Monday, September 15, 2008

Ramadan midpoint

Ramadan is half way over already, and it has been pretty good so far. I set myself what I thought were pretty modest goals, and for the most part I have kept up with them. I haven't sat down at the TV all month, although I did check out some news videos online including the hurricane Ike devastation today. MashaAllah! May Allah help the people effected.

I finished the 16th juz in the English translation of the meaning of the Qur'an this evening, so I'm doing ok there. Today's reading finished Surah al Kahf, which is my absolute favorite surah. The story of Musa (Moses) (alahi salaam) and Khidr (alahi salaam) makes life make sense to me. We think that things we don't like are tragedies, but sometimes they are blessings. Sometimes disasters like hurricanes are opportunities for so much good. They can bring communities together, give us opportunities to be charitable, remind us of how impermanent material things are and how valuable our families are. They should remind us to be grateful for what we have and warn us that it may all be taken away. And they hopefully teach us to practice sabr (patience). When the last hurricane was heading for New Orleans, I read some right wing Christian Zionist's blog who claimed that the hurricane was God's punishment because Condoleezza Rice had been here trying to force Israel to divide Jerusalem to make peace with the Palestinians. Not only does that man's arrogance astound me, thinking that he can speak for God's intentions, but I am always amazed that people think that one event has only one reason and one meaning. If Allah sends a hurricane to blow down my whole neighborhood, perhaps he is punishing some people, testing others' gratitude, removing some evil from others and forcing others to make changes in their lives that they would have been too afraid to try otherwise. We look at all the complexity of the natural ecological systems that brought a hurricane into being and say "God did that," but then refuse to see the complexity of WHY He may have done that. Perhaps I am not explaining my meaning well, because it is late. Ya Rabbi, please help me to benefit from the tests You send me!

My third goal was to memorize al Zilzal and al 'Adiyat, inshaAllah. I have pretty much got al 'Adiyat down, though I still make mistakes. But I haven't even learned to read Zilzal properly yet. It takes me a long time to convince my tongue to pronounce the Arabic correctly.

The last goal was to avoid all the over eating and sweets that are so often part of Ramadan. The sweets have been pretty easy to avoid, since my husband wants qatayyif almost every day, and I don't like it much. I ate one so far. But today I made banana bread, and ate 2 big chunks of it. That's much more tempting to me. But don't worry, the temptation is gone, since my kids gobbled it up as fast as they could. Other than that, I think I have done well.

I missed suhoor twice so far, both times I am sure that I set my alarm but when I woke up it was off and I don't remember turning it off. The first time I woke in time to pray fajr, but the last time I missed it. So I ought to head to bed now so that that doesn't happen again, inshaAllah. I hope everyone else is doing well this Ramadan and meeting their goals.


UmmFarouq said...

Happy midpoint!
You and are the same on the suhoor missing. I missed it once by about 4 minutes (adhan had just called) and another time woke up at 7:15. It was long gone, of course. The guilt I feel when that happens is mostly for my husband and kids--especially the kids, who have to go off to school and actually think. Long days, but we have finally adjusted, and once we feel it is "easy," then it will be Eid.

Many salams to you and du'a, too.

alajnabiya said...

Really, I didn't feel the fast was any harder the days I missed suhoor. My 2 youngest have decided they don't want to get up either, and they do fine, mashaAllah. May Allah accept our prayers and fasts, and let us see another Ramadan.

Unknown said...

Allah yatik alafia. InshAllah your fasts and prayers will be accepted. Good for you on the memorizing. I know it is such a task. May Allah open ease our tongues on the Arabic words. I feel the reward when I sit and read Quran for an extended time and struggle so hard over the unfamiliar words. Alhamdulillah I can read at all. Alhamdulillah.

Anonymous said...

I never get up for Suhoor. I found that if I eat suhoor I feel ill all day long. So no suhoor for me.

Susie of Arabia said...

Good for you in meeting your goals that you set. You are so good!!! This is my first full Ramadan here and it's not been half as hard as I thought it would be for me. Best wishes to you and your family.

alajnabiya said...

Thank you Susie. I almost never find Ramadan as hard as I expect it to be. (Except yesterday, when I developed a headache at fajr and struggled all day. But my kids rose to the occasion and finished making dinner for me so I could go lay down.) I am glad it is going well for you.

KadijaTeri, if it was up to me I would just get up in time to have a glass of water, but my family wants the food. It's funny that the 2 youngest are the ones that skip suhoor and do just fine fasting all day. (I bring them a glass of water to their beds when I wake everyone else up for suhoor.)I just keep reminding my self of the hadith that says there is a blessing in suhoor.

Alhamdulillah I am getting better and better at reading the Arabic, but it still takes me a long time to get through an unfamiliar aya. And I trip all over my tongue when I try to read at first. Thank you for your du'as.

May Allah accept all our prayers and fasts, and let us see another Ramadan.