Ramadhan has always been my favorite month of the year. I can recall as a child ticking off the days as it grew nearer to the start of that miraculous month when I could look forward to a time of peace and tranquility during the day, even in a house swarming with my siblings who were all older than me - two half-brothers and a half sister and my own brother and sister. Peace and tranquility? My Papa, always easy-going and, in my eyes, the perfect parent, only started laying down the law when it came to Ramadhan. In his house there would be NO arguments, NO shouting, NO rushing about. And if my brothers wished to fight about who had the use the car in the evening, they could do their fighting out of earshot of our house.
Nowadays I see the month in a rather different light and I have a better understanding of its meaning and how I can use it to get myself and my life back on an even keel. I still live with my parents although my brothers and sisters have long ago left and live with their own children and families elsewhere. But I love breaking my fast with my mother and later joining my father just to talk and relax. Yes, Ramadhan remains my favorite month and fasting is for me a delight rather than a chore. Its spiritual nature recharges my inner batteries and I feel the presence of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) ever close to me.
So, rather late, I wish anyone reading these words RAMADHAN MUBARAK !
On a different note altogether, I have a sister (I like to think of her that way) who is not yet a Muslimah but whose heart is clearly leading her towards at least looking into the working of our wonderful deen. For a variety of reasons she was drawn to wearing hijaab and even niqaab and she has now progressed to seeking real knowledge of Islam. Where her journey will take her I do not know, as only Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) can have knowledge of that.
I was reading with wonder and awe her blogs about her progress and posted a comment which, I confess, didn't amount to much more than "WOW!" But I mentioned to her a sister here in Jordan who travelled the same road as she seems to be taking. I said I would write more about her if she agreed. I have just spoken to her on the phone and she is quite happy to have me tell her tale here, providing I didn't use her real name.
Let's call her 'Asma'. She is my age and was born into a Christian family of Lebanese descent who lived a kilometre from where I write now outside Amman. When she was 9 Asma was sent to England to be educated in a school run mainly by nuns, but she used to return here for the school holidays. Most of her friends in Jordan were from Muslim families and a lot of them, like myself, wore hijaab as a matter of course. By the time she was 16 she found that she used to look a bit strange when she went out with her friends during her school holidays, as she would be waring jeans or short skirts while we wore jilbob or abaya and hijaab - in some case, even niqaab by then. So as to fit in she started to wear longer skirts, blouses with long sleeves and hijaab covering her head and face. One day when she was going somewhere with me and another friend who also covered fully, she borrowed one of my jilbobs and niqaab and wore them.
Later she told me it was that day she decided to try to learn more about Islam as she realised she had become a 'nominal' Christian. As she said later, "Dressing like a real Muslimah maade me think like one for the first time." A year later she recited the Shahadah, submitting herself to Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) and now she is married to a Muslim doctor and has a little girl of her own. Her path to Islam had been a strange one and, because of it, I can not doubt my blog friend here, as who are we to ask Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) why he chooses sometimes strange paths for people to take towards Jannah. So I just make duaa that she may be happy and find peace in whatever way of life she chooses.
Why not say a prayer for her too......................
Walaikum salaam from your sister in Islam, Aliyah