As we head into the last 10 days of Ramadan, there is a feeling of great anticipation as we seek Laylat-ul-Qadr (the Night of Power). On the other hand, there is a feeling of sadness, as the days and nights of Ramadan recede into the past.
This Ramadan has been one free of all COVID restrictions and concerns. As such, the frenetic pace that we saw before COVID, involving community and iftars, has returned. No one wants to return to the era of COVID restrictions. Yet, the serenity, the quiet pace, and solitary time for reflection that we experienced during COVID, have been fleeting this time around. Alhamdulillah for everything.
One of the most profound Ramadan’s that I experienced, occurred some twenty years ago, when I actually did not fast, since I was expecting our third child. Knowing that there was another heart beating in my womb (rahm, in Arabic), and that Allah (swt) had given permission to forego the fast in order to nourish a life, gave me a deeper appreciation for the mercy (rahmah) of my Lord. Rahmah upon the rahm. I also remember feeling like a full participant in Ramadan, by preparing food for those who fasted, mindful of the hadeeth:
“Zayd ibn Khaalid al-Juhani said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever gives iftaar to a fasting person will have a reward like his, without that detracting from the reward of the fasting person in the slightest.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, who said it is a saheeh hasan hadeeth)
I raced after the reward of the fasting person – finding every opportunity to prepare an iftar meal. And of course, I was still able to pray taraweeh, again mindful of the life beating inside my rahm. A deep appreciation of the wondrous power of Allah, the Creator (al-Khaliq). The ayahs in the Quran that describe the development of life in the womb took on a special meaning, as I knew these words of Allah (swt) were occurring in my very being.
To those who are not fasting for reasons of health, travel, or the monthly period, the blessings and rewards of Ramadan are waiting for you. There are so many avenues: giving sadaqah, providing a meal at Iftar, reading Qur’an, praying taraweeh, performing dhikr, and of course, seeking out Laylat-ul-Qadr. Allah is truly merciful, truly generous to His servants. We make our intention for His sake, and seek His reward alone.