Ramadan Reflection


Ramadan Reflection

Motivation for Series:

Ramadan is truly a special time. There is so much I would like to do, to become, in these blessed days. More than I can realistically achieve. Nevertheless, one my most important goals this year is to connect with the Quran.

I want to spend this month reading through a translation of the Quran, taking time to think about what this book is saying to *me*.

And I want to share that journey with you.

For this **Ramadan series**, inshaallah, I’ll be sending out a verse each day that resonates with me and a quick reflection.

I pray that there is benefit in these shares for you, I pray that this blessed month is witness to us becoming the best version of ourselves, I pray that we learn to love each other, love ourselves, and love God in this month.



Click to start from day 1


Juz: 17:
Al-Hajj 22:46
أَفَلَمۡ يَسِيرُواْ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ فَتَكُونَ لَهُمۡ قُلُوبٌ يَعۡقِلُونَ بِهَآ أَوۡ ءَاذَانٌ يَسۡمَعُونَ بِهَاۖ فَإِنَّهَا لَا تَعۡمَى ٱلۡأَبۡصَٰرُ وَلَٰكِن تَعۡمَى ٱلۡقُلُوبُ ٱلَّتِى فِى ٱلصُّدُورِ

So have they not traveled through the earth and have hearts by which to reason and ears by which to hear? For indeed, it is not eyes that are blinded, but blinded are the hearts which are within the breasts.

~ ~ ~
I sometimes think about the miracles in the mundane. It's so easy to say: I'll believe in an all powerful God when this God sends me a miracle. Or maybe we do believe in God, but we haven't really accepted the finer details of what God promises of Himself.

The signs are everywhere, though.

Plants come back from the dead. Drinkable water falls from the sky. We bask in the warmth of a star that is millions of miles away. Bodily fluids plus nine months of gestation and you get a fully breathing human being. The list goes on.

Personally, I find myself relying on my intellect in so much of my life. I rely on my own intelligence perhaps in areas where I should not. By this I mean, there are some roles that our hearts are meant to fill--that our minds simply cannot. The terrible thing about a blind heart, is you don't feel it. Maybe you don't feel...anything. Maybe I'm not too far from that.

May God soften our hearts to that which is good. May God fill our hearts with light and contentment and ease, remove any hatred and envy from our hearts. May God grant us guidance and Paradise. Ameen.

Juz 16:
Maryam 19:93
إِن كُلُّ مَن فِى ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ إِلَّآ ءَاتِى ٱلرَّحۡمَٰنِ عَبۡدًا

There is no one in the heavens and earth but that he comes to the Most Merciful as a servant.

~ ~ ~
This verse calls to mind conversations on roles and identity. There are identities that I hold--engineer, poet, son, brother, etc. There are identities I aspire to hold--husband, father, entrepreneur, activist. Sometimes I even find myself looking at what others have and becoming ungrateful for what I already have. The fact remains that our foremost identity is always servant of God.
This sounds 'holier than thou' even when I hear myself say this, but it's true. All of the other stuff is ephemeral. Our status, our posessions, our relationships, our achievements they will all fade. There's comfort in this, I think, because it promises a certain stability. Maybe I'll fail miserably at starting a company, or in building a healthy marriage, or in changing the world through my talents; but none of these was ever the most important thing in my life. So long as I'm keeping my mind on pleasing God in my different actions, I can hope for the best. And I can rest assured that God is always close enough for me to turn back to.

Day 13:
Yusuf 12:86
قَالَ إِنَّمَآ أَشۡكُواْ بَثِّى وَحُزۡنِىٓ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ وَأَعۡلَمُ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعۡلَمُونَ

He replied, “I complain of my anguish and sorrow only to Allah, and I know from Allah what you do not know.

~ ~ ~
Only God knows our hidden virtues and the depth of our flaws. And only God can know of our complaints before we've given voice to them. Still their is worship relying on God in such a way. We want to be seen. We want to be understood. All of us.
If we believe truly that God sees everything and has ultimate understanding, perhaps there is a sense of reassurance in that.

Day 11:
Yunus 10:9
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّٰلِحَٰتِ يَهۡدِيهِمۡ رَبُّهُم بِإِيمَٰنِهِمْۖ تَجۡرِى مِن تَحۡتِهِمُ ٱلۡأَنۡهَٰرُ فِى جَنَّٰتِ ٱلنَّعِيمِ

Surely those who believe and do good, their Lord will guide them ˹to Paradise˺ through their faith, rivers will flow under their feet in the Gardens of Bliss,

~ ~ ~
Reading this verse, I'm drawn to this idea of guidance and the description of those who receive guidance. Here God explains that it is the Divine the guises people. This is a simple at idea at face value but it holds massive implications on how we should bore ourselves. If guidance is not something that we ourselves have control over then it must be that guidance is a gift an not a right(I borrowed this phrase from a friend). Which means that if one should find themselves with a religious inclination that they wholeheartedly believe they cannot view themselves as better than someone who doesn't hold the same convictions. They can disagree, certainly; but arrogance here goes against the faith in the first place.

