02 Jul Thirty days
Thirty days may not seem like a long time, but for some, it isn’t long enough. Muslims around the world are about to embark on a spiritual journey as the month of Ramadan is upon us. As an Ahmadi Muslim, I also plan on taking part in this month of fasting. During Ramadan, everyone experiences something different, but most can agree to one thing, a stronger connection to Allah.
Fasting isn’t something that you do for anyone but Allah. Although this may seem obvious, sometimes it is hard to remember, especially for those who are fasting for the first time. When it is the middle of the fifteenth day of fasting and we feel hungry, it may seem like more of a chore that we have to complete rather than an act we do to earn Allah’s pleasure.
Personally, I don’t think fasting is particularly easy. Eating is an essential portion of life, and as an 18-year-old young adult, I tend to feel the need to eat quite often. However, after gradually completing more fasts over the years, it has gotten easier. While I still feel hunger, over the course of the month it becomes simply that, a feeling. This is because Ramadan is about more than just abstaining from food. During the month of Ramadan, I do my best to not take part in any distractions, such as watching TV, or passing time browsing the internet. I feel that such things pull me away from strengthening my relationship with Allah. Instead, I occupy my days with completing different tasks, whether that entails cleaning around the house, reading the Holy Quran, or even getting a head start on some future schoolwork. Our daily lives will go on, but by fasting, I always feel more disconnected from my surroundings. I also feel calmer and more focused on my prayers instead of my worldly tasks. Ramadan is never a nuisance as it may appear to those who don’t take part in it. It doesn’t take away from my daily life; rather, it gives me so much more than I usually have. I see myself becoming more productive over the course of Ramadan because I am focused on the task at hand and not any distracting thoughts I may have. Instead of stressing over a paper that is due, I remember how I need to stay calm and keep faith in Allah and my abilities. I constantly remind myself that everything works out for the best in the end. Even after Ramadan, I see many of these good habits carry over. I find myself staying calmer and more focused because it benefits me so much more. One month of attempting to change myself for the better leads to a whole year of growth.
My experience with fasting has been a mixed one as mentioned. Sometimes I feel as though my efforts are going in vain since the effects of spiritual enlightenment are slow and not always immediately seen. Despite this, I still attempt to suppress any of my shortcomings during this month and be the best Muslim possible. This is because I have learned, with time, that I feel much more comfortable and at peace with myself when I remember Allah in my life. Living in a society where there we are constantly being pulled away from spirituality and towards materialism, Ramadan is the perfect chance for someone like me to reconnect with Allah. For some, thirty days is not enough time to change themselves for the better. For me, it is a challenge to become closer to Allah now, instead of never.
Adnan Ahmad – Chicago Southwest