By Shofi Ahmed:
In Shaa Allah up next month in May we are set to embrace Ramadan again. The holy month needs no new intro it houses the jewel in the crown in our calendar. Bountifully the blessed one. The greatest of the months.
Interestingly, it has been quite some times Ramadan in Britain comes in the summertime. Here we love to bask in the sun. Comes summer and meets Britain in bloom. Naturally, it’s a better timing to unleash a bold and vibrant presence. And Ramadan does it well in the summer. Splashing in shades of tangerines it reached out. Britain is now no stranger the word Ramadan is synonymous across the British soil.
It’s a good start. As it comes, the journey by no means is short. It treads on a month-long primrose path. The paint, therefore, remains to be done. When Allah SWT wants people to refrain from legitimate somethings. For a specific time period, the rewards are multitudes. That’s aren’t one dimensional.
But forget the watermelon not even a drop of water is allowed while fasting. We do not only keep the plate off our tables we have to make sure no drinking glass is left on them too. Likewise if swaying off the water pool rained down across the full fasting month, our discovery is one more colour of the Ramadan rainbow. Because the rewards come in multi colours, multiforms. But how do we explore it in our eloquent words?
Ramadan gives us the strength of willpower. On the day without food, without a drink, we can run dry but we stay fluid on Allah’s designed pathway. The short time we have in the night we spend the longest spell reading or listening to the words of Allah SWT. In short, we pluck the courage to broaden our horizon from the physical core to the spiritual dimension. And the beauty is we aren’t alone. We do it together. With our family, our community, our society. Ramadan unites us we embrace it together. We open our hearts, give more charities. Perhaps one of the most meaningful aspects of Ramadan is the bond that one shares with the community.
So we can say, we may have been prescribed to stay off the water while fasting but not from the paintbrush. The multi aspects of Ramadan and the plethora of rewards that it comes with, essentially the Ramadan kaleidoscope remains to be observed. Purely it’s a time to contemplate on. A better timing for reflection.
There is so much in it to take from. To weigh it, however, is not possible without taking a big pause. A pause from eating, from drinking, from smoking even from lovemaking. It’s compulsory to turn away from the rest to see the giant mural that it comes with.
Ramadan gives us a time frame tucked away from almost all things corporeal. In that context, we have the opportunity to refrain from many things that we are grappled with on a daily bases. Brushing them aside on the fence gives us the rooms to look at them from the high with a bird’s eye view.
Foods and drinks are of course an essential part in our daily book. However, we can look back at the past, as back as possible and can see the fasting was neither a stranger. Not even in the antiquity. The most outshining chapter title in the book of the earth is perhaps the descending of the man on its page. Far from the outer space, it was directly from heaven. But for the first man that wasn’t a happy landing. On that sad lengthy spell, Adam neither did drink nor eat. Why should it be? Who would leave heaven for the mortal earth in the thick of the darkness?
Adam (alahis salam) the first man touched down on earth mourning along the way. Nonetheless, it’s only half of the story. True, that he didn’t want his canary bird to fly down this way. We know that. But when the time came for him to wash his hand off this earthly mortal bowl again he sighed on his deathbed.
But, a big but. When finally cutting all the corners he reaches out to his sweet spot – all set for the finest escape. It was time for him to fly back but again he sighed.
Did this final episode, Adam returning back to the Eden with a tear in the eye, ever make you wonder why he didn’t laugh? Once descended down straight from heaven. Now, he got the rope back on his hand. It was time for his fallen bird to fly back to the wild forest in paradise’s golden ground. But wise Adam didn’t laugh. Why? He rather sheds a tear this time on the cutout, fallen tree on this muddy earth. Thus right in the nick of time, at the very moments, he leaves gives a jump in the storylines of life on earth.
What is it then in this muddy soil? The man from heaven walked across it. But didn’t want to leave it spontaneously by choice. What was his discovery? What was the inside scoop that clicked on this mortal earth for the heavenly chap?
It’s very unlikely that we can crack this nut on the go. Maybe life is mortal so but till to date, it makes the splash. It rolls in, takes the men and women alike that more than anything else forget the death, the biggest reality of life.
Reaching out to it, however, is not a mission impossible. Adam found it and we can too. We are his successors. Give it a closeup look and we can see. In between the lines, his journey from Eden to Eden is via earth. He had to take a pause. That was the pause from the all graceful, all blissful, peaceful heaven.
The same is still applicable. Let me brief it quoting from an article in The Guardian: “The faster life gets, the more important it is to take a pause. Many things cannot be seen at speed, let alone appreciated. Once you do pause, you’ll be amazed that there is a slower world unfolding at its own unhurried pace under your very nose. Pausing within a pause is the secret of meditation..”
On the pathway to the timeless infinity its also necessary to take a pause for sometimes. Ramadan is the perfect time that gives us the opportunity to take the vital pause from almost all things materials. Virtually taking the small steps away from the beach to unfold the big sea rolling in from the source of life.
From all that we refrain from, we take a pause in Ramadan are a lot and essential for human survival. That follows by a more bigger, meaningful resuming. For example, we refrain from drinking the vital water then we indulge in it we break the fast with it. For that break, at the iftar, aim for the Abe Hayat the water of life!