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Musings of a mum: Ramadan 1442

14th May 2021
Musings of a mum: Ramadan 1442

Ramadan Kareem dear reader. I pray that this month with all its blessings is all that you want it to be and more.

I have a confession to make; I have struggled this month with fasting. Fasting in the month of Ramadan is a social exercise.There is a reason why we do it as a community over one month.

The act of performing acts of worship together allows us to imbibe each other’s strength, and therein lies the special power of the Holy month. In a time when our mosques and communities are still socially distancing, I have found it difficult to create pockets of peace and contemplation (to imitate what we find in our mosques) this month.

Over our first lockdown, when there was little to do, our company at home became our hub for spiritual practices and a massive source of strength.

The virus ravaging our world was scary, but it served as a reminder that our families are what meant everything when all the chips around us were falling.

Bring forward a year, and my experience this month has been different. As schools have opened up and our routines are returning to normal, I have found it difficult to carve out quiet time for me and my bears to experience the promised essence of this month.

I feel like I have lost out.The key – I believe – is creating small everyday actions or habits that may not necessarily be sincere when we first start them, but eventually the chosen action, and its reminder of what we wish to feel, leads us to a loftier (aka: warm and fuzzy) reality. That could be carving out time to contemplate or to pray quietly or to read something that will elevate our minds and souls to a state of peace.

At the beginning of Ramadan, I got busy with organising some Qurʼān classes for the children and didn’t leave myself enough time (and headspace) to think and plan (small every day) actions for me and my baby bears, that could bring about the emotions that I wanted Ramadan to be associated with.
I have started to think that instead of waiting around for positive emotions to spur us onto positive actions, we must, first, proactively pursue actions that will lead to sincerity and a whole other host of powerful emotions.

I will try and right my wrongs earlier in the month by getting ready for Laylat al-Qadr [Nights of Decree]. Last year, getting the house ready, choosing our clothes, planning and carrying out small actions made our Eid special and memorable; perhaps I can use those same principles for the nights of power.
Positive actions must precede positive emotions in all our relationships human or divine, Ramadan or not. As big Bear has been attempting to fast the whole month this year, we have taken to waking up for suḥūr [pre-dawn meal] to ensure that she eats enough. I have loved the quiet that comes after suḥūr and before fajr [dawn] prayer.

Those 15-minutes, when I’m awake and have eaten, is a lovely time to contemplate and watching the bears sleep is a lovely way to start my fast. There is something aethereal about the early hours , which I want to pursue more of when we come out of Ramadan.

Maybe that can be my small, daily, proactive action post-Ramadan. What will yours be?

Aasiya I Versi

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