It’s that time of the year again!
No, not Christmas, Ramadan. The month of Islamic meditation. A time meant to enlighten those wrapped in existential crisis where fasting during hours of the sun is perscribed and prayer is even more of a must. I will admit I may not be the most religious person. I don’t pray five times a day, I don’t wear hijab (that doesn’t stop me from dressing modestly), I don’t have a sheikh’s knowledge, and there are times when I am so caught up in the life that I forget about the next. BUT REGARDLESS I make it a point to remember that I have been blessed. Today, I have a home, a loving family, amazing friends, food, and a community that is not dictated by a militia. Tomorrow? Who knows. I could not wake up for all I know. However, that doesn’t necessarily matter. I can plan for tomorrow but I won’t really know what to do until it comes. That doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is knowing that I didn’t live my day taking advantage of the opportunities I have been given and whether or not I was a good person while doing so.
Last year during Ramadan I spent most of my time trying reconnect with my religion and family. My college experience were it a stone would have jagged ends or cracks with a few spots unbruised by the transition into adulthood. Like any child who falls prey to the education system and life’s social hierarchies there are so many experiences that are cause to vulnerability. But this month specifically to those who take advantage of every moment and keep open minds will find the holes in their faith filled and the ones in their hearts sealed. It’s a completely different feeling during this month. It feels safe. I spent my last Ramadan trying to gain more faith, but I also found a little bit more happiness. My goals this year: be more knowledgable and gain a better work ethic. I am also hoping to break free of people’s hopeless expectations, and sad, illogical ideas of what it is to be a Muslim. The sad, illogical ideas I’m referring to are for those people who find themselves caught up with the one idea of what it is to be Muslim forgetting that there is more and what it mostly entails is being a good person. I come across people not only outside the religion with false ideas but those hung up on the idea that I should always be living in fear that I’m not praying, or completely covered. Instead what happened to loving God? Funny enough, I’ve met multiple people these days who have found themselves -including my mother and I- approached by others who are wanting to spread Islamic culture/awareness but do it in such a manner it becomes offensive. But what gets me the most is their shock at how much they thought I had no Islamic awareness. How audacious the idea that if I don’t dress or look a certain way then I am not one who seeks religious knowledge myself. This Ramadan will certainly be different from the others. I am distanced from my family and finally of age to be working & fasting. Insha’Allah it will still be blessed as I work towards my goal of being more responsible.