Secondly, God describes the who receive guidance as those that "believe and do good". To simply believe would not put one in this category of people. One must also act upon their faith.

My takeaway here is that in a sincere pursuit I have to remember that any good that I have is a credit to God. It's not about looking at where other people are at an comparing me to them, or them to me, there's always more good work in the world to be done. Stay busy.
Day 10:
Al-Anfal 8:63
وَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِهِمْ ۚ لَوْ أَنفَقْتَ مَا فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًۭا مَّآ أَلَّفْتَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَلَـٰكِنَّ ٱللَّهَ أَلَّفَ بَيْنَهُمْ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌۭ ٦٣

He brought their hearts together. Had you spent all the riches in the earth, you could not have united their hearts. But Allah has united them. Indeed, He is Almighty, All-Wise.

~ ~ ~
Short reflection today. Ideally I would be asleep right now. Reading this verse makes me think about the many references to charity throughout the Quran. Whatever wealth we are blessed with, if we donate a portion of it to please God it is worth remembering that pleasing God is perhaps the only meaningful purpose for said wealth. Becauase, as the above verse mentions, it is not our wealth that accomplishes tasks--it's God.
When we spend money to do good in the world, it is not the money itself that accomplishes this good. Money doesn't feed people, doesn't build infrastructure, doesn't provide shelter. Ultimately it's God doing all of that; and all of it can be acheived, with or without our money. But we have to give, because it allows to take part in the good that comes forth.
Inshaallah, I will remember to give all the while knowing that it's not my money that holds power. And, inshaallah, I'll give generously--whether it's to support family or strangers on the street--because God loves that.
Day 9:
Al-A'raf 7:144
قَالَ يَٰمُوسَىٰٓ إِنِّى ٱصۡطَفَيۡتُكَ عَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ بِرِسَٰلَٰتِى وَبِكَلَٰمِى فَخُذۡ مَآ ءَاتَيۡتُكَ وَكُن مِّنَ ٱلشَّٰكِرِينَ

He said, ‘Moses, I have raised you above other people by [giving you] My messages and speaking to you: hold on to what I have given you; be one of those who give thanks.’

~ ~ ~
The message of thanks is clear here. God acknowledges the ways in which He has elevated Moses, and immediately reminds Moses that the appropriate course of action is to give thanks. God is self-sufficient and in no need of our thanks. So it must be that in showing gratitude there is further benefit for ourselves--and protection perhaps from the evils of arrogance that might otherwise take the place of our gratitude.

God elevates us in different ways. Some people really do have a deeper connection to God(May we be among these). Some people are blessed with wealth. Some people are blessed talents. Some people are blessed with knowledge. The list goes on. No matter how we are blessed, we owe God thanks. All of us.(a reminder to myself)
Day 8:
Al-An'am 6:116
وَإِن تُطِعۡ أَكۡثَرَ مَن فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِۚ إِن يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا ٱلظَّنَّ وَإِنۡ هُمۡ إِلَّا يَخۡرُصُونَ

If you obeyed most of those on earth, they would lead you away from the path of God. They follow nothing but speculation; they are merely guessing.

~ ~ ~
Adhering to any sort of principle is increasingly difficult in a society that worships the self. I know that there is incredible room for improvement in how I practice my faith. Still, I am certain that this faith that I aspire to practice better is the Truth. How I practice it is imperfect. How I understand it is imperfect. How Muslims I encounter practice it is imperfect. But the religion itself is perfect.

Not every faith practitioner believes such about their faith. There is an emotional and spiritual security in this sense of conviction that should not br taken for granted.

May God allow us to be practitioners of what is right even it means that we must defy the peer pressures that surround us.

Day 7:
Al-An'am 6:95
إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ فَالِقُ ٱلۡحَبِّ وَٱلنَّوَىٰۖ يُخۡرِجُ ٱلۡحَىَّ مِنَ ٱلۡمَيِّتِ وَمُخۡرِجُ ٱلۡمَيِّتِ مِنَ ٱلۡحَىِّۚ ذَٰلِكُمُ ٱللَّهُۖ فَأَنَّىٰ تُؤۡفَكُونَ

It is God who splits open the seed and the fruit stone: He brings out the living from the dead and the dead from the living- that is God- so how can you turn away from the truth?

