Ramadan Kareem

Why Ramadan is Still Special, Despite Everything

For those who know me I have been going through some rough mental patches when it comes to faith, but I am not one who likes to openly discuss these issues, even though I may voice a concern or two sporadically. This is because (A) for me religion/faith/etc is a pact between heart, mind, soul, and God, and talking about the contents of the pact with other people does not make sense, and (B) because such discussions always end up in a tribal warfare with two opposing camps I would rather not be a member of. They’re issues that are my own and I have to deal with them on my own. No one has the right to influence me, or anyone else, on how they should think of and feel God or religion or whatever they choose to believe in.

If it’s not from within, then I would rather live without.

I don’t need to give a PR press release on what Ramadan is about. Local newspapers online and off are <sarcasm> doing well  with their “Ramadan special Iftars”, other exclusive tents, and depicting the stories of expatriate converts as well as threatening people who eat in public with a jail sentence.</sarcasm>

Ramadan, to me, is a generally happy month, regardless of whether or not I am leading a happy life. I am visibly more quiet, calm, tranquil, and even more passive than normal. It’s not because I am upset. I simply enjoy the “spirit” if you can so call it.

serenity-kinan-jarjous-photography

Ramadan, to me, is when problems become trivial. I am saddened when Ramadan passes not only because of obvious religious reasons, but because nothing seems much of a big deal in Ramadan. I haven’t been presented yet with a life changing crisis in any Ramadan, but usual problems that piss me off and have me drive for hours around Dubai just to mentally escape realities I cannot deal with, all seem insignificant.

As long as no issues occur 20 minutes before Iftar that is, LOL :) but that is why I subscribed to food delivery during the month to ensure that noms will always be present regardless of plans.

I enjoy the call of prayers, whether or not I attend them. I am especially attached to the mosque on campus, whose Imam has a most exquisite voice that speaks to me. Ever since I graduated I still go to the mosque on campus in the last few days of Ramadan. Sadly this year, the semester has been pushed to commence after Eid, so I will not be able to enjoy Taraweeh or Qiyam prayers there. For those who want to know more about Taraweeh, you can reach Mich’s fantastic post on her reflections during the month here.

For those not in the know, Qiyam (officially called Tahajjud) is a prayer similar to Taraweeh that takes place in the last third of the night (1-3 AM depending on the mosque and sunrise). Qiyam can be done on any day, regardless of whether or not it is Ramadan. During the month, though, they’re performed in the last ten days of Ramadan in mosques. The religious significance of the prayer is the belief that God grants whatever you ask for if you’re staying up to pray at these odd hours. The Hadith is:

يتنزل ربنا تبارك وتعالى كل ليلة إلى السماء الدنيا حين يبقى ثلث الليل الآخر فيقول : من يدعوني فأستجيب له، من يسألني فأعطيه من يستغفرني فأغفر له

Last year I took a recording of Qiyam from the campus mosque and I often listen to it when I want to zone out, especially this particular segment here.

Wishing everyone to find peace in this month.

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