Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Final Moments of Ramadhan

The end of Ramadhan is approaching and various emotions are running through my mind. I feel heartbroken that such a great month is coming to an end and the good times I've had may never return again. I never really thought that I would be feeling this way especially since I usually cannot wait for Ramadhan to be over. It might be because I devoted more time to my religion and less time to other stuff than previous years. Nevertheless, I hope that the 'Muslim in Me' does not go to sleep until next year. If this happens then I will have not only wasted time, but also missed out on getting the best out of myself. It is quite simple – when I sit there watching TV or playing the PS2 whilst it is time to pray – I cannot be doing myself as much good as when I get up and make Wudhu to pray to Allah The Almighty.

I always had huge respect for those who could go to the mosque for two hours (offering Taraweeh prayer) everyday for a month after having fasted all day long. But I always thought that it was beyond me. In all honesty, I had never been to Taraweeh prayers (in 22 years of life), and a few weeks before Ramadhan I made an intention to go as much as possible. However, I knew that it was not going to happen for me. But when I made that initial effort and realised the benefits of Taraweeh, I began to do it more and then it became a habit for me. We all have something that we have not been doing regularly since our early days and so it becomes difficult, as it seems unnatural. Unfortunately, the best actions sometimes feel ‘odd’ (because of our own fault) and we stay away from them. The only solution is to have a ‘go’ and then see what happens.

Just imagine that there are two students, student A and student B, who both have an exam tomorrow morning. Student A spends hours and hours trying to understand the examinable material, whereas student B decides to sit in front of the TV because it is more enjoyable and easier than studying. You can guess who will perform better in the exam and reap academic benefit. Similarly, getting up to pray will only help YOU and make YOUR life better. You will only realise this if YOU try to do it - even for a week, a month or a year, then it will become clear which way YOU are happier and enjoying life more. As humans we all make mistakes, but we must make it a habit to acknowledge our mistakes and put them right, rather than to carry on blindly. This is why Allah loves those who regret their sinful actions (and ask for forgiveness), at the same time making an effort to correct their ways.

Sadly, once again Muslims (in the UK) will not have one Eid (some will celebrate on Monday and others on Tuesday). It is a shame that this happens consistently every year. But at the same time I am glad to see that even such a difference is not great enough to disturb the strong unity formed throughout Ramadhan.

The other thing that I am not thinking about right now but will do very soon is of course - Eid, and InshaALLAH all Muslims will not forget that God is still watching them despite the Holy Month coming to an end. It is sad to think that many of us will neglect our religious duties as soon as Ramadhan is over and return to miserable ways. Like every year it will be easy for us to become complacent and before we know it - what we had will no longer be with us.