In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
The more things change, the more they remain the same.
Ramadān is always an exciting one. Alhamdulillah. There is so much palnning and excitement as the month comes and then just like that it is done and leave us yearning for the next. may Allah ﷻ allow us to witness this month and many more and to take and reap from it. Amin.
For a number of years now, I have had a similar schedule for Ramadān. I host a community reflection circle post fajr which I love and then start my day right after, when I was working a 9-5, would proceed to work and even when I was a full-time entrepreneur, I would work as such too. Then I schedule everything else as needed from Qur’an classes to tafseer classes and so on. And I have loved it. I love knowing what I need to do, I love getting to do all I get to do, and the structure keeps me focused. Alhamdulillah.
However, this Ramadān, I find myself craving a much needed retreat. I want to take time out for myself to just be by myself and work on myself from within myself. I really miss solo journaling sessions as well and looking forward to that too. I am looking to get the children involved as well and so doing a lot of activities with them In sha’a Allah So let’s say there will be lots of children books in my Ramadān as well. There is also my studies. We do not get a break for Ramadān, just an adjusted schedule because we do not get a lunch break cos it is Ramadān.
I intend to make a number of changes in the coming months and I intend to use Ramadān as a training ground for that In sha’a Allah.
One other thing I am excited about is Pockets of peace – a bunch of letters of love, hope and personal stories, I would be sending out with so much more love scattered through the month of Ramadān. Feel free to subscribe here.
May Allah ﷻ allow us to witness the blessed month, see it and benefit from it and may He accept all of our ibadah and reward us for it and may he allow us to enter into His Jannah. Amin
How about you? Do you intend to have a different Ramadān?
In the name of Allah the entirely Merciful, the especially Merciful
So we embarked on a journey to the House of Allah following our invitation. This invitation, special as it is doesn’t come because we are perfect or worthy even. It is by His power and Decree and ultimately His mercy.
“Are you crazy?!”
“Why do you want to go with your children?!”
I didn’t even try to explain it. They would not understand. I have been there before.
You see, the first time I was going for Umrah, I was discouraged.
“Why waste the money for Umrah when you have not done Hajj yet?”
“Hajj is the one that is obligatory.”
“Maybe look for fertility solutions instead while you save for Hajj.”
There has been so many conversations with Allah ﷻ in all of that time.
“Ya Rabb! Ya Wahhab, gift ne a child so that I can bring them to your house and say thank you.”
“Ya Allah, Ya Warith, grant me offspring and keep their hearts attached to your house.”
So it was out of my hand. I did not even ask for anyone’s opinion because I knew what they would say. I just sought out people who have walked the path and got tips for packing and travelling and keeping my cool. It is easier to take children on vacations where we go to safaris or parks however we struggle with the decision to take them for a journey such as this. And we had this conversation over and over with Abu Bilal. We wanted to go to a safari in kenya and I said either we do both, otherwise, if we can do safari then we can do Umrah. We couldn’t do both.
We had a lot of conversations and talked about our hopes, intentions and fears. I mean, the pandemic changed things a lot and there is always finances. We also have very opposing personalities. We revisited these conversations as many times as we needed to. We negotiated our roles as well. It was a lot of conversation between us and Allah. Alhamdulillah. We hoped it will all strengthen our connection to Allah ﷻ as a family.
Random day, we were at the bank where my sister used to work trying to sort out PTA after we got our visas and she had her trip planned for a few weeks after we would have returned and had a few questions about the rituals, then Abu Bilal said, “let’s just go together.” And we spoke to the travel agent and he was able to make it work. They were unable to go with their children and so we were not going to saddle them with the responsibility of ours but I must say it was nice to have them and I remember one day as we were walking back to the hotel, I told my sister, I prayed for this. “To come here with you” and she said, “see, and your prayer pulled my husband.” And it was so funny to think about like that, but His ways are unlike anything we know and can understand. He is Al Aziz and Al Mujeeb. We ever know whose prayer it is but His ways are so beautiful.
We plan and Allah ﷻ plans and Allah ﷻ is indeed the best of planners. May we always be content with what He decrees for us and put our trust in Him.
I hope to share about the planning, the daily happenings, and the challenges we faced as well. If you have specific questions, please drop as a comment and I will answer you as it does take me a bit of time to push out a full blog post. Alhamdulillah!
P.s: On a lighter note, I remember saying, that if the only thing that we get out of this is that my son sees that men do not need a hijab to pray, then that suffices me. Well, believe it or not last week, he was going to the masjid with his dad and sister and I offered his sister my hijab (she loves wearing my clothes, another habit we picked up cos we matched as much as possible during the trip) and he said, “let me go and get my cap” and I’m like Allahu Akbar.
May Allah ﷻ invite us all again and again to His house and May He ultimately admit us all into his Jannah.
Did you say you can’t? It is so easy to think or say “I can’t….” Over and over again, we tell ourselves so many things without realizing it. I can’t wake up early for Fajr I can’t cook a meal I can’t help my child with their homework I can’t afford to pay for “the full cup” or whatever program on your list And sometimes you even have a reason added so it would sound like… I really want to join #FajrClub but I can’t because I am not a morning person. Most of the time, the truth isn’t that you can’t, it is that you won’t. I won’t wake up early for Fajr I won’t cook a meal right now I won’t help my child with their homework I won’t afford to pay for the full cup I really want to join Fajr Club but I won’t because I am not a morning person. The thing is when we say we “can’t” do something, we sound like we are a victim and it is comfortable but when we say we won’t then it shows our choice in the matter. And this is not to say that there are not things that we actually cannot do. I mean maybe you genuinely can’t afford something at the moment… But until you start to take note of this difference, you would not know. And your brain will believe whatever you tell it. So when you find yourself saying you can’t do something, change “can’t” to “won’t” and see if it still holds true. And don’t think it makes you lazy, it just makes you honest and most days, honesty is the cheapest thing you can afford.
Grief… [trigger] It doesn’t mean only one thing. It can be a lot of things. The loss of a loved one. The loss of a life that we planned in our head. The end of a marriage. The end of a friendship. The end of a relationship. Moving on from one season to the next. The miscarriage. The negative pregnancy test after that hopeful slight positive result. A move. Moving on. And not to forget the changes, growth, stops and pauses that come with any of these. The opportunities we lost because we chose to love and support a loved one. The life we thought we will have The memories we thought we will make And sometimes you may feel so angry because the world seems to be moving on just fine…. No one can tell that as you pushed the trolley in the supermarket, there was a contraction and a loss of what would have been a baby. Your baby. Somedays it is easy for you to identify what you are feeling, you are in your room with the windows covered just sitting in the darkness and somedays, you get through your day with love and laugher and then all of a sudden, as you lay on your bed, you feel a tightness in your chest and you seek the mercy of tears and it just doesn’t come. Then there is people telling you how strong you are but you can barely lift the blankets off and start your day. Grief is for loss. It is your loss whatever that means for you. And it is valid. (ٱلَّذِینَ إِذَاۤ أَصَـٰبَتۡهُم مُّصِیبَةࣱ قَالُوۤا۟ إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّاۤ إِلَیۡهِ رَ ٰجِعُونَ) [Surah Al-Baqarah 156] those who say, when afflicted with a calamity, ‘We belong to God and to Him we shall return.’