Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Ramadan Reflection Day 28: Towards The End Of Ramadan

Photo by nimble photography
Bismillah.

Towards the end of Ramadan, there are at least three types of people:

1) Those who are exclusively happy because Eid is coming.
2) Those who are exclusively sad because Ramadan is leaving.
3) Those who are having mixed feelings.

Which one are you? That's for you to answer and for no one to find out.

I think there can't be an extreme towards either end of the sad-happy spectrum.

Thinking about the Seerah, I know that the Prophet and the Companions were heartbroken when Ramadan was leaving them. Once Ramadan ended, they missed it so much that they already looked forward to the next Ramadan.

But at the same time, they realized that Eid is a gift; a parting gift from Ramadan if you will. Hence, the proper attitude when receiving a gift is happiness and gratefulness. So the Prophet and the Companions didn't accept Eid solemnly. Eid is not a time for mourning, it is a time for celebration.

A celebration of what?

We are not celebrating the end of Ramadan - no Muslim would want Ramadan to end. We are celebrating the completion of Ramadan - feeling grateful that Allah has given us the opportunity to experience Ramadan and allowing us to complete our fast.

"...Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful." (Surah al-Baqarah: 185)

There was a story related by Nouman Ali Khan that illustrates this point perfectly. There was a married couple who lost their only child, and they had this child late in life. On the day of his high school graduation, he got into an accident and died. Imagine being in the shoes of those parents. How devastating that event must have been. What a tragedy - to lose one's only child, on the day of his graduation.

The parents went through an episode of depression. After a few weeks, the husband went to the wife and said, "Allah lent us a toy to play with for a period of time. Then, He decided to take what's rightfully His. Instead of being grateful to Allah for allowing us to have the toy and play with it, this is how we react?"

Of course, I am not trying to equate losing a child to losing Ramadan, but a similar sentiment is there.

When Ramadan leaves, it is like losing something close to your heart. As sad as it is, the right attitude of a Muslim is that of gratefulness; be grateful that Allah has given us yet another opportunity to experience Ramadan and express our gratefulness in Eid.

Celebrate Eid with your family and friends. Share Eid with others e.g. the poor, the needy, the orphans, etc. Express your gratefulness far and wide, and be mindful of Allah; the One who makes all of this possible.

And maybe, just maybe, Allah will reunite us with Ramadan once more.