~ ~ ~
I took away several gems in reading this chapter. God's book really is incredible. I'll share this gem.

God uses the analogy of plants to affirm the certainty of resurrection throughout the Quran. We deny the reality that we will all be resurrected to stand account, because to us resurrection seems unfathomable. Meanwhile we witness trees die and come back to life with the seasons.

This verse catches my attention because it extends the analogy of death from life and life from death by looking at seeds. Seeds being dead and plants alive, yet they come from one another. No longer a temporal interpretation but a physical one. It's poetic.

Action steps? I want this to be a catalyst for me to remember resurrection when I see seeds or plants. It's a reminder I could use. Maybe it'll give me an appropriate amount of caution my heart. Because it is a certainty that I will be ressurected and be taken to account for my actions inasmuch as it is a certainty that spring time comes every year.
Day 6:
Al-Ma'idah 5:25
قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّى لَآ أَمۡلِكُ إِلَّا نَفۡسِى وَأَخِىۖ فَٱفۡرُقۡ بَيۡنَنَا وَبَيۡنَ ٱلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلۡفَٰسِقِينَ

[Moses] said, "My Lord, indeed I do not possess [i.e., control] except myself and my brother, so part us[1] from the defiantly disobedient people."

~ ~ ~
What I think about in reading this verse is the way in which righteous community is not the only way to achieve God's love. Here Moses is complaining to God basically about how the people he was sent to guide are actin' a fool. Moses has the Truth (capital T) and they're obstinate in ignoring it. Mind you these are the same people the he freed from slavery, that watched as God split the sea, and that got food delivered from heaven! Some times the people will never listen, and you might be surrounded by fools.

God doesn't love you less simply because of who they are. Moses is still the most often mentioned Prophet in the Quran and he is amongst the most highly regarded Prophets (se he's with the best of the best).

Keeping a respectable lifestyle is nearly impossible if you choose to surround yourself with less than respectable people. So this is not an endorsement to find some foolish friends. But if we should find ourselves without good company, we should know that God is still with us even as we search for better.
Day 5:
An-Nisa' 4:86
وَإِذَا حُيِّيتُم بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّواْ بِأَحۡسَنَ مِنۡهَآ أَوۡ رُدُّوهَآۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ حَسِيبًا

And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet [in return] with one better than it or [at least] return it [in a like manner]. Indeed Allāh is ever, over all things, an Accountant.

~ ~ ~
There is wisdom in revelation that we will never uncover. That is of from the divinity in God's words. One wisdom perhaps that I see in this verse is a wisdom towards fostering community. There are other verses that explicitly encourage us to seek the company of righteous people, however, the same encouragement lies in this verse implicitly. One cannot expect to be greeted if they are not in the company of those that might greet them--thus we build communities.
Further, in this verse is a promise of safety within our communities. For if we heed this instruction, then it is a guarantee that every time we acknowledged someone we in turn must be acknowledged. It's a human desire to want to recognized, to want be seen.
As perfect as this religion is, those who practice it are far from such. Which means to say I've been ignored by other Muslim people on several occasions(that's a separate conversation). I'm trynna get God to love me though, not people. So hopefully, in the moments when I get a half-hearted mid-stride no-eye-contact-having "hey" I can remember this verse. Then I can stop. And ask with genuine concern.

How are you?

....even if they continue to walk way hahaha.
Day 4:
Aal-e-Imran 3:133-134
وَسَارِعُوٓاْ إِلَىٰ مَغۡفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمۡ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرۡضُهَا ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتُ وَٱلۡأَرۡضُ أُعِدَّتۡ لِلۡمُتَّقِينَ

And hasten towards forgiveness from your Lord and a Paradise as vast as the heavens and the earth, prepared for those mindful ˹of Allah˺.

ٱلَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ فِى ٱلسَّرَّآءِ وَٱلضَّرَّآءِ وَٱلۡكَٰظِمِينَ ٱلۡغَيۡظَ وَٱلۡعَافِينَ عَنِ ٱلنَّاسِۗ وَٱللَّهُ يُحِبُّ ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ

˹They are˺ those who donate in prosperity and adversity, control their anger, and pardon others. And Allah loves the good-doers.

~ ~ ~
I'm thinking more about how God elaborates on who are the "people of *taqwa*" or "those mindful of God". The definition offered here is one of many present in the Quran. Here there is a focus on charity. When I think about giving in both prosperity and adversity my mind jumps to the often held ambition where strive to get rich so we can donate a lot of money.

