SHAFAQNA- This 25 year-old sister is quite an inspiration. While she works hard as a financial planner and hospitality designer, she never fails to dedicate ample time towards her family and friends. This Ramadan, she’s taken a big step in deciding to put on the Hijab. She shares with us her insight on what Ramadan signifies and her humble journey in this holy month thus far.
What does Ramadan mean to you?
Ramadan to me… means a whole lot of things. From waking up before Subuh to have Sahoor with eyes half open (embarrassingly would like to admit that it is probably the only time of the year I am up to hear the Azan during the wee hours of the morning and to perform Salat Subuh right after), big family gatherings with a generous spread of family favorites served during iftar, praying in congregation at night while taking advantage of the opportunity to “score more rewards”, going to the Ramadan bazaar in search of scrummy bazaar delicacies and to soak up the festive mood and last but not least, the baking of cookies, shopping for new home décor and new clothes, in preparation for Eid.
The little things aside, I discovered more meaningful traits of this holy month as I matured into a more spiritual mindset over time and realized what truly defines Ramadan for me. It is the perfect time for a detox, a spiritual detox and as a bonus, a physical one as well. A precious month, when I instantaneously feel closer to Allah, and the perfect time for any Muslim to take a step back, slow down and take a breather from the hustles and bustles of our hectic daily lives. Being conscious of Allah is the pre-requisite of righteousness, and Alhamdulillah, in the month of Ramadan, I consciously make an effort to make more Dhikr (remembrance of Allah (SWT)), read the Quran, perform more non-obligatory prayers, give back to charity, do a lot of self-reflections, strengthen silaturahim (relations or ties between family & friends) and to better my relationship with Allah (SWT). There’s nothing quite like the spirit of Ramadan.
What is your favorite part about Ramadan?
Definitely the Iftar gatherings with my big wonderful family. My other favorite part of Ramadan would probably my conscious and subconscious effort to do more charity during Ramadan. Needless to say, the experience of giving, especially to those who are in need, is exceptionally humbling and good for the soul.
What do you hope to achieve this Ramadan?
Alhamdulillah, Allah (SWT) has rewarded me with the courage to take that leap of faith to put on the Hijab this Ramadan. May the reasons for my decision be a secret between God and I and may Allah grant me steadfastness inshaa-Allah. This is a big achievement for me, and certainly a milestone in my life. May Allah (SWT) continue to bless my life with knowledge, and wisdom.
What have you learnt so far in this holy month?
I’ve learnt that you never lose from giving. It might sound like a simple concept, but one will probably truly grasp the meaning of it when he is wholeheartedly sincere and humbled by the experience. Also, once again, Allah has showed me that He indeed, knows best. Subhan-Allah. So always put your trust in Allah, and have faith.
If you could convey a message to fellow Muslims around the world in this Month of Ramadan, what would it be?
May we remember and pray for our brothers & sisters in Islam who are suffering and not as fortunate as us this Ramadan. May Allah (SWT) bless our Ummah and protect us always. In Shaa-Allah. Allahumma Ameen