It’s time for Ramadan again, God willing. Whether by calculation [which this author does not subscribe to as a primary means of determining the fast] or by the traditional method of sighting [shahādah], the Blessed Month is upon us. It’s that time when immaterial whims of the world, its assumptions and delusions, as Mark Slouka puts it, are cast aside in favor of an Unseen Favor. Even the reward for fasting is known only to Allah.
Ramadan is that time, even though we look towards the horizon to confirm our fasting, when reality ceases to be solely horizontal and we take on a consciousness of the Seven Heavens; the Qur’an passing down, its Revelation, punctuates the true vertical nature of reality: That God is above the Throne which sits above the Creation. And from this, our Master Muhammad [s], was called and commanded: “Recite!”
Ramadan is a time to rehumanize: To come to know oneself without the muddling of Shayṭān. We can put our ears to our hearts and listen to what’s really there. Are we miserly? Coarse? Shallow? It is a time to dedicate oneself wholly to a new cause – indeed the only cause worth dedicating one’s soul to: lā ilāha illa Allah, Muḥammadun rasūl Allah.
In a few days time the debate over calculations, cesarean moon births and the like, will fade away and mosques will be crowded with the needy; needy of heart and soul. Our minds and hearts will be filled with transcendent thoughts while our vision vignettes on the Qur’an, blocking out the static of the dunya [wordly life], by reciting it night and day. We will greet each other with the greetings of Paradise [السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته] with smiles on our faces. Our hearts will tremble as we take stock, throwing ourselves on the Mercy of the Court: rabbanā ighfirlanā dhunūbanā!
I pray that Allah grants us access to Ramadan and all of its treasures, that we live to reap its benefits. Amin. For those who have contemplated embracing Islam, there can be no better time than the Holy Month of Ramadan to do so. I hope this short message will be one of the last as we shut off our computers and reboot our hearts, put down our Blackberries, Palm Pilots, iPhones/iPads and all other distractions and harness the tremendous benefits of this month. May you all have a blessed Ramadan.
عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه, عن النبي, صلى الله عليه و سلم, قال يقول الله عز و جل الصوم لي و أنا أجزي به يدع شهوته و أكله و شربه من أجلي والصوم جنة وللصائم فرحتان: فرحة حين يفطر و فرحة حين يلقى ربه و خلوف فم الصائم أطيب عند الله من ريح المسك
[Ḥadīth Qudsī on the authority of Abū Hurayrah, may God be pleased with him, stated that the Prophet [s] said: “Fasting is Mine and I give its reward. One who abstains from passions, food, and drink for My Sake. So know fasting is like a shield; the one who fasts has two joys: a joy when the fast is broken and a joy when the faster meets their Lord. The odor eminating from the mouth of one who fasts is purer in God’s sight than the scent of musk.”
27th of Sha’bān, 1431AH, Philadelphia