A few years ago I decided to do something crazy. The crazyness was to start going to different Mosques in my area during Ramadan instead of just my regular ‘ole Mosque I go to. This included a really scary inner city Mosque The amazing thing is that I met so many beautiful people that inspired me so much that year. And I think that year was one of my best Ramadans in recent memory!
One of the sisters I met was an older Sudani woman. She’s rail thin and walks to the Masjid with a limp from her tiny apartment nearby for EVERY Salah. Not even kidding, every Salah, even Fajr. This area of town where this Masjid is located is not really that great and we’re even scared about driving there alone that early in the morning or at night! Alhamdulillah there are other immigrant Muslims just starting out that live there too because they want to be close to the Masjid. I get kind of scared for her sometimes, but she just has a faith and strength that can’t be denied.
She is always the first to greet me with a smile and a handshake. She’s always the first to go get the vacuum and start cleaning. She’s always the last in line to get food! And sometimes she just brings her own from home and offers it to those around her. She speaks only Arabic but from what I understand she lived in many different countries like Egypt, Sudan, Saudi, even England at one time. Almost all of her many children passed away, a few when they were babies and her husband as well. She’s lived through wars and uprisings and many physical ailments. She’s just a beautiful person and example in our times.
The Prophet [saw] said: “Whosoever is delighted [eager] to taste the sweetness of faith let them love a person only for the sake of Allah.” (Collected by Ahmad and al-Hakim)
It’s like Ramadan finally allows us to see the purity and polish underneath the veneer of the world we live in. What is it about Ramadan that just brings so many blessings and sweetness? That when we are away from it the whole year we just yearn for the month so that we can taste it again. Sh. M here once said that the 11 months were like the siblings of Yusuf [as] and because of his intercession the other 11 will be saved. SubhanAllah!
Sometimes I see scholars coming out with articles telling people to not become “Ramadan warriors” and that they should try to do things all year etc. I think that is a good reminder but I think there is just something in Ramadan (removal of Shaitan, purifying the Nafs, community spirit), something that just makes people different. I wouldn’t want to tell them to ignore that and just be the way they are the rest of the year! I mean it’s hoped our misdeeds from the previous year are forgiven, our Tawbah accepted, our Duas heard! Why shouldn’t people try to strive for this.
Anyways I pray we all live to reach this Ramadan in order to seek its sweetness and blessings. Ameen.