Will You Change With Me?
Are you as excited as I am? Words can’t describe how happy I get at the sheer mention of this month, honestly.
The Prophet saws was once climbing his three-step minbar. As he was climbing, he’d stay “Amin” each time he climbs a step. When asked about this, he said that the angel Gabriel came to him and made three supplications and asked him to say “Amin” to join him in the supplications. One of these was, “May Allah humiliate he who reaches Ramadan and does not get his sins forgiven.” This duaa says that this month is so blessed, so stacked with chances to gain reward, that you DESERVE the humiliation if you do not take advantage of it.
The month in which all good deeds are multiplied. The month in which the shayateen are locked up. The month that contains lailat el qadr, the night that is greater than a thousand months.
How old are you? I’m 17. I have lived through 16 Ramadans, alhamdulillah. How many Ramadans have you lived through? Now, how many have you actually taken advantage of?
How many nights have you stayed up praying? How many days have you fasted – not just from food and drink, but from sins and desires as well? How many prayers have you prayed with true sincerity and focus? I hope to God it’s more than I have.
We, I, go through the motions. I fast. I pray. I read Qur’an. But sometimes, you have to stop and reflect.
Am I thinking about what I’m doing? Am I learning from it? Or am I a robot, going through the motions?
I won’t lie. I’ve been that robot before. I still am, frequently. My mind is somewhere else when I’m in prayer. I fast from food and drink, but don’t change anything else that I do. And I want to change that. This Ramadan, ya rab, I pray that I have the strength to change that.[quote]The long term is so hard to see. When making sacrifices, all we see is now. But what we should be thinking about is later. Is the pleasure now worth the pain later?[/quote]
It seems like we have so much time. I fall for this, frequently. “I’m 17. WHAT could happen? I’ve got years and years to get closer to Allah. Right now I don’t have to worry about it.”
But then I come face to face with death. I almost get run over by a bus. I see a burning car. I witness the death of a child my age. I meet a child cancer patient. And I think, “Is it really all as guaranteed as I think it is?”
The truth is, it’s not. I live in America. It is still the night before Ramadan right now. I don’t know if I will make it to tomorrow to fast. I pray that I do insha Allah. But the truth is, even after that…I’m not sure if I will make it until next Ramadan.
I have a friend, her name is Rana. Her family was over a couple weeks ago, and we were talking about Ramadan. Our goals, plans, etc. She looked at us, and she started crying. I couldn’t understand. Why? Why is she crying? She said, “I just get really affected, because you know, it has to end.”
“Rana, girl, Ramadan hasn’t even STARTED. You’re already thinking about it ending?”[pullquote_right]There may not be a next Ramadan.[/pullquote_right]
“Nadia…just as Ramadan will start, it will end. And when it ends, we have no idea whether we will make it to the next Ramadan or not. No idea. Anything could happen. We might not make it until next Ramadan. Nadia, this Ramadan will end. Will we be any different? Will we have changed? Because if we don’t, we may not get another chance. There may not be a next Ramadan.”
That hit me, so hard. Here I am, excited and happy. But am I blindly excited, or actually thinking about what’s coming up?
If your teacher gives you an extra credit assignment and says, “Whoever does this has an A for the year. Guaranteed.” Would you do it?
The most important days of the year are coming up. Our chance. Our extra credit. What you do in Ramadan prepares you for the ENTIRE year. You miss one Ramadan, you miss a whole year. You miss several Ramadans…you miss a whole chunk of your life.[pullquote_left]You miss several Ramadans…you miss a whole chunk of your life.[/pullquote_left]
With the help of Allah, I want to make this Ramadan different. I want to not only read the Qur’an, I want to understand the meaning – not the translation, the true meaning. I want to not only pray, but feel the closeness to Allah in my heart. I want to not only fast from food and drink, but from all bad. I want to fight my nafs 2amaara bel soo2 even harder than I fight shaytan. I want to truly feel the pain of the poor and needy as I fast. I want to spend the day pondering them rather than banking on iftar in the evening. I want to change.
I pray to Allah that He helps me achieve this and helps you achieve your goals as well. I pray to Allah that I am a different person by Eid, insha Allah.
Everything we do, should be for Allah swt. Everything we do, from getting up in the morning for school or work, to praying, to dealing with people kindly, to taking care of our parents, on and on and on. When you do things for God, you have this feeling, like no one can bring you down. Like what you’re doing is so beautiful, so pure, because it’s only for Him, no one else. It’s not to please your family, or friends, or even necessarily yourself, but solely to please Allah. When you think about that, and you think about what that means, and where it’s taking you…well, I think it’s a beautiful thing. I think it’s so easy to forget that, to forget that we’re here for a purpose and when that purpose is fulfilled, we’re gone. Enjoy your life, enjoy your time here, but enjoy it for the sake of Allah.[quote]I don’t want to be the same person at the end of this Ramadan. I want to change. I want to be better.
Will you change with me?[/quote]