Keep Ramadhan Simple!

Keep Ramadhan Simple!


By Hwaa Irfan

As we approach the blessed month of Ramadhan at a time when there seems to be no end to the global economic crisis and the food price crisis, when it becomes apparent that the man-made laws that exist are applied when convenient, when the world looked and accepted the lies about Ghadaffi because they do not ‘like’ him, when natural disasters are increasing in unexpected places, when the Horn of Africa is going through a famine and while the rest of us are caught up in our own personal, societal, regional problems, there is one thing every Ramadhan serves to remind us of – KEEP IT SIMPLE!

All of the above problems and more are a result of excess or greed, and as Muslims in general, we have fared no better in our excess. Even two months before, in the month of Rajab, people are thinking and preparing for ‘Eid, and ‘Eid ul Adhaa. Preparations can only go so far without undoing any of the blessings we hope to obtain at a time when Earth Changes have also been shouting – KEEP IT SIMPLE!

The Earth Changes is bringing everything we have done to the surface – if we are experiencing injustice it is because we have been unjust, if we experiencing neglect, it is because we have been neglectful, if we are experiencing hate it is because we perpetuate hate, if we are experiencing selfishness it is because we have been greedy, if we are experiencing frequent obstacles it is because we are not ready and/or not listening.

{We will soon show them Our signs in the Universe and in their own souls, until it will become quite clear to them that it is the truth} (Al-Fussilat, 41: 53)

Even if we are not listening, the heat of the summer should tell us that water matters more than food!

We have stopped exploring the wealth and the depth of Islam for ourselves, and we wonder why there is no longer any satisfaction in being Muslims – we may carry out the religious acts out of habit or some misguided conviction that we are actually being Muslim. We have lost the spirit of Islam when our actions have stopped reflecting, sharing, showing compassion regardless of the circumstances or the people we are with. We have lost the spirit of Islam when we started taking Islam as a label to sanctify our actions and beliefs. One asks the question if Islam has always been from prophet Adham/Adam until Prophet Muhammed (SAWS) then what does Islam mean? Was Islam selective of the Prophets or did Islam include all the prophets. If Islam is a mercy to mankind, where is the mercy? If someone does not behave, act or believe as we do, where is the mercy? If we hate a part of ourselves, where is the mercy?

I asked a fruit seller the price of bananas, and he told me 7 pounds a kilo, I remember not so long ago when it was 2 pounds a kilo. I asked him why the prices go up daily, and that did he know how many people cannot afford to buy bananas. He told me “God is with them?”

It is this lack of mercy that has created so many polarities amongst Muslims, pushing far too many to the corner wanton and helpless, and increasingly turning to the other side. I asked the fruitseller if he was a servant of God?” at which point his body and mine went on hold. Are we servants of God only when it suits us? If Prophet Muhammed the boy who was born an orphan, was born today, what chance that he would end up a street beggar?

And as I enjoyed quenching my thirst with ice cold water, a street urchin turned to me on the train totally parched as I re-capped the bottle. Her thirst was greater than mine, but they are clever children. Then she asked for some, and in that spilt second the child she is and the devil she has become, I had to decide which to respond to even though I needed every drop. I responded to the child, and gave her all that I had – quite literally, but she was not to know that – that split second between my selfishness, and her need.

If one is frightened to invite someone round for iftar because of lack of food, invite a few people, and ask each person to bring something that could contribute to the iftar. For some this may be fashionable (dish party), and not the thing to do in Ramadhan, but it is a practice I learnt of this from a small West African community who did just that, and that was a loving community. What is more important the love or the show?

Halal is that which has been honestly earned, and spent in a conscious way. Haram is that which is achieved by deception…




Related Topics:

Letter to the Self #30 Remember Me

Letter to the Self #29 Forgiveness

Letter to Self # 28: Those We Ignore
Letter to the Self # 27: Destination or the Journey!
Letter to the Self # 26: Change
Letters to the Self #25: Window of Opportunity
Letters to the Self #24: More Than You Think You Are Able
Letters to the Self #23: Submission
Letter to the Self #22: Do You Have Trust Issues?
Letter to the Self #21: Possessions
Letter to the Self #20: Sacred Spaces
Letter to the Self # 19: The Big “I”
Letter to the Self # 18: Insecurities
Letter to the Self # 17: Backbiting
Letter to the Self # 16: Knowledge or Just Information?
Letter to the Self # 15: Beyond the Limited Self
Letter to the Self # 14: A Better Way
Letter to the Self # 13: The Spoken Word
Letter to the Self # 12: A Blessing or a Curse?
Letter to the Self # 11: Purpose

Letter to the Self #10: Let’s Partey
Letter to the Self #9: Looking Good
Letter to the Self #8: Worship
Letter to the Self #7: Rights of the Body
Letter to the Self#6: Time
Letter to the Self #5: Gratitude
Letter to the Self #4: Laziness
Letter to the Self #2: Ego
Letter to the Self #3: Arrogance

Shaban: Letters to the Self