Despite my best efforts to make a little time each day, I have been able to get nowhere near a computer and blog. The days of Ramadan are flying by and I am amazed that we have already passed by half of this blessed month. All of my time seems to be taken up in the kitchen trying to think up new things to cook, work, chasing the kids around the house, trying to pray despite my bulk and trying to get some rest. It doesn't help that a lot of the time I can’t sit comfortably at all.
I recently had a meeting at work when I couldn’t take any more and ended up sitting on the floor. Luckily everyone humoured me and one woman even joined me. They had to humour me, because I had the agenda anyway! It didn’t help that my leg fell asleep, so I had to wait till everyone was gone before I could try and get up.
I am still struggling with not fasting, my concentration in prayer is not as great, partly because I am so uncomfortable and I also cannot sit for as long as I would like to read the Quran. So I am having to find other ways to worship. Something someone said to me last year keeps coming back to me: that through worship you earn heaven, but that through service to others you find Allah (SWT). I have no idea of the source or the correctness of this, but it makes so much sense to me. In the beloved Prophet’s (PBUH) Ramadan sermon he says:
O people!, if anyone amongst you arranges for iftar (meal at sunset) for any believer, Allah will reward him as if he had freed a slave, and Allah will forgive him his sins.
Allah (SWT) presents us with so many opportunities through the day to serve and help our brothers and sisters and rewards us with so much even for small actions:
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said: “He who removes from a believer one of his difficulties of this world, Allah will remove one of his troubles on the Day of Resurrection; and he who finds relief for a hard-pressed person, Allah will make things easy for him on the Day of Resurrection; he who covers up (the faults and sins) of a Muslim, Allah will cover up (his faults and sins) in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah supports His slave as long as the slave is supportive of his brother…” [Muslim].
I think service may be an act that I can engage in with a bit more thoughtfulness and concentration – I have always been better at doing than reflecting.
The other activity that I find every blessed and rewarding is engaging in Dawah. Hubby once said to me that as soon as you stop influencing others, they are influencing you, i.e. you either engage in Dawah and make an impact on those around you or you let society and your environment in general impact on you. Alhamdulillah, sisters cannot always make Dawah on the street and door to door, but we are still massive influencers – we are teachers of our children, we have both our parents families and our in-laws families which we can influence. We can send food during Ramadan and try to explain to our neighbours why we are doing so. We can explain to teachers and colleagues why we are fasting and the benefits of this:
“Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah. If only the People of the Book had faith it were best for them; among them are some who have faith, but most of them are perverted transgressors.” (Quran 3:110)
Narrated Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever calls to guidance will gain a reward similar to that gained by his followers without curtailing their rewards.” (Sahih Muslim bi Sharh al-Nawawi, Vol. 16, p. 227).
I seemed to have missed a good chunk of the Creating Memories Journal Your RamadanChallenge prompts, so here goes in brief:
Day 7: You Are Grateful For – Living to see this Ramadan, my family, especially hubby, for all that Allah (SWT) has blessed us with, so that we have never ever had to experience want, for my faith and for Allah (SWT)’s numerous promises of mercy.
Day 8: Green – Very possibly part of the colour scheme for Eid decorations, but still deciding.
Day 9: Love – A mother’s love for her little ones come to mind, especially considering what an unborn baby can put you through. This one in particular seems to have an attitude problem. I fall asleep being beaten and wake up hours later still being walloped. Have to be grateful for all the movement, although sometimes a few hours of it just exhausts me.
Day 10: Dish of the Day – I have been trying out lots of new things from a website I have found, with good feedback from family and friends alhamdulillah. Details of dishes and recipes to follow insh’Allah.
Day 11: Grocery Bill – Its funny for a time that we eat so much less, the house seems to be full of food all of the time during Ramadan. I end up shopping every day and fresh fruit especially seems to be indispensable in our house at this time. I am putting this down to the blessings of this month and the mercy of Allah id providing for us.
Day 13: Prayer/Mercy – As above. Struggling in the prayer department and very uncomfortable, yet I feel that Allah (SWT) has alleviated much of the discomfort, as I think it was worse before Ramadan.
Day 14: A for... – Anger management. I am still getting angrier than usual and saying things I normally wouldn’t. I hate to hurt anyone, but part of me doesn’t regret saying what I think to people at the moment. I reeeeallly have no patience for foolishness right now.
Day 15: Sunset – I can’t even remember the last time I saw one of those, tend to spend this time in the kitchen each evening.
Day 16: What Are You Reading? – The plan was to start reading Tafsir Ibn Kathir and carry on throughout the year. Instead I was half way through Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell and have just carried on reading. Might as well get it out of my system before I move on...
Day 17: YOU – Ouch!! Sore ribs, bloating, loose joints that don’t listen meaning I cannot take stairs, heartburn, a sore back. Obviously I have my priorities right because the thing that bugs me is the dark circles under my eyes. Alhamdulillah though, I got my GTT test results for diabetes and I don’t have gestational diabetes. In the time it took to find out though, I really improved my diet (no sugar, no coffee, minimal white carbs) and hope to maintain it in the long term. My skins and hair are also better than normal. Apart from that I am so impatient to meet this little one insh’Allah.
Day 18: In Your Kitchen – are mangoes and a chair from the garden which I got the kids to drag in, so I and mum-n-law can take turns to can sit down in between cooking. This combination is perfect. As it is just past midnight, hubby is not yet back and everyone else is asleep, I am off to sit in the chair and eat some mangoes.