Sunday, August 28, 2011
The Spiritual Harvest of Ramadan
On my Twitter account, @jihadijew, I asked my Muslim friends to share with me what they had gained from their experience of Ramadan. Here are their answers in the order in which I received them. I have edited them a little to fill in words left out for twitteresque brevity or corrected grammar for a few non-English speakers. I didn’t edit the content at all.
I asked the question to encourage people to inspire each other but also as a way of helping me think about the Jewish month of reflection (Elul) which begins this week. I can only hope that in a month’s time, with the help of God, I will be able to report a few wonderful gains myself.
Here is what folks said:
I learned to have more patience
I learned that praying in the House of God and listening to beautiful recitation, brings peace to your heart like nothing else can!
I learned to to remember Allah every moment of my life, and be patient enough til I meet Him.
I learned that taking out one or two hours just to focus on your spirit (whether through reading/meditation/prayer) is really rejuvenating.
I learned about “unity.” We rarely see this atmosphere in our daily life. Everyone is busy with their own life but in this month you feel the difference
I learned that God is always on your side, so be on His
I learned that fasting is not just about depriving your body of food and drink but more significantly about reaching the state taqwa (piety)
I learned to take my time in doing things that I would like to achieve. I am trying to persevere with patience.
I learned that faith isn’t a physical destination but a spiritual state that transcends and emanates from wherever you travel.
I learned to appreciate waking up each day. Life is really short so we have to take advantage of every little minute we can breath without difficulties.
I learned to learned help family first and to train our selves to remember Allah so that the soul feel happy and the nafs (lower self) doesn't go astray
I learned more patience and spiritual insight! Also the need for loving all humans.
Allah says be merciful to my creation and I will show you mercy!
I learned to praise Allah for every blessing even if it was little because there are people fasting but they don't have anything to break their fast
When we abstain from the bounties that Allah provides us during Ramadan, Makes us realise how merciful Allah actually is!
For me Ramadan represents the act of attaining contentment through the exhibition of gratitude to Allah for all that we have
In Ramadan I focused on the equality aspect in Islam.We all stand side by side in prayer humbling ourselves to God
Im starting to go to the mosque more this Ramadhan. Hearing the azan and not showing up on time makes me feel bad.
that my community in Toronto is flawed and united; which is, in fact, a beautiful thing.
I learned to talk to Him again and I realised that nothing is possible without His help and guidance. That fact made me happier
I noticed our ability for sself control,people around the world sit in front of food and don't touch it until the maghrib prayer .
I learned that fasting for a month in summer is no joke! More importantly I learned to filter bad thoughts and actions by fasting.
I learned patience, not sweating over the petty things
I have been thinking bout what I've gained in this holy month. I definitely learned a lot but its challenging to keep it up for the other 11 months. Inshallah, G-d give us the strength!
I increased my love for the Qur'an as well as my daily adkhaar (remembrance of Allah) in the morning and evening.
I learned that my desires can be controlled.
That the Path leads to the Oasis. Our sights must be set on the Oasis - not the dust on the Path. (a paraphrase of Shams Tabrizi)
I spent more time and money for the cause of Somalia. The satisfaction and closeness to G-d I felt, will make me do it all year long.
In Ramadan I decided I won't enter into endless arguments whether I was right or not.. Time is better spent trying to get close to G-D!
I began writing a diary. When I looked back at how hard times passed (during some days of the revolution in Egypt) I thanked G-d.
We need to forgive and set things aright with others around us. Helping others as much as we can, we take this spirit along with us . And there is hope in every human being to change for the better. If they choose to do it, there's no stopping them!
I have been taking care of every single word I say, making sure that it won't harm anyone's feelings.
I learned, strangely enough, the importance of sleeping in the night as opposed to during the day. I used to stay up eating and then sleep because I wasn't working but I was tired all the time. I realized that the night was made for rest.
I learned that you should give your heart to God instead of people
We're all hungry- for love, for peace, for contentment. Keeping away from food curbs unchecked hunger for lesser priorities. Just as Ramadan ends so will the blessing of Life. Stop procrastination with regards to giving Life, every bit of energy we have.