It’s day three of Ramadan.
The third (or fourth or fifth…) day of Ramadan is the very best . By day three, I have overcome the awkwardness of small talk with a dearly loved friend I’m meeting after a year, and we have found and settled into a cozy familiarity together. We have picked up the conversation where we left it off last year. Some things about us have changed, some remain the same.
Like one half of an old couple, I decided to try some new things this year . But by day three, as we settle into the homely routine we’ve developed over the years, a lot of these new initiatives start sliding away:
– like eating home cooked healthy meals for Iftar. On day two, we made healthy sugar-free ice cream at home (yay!) and ordered in chaat for Iftar . I wonder what the Iftar table will see on day three. (I’ve just prayed Fajr, but I can see a box of kulfi dancing in mid-air above the couch.)
– like making and following a duaa list. While I strictly followed ‘the list’ for two days; on day three; my wandering personality emerges in my duaa-making. List thrown aside, I run through the aisles of the universe like a toddler let loose in a candy shop …. “Ya Allah get me this ,and get me that, and save this tree and this animal, and help this hungry child Ya Karim, please please please help her, and of course give me Jannah ya Rahman, and Ya Afuw- forgive my sins , all of them Ya Rabb”
– like those dream-duaa visualizations. Well, the images keep changing. “I don’t know what I want to be, But you do Ya Al-Alim, help me BE what you want me to be. Put me on the right path and Ya-Al Qawiyy give me the strength to follow that path.”
– Like keeping the home neat. Tidied up on day one, day two saw a few books left strewn where we had read them. As we enter day three… InShaAllah, the floor should have space for us to walk across – that’s the best I can hope for.
But my friend doesn’t mind. Because my friend knows me for me, and loves me for me. I make sure to thank her for visiting and gracing my home, bringing light and joy. I will remain loyal InShaAllah. I will honour her and she will help me grow in ways I didn’t anticipate. We still have our regular favorite activities, developed over the years.
– Like finishing a complete reading of the Quran. Twenty pages a day, seems daunting on the first two days- but by day three, the steady rhythm sets in. Alhamdulillah .
– Like waking up an hour or two before suhoor to have the peaceful early morning cup of coffee together along with heart-to-heart chats. We reminisce about the past (Remember that crazy Iftar in the tent with goats?) and talk about the future. (InshaAllah, please let us meet next year as well. We will do the healthy iftar next year- for sure!)
– Like immersing ourselves into a new book, reading slowly and pausing ever so often to imagine and absorb. This years top selection being about the Duaa of the Sahaba.
– Like making time to do just a little bit more good together everyday; be it buying and making food to distribute in the city, or meeting a new neighbour or connecting with family.
By day three, we are starting to relax and enjoy the short time we have together on this beautiful journey. Alhamdulillah for this blessed month. May be find a way to embrace it with love and joy. May we benefit from it and all the blessings it brings. Ameen.
What are some unchanging elements of your Ramadan experience?