Ramadan, the Qur’an, and You

As Ramadan ends, I think of something profound my teacher Shaykh Amir Saeed taught me.

Ramadan is what it is because of the Qur’an. What’s interesting about the Qur’an is in addition to so much of what it contains about your Creator, the reality of the afterlife, the tests of this life, stories of the past, and rulings of the religion, the book is actually all about you.

In it, Allah reveals the story of your creation, starting with Adam in from of the angels. The angels asked why He would create a being that would cause bloodshed, to which Allah responded He knows the reason and the angels don’t, and then taught Adam knowledge of the names of all things, elevating his status. Continuing, Allah tells the story of how He instructed the angels to bow to Adam out of respect and Satan’s refusal to do so, despite his rank with the angels.

From the get go, the Qur’an paints a picture about you. Your nature may be one of following your desires and causing harm on the world, but with knowledge and following what’s right, your status can raise even higher than that of the angels.

As the narrative of the Qur’an continues, more about you is revealed.

  • You have choices in life: There are stories of people before you who were evil, and those who were good. The life He gave you is yours on how you want to live it.
  • You were created with a weakness: Your nature is to sometimes get upset over small things, overworry, or complain. If you get stuck in traffic, you get road rage. Item takes too long to ship? Complain on social media. Something small happens with your job? You freak out. You forget things. Allah explains your natural weakness for you to remember and keep in check.
  • You can’t think of anyone but Allah in the rough times, but when times are good, you can’t think of anyone but yourself. Reminding you to watch out for this.
  • You are naturally ungrateful, but if you fight against your nature by thanking Allah, He will increase what He gives you.

This and so much more about you throughout the entire book for you to learn who you are, what you need to do, and how to please your Creator.

How fitting is it then that the month that celebrates a book about you is actually a month so much about you as well. How so?

Throughout this month, you proved who you really are. With Shaytan locked up, the gates of heaven open, and your entire routine completely changed, you were able to truly shine and bring out your potential.

While doing so, you proved to yourself that you can do a lot of what never thought you could.

  • You fasted from food for a month, 16 hours a day. You proved you have more willpower than you think you have. If you can give up something normally permissible, you can give up something impermissible and start practicing something you know you neglect.
  • You woke up in the mornings for suhur. Even if it was for a glass of water, you proved that you can wake up for Fajr prayer on a regular basis.
  • You prayed tarawih prayer in the masjid many nights during the month. For some, that meant driving for 15-20 mins to the masjid, parking, finding a spot, etc., followed by between one to two hours of prayer that is extra credit, it’s not even required. That’s two hours of your life every single night. You proved that you can go to the masjid for the regular required prayers, like Isha for example, taking only thirty to forty minutes a night outside Ramadan.
  • You gave up some sort of vice, or started to make sure you do some sort of practice that you’ve been neglecting for the month. You gave up certain leisure activities because you simply didn’t have the time. You proved you can do these all year long.
  • You gave more money than any other month. You proved you can live with a little less for yourself and little more for others throughout your entire life.
  • You had a crazy sleep schedule to accommodate extra worship. Yet you made it, even without caffeine. You proved you can sleep a little less every once in a while and use that time for more worship.
  • You probably did some sort of qiyam ul-layl. You proved that one of those nights where you stay up late doing nothing, you can do a little bit of extra prayer.
  • You connected with the Qur’an in a higher capacity this month. You proved you can do that all year long.

In other words, although you may not realize it, you are amazing Muslim and servant of God, better than the one before this month. Need proof? Just look at what you did these past thirty days.

So as this month sadly comes to an end and Shaytan returns into our lives, thank Allah and ask for His help.

Thank Him for the month of Ramadan and the Qur’an which it celebrates, both of which teach you so much about yourself. Then ask Him to help you use this month as proof so that when the times come throughout the year where you think you can’t do something, you remember Ramadan proved that you really can.

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