The blessed month of Ramadan feels like a dream of long ago even though only a couple of weeks back we were celebrating its final days… trying to make the utmost effort to please Allah and attain his forgiveness. The momentum gained from consistent worship, had reached to a point where I felt like life should just go on like this forever… but good things end so soon.
Ramadan too went away leaving me to deal once again with the devil and my nafs…
Even though I knew so well that the special focus in Ramadan is for that month alone… a special blessing of Allah given to us so that we might collect maximum radiance of faith; But I don’t know why I kept hoping that my motivation will remain the same even after Ramadan… or that I will not be so easily defeated by the distractions of the world.
And so my plans for shawwal were firmly inscribed on my heart… the six fasts, the continuation of tahajjud and other forms of worship… I was sooooooo excited to feel such a strong faith in my heart for the first time in my life. But the very next day after eid, I began to feel an uneasiness inside me which later came out in the form of severe illness which kept me down till a couple of days ago… I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t read the Quran for more than a few lines, I couldn’t even pray more than the fardh rakaas… what to talk of any other thing… Lying in the bed, exhausted and drained, I felt like everything was lost… where was my faith? Where did my plans go? Was it all an illusion?
But then Allah had mercy on me and gradually I got well. As my health became better, I could feel my heart coming alive again. And Alhamdulillah I can now hope to make up for the lost days… even though it will take time and consistent efforts to fight my lethargy and regain my faith and optimism.
I think of this experience as a great lesson from Allah. I learned from this experience is that sometimes we are not even aware of our arrogance. We think we believe in our weakness and Allah’s power but in reality our hearts feel so proud of our “achievements”. And if that be the case then all our good deeds will be wasted because Allah will not let anyone enter Jannah even if he has the tiniest bit of arrogance in his heart. That is why Allah puts these obstacles in our path like “speed breakers” where we slow down, change gears and evaluate our direction!
Therefore it was a blessing of Allah that through this temporary setback He saved me from any self satisfaction, or takabbur… and showed me how weak and helpless I actually am. If there was any strength of faith in me, it was only Allah’s mercy… otherwise I am myself nothing without Him.
Although in words we all know this fact but we can only feel its reality when we experience it. May Allah help me always to remain patient and obedient and not become carried away by success nor be hopeless in defeat… but always to stay connected to my Lord as his humble slave… ameen summa ameen