Friday, August 02, 2013

Ramadan Reflection Day 24: I'm Still Fasting

Photo by Steve Garner
Bismillah.

2 or 3 days ago, one of my lovely housemates (who is a devout Christian) asked me, "So, what's your plan for Eid next week?"

I suddenly stopped for a second.

"Wait, Eid is next week?!"

Subhanallah, I was slightly oblivious about how fast the time flies by. I didn't know what was happening in my brain. I knew that I am in the last 10 days of Ramadan, but somehow I didn't add Eid to the calculation. Realizing that, I became grateful.

A few years back, when I was in the last 10 days of Ramadan, somewhere in my mind I would be thinking about Eid - what to wear, where to go, what to eat, etc. This year, that thought didn't enter my mind until my housemate reminded me of it. But even after that reminder, I still put Eid on the back burner.

Why? Because I am still fasting. Ramadan is not over yet.

Eid is dear to my heart, but I have no guarantee that I will meet it. The only guarantee I have is the here and now. My here and now is Ramadan. Eid will have to wait until I bid farewell to Ramadan.

Last Taraweeh, one of the Masjid committee members made a few announcements. Among them, he asked the congregation to make du'a for a number of brothers and sisters who were sick, some of them are battling cancer right now. He listed down their names and proceeded to make du'a for them. Some of them are spending their last 10 days of Ramadan on hospital beds, and here I am, in the pink of health.

Alhamdulillah. So I shouldn't relax now. My brothers and sisters who are on the hospital beds would give anything to be in my position. I feel that it would be an insult to them if I waste my last 10 days with nonsense. Astaghfirullah.

Another reality that hit home is the fact that today (August 2nd, 2013) is the last Friday in Ramadan. I will not see another Friday in Ramadan until next year. Only Allah knows if I live long enough to enjoy that. Being alive on Friday in Ramadan is a blessing upon a blessing, and it is also a fleeting opportunity.

Seize it now, before it runs away.

My friend gave me a very fitting analogy about the last 10 days of Ramadan, using the famous fable "The Tortoise and the Hare". The tortoise and the hare organized a race. As soon as the race began, the hare booked it and left the tortoise far behind. The hare got comfortable with his position in the race. He decided to take a nap under a tree because he was sure that the tortoise can't keep up with him even then. But the hare overslept and the tortoise beat him. Yes, the tortoise was slow, but he persevered until the very end.

In the beginning of Ramadan, everyone's excited and energetic. But gradually towards the end, we see that more and more people are losing that flame. Maybe they burnt themselves out, or maybe they became comfortable like the hare.

"I've done a lot. I think I'll just take it easy in the final days of Ramadan."

Yet, there are those among us who are like the tortoise. They don't do a lot, but they persevered. They persevered until the very end of Ramadan. Allah loves those who do a little, but they do it consistently. Allah knows that consistency is hard, but Allah loves those who try their best.

In a race, you don't slow down in the last 10 meters. You give it your all. You will run your shoes off. Folks, realize that we are now in the last 10 meters of Ramadan.

Don't let the fire go out now. Keep it burning!

Run, Forrest! Run!