Welcome Back Old Friend!

Just shy of a year ago we celebrated the start of Ramadan and today our old friend is back to warm our hearts once again. Last Ramadan was special for me. I was fortunate enough not to have the usual pressures of work, going into the office or travelling. I was able to fully devote myself to basically eat, sleep, pray and read. The whole month I managed to spiritually as well as mentally detoxify myself and truly understanding the meaning of what Ramadan is. Submission.

In the past I fasted out of duty, as something that needed to be done as one of the five pillars. I read and heard that Ramadan was always magical for people. They had a sense of elation and acquired spirituality. I often wondered how come I didn’t feel this. I felt bad that I didn’t feel this while I went with the flow. That was until last year.

..focus…

I wrote about how difficult it was for me personally last year and I am blessed this year that I am in a far better position. It cannot be doubted that this was due to how my attitude was towards my faith during Ramadan last year. Of course I worked, I got out there, did all the practical things you have to do in addition, but it was my submission to faith that was the foundation. How lucky I was to even have a roof over my head, being able to drink clean water, blessed with a loving family around me, however it was like a sudden realisation. A realisation that one day I could have none of that and there are many in the world who don’t have a single gift like what I have. As I laid on my bed thinking this, I literally stated, “You fucking idiot!”.

…humbleness, moral, selflessness and gratitude…

Yes, refraining from eating, drinking, smoking, caffeine or being naughty is one thing to make you physically feel it, but after a few days that wears off. But understanding what being a Muslim is truly about, what the message of Islam is and how to better myself; I asked questions everyday about guidance but didn’t realise the answers I was looking for were in a book sitting on my bookshelf…and YouTube.

…self discipline…

Reading the Quran, understanding what the words mean, even the words I speak in Arabic during prayers, studying the meaning of what I was saying five times a day was one of the keys to spiritual healing. Moreover the greatest benefit during this month, focus. The simplicity obtained from avoiding over indulgence made my mind more driven. One important point to note that this wasn’t for just this month, I managed to train myself to have this same focus beyond the celebrations at the end of the fast. I already considered myself a man of a decent level of humbleness, moral, selflessness and gratitude. There is no doubt these were all enhanced and for sure always room to grow, but self discipline was one of the big ones that improved drastically.

This year, it’s back to what I’m used to. While working and travelling, it’s going to be hard and quite testing, even when this month is a gift and thus I feel welcoming nonetheless. I took some time off during the last ten days which I planned three months prior to this day to replicate the same focus I had last year. This month, although the actions are the same for everyone, the impact differs person to person. This in itself is why this is an amazing month. Whatever this month means to you, and I would love to hear your thoughts too, I just want to say Ramadan Mubarak! One World, One Unity, One Love. Peace and Love.

 

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