Peace be upon you, beautiful people of the world, and Ramadan Kareem! My absolute favorite time of the year has come to revive the hearts.
This is the month in which God So Mercifully Guided me back to Him. It is the month in which the Quran was revealed to our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), a month full of blessings as we make our journey Home.
Man, it’s been a while…so much has happened since the last time we spoke! For instance, much of the world is under lockdown right now due to a microscopic virus that seems to have taken over our lives – COVID-19.
For many, like myself, this has become a time where we are “stuck” indoors and unable to see our friends, relatives, or go out and socialize like we used to. There are viral tiktoks (no pun intended) about waking up late, binging on food and Netflix all-day, and waiting anxiously on when we can return to normal.
Wait a minute, what normal?
Are we talking about the normal in which most of us rushed to work, came home exhausted, paid the bills and barely had any time for the things that matter…like family?
If we think about it for just a minute, maybe this time is a new opportunity. This is a chance to re-connect with our purpose of living.
This Ramadan, I will be doing reflections, like this:
- Chit-chat as usual, about the day…
- Charity of the Day
- Lesson of the Day
- An Itty-bitty Homework Tip
- Link to my favorite lectures and resources – I’ll just post these here and here.
Remember that listening to the Quran is a way to Allah’s Mercy, as the Quran states:
“So when the Qur’an is recited, then listen to it and pay attention that you may receive mercy.”(7:204)
Without further ado, let’s get started!
This quarantine, especially in Ramadan is also THE time to help ourselves by helping our communities! Feel free to shoot me a DM if you want charity ideas. On that note, I’ll post a charity every day of this beautiful month, for whoever wants to contribute:
~30 Days of Giving: Day 1 Charity~
*Ramadan VIP drive to deliver critical aid to Syrian refugees* via IAC
Donate a food package for $60 or 10 food packages or 100 food packages or donate any amount you prefer to this project (can even be $1).
*PLEASE* specify vip drive when donating using the link below.
If you are healthy and able, you can volunteer to deliver groceries to those in need. If you are at-home with kids, you can donate, even a dollar a day, to a worthy cause! You can slip a note into your neighbor’s mailbox. You can be that listening ear for your friend in her moment of need. You can share your thoughts and reflections.
If you are unable to do any of those things, you can always pray for the good of the world! 🙂
Before I get into the Ramadan lesson of the day, I have to mention that journaling daily, even if it’s only one line has been helping me process everything going on tremendously. There are loads of lessons to share, and this is just the start!
Since it is Ramadan, my friend recommended this excellent daily planner that will help us take full advantage of this blessed month, InshaAllah. Hope it helps you, and we can all share in the good deeds!
Day 1: Lesson of the Day
“…and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allaah) likes not those who waste by extravagance…”[Quran: al-A’raaf 7:31]
This is a lesson I literally learned TODAY. How? Well, for the past several pre-Ramadan days, I have been experimenting with eating one meal a day, or the OMAD diet.
I have also done a water-fast for 30 hours (don’t try this without your doctor’s approval). Why, you may ask?
This quarantine, I have been using cooking and baking as therapy. However, the thought of being addicted to anything, including food, did not align with my values.
So, I thought, I would discipline my brain to curb this addiction by limiting what I eat. This evening, after a modest Iftar of an odd number of dates (forgotten sunnah!), fruit salad and leafy greens, I felt UHHH-MAZING!!!
My entire family had eaten the traditional South-Asian fried foods, like pakoras and samosas, etc. Right after Iftar (time to break the fast) and prayer, they complained of being super tired and went straight to bed! In fact, I’m on 3am-wake-up-for-suhoor duty right now, as we speak! Hehehe 😀
Point is, the clarity of thought I have had on a stomach that has not eaten its fill is unparalleled. When I look in the mirror, I see a pool of endless potential and capability in front of me. I feel stronger, more confident and sharp as ever!
The last time I felt this way was back in November, when I was actively watching my diet.
What better time to revive a forgotten sunnah, in a time of excess? Until my brain fog cleared today because of eating less, I had no idea that this was a Prophetic practice!
In this month, as we deck our tables for Suhoor and Iftar, it is more important than ever to reflect on the words of our beloved, Prophet Muhammad (saw), who said:
“The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat a few morsels to keep him alive. If he must fill it, then one-third for his food, one-third for his drink, and one-third for air.” (al-Tirmidhi –saheeh by al-Albaani)
Here’s another narration that hit it home for me…
Abu Juhayfah said:
“A man burped in the presence of the Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) and he said: “Keep your burps away from us, for the one who eats his fill the most in this world will be hungry for the longest time on the Day of Resurrection.” (al-Tabaraani–Saheeh)
After hearing that Abu Juhayfah did not eat his fill until he departed from this world; if he ate breakfast he would not eat dinner and if he ate dinner he would not eat breakfast, and he said: “I have not filled my stomach for thirty years.”
This is a tried and tested principle. Last Ramadan, when Allah Called us to His House for ‘Umrah, we were so focused on making the most of our time there that we ate whatever we could, in moderation.
This helped so so much to boost our energy levels for the 11+ mile journey and Taraweeh prayers long into the night!
May Allah Allow us all the opportunity to visit His House, soon! Ameen.
While we are grocery-shopping, preparing food or eating our meals in Ramadan during this pandemic, let’s take a moment to truly say Alhamdulillah.
In the good and what we see as the bad.
After all, we cannot change our circumstances. What we can change, though, is how we react. We can always take a minute to ask ourselves, “What is this trying to teach me?”
When we eat too much, not only does our body hurt, our spirit suffers as well. We are not as empathetic.
My homework (and yours, of course) is to try our best to eat the sunnah way: 1/3 food, 1/3 water, and leave a little room for air. Don’t eat until you’re full! And think of what you can do for those that are not as fortunate. ❤
I hope this reflection benefited you as much as it did me! Until tomorrow, my dear friend…
-Your Ordinary Human Girl