Ramadan in Quarantine.

Ramadan is a month dedicated to self-reflection, sacrifice and a conscious move towards piety, where perhaps one may have lacked in the rest of the year- Ramadan becomes a time to make up for it. With this, it is filled with increased acts of worship in a hope for a better relationship with Allah. Just as much though that Ramadan is a time for worship, prayer and renewed consciousness of Allah, it is also a time for community. Whether that be the meeting of friends and neighbours at the masjid for Tarawih prayer, or the sharing of food and joy at breaking the fast with communal iftar- Ramadan is as much about community and unity as it is about worship. But in the unprecedented times we find ourselves in, Ramadan takes a different form and becomes on something which forces us as believers to be apart from our communities, and even family and friends. This year there will be no attendance of the masa’jid, we love so much, nor will there be the sharing of food with our loved ones, at iftar time. This year, Ramadan will be, more then ever, an undistracted time of devotion to Allah- because this Ramadan, there really is nothing but our worship and devotions and, we hope, His acceptance.

And although, for many, including myself, there were moments of worry as this new form Ramadan would mean being away from loved ones, Ramadan has come, and alhumdullilah, brought with it new joys and realisations. Firstly, a poignant and beautiful reminder that ultimately, Allah is enough. He has, does and shall continue to be our Generous Sustainer, without partner or medium and totally free from all that affects creation. And with that realisation, for devotee’s to Him, comes a sense of comfort and a strengthened faith that He can do anything, He can bring us together again with family and friends and He can cause for our masa’jid to be reopened and for our communities to be united again. And secondly, the separation between us and our communities, neighbours and masa’jid brings a renewed appreciation for all those Prophetic teachings of generosity, love and charity that bond us with the Ummah. With that, we look forward to meeting again, and thank Allah for the ability we have had up until now to be amongst our communities, to give in charity and to pray communally.

Ramadan this year it seems has the potential to be the best one of our lives. Our circumstances remind us that we do not worship or need, ultimately, anything but Allah. And in a time when we don’t have our masa’jid, community events or public gatherings, we can take perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to devote ourselves to only private worship. To stand completely alone in the night to pray to Allah- to alleviate our current tests, to strengthen us in faith and thank Him for the years we have had already, often taken for granted, of community and sharing our faith with loved ones and neighbours. Perhaps this year is exactly what the Ummah needs to sincerely realign themselves with Allah, renewing their relationship with Him and increasing in intimacy with Him, without distraction or interruption.

We ask Allah for tawfiq in this endeavour. And, when the time is pleasing to Him, that we are reunited in our masa’jid and homes with our communities and loved ones, but with strengthened faith and devotion to Him and service of humanity- after a time where we have been so starkly reminded of the weakness of our humanity and His ultimate Divinity. Ameen.

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