Ramadan and Solitude…
Written by: Milad
In just a matter of hours, the world will welcome Ramadan Insha’Allah. No doubt it’s a mercy and blessing from Allah to be able to witness the most beautiful month of the year. It’s strange to think how many people were looking forward to this month, but they passed away due to this global pandemic, other illnesses, or natural causes. So many people passed away who thought they would see another Ramadan. We can only pray that Allah allows us to reach Ramadan like we always say “اللهم بلغنا رمضان” Oh Allah, let us reach Ramadan.
Given the current state of the world because of the pandemic, Ramadan will not be the same as it used to be but it will be a rather solitary experience: no collective iftar meals at dusk, no inviting, and being invited, and no extensive tarawih prayers at nights. Yet, despite the constraints, the holy month is still perfectly doable in all it’s essential entirety. In fact, solitude is a tradition within Ramadan itself a practice called i’tikaf, where you excuse yourself from daily life for the last ten days of the month to practice a sort of mindful seclusion in voluntary solitude within a prayer room. During this spiritual retreat, you subsist only on prayer and contemplation, alone with your thoughts and the One who gave you that ability to think thoughts. This time around, in a sense, the entire month has the potential to be a sort of i’tikaf for us.
That being said, I’m looking forward to this new way of experiencing the month of fasting. It is also an opportunity for us to take a break from all of our fixation on the outward and turn our attention towards the inward as well, to strive to tame the two appetites in a way that makes us more mindful of God, more consistent and wholesome believers. We’ll still make mistakes, and we’ll still fall short at times but let’s not lose hope and seek forgiveness in this month of mercy. Reaching this month itself is a sign that He wants to forgive us. Forgiveness might be attained for some through completing lots of the Quran but for others it’ll be that one tear of remorse that rolls down the cheek.
Always quality and sincerity over quantity!
May Allah accept from us, Ameen.