September 23, 2008
Where have all the people gone?
I open my eyes and find myself surrounded
With only the squirrels and doves in the garden.
I open my mouth for a refreshing yawn,
But it ends in a cry of despair.
I search for my shadow
But the sun has locked it up.
In my dream, my room was filled,
Filled with friends, family and relatives.
But I’m alone, so alone now.
I wish I could sleep again…
My grandmother-in-law passed away this morning. May Allah rest her soul in peace, forgive her her mistakes and gather us all in His paradise.
September 2, 2008
Yesterday, I was face to face with Ramadan. I smiled and exchanged salutations with Ramadan. I loved Ramadan so much, because Ramadan was responsible for closing the hell, chaining the devil and making the good deeds weigh more. So I was more than pleased to see Ramadan in front of me yesterday. I’ve been planning for the last two three weeks for Ramadan’s visit. There is a long list of to-do’s hanging on my kitchen shelf, for the one month stay of Ramadan. I’ll surely miss Ramadan when gone. I was staring at the beautiful Ramadan when Ramadan asked me the first question.
“What do you have planned for me during my visit?”
I was glad Ramadan asked me that. I wanted to make Ramadan fell that I was eagerly waiting for Ramadan, with a lot of activities for us. I wanted to make Ramadan feel at home during the entire stay. So I spewed the entries of the to-do list on my kitchen shelf.
“ I plan to pray as much of Sunnah I can, read at least 1 juzu’ of holy Quran everyday and finish it within this month, stay away from sin, pray Taraweeh and Thasbeeh prayer, make Thasbeeh and Salaths to Prophet….. Blah blah blah…..”
“Good work, Najeeba. You’ve put in a lot of effort,” Ramadan interrupted, “but you see, once I am gone, will you go on praying all the Sunnah’s ? That too during your office hours? I prefer an activity that stays with you even after I’m gone.”
“Er….I think I’ll…..er….er…… keep up with……” I went up to the to-do list.
“So you haven’t planned such an activity for me?”
I was ashamed to admit no, and unable to say a yes. I kept quiet.
“A simple activity, let it be the smallest one in your list. But you should keep it with you even after my departure, for the memory of my stay with you.”
I made a quick scan of my to-do list, searching for something I can keep with me all the time. Reading one juzu’ of Quran was not possible everyday, with the hectic schedule of my life. I can read up to five or six pages, or ten pages everyday, and sometimes a juzu’ on weekends, but reciting a juzu’ everyday seemed impossible. Staying away from sin all time is easy said than done. I don’t think I can stop shouting at anybody when I get under pressure, but I’ll try to get rid of it this Ramadan. So what is there that I can do my entire life? I was busy thinking of a solution when Ramadan came up with another question.
“Don’t you exercise every morning?”
I was surprised. What has exercise to do with Ramadan? Even though, I murmured a meek ‘yes’, I do have a half an hour warm up session in the mornings.
“While doing the exercise, in between don’t you lie down for some time, take deep breaths and count till ten?”
Yeah, I do it. Everyone does it. Another ‘yes’ murmured. Where is Ramadan taking me? I waited for the next question.
“Instead of counting till ten, why don’t you recite some Tasbeeh? Let’s say ‘Ashhadu allailaha illa allah, asthaghfirullah, allahu akbar walhamdulilla’ for three times.”
Wow, isn’t that a great idea? Remembering Allah even during my exercise sessions! Why didn’t I think of it earlier? And here a simple way of worship that I can do all my life! Instead of finding the easy and simple ways to keep my contact with Allah, I’ve selected the difficult path, which will soon make me tired. And then I’ll sit wondering why Allah has made everything difficult for me.
I thanked Ramadan for this little but useful peace of suggestion. And I promised Ramadan that I’ll do it all my life, Insha Allah. Ramadan smiled, patted on my head and kissed on my cheeks. I was the happiest person on earth.