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Oh Ramadan!

InShaAllah as I sit here less than 2 full days until Ramadan, I am filled with so many emotions. Have you noticed how Ramadan is always on time. In just a few short months this year has been most eventful. I'm not sure how or if things will go back to normal. I'm just hoping we all get to welcome Ramadan and have it be the relief we have been needing. One of the first changes brought about by social distancing has been to the Muslim custom of shaking hands followed by hugging each other (same gender) , especially in Masajid and Muslim events. After a week or two of hesitation in March, the hugging completely stopped, and we have resorted to distant air hugs or putting our hands over our hearts. As the virus continues to tighten its grip on the world, we’re entering a particularly difficult period for those staying home. Celebrating our cherished month of Ramadan. We will be forced to create new ways to celebrate, possibly for the first time in our history. I must say I will mourn the closeness I feel from my sisters during the month of Ramadan. For many, this is the only time we may get to reunite because of our busy lives. However, I know there are many lessons that will come out of this and many ways draw closer to Allah.

During this solitary Ramadan, we will have the opportunity to learn more about ourselves and reflect on our relation with Allah. Usually in Ramadan we carry out many of our rituals in the company of others. It's a communal month and being with your sisters and brothers brings about many blessings. But practicing those rituals in the context of solitude helps us achieve a greater focus and sincerity with our efforts in worship. The purpose is not to be alone but to experience the absence of human distractions so that we can more fully experience God-consciousness. We are able to see clearly through a personal perspective; what is important in our lives. When we spend time in solitude, we get away from all the things that distract us from our reality. We see inside our lives, our thoughts, and our behaviors. It's a sense of peace that we just can't get when we're surrounded by others. I often feel so busy with family matters, work and community outreach that I find myself trying to steal time to be alone. This Corona quarantine has forced many of us to stop or atleast slow down. I urge you to take advantage of this time you have to be in your homes. Use this time to get things in order with your deen and your family. Focus on praying on time, reading and dhikr. Set aside times you will have a halaqah with the children and try to keep iftar simple and light. InShaAllah we all end up filled with gratitude and restored! May the blessing of Ramadan be with you and your family!

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