‘It’s Ramadan tomorrow, and all I want to do is sleep.’ I think in panic as I survey my house with a critical eye. There are books strewn everywhere, a half made lego set on the floor, dishes piled up in the sink. My body aches , I’m sneezing and it feels like the beginnings of a flu. It’s been a very hectic few weeks and I’ve been busy…. but at the moment I can’t remember what with; it’s all a blur: work, setting up my momprenuer project, Ramadan events, school events, packed lunches and bedtime stories… a crazy-mix of all… in this moment I feel exhausted, overwhelmed and inadequate because I’m not ‘Ramadan ready’.
Instagram shows me another picture of a beautifully set up Ramadan wall , a corner , a basket. There are twinkling lights, blue, gold, purple and spring themed. There are moons and stars and carefully curated book titles in a pretty basket. There are activities and games for children and boxes of neatly wrapped samosas and perfectly shaped kebabs. There are even personally labeled eid favors all ready and waiting to be distributed!
Then there are the articles, so many on how to make the best of Ramadan: duaa lists, and goal charts and planners and journals. I have none. I feel unable to cope with the pressure to do and be all these things for Ramadan. I’m overwhelmed and I slump into a corner.
It’s Ramadan tomorrow- and I just want to sleep.
Tears start streaming out of my eyes. I just can’t …. will my kids have a lousy Ramadan because i haven’t decorated a cardboard mosque ? I crawl into bed- teary – ya Allah help me. I dissolve into tears… and slip into sleep. I wake up much later in time for the dawn Salah. I finish my namaaz, and remain sitting on the prayer mat. Slowly. a thought emerges: it’s about your heart, prepare your heart first.
I start to peel away all the extra layers… no my children don’t really need the lights and daily treats. We can do without the cardboard mosque, the real one is close by. (Alhamdulillah for living in this country- UAE !) We don’t need the samosas.
The only thing we really really need is to connect to Allah – with or without the extra frills. If we can do the lights, crafts decor, Alhamdulillah, and if we can’t , Alhamdulillah .
I will make it my intention to have our hearts connect to Allah, and ALL I need for that is my my sincere intention and sincere duaa.
That is something I can do – right here, right now. I can do it while I prepare lunch boxes, wipe surfaces and while I drive around running errands.
I make fervent duaa- to make this Ramadan the best yet. Yes, amidst the toys strewn about and the dirty dishes… this WILL BE the best Ramadan yet.
Alhamdulillah – I am alive and here to witness another Ramadan, InShaAllah. That is an immense blessing and that is enough.
Astaghfirulla – Ramadan is not about envy and inadequacy.
I am happy for all the people who have beautifully decorated homes. I love them and appreciate the effort . I remind myself of the many who have none of these blessings and many who will be struggling with burdens I can’t even imagine this Ramadan.
InShaAllah – I have a day. I will have a tidy house, I will have my prayer mats out, I may set up lights. I have time to prepare. While preparing I will consciously remind myself to focus on what matters most.
Intention matters, so right now I make it my intention to please Allah, in everything I do and even in things I can’t do!
All I need is for my heart to reach out and connect to the divine. All I need to do is take one step, and Allah pulls me up the rest of the way. With the comfort of that thought settling in my heart, the comfort of knowing with certainty that Allah will pull me through; a plan starts to emerge; A plan to be Ramadan ready in 12 hours.
Yalla – Lets do it!