بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ
Ramadan came and went like a whirlwind. A beautiful whirlwind of blessings and worship; swoons and sighs; soul-stirring Qur’an recitation; parched throats and lovely cold water that slid down those throats at sundown; lovely community taraweeh spirit; and calculations and disbursements of charity.
It is gone. And like this time every year, it leaves me quite sad at seeing it go. Like every year, I feel like I could have done more.
Anyhow, may Allah accept all our worship, and grant us another, even better, Ramadan. Ameen.
I want to talk about change now. Personal change. For starters, I have not even begun to adjust fully yet, to how quickly time is beginning to fly for me since the past some years.
The days, weeks, months, and years just seem to whiz by for me now. Furthermore, my self, my thinking, my routine, my occupation, and my whole life has undergone an enormous change since a couple of years.
For most of my contacts, I seem to have disappeared somewhere. I am quiet. I am busier. And I am definitely more private. I do not share much details about myself, my life, or my children, the way I naively used to in the past. Nor do I socialize much with people now.
I do not know why this has happened, but I do know that I like it a lot. I have silently entered a category of people who are scarce in society, and I will not name what that category is. 🙂 But I love solitude, and I know that as my children grow older, my solitude will only increase, insha’Allah.
Another thing that has happened to me is that I now have this extreme intolerance for any and all kinds of negativity. It was building up since some years, but now, this intolerance has reached its pinnacle. I shun negative talk, negative things, and negative people like the plague, perhaps more. They no longer have any place in my life, my time, or my company.
Now, my only response to ‘breaking’ news, sad events, and horrible happenings around the world is: dua, dua, prayers, more dua, turning more to Allah, reciting more Qur’an, being more grateful for the well being in my own life, and then continuing to do positive work.
Allah has also granted me immense barakah in my time and efforts, in this phase in my life. Perhaps it is because I am fast approaching age 40 (and looking forward to it! Not just yet, though, because I will turn 38 later this year), because the Qur’an mentions the age of 40 as the age of “maturity”.
Also, I have been told in the past by more mature people that, at age 40, one’s mental maturity is complete and it is at this age that one begins to work really hard to practically pursue their goals in life, for which it took them the past 40 years to prepare for and mature. As you might already be aware, it was at age 40 that the Prophets were granted Prophethood by Allah.
I know that naysayers will find something wrong with my life choices, even if they knew the details about how exactly I spend my time. So I will let their ignorance be their bliss. Like I said, they have no place in my time or in my routine any more.
So now, let’s discuss more about what’s up with my work. My Ramadan this past month was largely spent in completing my new book project; besides the usual, all-day-long, worship routine that the blessed month involves, that is.
This project literally took up almost all of my conscious, non-distracted waking hours. And because it was a project about the Qur’an, I cracked down a little harder on myself to give my all to it, more and better than all my previous, other books.
Alhamdulillah, here is the book cover, below:
This book is especially close to my heart, because, like I said, it is about the Qur’an — the book that changed my life; that changed me, that brought so much joy and blessings in my existence.
I cannot even begin to thank Allah enough for guiding me and enabling me to write, edit, and compile this book!
Innumerable prostrations to Him would not be enough, to express my gratefulness for His benevolence! Even the cover design is my own. That Qur’an pictured on the cover? It is the personal mushaf (book) that I recite from, in my own room. So you can see, this project was/is quite personal. I had been working on it since May, earlier this year.
This book comprises of almost all my past articles about the Qur’an — it will, insha’Allah, motivate and guide readers about how to study the Qur’an, ponder upon it, and get closer to Allah by engaging more closely with it, throughout their lives. It is available on Amazon and on the Createspace e-store (and will be on Kindle too, insha’Allah).
I recently realized that I did not give an introduction about my last book here, on this blog, in a post. So, here it is:
I published this book 3 months ago, in April 2016. This easy-to-read, concise book guides readers about how they can morally train their young children in order to make them grow up to become righteous, practicing, conscientious Muslim adults, insha’Allah.
It talks about many important issues that can help them successfully raise righteous children, such as identifying early signs of success, knowing the leadership mistakes that they should try to avoid, how to help their children safeguard prayers; how they should respect their teenagers’ privacy, and how they can train them to handle various aspects of practical adult life, such as marriage and running a household. It is going to be a beneficial guidebook not just for parents, but also for teachers, kids’ caregivers, trainers, and youth mentors, insha’Allah.
To my Pakistan-based readership, I would like to apologize for the fact that my books are not yet available in the country for them to purchase — yet.
Insha’Allah, one day they will be, if all goes as planned. And Allah is the best of planners and helpers.
Have a Great Eid!
I hope and pray that your Eid is a joyous and blessed one. Please refrain from overeating and binging; do not delay (much less miss) any of your daily prayers. Do not mingle freely with the opposite gender at the Eid parties. And do try to hold on to your good Ramadan habits e.g. wake up for and pray tahajjud (trust me, your body will still be attuned to the sehri/suhoor wake-up times, so capitalize on that), and try to recite a page or two of the Qur’an every day.
Last but not least, keep in mind that — local cultural customs aside, — no specific Eid celebrations have been mandated in Islam, besides giving Fitr charity, attending the early morning Eid prayer and sermon, reciting takbeers (Allah’s greatness), and the singing of nasheeds and decent poetry by little children.
Each family can (and should be allowed to) decide themselves, how to spend/enjoy their Eid holidays in a permissible manner.
How would the men like to spend their Eid days cooking a meal, laying the table, clearing up, and then washing a pile of dishes every three hours, every year on Eid? I think all Muslim men should try to spend such an Eid once in their lives, to see how much they like it. 🙂 It will make them appreciate womenfolk more.
So make this Eid easier for your mothers, grandmothers, wives, and daughters-in-law as well. Let them, also, enjoy a break. Take them out and let them enjoy a “hands-free” Eid too.
Go for a picnic, a boat ride, a camel ride, a horse ride, or a barbecue/camping outing. Go to the beach and soak your feet in the waves; build a sand castle; have an ice cream. Go climb a tree at a park. Ditch the TV and tablet games. Instead, play a “target” game like darts, carom, or mini golf.
You get the idea. Have some halal fun in which everyone enjoys themselves. 🙂
And my advice for our local Pakistani’s,: please refrain from lambasting and criticizing your country and it’s government for at least one day i.e. on Eid day, when you get together to meet and eat. Ditch the chronic negativity and try to talk about positive things when you do the cultural round of visiting far-flung relatives in their homes, and partaking from their cake-and-mithai-loaded tea-trolleys.
When you feel like complaining about how bad your country and its future prospects are for you, pause for a second, look down at your plate full of at least 4 kinds of food, at your lovely new branded clothes, your good health and safety, your healthy parents and your children, and your nice car parked outside, and then, try to force yourself to say positive, gratitude-laced things from your mouth, instead of discussing the latest bombings, shootings, and killings.
Believe me, it is doable. All it takes is some shukr (gratitude), positive thinking, wisdom, and willpower.
May Allah accept all our good deeds, and grant us steadfastness upon higher ranks of faith and righteous actions. Ameen.