Another year, another Ramadan, another end.
Between last Ramadan to this one, a lot must have changed for many of us.
Some might have lost loved ones; some might have welcomed new members.
For some, this Ramadan might have been the acceptance of a new norm post covid.
When I recall my own experience, I remember the longing and sadness I felt as this blessed month came to a close last year. It was as if a beloved member had left, with promises to return. This year was the fulfillment of this promise and I cannot thank my Rabb enough for granting me this opportunity, for having mercy on me and carrying me through to this year. Alhumdulillahâ€¦
While last year I struggled as the rest of the world, trying to grasp the concept of having a life within the confines of quarantine; this year housed a different type of challenge. Personal and professional. I felt a mess, distant from my Deen, unable to seek help or even make Dua for my own self. Salah felt like a chore. I was disoriented, unmotivated and in general, far removed from what was happening around me. It was no different during Ramadan. My only central point was the constant reminder to myself that the One who is the Al-Muâ€™min is the only one who holds the ability to grant strength to my Imaan. To have to repeatedly tell myself that the One who is Al-Adl would not burden me beyond my mental and emotional capacity. To keep tawakkul in every situation. It made me realize that when people say:
â€˜Alhumdulillah for everythingâ€¦â€™
it is no small feat. It takes every ounce of strength and courage one has to say this small word. Alhumdulillah
When your first instinct is to scream and shout and complain and ask your Creator â€˜Why me?â€™ but instead you say â€˜Alhumdulillah…â€™ it is a feat of strength, of resilience, of the immense and silent struggle you are going through. With every breath you take, O noble soul, remember, even if no one else sees your struggles, your Lord speaks to you.
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â€œThen surely, with hardship, comes ease.â€
To know that you have struggled through Ramadan, the month of immense blessings and mercy. Maybe you cried wordlessly in sujood. Even begged for relief and mercy from Ar-Raheem, the beholder of all mercy. Silently plowed through your day, your tongue wet with the remembrance of Allah Subhanwataâ€™la. Let your heart find comfort in the fact that this Ramadan brought you even closer to your Creator.
Is that not His blessed Mercy?
The practice of not eating or drinking throughout the day, instead staying immersed in dhikr as much as we can, only brings us closer to those slaves of Allah who have far less provision and far more Imaan than us.
When the adhan for maghrib is called and we end our fast with a sip of water, a bit of fruit, a gulp of sharbat, or some other delicacies, unwonted thoughts drift towards those who might not have food or sometimes even water to end their fast with.
When we exchange gifts, surrounded by our loved ones, partaking in that blooming happiness that Eid is all about, a silent prayer fills our hearts for those souls who might be far away from loved ones, unable to be reunited. Who might have lost beloved individuals. Who might be living in war zones where festivities are restricted, even absent.
As we, unknown to us all, count the multitude of blessings that have been bestowed upon us with and without asking, our hearts and eyes overflowing with happiness, a heartfelt gratitude and shukr escapes our lips.
What a beautiful giftâ€¦what a beautiful giftâ€¦Alhumdulillahâ€¦Alhumdulillahâ€¦Alhumdulillahâ€¦
And then, we smile despite our struggles.
We thank the One who is Al-Wahhab, the Giver of Gifts.
We feel our Deen renewed and thank Our Creator for bestowing us an extended life to witness the blessings of another Ramadan.
As we bid adieu to this Ramadan of 2021, let us make dua for the Ummatul-momineen, for our brothers and sisters in Islam as they too, struggle with a multitude of issues.
O As-Salamâ€¦grant peace and tranquility to our hearts even if our life isnâ€™t the way we want it to. Because then we know that it is Your Mercy.
O Ar-Razzaqâ€¦grant us a livelihood which is halal, beneficial and full of barakah. In a world ever incorporating and accepting of all that is haram, help us embody that which would please you.
O Al-Aleemâ€¦grant us the wealth of Deen and the realization of our own insufficiency of knowledge so we are ever so humble in the face of our own abilities.
O Al-Qaabidâ€¦Al-Baasitâ€¦grant us what will help increase our closeness with You and take away from us what will hinder our relationship with You.
O Al-Muizzâ€¦grant us honor in this world, in death and the next.
O Al-Kabeerâ€¦on the day of Qiyamah, when all creation will bow to your majesty, grant us the wisdom to bow to you now when we are masters of our own free will.
O Al-Baâ€™ithâ€¦on the Day when we are resurrected, grant us a place in the shadow of your Arsh and the intercession of Our Beloved Prophet Muhammad sallallahu-alaihi-wasallam.
O Al-Wakeelâ€¦bless us with an ever-increasing tawakkul.
O Al-Waliyyâ€¦grant us protection from the tricks of the Shaytaan, his offspring, and his associates.
O Al-Mumeetâ€¦grant us Husn-al-khatimahâ€¦a beautiful end.
O Al-Jaamiâ€™â€¦raise us in a successful Akhirah and reunite us with our loved ones.
O Al-Haadiâ€¦guide us to a path which leads to us pleasing you so that we may be pleased by You in turn.
O As-Saboorâ€¦grant us patience through everything that has been decreed for us.
May we live to see another Ramadan.
Alhumdulillah for thisâ€¦In Sha Allah for the ones to comeâ€¦Ameen.Â
My name is Azra Manzer (pseudonym: Azra Rahman). I am a 31-year-old woman, a mom of three, currently a homemaker and freelance writer. I am a Muslim woman who immigrated from India to Salt Lake City, Utah, USA in 2013 while she was newly married. Having completed my BA in English Honors-batch 2012, from St. Xavierâ€™s College, Ranchi in India, I have been naturally inclined towards reading and writing. It was, therefore, quite instinctive to try and make something I love, into a career.
Currently I am in the process of launching a blog series portraying the stories of female entrepreneurs from the local community. I am also the proud creator of SpecMi (short for Spectacled Mind), an adorable character and mascot of my blog.
Blog link: Musings of a spectacled mind