Ramadan my friend.
I woke this morning with a feeling of quiet and calm- – have you noticed the sound of the birds since the world went still?
It’s almost as if they are reminding us that Allah is near, He is present in the sounds that are left when all is quiet, in the sway of the trees and the blossom and bloom of the flowers. In that brief moment, amidst the morning glow, I realised I was thinking of you- dear Ramadan.
I thought of strangers, glancing across at one another unsure of whether to say hello. I was certain that I heard your call, weaving through the melody of the sounds outside my window. Yet it didn’t soothe me as birdsong did.. In fact, it left me a little nervous, as though something uncomfortable was stirring in the pit of my stomach. For whilst I’ve longed to see you again, I can’t help but sink into a haze of thoughts from all that’s past since we last sat in company together. I can’t help but feel the uncertainty that surrounds us, the grief, the anxiety, and no matter how much we wait in anticipation to meet with you, we know it will be different than it was before.
I question if I’ve done enough in the days that have passed, days that seemed to slip like sand, through my weathered fingers. The year went by so suddenly with its light and shade and by the grace of God alone, I find myself here, tentatively waiting to meet you, in the midst of a world that we no longer recognise, desperately needing you once again.
How I’ve longed for you to hold me closely, to sway with you in the night wind as I stand shoulder to shoulder in prayer and feel your blessings kiss my cheek. How I’ve prayed for the richness of your words to reach me, for the depth of your soul filled reminder to touch me and for your hand to take me and guide me back to Him. I always long for this reunion but this time I need it like air to breathe, we all do. I often meet myself here, in this place of fragility, bound by my deepest fears, questioning if I’m worthy enough to see you again. Laden with the guilt of sins that drip from my skin, knowing that I could have and should have been so much more. That is why I need you, my friend.
There stands between us just a matter of moments and I may arrive empty-handed and unprepared but I promise, at the sighting of your moon I’ll give every piece of myself to you and more. Behind the door of my home there is just me, and as these days of isolation strip me back to the core, I hope you will see my heart, and how ready it is to greet you and welcome you.
As my head touches the cold of the ground I ask my Lord to forgive me ‘Allahumma innaka `Afuwwun TuHibbul `Afwa Fa`fu `Annii’, and I hope, as good friends always do, that you will hold me with warm compassion. That in this time we share together you’ll remind me, that my heart was made to heal and that these blessed days are a mercy sent from He who knows what we know not. Our time together will be unlike any we’ve had before and that’s ok because when two friends meet for the sake of Allah, nothing will stop them from soulfully reacquainting.
May Allah bless us, with the boundless fruits of Ramadan,
May it take us on a journey that will only serve to strengthen us
And may we one day, sing with the birds in paradise knowing we did all we could to please Allah here and now, because now is all we’ve got.
Our wings may be resting this Ramadan, but they will, by His permission, fly freely like those beautiful birds once again.