Today marks the 15th day of fasting. If you’re fasting today too, I hope your fast is going easy for you, and that you’ve grown much closer to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and are well on the way to completing any goals you set for yourself.So far, I’ve discovered much hardness in my heart and errors in my character, and I’ve taken some steps to improve. May Allah forgive me, but I didn’t set any goals for myself. I had some nebulous ideas about memorizing a couple of Surahs, but nothing concrete and so I haven’t done much about it (and this is a huge shame, since historically memorizing Quran is much easier for me during Ramadan than in other months, largely, I think, because the devils are chained). Astaghfirullah.
I did plan to follow a lecture series, and so far, Alhamdulillah, I’ve kept up with Ustadh Nouman Ali Kahn’s Surah Baqarah lectures, but that’s about it.
I did plan—all last minute like—to leave off photography for a month, and for the most part I have. I haven’t laid off the podcasts as much as I planned to, and may Allah guide me to do more there. It’s been a nice break, so far, and I’m looking forward to some quality camera time in a few weeks, InshaAllah, though it honestly feels a bit less urgent now than it did.
I did plan to, as far as possible, continue on with business as usual in my daily life, and not allow the fasting to impact my obligations at work or at home, and I’ve been largely successful at that, Alhamdulillah. I had a couple of days where I really needed some sleep in the early morning, but both times I was working from home and could just take an early lunch break and go for a nap. I’m very thankful to have such a flexible job schedule. Alhamdulillah.
I did plan to spend more time just enjoying the time I have with my darling, adorable wife, and Alhamdulillah laying off the photography has allowed me to do that, though the lengthy series last week ate up a chunk of hours. InshaAllah I’ll continue posting daily for the next 15 days, and InshaAllah the posts will be a bit shorter, or at least won’t all be 1200 or 1500 or 2000 words. (Does anyone even read them? It doesn’t matter: any benefit anyone receives is from Allah alone, and if no one benefits, or if there’s any harm, that’s entirely my fault (and Satan, but he’s chained…).)
I had no plans to host or attend as many iftar dinners as I have or now expect to. Alhamdulillah it’s a blessing to have different groups to break fast with, just as it’s a blessing to break fast with my darling, adorable wife. Indeed, as Zaid bin Khalid Al-Juhani, radiallahu anhu reported
The Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever provides the food for a fasting person to break his fast with, then for him is the same reward as his (the fasting person’s), without anything being diminished from the reward of the fasting person.”
Due to unforeseen expenses early in the month (replacing an air conditioner condenser), I’ve been unable to give as much charity this year as in years past, and InshaAllah the charity that I do give will be much more direct and personal (i.e. giving food directly to people in need), and therefore, InshaAllah, more meaningful and impactful.
Alhamdulillah, thanks to a class Imam Nick Pelletier ran at ICI last fall (and continues to, though I dropped out some time ago due to time constraints), I’m reading* Arabic better than ever, and InshaAllah my pronunciation is getting better too, now that I’m reading the Arabic. I haven’t picked up the Quran as much as I had hoped to—though I didn’t have a plan to, so that should come as little surprise: Astaghfirullah—but when I do, it’s getting easier to puzzle my way through it. Plus, as narrated by Aisha, radiallahu anha:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Such a person as recites the Qur’an and masters it by heart, will be with the noble righteous scribes (in Heaven). And such a person exerts himself to learn the Qur’an by heart, and recites it with great difficulty, will have a double reward.”
How’s is your Ramadan going? Did you have any goals or plans? How are you handling them? May Allah accept our fasts and our worship in this beautiful month, and may He guide us to be better servants, ameen. And if you’re not fasting, may God bless you and guide you, ameen.
*By “reading” here, I really mean “reciting” I guess, since I understand the meaning to maybe 10% of the words on the page, and have nowhere near the knowledge of and comfort with the language to start doing any critical, in depth reading. InshaAllah I’ll take more of the opportunities that come to me.