Friday, August 26, 2011

the 25th

tonight was the night i've been waiting for all month - maybe even all year, since last ramadan. i feel like i finally broke through the walls of my own stupidity and fear and connected with allah after what feels like forever. i've been waiting to do this, wanting it to be natural, kind of spontaneous, so that it would feel more authentic i guess. and allah waited for me. allah's been here all along, always with me, always looking out for me.

there's that hadith, "if you go walking towards allah, allah will come running towards you" - and subhanallah, it's true! this ramadan is been so transition-y. i spent half of it back home and other half here at school. that means changing priorities, changing cultures, changing lifestyles and the people i spend time with. i felt unsettled for a lot of ramadan - like, my copy of the qur'an was back on campus with my bookmark and my favorite translation, so for the first few days of ramadan at home i didn't read the qur'an at all - which is so silly and wasteful and *sad* in retrospect - but at the same, praying at home was so intense, while here in karachi i'm trying to negotiate the crazy heat and demands on my time from friends and of course clinics and calls and all that so prayer seems to be lacking something. i thought about documenting how i feel in this year's RD a handful of times, but to be hoenst, i didn't feel the same drive to write that i used to feel back at stanford, when i had all glorious month in one place surrounded by a group of people who "performed" ramadan with the same sort of passion that i had.


this is my life now. the closer i inch towards the "real world," the more i'm going to have to deal with ish getting in the way of my ramadan. which means that i'm going to have to be a lot more proactive in doin' it big, ramadan style.

that's not to say that i haven't had a great ramadan, much moreso than last year. i've *enjoyed* every single one of my prayers, suhoor is my favorite time of the day because i start reflecting and dhikring without even realizing it, i've been regular about reading the qur'an and i've prayed taraweeh more often than not. alhamdulillah, that's pretty solid. it could've been better - and it *has* been in the past - but for the first time in a long time, this seems sustainable. i think i can continue this as the year goes on.

i just feel like my heart has hardened so much in the last year - not for any particular reason, i think i've just gotten really passive and i relied too much on anticipating ramadan for getting back on track. but my ma said something kind of awesome in the first few days of this month that changed everything for me - she said that if you read even a little bit of the qur'an at the beginning of your day, then you can be satisfied for the rest of it that you did something right.

...and that's all it took. tonight i felt my heart explode the gunk that was caked around it and inside was something beating, kind of feebly at first but then picking up momentum and *light* and i feel so calm. and alhamdulillah alhamdulillah alhamdulillah, it's only possible because of allah. (i've always loved the 25th. just read any of the past RDs, it's my favorite night.)

i only have a few more pages left until i finish this read through of the qur'an, and i'm planning on completing it on the night of the 27th. this is a big deal for me, because it's been years since i've read it all the way through. i start, read through a couple of chapters, and then stop and start over because i pick it up after weeks, sometimes months. it's not something i'm proud of. but finally, after a long time, i'm filled with hope.