We all have met someone who aspires to become a millionaire and build a mosque or something with their money (maybe we are that person). Being a millionaire is its own kind of prosperity.
What about the adversity? Am I donating money when I only have 10 dollars in my account? If I'm so sure that I can give away 100,000$ when I'm a millionaire, have already made myself accustom to sacrificing 10% of what I own right now?

Maybe my $1 right now is more beloved to God. In which case, why wait?
Day 3:
Aal-e-Imran 3:31
قُلۡ إِن كُنتُمۡ تُحِبُّونَ ٱللَّهَ فَٱتَّبِعُونِى يُحۡبِبۡكُمُ ٱللَّهُ وَيَغۡفِرۡ لَكُمۡ ذُنُوبَكُمْۗ وَٱللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “If you ˹sincerely˺ love Allah, then follow me; Allah will love you and forgive your sins. For Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
~ ~ ~
I want God to love me. This verse tells me that God's love is achievable--simply so. It makes sense that the way to become beloved by God is to follow the example of the man God loves most--Prophet Muhammed ﷺ.
Following the complete example of the Prophet ﷺ, i.e. following his *Sunnah*, manifests in such pure character. The people I've met who truly embody Prophetic character, I can't help but love them. It's a different kind of love too. Far from romantic, though similarly immediate. I just want to be around people like that all the time. That's the kind of community of searching for.
Day 2:
Al-Baqarah 2:177
لَّيۡسَ ٱلۡبِرَّ أَن تُوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمۡ قِبَلَ ٱلۡمَشۡرِقِ وَٱلۡمَغۡرِبِ وَلَٰكِنَّ ٱلۡبِرَّ مَنۡ ءَامَنَ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلۡيَوۡمِ ٱلۡأٓخِرِ وَٱلۡمَلَٰٓئِكَةِ وَٱلۡكِتَٰبِ وَٱلنَّبِيِّۦنَ وَءَاتَى ٱلۡمَالَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِۦ ذَوِى ٱلۡقُرۡبَىٰ وَٱلۡيَتَٰمَىٰ وَٱلۡمَسَٰكِينَ وَٱبۡنَ ٱلسَّبِيلِ وَٱلسَّآئِلِينَ وَفِى ٱلرِّقَابِ وَأَقَامَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَءَاتَى ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ وَٱلۡمُوفُونَ بِعَهۡدِهِمۡ إِذَا عَٰهَدُوا۟ۖ وَٱلصَّٰبِرِينَ فِى ٱلۡبَأۡسَآءِ وَٱلضَّرَّآءِ وَحِينَ ٱلۡبَأۡسِۗ أُوْلَٰٓئِكَ ٱلَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا۟ۖ وَأُوْلَٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلۡمُتَّقُونَ

Goodness does not consist in turning your face towards East or West. The truly good are those who believe in God and the Last Day, in the angels, the Scripture, and the prophets; who give away some of their wealth, however much they cherish it, to their relatives, to orphans, the needy, travellers and beggars, and to liberate those in bondage; those who keep up the prayer and pay the prescribed alms; who keep pledges whenever they make them; who are steadfast in misfortune, adversity, and times of danger. These are the ones who are true, and it is they who are aware of God.
~ ~ ~
There is so much here. What catches my attention in this verse is the encompassing nature of its prescriptions and their timelessness. Faith and some of its pillars. Sincere charity and the best recipients of it. Honoring commitments. Consistency despite the circumstances. Each of these is a life long pursuit. If I can seek to perfect just one of these(while still practicing the others) the minutes of my days would be well accounted for. Further, there’s the timelessness here. This verse was revealed over 1400 years ago, and it still rings true. Humans are still humans and the hills we must climb to tame the more sinister parts of our humanity will be what they are.

Day 1:
Al-Baqarah 2:45-46
وَٱسۡتَعِينُواْ بِٱلصَّبۡرِ وَٱلصَّلَوٰةِۚ وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ إِلَّا عَلَى ٱلۡخَٰشِعِينَ

And seek help through patience and prayer; and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allāh]

ٱلَّذِينَ يَظُنُّونَ أَنَّهُم مُّلَٰقُواْ رَبِّهِمۡ وَأَنَّهُمۡ إِلَيۡهِ رَٰجِعُونَ

Who are certain that they will meet their Lord and that they will return to Him.
~ ~ ~
I've heard this verse many times before. It's one of my mother's favorite verses. It was not until now that I'm seeing what it might mean to seek help in "patience AND prayer". There are things that I want in my life. obstacles of my own that I've been trying to overcome for a while now. I have prayed about this specifically hundreds of times perhaps. This is prayer. There must also be patience. To prayer for something time and again, and still hold the resolution that God is listening, and that Divine intervention is well on it's way. I think that's patience. May Allah makes us amongst the beautifully patient.

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