Ramadan – I’m not feeling it bro

Bismillah.

I spent a lot of time this Ramadan thinking about what Abu Hurairah, quoted the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying: “When the month of Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of the Hellfire are closed, and the devils are chained.” (Reported by al-Bukhari)

It’s that last part that stuck with me. I kept thinking about it. Waiting for Ramadan to start, as if somehow at the brink of sunset I would feel this weight lifted from my soul. The sun set, the moon came up, and no such ‘weight being lifted from soul’ phenomenon occurred. I kept reflecting. Was I a different person? Did I feel a calm, a quite in my mind? What I realized was yes & no.

The best analogy I came up with to explain to myself why evil still lurks in my mind is this — Imagine if I shined a bright light in your eyes. Lets say I do this for 5 minutes. Then I shut the flashlight off. What do you see? A bright, if not fading, light. 

Thats what shaytan is to our hearts. Throughout the year we let him burn, etch, & engrain within us his evil whispers. We become so used to it that it’s only until he is ‘chained’ that we begin to see the spots. This is our month, a chance to understand ourselves. To really get to know who we are. What weaknesses can we strengthen? What bad habits can we break? Ramadan is a month to clean out our hearts of all the evil, the darkness, the sin we let pile up over the year. That ‘feeling’ will come. Allah has always been there, He didn’t go anywhere. This is our month to come back to Him.

So when you turn and say to your friend, bro, i’m not feeling it this year, realize that it takes time to blink out the burning haze and start seeing clearly again.

– Omar M

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