast ride with not being able to acquire fluency in the language as much as I have wanted to.  I can understand it but far from speaking it well. The test living abroad has more wisdom than I have set out to try and comprehend. Allah has truly blessed me in this part of life and challenges that have confronted me are all by Allah’s knowledge. Thus,  I ponder my stay as follows:

And the Messenger (PBUH) used to say, “O Allaah, benefit me with what you have taught me and teach me that which will benefit me and increase me in knowledge.” [Reported by at Tirmidhee (5/578) and Ibn Maajah (1/92). Also refer to Saheeh Ibn Maajah (1/47)].

Monday, October 1, 2007 (Day 19)

Okay, as I turn the page in the calendar to mark a new beginning to a new month, I find myself counting up to the day Eid will be occuring. In saying this, my husband asked if our son needs  a new jilaba and of course he does as well as new shoes, Insh’ALlah. As for myself, I have not even thought of going through my wardrobe. Eid is not too far and it is crazy busy as I watch women select and purchase new cloth for a tailor fitting and design looking jilaba or whatever is in fashion among the Moroccan female. I am not into what is the latest fashion as some women here are accustomed to go through magazines and see if they can redesign the make of the product. Women’s fashion is always changing with the season and competitive market. Anyway, I did not fast today and I am keeping count of the days I must make up Insh’Allah. 🙂   I had a real easy time cooking today. In fact, I felt lighter on my feet and so used to now cooking for us. I was glad to see that iftar went well and I even completed before the athan sounded. I can’t believe it!! My son is still pretending he is fasting, (hehehe) Mash’Allah, I am glad to see how well he sits patiently waiting for the athan to sound. This is my favorite part of the day as I look through the window and see not one vehicle, pedestrian or child playing outside. The silence is so magnificient and a reminder of what every Muslim home is preparing to do- enjoy iftar with all the provisions Allah has provided us for this day. 

Ameen

Tuesday, October 2, 2007 (Day 20)

I actually have an hour before breaking fast and I am going to just write about what a good day I have been having, Alahmdulillah. I was able to read some Quran at work during my break and even memorized a hadith:

The Prophet also said: “Actions are judged (by God) according to the intention behind them, and everyone is (rewarded for) what he intended.”Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 113C

Insh’Allah, I hope to at least get a couple of more hadith in memory before Ramdan is over. The Quran is still a work in progress to try and complete it, Insh’Allah. I am a little dispappointed about not being able to be near completion. Insh’Allah, I am working hard at making this possible. Pondering the meaning is where I need to concentrate more on. For some reason hadith are so simple for me to ponder and memorize.

Have you ever experienced this problem as well?

🙂

 

 

 

Tuesday, October 3, 2007 (Day 21)

Wow, Ramadan is coming to a close as I look at the calendar and wonder how have all these days past us up. Alahmdulillah, these 21 days have been full of tests and personal expectations related to spiritual growth. I pray that Allah continue to guide me through the right path.

Has your Ramadan been fulfilling?

 

October 6-7 (saturday-sunday)

I started fasting once again. The feeling I got as I have returned to fast is one of being so behind while others were fasting all of those missed days. Insh’Allah, I will make it up. This weekend I felt a bit tired but Alhamdulillah completed a very light iftar. This year my health has not been as strong as previous years. Is this a sign that Allah has given me to better take care of myself?  Honestly, I do feel like I should be exercising more and that some days when I have been able to during this Ramadan have totalled to not even being enough. Insh’ALlah, I hope to continue with a better routine of health and fitness after Ramadan. I finally discoverd the reason why I felt pain after a while when breaking my fast. Apparently, I have breaking my fast each time with cold water. Well, my best friend who is a nurse told me that stomach cramping can occur after a bit. Trying to intake a liquid that has been cold can have a direct impact on the stomach since it has been still all day. She gave me the example of what can happen when you pour hot liquid into a glass that is wet. Well, the glass will crack. Thus, our stomachs are sensitive as well.

Have you ever experienced discomfort after iftar?

Tuesday, October 9 (Day 26)

Well, this is our last week of spending a glorious month of fasting. This evening as I sit here before my computer and hear the sound of thunder and watch the rain falling against the window, I can only describe it as being a night of serene calmness. I feel it even at home. Alhamdulillah, for what Allah has provided for us to enjoy this month. The family, friends, some visits to the mosque and being able to fulfill my obligations for this month. I pray that my time continue to be spent useful after Ramadan. Learning this religion has been an obligation and I need to make sure that I utilize my time for this.

Have you ever felt that Ramadan left you feeling like you did not do enough?

 

 

Friday, October 12, 2007

As I sit here and type my final thoughts I thank Allah (SWT) for another Ramadan well spent. Every day was one that either increased my faith and belief or there were situations that left so many significant lessons to be learned. The condition of having been ill was one that left me with a feeling of dislike. Later, a sister shared with me that the fact that I was down ill was actually one that Allah looks at expiating sins.  May Allah forgive me for my shortcomings. Ramadan has left me with seeking more knowledge and especially finding ways to seek more time of reading Quran.

 

Saturday, October 13, 2007 (Eid Al-Fitr)

A glorious day and one that was accompanied by much to be thankful for. We spent visiting family and looking forward to eating the long awaited dish that has been missed- couscous. Mint tea and almond sweets are always a big part of Eid-al Fitr.

I hope you had a memorable time with your family and friends. 🙂

Advertisements

4 responses to this post.

  1. Assalaamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu sis,

    It’s very hard to teach kids about Ramadan especially with all the peer pressure that goes on in society (mostly talking about non muslim society here). From my experience kids would rather get their hands dirty and be active rather than spend time with electronics and tv though. It’s much more fun. Insh’Allah you could do an internet search and find Ramadan activities for kids. There are a few websites out there for Muslim children too with online Islamic themed games.

    As for the language….the language you are trying to learn is very difficult. One of the MOST difficult from what I have been told. So, insh’Allah don’t worry about it too much. I only learned my husband’s language by constantly speaking it and hearing it at home. At first, i was completely lost looking up words in a dictionary constantly. But eventually, I picked it up. Also, I couldn’t talk to some of my in laws unless I speak their language. So, that’s how I learned.

    May Allah make it easy for you.

    Reply

  2. Posted by adikbongsu on October 1, 2007 at 5:37 am

    Masya-Allah….reading ur entry makes me appreciate life as it is. Alhamdulillah you are recovering sister and May Allah make it easy for you to go thru the daily chores of life. Ameen!

    I may only know you thru the blogging world and though you are “faceless” to my eyes but my heart acknowledge that you are my sister….and I love you for Allah’s sake.

    *hugs*

    🙂

    Reply

  3. Posted by adikbongsu on October 1, 2007 at 5:38 am

    i too have not mastered the language of our religion….am learning bit by bit thru hearing others speaking… 🙂

    Reply

  4. It was very beautiful and heartfelt words. And i also like the foto you put for header of blog. reminds me very good days.. Thank you 🙂

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: