Published in  
Matters of the Heart
October 12, 2020

Is there a vicious circle in Ramadan?

Picture this.

So you’ve been killing yourself studying for your board exams, staying up late, cross-eyed from focusing and cramming your brain with information for the big day. Except, when it finally arrives, you oversleep because you’re too drained and miss the test!


Or imagine this.

You’ve been planning your wedding and a lavish honeymoon in the Maldives. The hotels are booked, luggage is packed and you even have Maldivian currency in your pocket to tip the cab driver! Except, when it finally arrives, you spend so much time at the airport saying goodbye to your family and taking ‘selfies’ that you miss your flight!


It’s like overstuffing a paper bag with too many groceries. The minute you lift it up, everything falls down. Sometimes when we’re too concerned with getting everything at once, we falter and end with nothing!

What’s up with that?


What We Know And What We Do

Ramadan is the month of treasures. We know that by now. It’s the month of multiplied blessings, of expiating lifelong sins and is the gateway to the highest levels of Paradise. We know about the grandeur of ‘Laylat Al Qadr’ and we know the rewards for fasting are by all means indescribable. We’ve heard about the Companions رضي الله عنهم spending half of the year asking Allah to make them live long enough to witness Ramadan and then spent the other half asking Allah to accept them because of it. Everything that could possibly be said about this month had been said; there aren’t any tricks up my sleeves here. 

And yet, when it finally arrives, some of us are too wrapped up in cramming up those blessed days that we end up missing the essence of it all! Cooking in the morning, napping in the evening, getting together with family and friends for meals, watching those ‘Ramadan TV Series’, catching up on social media and going out for ‘suhoor’. Amidst all these distractions, it suddenly becomes the other way around, and sometimes we ‘re faced with a struggle to find time for spirituality!

I wonder…. Could it be true? Do we know knowingly choose this path? Or is it a vicious circle we desperately yearn to cut once and for all?


“So now what? Moms are not allowed to cook and friends can’t get together? Oh I know! Why don’t we just eat canned food and stay on house arrest for a whole month! Seriously! What on earth is wrong with this writer?”


Easy does it guys! I know fasting for 18 hours makes some of us a bit cranky but come on!

It’s true that we can’t pause our whole lives either. We still go to work and school, and spend half the day in the kitchen to feed our families. And because Allah is so Merciful and Kind, those same ‘everyday routines’ are rewarded immensely during Ramadan. Deep down, we all want to make the best out of this blessed month. We all know it’s the ultimate chance we’ve been waiting for, and every year we promise ourselves this time it will be different! Because deep down, we all know we could do better!


Get Out of the Vicious Circle!

“No one in the right state of mind would want to miss out on the blessings of Ramadan or on a night worth more than a thousand months! That’s like 84 years! It’s simple math! So if you have any suggestions on how to get out of the vicious circle of worldly responsibilities and distractions, now would be a good time to share them girl!”


Well, I do have some actually. Come with me…


- Yum! Something smells good in this kitchen. See your lovely mom spending hours babysitting or by a hot stove while fasting? She could use a nice word or a hug. She could use some peace and quiet to listen to Qur’an or an Islamic lecture and reap double the ‘Hasanat.’ Or better yet, you could let her nap a bit while you babysit! (Too far-fetched? Well, it was worth the shot.)


- See your dad? He just walked in exhausted from a long drink-less, eat-less, hot day at work! He could use a couple words of appreciation.

- And your sisters and brothers, they’re fasting too! So as much as you’re itching to tease them or boss them around, now is not the time! 

- At school or college, you can use your lunch hour to raise money for the poor or organize a charity event. And whenever you get a free minute, mention Allah’s Name and glorify His mention to earn maximum reward this month!

- On weekends, you can get together with your friends and go visit an orphanage, and play a game of ‘Islamic Trivia’ with the children to teach them something new.

- And those Ramadan TV series and social apps, well you know what? They’re like oversleeping on exam days and ‘selfies’ at the airport before missing the honeymoon flight. They’re specifically designed to distract us from the main goal of this beautiful month that’s worth a whole lifetime. So yeah, it’s time to pick a fight with your TV sets and don’t make up till after Eid (or maybe even beyond?)! Because the truth is, in those thirty precious days out of 365, there’s really no “free time.”


The Live Proof!

Ramadan is a live proof that we can change our life styles for a bigger purpose. If we can restrain ourselves from the necessities like food and water, we sure can eliminate any distractions that lessen our rewards. Instead, we can get creative and multiply them by helping others!


Every single minute counts! 

This Ramadan can be your steering wheel to the right path. It will be a reason for your blessings for the next 11 months. It will be the reason you won’t have to stand in an ocean of sweat on Judgment Day for thousands of years. It will be the reason you’ll sprint across the bridge of Sirat. 

Thirty days of submission to our beloved, Most Compassionate Lord in exchange for a blissful eternity… Pretty good deal, huh?

Let’s not miss this flight, people! And don’t worry, we’ll take those ‘selfies’ in Heaven insha Allah!

Say Ameen. :)

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