Sunday, September 16, 2007

4th of Ramadan

Here we are: the fourth day of fasting.

Has the fun worn off yet?

It's like: ya, you signed on to be a Muslim, but did you read the fine print?

It isn't fasting whenever you like.

It's fasting during the MONTH of Ramadan.

Has it sunk in yet that we are all in for 25 or 26 more days of fasting?

Yesterday, it sunk in for me. I was tired. I was tired the whole day. Just never found the BURST of energy. Subhanallah! Some days you don't! I started to think that IF I was eating and sleeping better THEN I would have energy. Truth is: even when I'm eating HUGE meals, I sometimes don't have energy. It isn't all about food.

That's true, isn't it?

Ramadan isn't all about the food.

It's about pushing away from the world, as much as you are pushing away from the table.

I spent a lot of time on-line shopping yesterday. I thought I was being smart to stay out of stores, but really I wasn't. That pull on us to spend and to be materialistic is everywhere we look. Being on the computer so long took me away from the centered place I wish to be. Ramadan is here to cleanse us of that pull on our lower selves. This is indeed a "Jihad of the Nafs".

I've been reading Dr. Phil's Ultimate Weight Loss Solution. Hey, those ten pounds have to come off some time! And in the book, he talks about the stimuli or "cue" that makes you feel like you need something, even when you don't.

Did you know that your body actually has chemical reactions when you look at delicious food? Your body acts like you're eating it! Even when you're not! Subhanallah! You can gain weight from only looking!

So, can you stop your body from this process?


But you can stop yourself from looking.

That is a very Islamic way of thinking.

Be honest with yourself! There are things in your house right now that make you think of haram. OK, I haven't been to every one of your houses, but I'm just guessing.

It might be the celebrity magazines that dish the dirt and destroy lives by gossiping. Even if you don't know them, they are still people. If you talk about their private lives, then you are backbiting them. Think about that.

It might be the music which you or your kids listen to without thinking. Do you actually know the lyrics? What is going into your brain? What are you teaching your kids?

Yep, this stuff is pervasive.

What about that large framed family photo you've got hanging on the wall? Are you looking to that photo to bring you comfort? Isn't that a kind of idolizing?

Or what about the sexy dolls that your little girl is playing with? Astragferallah! Is that what you want her to idealize?

All of this is easier to see during Ramadan. We see it because the Shaytan is locked up and we are more in touch with Allah. We feel more ashamed of what we have accepted blindly as "normal" while forgetting what is clean and good.

I'll tell you one of my transgressions.

I have really enjoyed the website where anonymous people send in post cards of a secret. Every Sunday would be a new slew of tawdry, and sometimes funny, but always thought-provoking secrets. This is Sunday. I'm not looking. Sometimes there would be disturbing postcards that would haunt me. I've decided that I'm disturbed enough without any additional help. I want my mind clean from troubling images and flithy lives.

On this, the fourth day of Ramadan, take a moment to really think what you have in your life which is not pleasing to Allah. What are you doing that can't be done in the name of God?

Then, use this chance to rid yourself of its harm, inshahallah.
Take a deep breath in and say, "Alhumdulillah," that we have 25 or 26 more days filled with chances to get right what we've been doing wrong.


John & Anthea Mullis said...

Asalamalaykom Yosra

Your reflection reminds me of the story about how to kill a frog; simply increase the temperature of the water SLOWLY, till it boils. The frog adjusts to the increasing temperature, till it's too late!

I too find myself watching things on TV that I would have been socked and horrified by 30 years ago.

I find it helpful to make sure the last thing I see/hear before sleep is wholesome eg: listen to some classical music and at the same time, mentally list all the ways in which Allah has blessed me during the day. Guess what? There are always more than I thought.

Fast going well but recognised the 'tempter' trying to convince me a little chocolate Allah would not mind!!!!

Thanks for your very helpful thoughts.

Yosra said...

Asalamalaykom Rebecca,

While I could not print your comment, I would like to welcome you to this small spot on the earth.

It took me a long time to get here. How about you? Have you been searching for your own piece of earth; your own peace of earth?

For me, I must maintain it carefully and lovingly.

When visitors come, I want to welcome them warmly.

This is my choice.

We all make choices in life. All of my choices I make must please Allah. If I don't please Allah, I harm no one but myself.

At this point in my life, I wish for goodness. I am washing myself clean from things that no longer serve me, like debating when I really just want to be.

Be what? Be Yosra.

May Allah grant you ease in your life and reward you for your deeds this Ramadan.