Today is first day of the blessed month of Ramadan and it reminded me of this letter that I wrote two years ago…
A few days ago when I was making my Ramadan planner and assessment sheet, I thought of reserving one part of it as a daily journal in which I can record my Ramadan experiences. I believe that apart from all the other blessings of this month, Allah Taala gives a new awareness to us and we see things from a different perspective when the bellies are not loaded with food, we think more clearly.
So here is this first page of my Ramadan awareness journal
I learned last night in my misery of loneliness and despair that the biggest “Taaghoot” (the force that drives you away from Allah) is the Nafs (inner self). All it wants is freedom from all restrictions. It just can’t have enough. The more you give in to it the more it controls your heart. Eventually your sense of judgment also gets blurred and you think that just because you want something, it is right to have it. This is very dangerous and you need to stop your Nafs from becoming your ruler.
I am so grateful to Allah that he made me realize my reality. How alone and powerless we are but we are not aware of it. In the crowds of people and in the sea of our worldly possessions and in the flow of the endless toils of our life—–we forget that each one of us is absolutely alone and powerless in front of Allah. No one can stand up for you. No one can hide you. Not even those who love you and want to protect you from all harm——-even they cannot enfold you in their loving embrace and make your fate go away. WE are from Allah and to Him we have to return.
But this fact doesn’t hit you where it should i.e. deep down in your heart. Normally it’s just a fact that we have heard and memorized. And we say it so easily because we don’t feel its actual impact. Only when I was standing in front of a window, in the middle of the night, facing the dark sky and the vast emptiness of the night, did I feel with absolute clarity How Allah must be watching me from up above and ONLY HE KNOWS what I am going through………I felt so terribly alone and then I realized that even if I am with people I love and who love me and we are laughing and enjoying the mutual warmth and affection………the fact is still the same……….Allah is watching me and there is no one between Him and myself.
So what does it teach me? To me it’s a great lesson in fixing my priorities. In whose eyes should I be making a good impression? To whom should I look for love and comfort? Who should be at the top of my heart and mind? Who is worthy of all my best feelings of love and adoration? What should I be seeking in my prayers? Just a litany of words or a feeling of closeness and warmth of Allah’s presence in and around me like a shield to protect me from all worries and anxieties? CAN ANYBODY GIVE ME THIS KIND OF PEACE??
So while we live in this world and we have people and things and desires let us not forget that all of it is just an illusion and a test…..Let us always remember that Allah is watching us and as the seconds turn into minutes and minutes into hours and days and months and years………we are going going going towards the end point of our journey …….to stand before Allah. And even there with all the generations of people standing in one place we are going to be UTTERLY ALONE in our meeting with the LORD of the worlds.