City of Brass

City of Brass


Ramadan Rituals

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Zahra Somani.

Day 1 of Ramadan holds a lot of excitement and promise. It is the first day of a month that I, along with so many of my brothers and sisters in faith, have anticipated for the better part of the year. Beyond its significance in Islam as the holy month during which the Qur’an was revealed, the reverential “Night of Power” is held, and the Battle of Badr was won, Ramadan is a time for personal revelations, a chance for each of us to conquer the battles within us. Because, let’s be honest – it’s never really just about the food, is it? That would be too easy!

Every year right before Ramadan arrives, I brainstorm a list of things I should really work on for myself: being nicer to family, saying my prayers in a timely fashion, limiting my Facebook usage, going to the gym a little more often – the stuff of typical New Years’ resolutions, but this time with a plan of action and a one-month commitment (just long enough to form a habit, experts say). This year was no exception – after attending some inspiring qutbas, exchanging ideas with other equally eager friends, rummaging for ideas on the net, and of course taking a good hard look in the mirror, I settled on some challenging goals. By the eve of Ramadan, with my list in hand and priorities in order, I felt ready to embark on a spiritual, reflective journey from which I hoped to emerge as a better version of myself.

This was all well and good until, on the very first day of Ramadan, I awoke one hour after the recommended fasting time had begun. So much for the perfect start to my favorite time of the year! Before I could turn this into another reflection session, the 6:42am clock was begging a more immediate question: what happens to my intention to fast? Do I start my fast an hour late? Do I open it an hour later to compensate? Does it not count if it is not the right amount of hours? Is it about the number of hours or the exact time? Is it neither? Then why bother with the time in the first place? What was the point of this whole month, again?

Right. The one thing I always seem to forget: spirituality and reflection do not trump the technicalities of our rituals. Before I can postulate about my high and mighty prospects for this Ramadan, I must first understand, respect, and appreciate the basics, like waking up on time for sehri.

It is in these 6:42am moments, as I am woken by the blinding sun, hungry and incapacitated that I know there is no magic in the minute, no need to count fasting by the number of hours completed. It is the simplicity of routine, the humility borne from discipline that I always seem to leave out of my lofty Ramadan plans. It is my favorite lesson to rediscover and it leaves me forever thankful that Ramadan graces us, and especially me, every year.

Ramadan Kareem, friends! And may your mornings be filled with darkness, so that your hearts may be filled with light.

Zahra Somani is dreamer by day and a teacher by night. Her allergies to negativity make for a very happy and fruitful existence, much of which is filled by fun activities such as writing on her blog, A Sorta Fairytale, snapping photographs of unsuspecting flowers, and manipulating Arabic letters into cool designs.



Advertisement
Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Comments are closed.



Previous Posts

Tweeting the Qur'an #ttQuran
My friend Hussein Rashid launched the idea of Tweeting the Qur’an a few years ago and the idea has steadily caught on, and even at

posted 1:04:00pm Jul. 10, 2014 | read full post »

The Criterion: reading the Qur'an is the foundation of ibadat in Ramadan
Ramadan is one-third over. Unlike past years, I've not written as much about my observances this year because I've been dedicated to

posted 1:00:20pm Jul. 09, 2014 | read full post »

Nominations now open for the 11th Annual Brass Crescent Awards
The Brass Crescent Awards is an annual awards ceremony that honors the best writers and thinkers of the emerging Muslim blogosphere (aka the Islamsphere). Nominations are taken from blog readers, who then vote for the winners. Founded in 2004 by myself and Shahed Amanullah, the Brass Crescent Awa

posted 5:18:45am Jun. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Ramadan Kareem from the Democratic Party and President Obama
The official twitter handle of the Democratic Party (@TheDemocrats) just posted this Ramadan Kareem message quoting President Obama: https://twitter.com/TheDemocrats/status/482895697222443008 "Ramadan reminds us of our shared responsibility to treat others as we wish to be treated ourselves an

posted 4:00:46pm Jun. 28, 2014 | read full post »

Ramadan is coming - or has already arrived
Ramadan Mubarak! By the lunar Fatimid calendar, today (Saturday 28th June) is the 1st of Ramadan. The Mecca-centric calculations of The Fiqh Council of North America (affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America) also concur with the lunar calendar in declaring today the 1st of Ramada

posted 9:40:22am Jun. 28, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.