Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ramadan ramblings


It's Ramadan already and I survived the first day. I hope averyone who is reading this and who celebrates/observes the fast of Ramadan will have a successful and rewarding month. The only thing I really did to prepare for Ramadan this year was to cut out most of my caffeine consumption for the last 2 weeks. It's usually caffeine withdrawal that gives me headaches the first few days of Ramadan, so I tamed that addiction ahead of time so that my first day of fasting was blissfully headache free, alhamdulillah. I was really worried about not being able to drink water during the day since the weather has been so hot lately, but as usual it wasn't as hard as I had anticipated, alhamdulillah. I always fear Ramadan, worried that I will struggle, but Allah makes it easier for me when the time comes, alhamdulillah again. It always amazes me that I have such a hard time sticking to a diet all year long, but fasting comes so easy. The thing I struggle with the most is just the lack of sleep. I hate to sleep during the day, but the night just isn't long enough!

The first year I fasted Ramadan was in 1983, technically before I had embraced Islam. I was sort of trying things out that year. I hadn't read the Qur'an yet or leared to pray, but there was something special about Ramadan and the fasting that drew me to Islam. That year Ramadan started toward the end of May, and I think it included the longest day of the year in June too. MashaAllah I feel I was so much younger and stronger then and nothing seemed hard. Now I am worried about the upcoming Ramadans and the long hot days. I miss air conditioning!

Last year I was so prepared for Ramadan. I was already reading Qur'an daily and memorizing. In the last few months I have been doing a lot of backsliding, so my goals this year are to get back to making as many prayers and reading and memorizing like I was last year. So these are my goals for the month:

1. No television! The TV stations in the Arab world seem to think that Ramadan is the month for TV. They put on all sorts of dramatic series and special shows. But I don't want to waste my time on TV. I got this banner from the blog Deja Vu, via Global Voices Online.2. Read the whole translation of the meaning of the Qur'an in English again. I use Muhammad Farooq-i-Azam Malik's translation of the meaning. It was a gift from a dear friend 2 years ago (May Allah reward you dear sister!) and I love it. Last night I finished the first juz, and this aya reminded me of a post I had read on the blog UN-TRUTH called "You know it's Ramadan when...." about the restrictions placed on Palestinians from the West Bank attending Friday prayers in al Aqsa Mosque.

Who is more unjust than the one who prevents people from the Masãjid (place of worship) of Allah , forbids the mention of His name therein, and strives to ruin them ? It is not proper for such people to enter in them except with His fear. For them there is disgrace in this world and grievous punishment in the Hereafter. 2:114

The Israeli's rules for who is allowed to attend Friday prayers are as follows:
  • Married men between the ages 45-50 and married women between the ages of 30-45 who have received permission from the Civil Administration.
  • Men over the age of 50 and women over the age of 45 will be allowed to enter freely.
I am digressing from my goals...

3. Memorize al Zilzal and al 'Adiyat. That will give me almost 6 whole pages memorized, plus a few other ayat. Memorizing has never been my stong suit.

4. My final goal is to avoid the endless deserts and rich foods everyone serves during Ramadan. Just because I fasted all day does not mean that I ought to over indulge at night.

18 comments:

ammena said...

insha'allah you will be able to fulfil all of these goals sis, and some more unknown ones. Insha'allah the rest of us can stick to ours too to gain the bounty of rewards that are available for us during this month too.

Nicole said...

Kul Amma wa intum bekhair ukhtee. InshAllah your month will be full of blessings and rewards.

alajnabiya said...

Ameen to your duas sisters and may Allah give you a blessed Ramadan and accept your prayers and fasts.

Nicole, do you have a blog?

strangerinthisdunya said...

Assalaamu alaikum,

Ramadan Kareem dear sis and may Allah make it easy for you to achieve your goals for this Ramadan.

Why do I continue to be surprised by the 'rules' put in place by the occupiers? Subhan Allah. :( Is this for all mosques and jumu'ah prayers throughout Palestine? I had no idea. :(

I have been wondering if you have a blog also Nicole! I think you said before that you are in Jordan... would love to read about your experiences too. ;)

alajnabiya said...

Wa 'alaikum assalaam. I hope you have a successful Ramadan too.

No, the rules apply only to al Aqsa mosque. Many times there were demonstrations after Friday prayers, and and sometimes the young men used to throw stones over the wall into the Western Wall area where the Jews pray, so the Israelis started keeping young men from attending Jummah prayer there. I don't know if they are keeping any young male Jerusalem residents from entering now, but these rules are for West Bank residents. In the past, people from all over the West Bank would go to al Aqsa for Jummah, taraweeh and Eid prayers, but now it is hard to pass the checkpoints. To give you a sense of the distances, it is only 9 miles/ 14.5 km from Al Aqsa to the center of Ramallah, so before the checkpoints it was very common for people from Ramallah to go to Jummah in al Aqsa. I only live 5 1/2 miles from al Aqsa, and I haven't been able to get there for years. And I live 2 1/2 miles from my in-laws house, and I couldn't attend my mother-in-law's funeral last winter.

alajnabiya said...

And when my husband could no longer go to Jummah in al Aqsa mosque, he started to attend a mosque just down the road from us, 1.14 miles away "as the crow flies." Since they put the wall near us, he can't get there either!

Raúl y Pablo said...

me gusta mucho tu blog t visito todos los dias. visita el mio y si t gusta el mio deja un comentarios e intercambiamos links

UmmFarouq said...

Ramadan mubarak and I applaud your goals! I do agree also that we make it out to be harder than it really is. This is because of Allah's mercy on us, subhanAllah, during this month. Allah make us year-round fasters, ameen. Good to see you posting.

deja vu said...

Ramadan Kareem alajnabiya

May Allah accept it from you Insha'Allah

I am so pleased you visited my blog

When I started my campaign against tv in Ramadan some friend told me "Who would listen to you!!"

I answered with a cool smile. Cause I know that like people who love to fast with tv se-llies, also many more like to have REAL Ramadan to live

Thank you for using the pic and wish you tell all your friends about this campaign to join with us like you did

here:
http://dejavupress.blogspot.com/

and here:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=28078396641&ref=mf

Again,
Ramadan Kareem to you and to your cute friends here

alajnabiya said...

Deja Vu
Me and my "cute friends" (LOL!) wish you a successful Ramadan too!

Umm Farouq
Neither of us posted much during August, but you seem to have been doing something very worthwhile with your time. Here UNICEF passes out backpacks full of school supplies like the ones you made. I haven't been doing anything nearly as interesting, except for the days we went out to choose my daughter's wedding dress. They set the date, Oct. 18.

alajnabiya said...

I made this post 2 days ago, but when I open the main page of my blog, it doesn't show up. Did all of you find this post via an RSS reader? When you click http://alajnabiya.blogspot.com/
does it have this post?

UmmFarouq said...

Salam,
Nope, not RSS feed, just regular old opening up your page. :)

alajnabiya said...

Well that's bizarre. No matter how many times I refresh the page, or how I enter it, this post still doesn't show.

L_Oman said...

A little late, but Ramadan Mubarak to your family, dear.

alajnabiya said...

And to you too, L_Oman. May your fasts and prayers be accepted.

strangerinthisdunya said...

Assalaamu alaikum

How are you doing with your Ramadan goals sis?!

I have tagged you with L_Oman's tag too!

Mona said...

Salam, I like the idea of a light dinner, I hate the cultural idea that iftar has to be this 7 course food free for all. My husband is used to the idea that it's just not Ramadan unless iftar is a big deal.

Rainbow In The Grey Sky said...

Inshaallah you get to fullfill your goals sister ameen.