By Fadwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota
“O Allah, make faith beloved to us and beautify it in our hearts, and make unbelief, wickedness, and disobedience hateful to us, and make us among the rightly-guided. O Allah, let us pass away as Muslims, live as Muslims, and let us be joined with the righteous.”
–Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings.
I updated the attached blog of previous years. I hope to comment on Ramadan in this blog for the coming year. I have a few posts to help us prepare for this month on Engage Minnesota, FaceBook. I updated the blog with the new dates of the upcoming Ramadan as well.
Quran as your companion
The best book to read is the Quran.
I ask You by every name belonging to You which You named Yourself with, or You taught to any of Your creation, or revealed in Your Book, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the unseen with You, that You make the Quran the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety’, Allah will remove his anxiety and sadness and replace it with happiness.”
Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings.
“So when the Qur’ān is recited, then listen to it and pay attention that you may receive mercy.”
First, be still and listen. After years in the land of Midian, Moses, upon him peace, was called and God explained the wisdom behind his life experiences.
What does it mean to listen?
Most of us will read the Quran with an argument in mind, looking for ways or verses to win an argument. Most of my blogs or writings were reflections from years ago, that I started to polish and share when I became a blogger for the Star Tribune. As I mentioned in the attached blog, layer by layer, the Quran unfolds its wisdom. Try not to read the Quran looking for cool quotes or memes. There is a time to share what you learned. However, enter Ramadan to learn and to listen. It is a different journey if you are coming to Ramadan to listen attentively with humility:
“Generally speaking, don’t forget that as Muslims we must always try our best to realize that our lives are a personal education program designed and created by Allah to achieve knowledge and worship. Whatever happens in our lives, as ‘radical monotheists’ as we are sometimes referred to; we should realize that Allah has developed this personalized program called life to teach us about Him. But He has given us three important tools to achieve knowledge of Him, as He says in the Qur’an: His revelations, His creation, and ourselves. Through these three tools, everything that we experience in life can become a sign of His greatness in some way. It is for this reason that [Messenger of Allah] (upon him peace and blessings), if we reflect back on his way of life a bit, was able to make du`aa’ [supplication] continuously in whatever situation he found himself. He lived at this state or level of realization where his God-consciousness was so high that it was if he was in a constant, ongoing conversation with Allah. ”
–Dr. ‘Abd. Lateef Krauss Abdullah
Rules and guidelines
Islam is a way of life, and while you have heard me say – don’t focus on the Do’s and Don’ts, this does not imply that we ignore the sacred law. There is a balance that must be embraced. The Sacred Law teaches us discipline and helps keep us on the Straight Path, but the spirit of the law nurtures within love, hope, and commitment. So as one begins the month of Ramadan – reach out to teachers to understand the rules and guidelines of acts of worship that you are obligated to perform. Your children might have questions that need answered. You can schedule lessons with a teacher, and answer their questions. Be sure to pay for the teacher’s time. Do you know the rules and integrals of fasting, praying, and paying zakat?
Faith is a gift
Now when [the Queen’s messenger] came unto Solomon, he said: “Do you people mean to add to my wealth? But that which God has given me is [so much] better than all that He has given you! Nay, it is [only such as] you that would rejoice in this gift of yours!
Receive with gratitude
Whenever you do an action of worship, take time to thank God for enabling you to do the action. You should feel happy and proud that you performed these actions, and ask God to enable you to do more out of His Grace.
“O my Lord! so order me that I may be grateful for Thy favours, which thou hast bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may work the righteousness that will please Thee: And admit me, by Thy Grace, to the ranks of Thy righteous Servants.”
Hope is a reality, not thoughts
- True hope requires effort. Hope is a reality and holistic. It is not passive, unless you have reached the state of Prophet Jacob, upon him peace or Prophet Job, upon him peace. Both reached a state of physical illness that is outside their control. Yet, both did not allow their souls to follow their caprice. They accepted this as a call to be alone with God. In such a state, you can just make prayers. Otherwise, genuine hope requires effort. An example of this is the story of Hajar, who did not wail, woe is me in the desert, but exerted herself to the utmost in search for water in the desert, until she reached the state of desperate need – the springs of Zamzam opened for her, so she can bear witness to God’s Greatness. Likewise, just like our prayer is holistic, hope requires effort and work. It is your limbs that will do the talking.
“That Day shall We set a seal on their mouths. But their hands will speak to us, and their feet bear witness, to all that they did.”
- So, hope requires effort. Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings said: “The intelligent is he who takes his soul to task and works for that which is after death; and the incapable is he who makes his soul follows his caprice and merely hopes on Allah.”
Fadwa Wazwaz | \ Fəd-wə Wəz-wəz\ is a Palestinian-American born in Jerusalem, Palestine and raised in the US. Currently, she lives in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.