Alhamdulillah the month of Ramadan is upon us. The month where we fast and abstain from what feeds our body. And instead turn our focus inwards, on feeding and sustaining our souls. As a result, we feel weights being lifted off our chests. We feel unburdened, unrushed, satisfied, content, and calm.
However how do we feel this if we enter the month with a feeling of inadequacy and of not being prepared enough?
The fact of the matter is…
We live in strange times.
The connectivity, the ease of communication, the ability to share ideas by a mere click of a button.
It all seems beautiful. But can get toxic ever so silently.
One moment, we are happy, scrolling through our Instagram feeds, innocently looking around for some inspiration. The next moment, the innocent action takes on a sinister feel. Because we can’t help but compare our lives; our chaotic, haywire, organic lives with the picture-perfect insta-ready lives of our friends or the social media influencers.
Where are we headed with all these constant comparisons, constant feeding of perfection?
The message we mothers sometimes get is to roll up our sleeves and work harder, work better to have more exciting, colorful, and engaging daily routines with our little ones. We hop onto the bandwagon with our ever-available ticket of FOMO, (the fear of missing out). We constantly feel inadequate, unorganized, cluttered, and doing less than what all others seem to be doing.
The world is fast becoming a place that is less home, and more of a competitive battlefield.
In these strange times, a beautiful month descends upon us.
This month that vows to pull us out of our shallow, mediocre materialistic life.
A month that tells us how by abstinence we can taste abundance. How by withholding, we can taste fulfillment. And how by pulling back we can actually grow inwards.
The month of Ramadan, the month that wants our soul to feel unburdened and unshackled.
A month that guides our attention to the most real part of our existence, our Ruh (Soul).
But do we really give ourselves the chance to feel all this?
To truly experience what this blessed month has to offer, we need to disconnect from the world and its beautiful demands and look to a place that is not accessible to the eyes, but is reached through the heart.
We need to stand up to the external pressures of perfection. The pressure of having a perfect meal plan for Ramadan, a list of mind-blowing Iman boosting activities for our kids. The pressure of exquisitely decorated corners for the nights of worship.
We need to take off the pressure and say thank you but no, thank you.
We need to be courageous to say no, I will not let social media tell me how to decorate, plan, and share my Ramadan. But rather I will look deeply inwards, take account of the battered soul, and run to seek salvage with Allah and his remembrance.
To truly make most of this blessed month, we need to take out time. Carve out niches of quiet solitude to pour our heart out to our Creator.
We need to empty our hands and raise them heavenward to catch all the blessings being Allah is sending our way.
We need to quieten the outside voices, turn a deaf ear to all those who intend to micromanage our lives from across the screen and accept what Allah has placed on our plates: the weaning baby, the newborn, the beloved bedridden elder braving a sickness this Ramadan.
So can we pause?
Pause and just look deeply at all that is within our reach.
To appreciate what we have, we will need to turn away from the perfect pictures. And instead turn our focus to resuscitate our weakening souls, and revive our hearts.
When we plug off, we will find our secret inner garden awaiting us. Awaiting us so we can nurture it to bring forth beautiful flowers for us.
So stand your ground with dignity…
For you know what your family situation is like. Let not the colorful images drain you or ask perfection from you.
So if you need to…
Plan this Ramadan if you must!
- Soak in all the barakah & blessings.
- Stay in sujood, in intentional ibadah and to make heartfelt du’as.
- Stay in submission to our Lord and in contentment this Ramadan.
- Have a deep heartfelt du’a and a the tear stricken sujood.
- Share your pains with Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى and to beseech Him with His beautiful names.
- Raise your du’a, not your voice or your stress levels.
- Lower your indulgences and false pride.
- Recite and ascend, recite and ascend.
- Be amongst those granted pardon from hellfire and those who are granted the glad tidings of an intimate counsel with Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى on the blessed night of Laylatul Qadr.
Abu Huraira رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ reported that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said that Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى, the Exalted and Glorious said:
“I am near to the thought of My servant as he thinks about Me, and I am with him as he remembers Me. And if he remembers Me in his heart, I also remember him in My heart, and if he remembers Me in assembly I remember him in assembly, better than his (remembrance), and if he draws near Me by the span of a palm, I draw near him by the cubit, and if he draws near me by the cubit I draw near him by the space (covered by) two hands. And if he walks towards Me, I rush towards him.”Sahih Muslim
May Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى be happy with our efforts to please him this Ramadan. May we all witness a life changing Ramadan. Ameen
Author’s bio: Sana Mughees is a medical doctor by choice and a learner by default who is on a beautiful journey of seeking knowledge with her two children. You can find her blogging over at https://www.instagram.com/unschoolstory/