City of Brass

The waning crescent moon – the bright light of Ramadan recedes

As per the Fatimid calendar, it is the 30th of Ramadan, and my final fast has begun. I spent the night engaged in ibadat – praying Nisf al-Layl and the tahajjud, doing tasbih (also known as dhikr) and Qur’an, praying salaam upon the Prophets Adam AS, Musa (Moses) AS, Issa (Jesus) AS, and Mohammed SAW; and remembering the sacrifice of Imam Husain AS at Karbala. And, of course, supplication and dua, for my hopes and aspirations, for my family and friends, for my children.

There are literally only 15 hours of Ramadan left. However much Qur’an I read, dua I read or tasbih I perform, it’s not enough. Every minute of the past 30 days where I did not fully maximize my time towards ibadat is lost. We bid farewell to Ramadan – alayk as-Salaam, Ya shehre Ramadan! – with regret for all that we did not achieve, but inshallah that regret will drive us to do more next year.

And yet, despite that sense of vanishing opportunity, we are not immune to some anticipation for Eid, either. Partly because of the sense of satisfaction that will come from having completed another Ramadan, but also because we are hungry. It’s like graduating from college – the intellectual stimulation of the collegiate world is a bubble existence of its own, and at its close you will miss it, but there is also anticipation to get “out there” into the “real world” and start applying what you’ve learned. So too with Ramadan – but every year. The time of spiritual nourishment is almost at a close and it will soon be time to apply our souls to the task of living in the world beyond the one we construct for ourselves in Ramadan.

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