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Yemeni Journey

First of Ramadhaan: We Choose Faith

This morning we awoke for the pre-dawn meal to a soft rain carried lightly on a blind-stirring breeze. We saw all together in a half darkened room talking quietly so as not to wake baby Asmaa. Our meal was simple- oatmeal, and zucchini bread made from some of the fruits of our first garden here on our rural Missouri homestead. Our stomachs, unused to consuming food at 3:30 a.m, refused to allow us to eat very much, yet we all left the mat to go to our prayers feeling contented and more than a little excited about the beginning of this blessed month of Ramadhaan.

Sunrise Sana'aPeople are amazed that we as Muslims choose to fast these hot summer days of almost seventeen hours. I find myself at a loss as to how to convey to them the joy and and anticipation with which we look forward to this chance to test ourselves; or rather, to be tested by Allaah, the Most High, the Most Great. Simply put, if a person doesn’t believe in revelation then she won’t ever understand the decision made by millions of Muslims the world over to abstain from food, drink and sexual intercourse for the daylight hours for an entire month each year- simply to please our Lord Who created and sustains us, following His command as revealed over 1400 years ago. In this age of self indulgence and “I need it now,” the idea of self denial is almost unheard of. And so we, as the fasting Muslims, become objects of ridicule and disdain for engaging in this personal act of worship we consider obligatory upon us.

And we don’t decide to fast once, at the beginning of the month. Instead, we choose faith over our desires every morning when we wake up in darkness, turn on the lamp- or light a candle, or set a match to the propane light- and head sleepily for the kitchen. We choose faith over our desires when blood sugar levels first bottom out a few hours later and we feel the first stirrings of hunger around noon. We choose faith we are alone feeding our babies, or sitting in an empty house when no one would know if we took just one bite- and then another, and we keep our fast. We choose faith over desires in the evenings when we walk the goats, or finish up work, and these last three hours fasting seem so very long.

We choose faith over our desires because we- all of us- from different backgrounds, cultures, socioeconomic status, races, and tribes- believe that we have been put on this earth for something higher than gratifying our each and every whim. We believer that Allaah created us and His knowledge and wisdom are perfect. We believer that the sun rises each day and sets each night and the winter and summer come and go and plants live and die for a greater reason.

We believe, and so we choose faith.

 

Postscript: I taught this year’s first online sisters daily reminder class, alhamdulillah, many new faces, and the comfort and happiness of seeing those that are familiar. If you are interested in joining us, sign up here.

My book, Fasting From Alif to Yaa, is available through distributors as well as at Amazon. If you purchase the print copy at our Taalib store, though, you will receive a free Ramadhaan Reminders journal, insh’Allaah. You can purchase it here

Insh’Allaah, I hope to most more during this blessed month!

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4 comments

Amina Bint Yusuf Knuckles on June 30, 2014 2:06 am Reply

Asalaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu!!!
I had hoped you’d write again and Mashallah you have!
I LOVE what your family ate for suhoor. That is my typical breakfast! It is sooo healthy for you, too. Did you add honey? If not try adding raw honey to the oat meal, should you have some. Have you ever had a mango lassi? It’s an indian smoothie drink made of yogurt, milk, and mango. I again add just honey. (Forgive me, Ive just broken my fast not to long ago alhamdullilah so I’m kind of dreaming of suhoor already mashallah!)

As for the main point of your blog post…I can’t agree more! I just got back from visiting family and Qadr Allah had strep throat. I let it go way too long but alhamdullilah got medicine a couple days before ramadan started and Allah the Most Merciful blessed me to heal enough to fast quite comfortably!! Subhanallah Allah is the best of planners. Now, to a non muslim…they would look at me crazy for being sad that I might possibly not be able to fast! Allahu akbar.

Jazackallahu khair for your online classes, they are always sooo beneficial and uplifting!

Sincerely your sister Islam,
Amina Bint Yusuf Knuckles

Khadijah on June 30, 2014 2:49 am Reply

Wa Aleikum Assalam wa Rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu
Yes, honey is a wonderful addition! I also add flax seeds to mine for a little added boost. I haven’t tried mango lassi, but we do make smoothies out of what we have on hand. I have a friend who makes wonderful goats milk yogurt, alhamdulillah, and we have blackberries starting to come out on the bushes throughout the forest, so insh’Allaah, yum!
Mash’Allaah, alhamdulillah that you are getting better now, strep is no fun, mash’Allaah. I will keep you in my du’a, insh’Allaah, for health and healing of body and mind and soul this blessed month!

zohraalfransiya on June 30, 2014 12:21 pm Reply

Asalamou aleiky Wa rahmatoulah

Amazingly beautiful !! I love it and it brought tears on my eyes..
I just find out about this beautiful blog I cannot wait to read more of it inchaaAllaah.
Your student of knowledge… Zohra Bintou Khaled.
Hayakilah.

Khadijah on June 30, 2014 1:32 pm Reply

Wa Aleikum Assalam wa Rahmatullah
BarakAllaahufeekee! It’s good to see you here, mash’Allaah.