Positive Ramadan reminders in a post-pandemic world
This Ramadan, we have so much to be grateful for. Two years into a global pandemic, here’s what we’ve learned.
With every hardship, there is ease
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Strange is the case of a believer, there is good for him in everything, and this is only for the believer. If a blessing reaches him, he is grateful to Allah which is good for him, and if an adversity reaches him, he is patient which is good for him.” (Muslim)
COVID-19 has impacted the whole world and how we live in it. In these difficult times, we’ve learnt different ways to cope, discovered new things to be grateful for, and remembered why we need to cherish each other more. We’ve achieved all of this through patience and gratitude, both of which are only possible through positive thinking and belief. Because for the believers who believe that there is good in all that Allah (SWT) sends our way, life is always good.
Tests purify the heart
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “No calamity befalls a Muslim but that Allah expiates some of his sins because of it, even if it were the prick of a thorn.” (Bukhari)
What do Ramadan and trials have in common? They both purify us. Fasting is a way for us to expiate our sins and purify our hearts. For our fast to be valid we strive hard to show patience through it; to reign in our ‘hangriness’ and mind our tongue.
Our beloved Prophet (ﷺ) has told us that the pain and difficulties we endure work in the same way. Try to remember that the next time you accidentally step on a piece of Lego. Think of the pain as Allah (SWT) forgiving you for that thing you did, that you know you shouldn’t have done. And maybe you won’t feel cross anymore. You might even feel grateful your little one doesn’t put the toys away when he or she is told to.
The faithful are forged in fire
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “If Allah wills good for someone, He afflicts him with trials.” (Bukhari)
Allah (SWT) wants us to be our best selves. Often, when our worship and good works fall short, He gives us difficulties to weather. The patience we show during these trials, and the sincerity with which we cling to Him despite them, make us stronger and enable us to attain the high stations Allah (SWT) has planned for us. And when we say ‘high stations’ we don’t mean those worldly echelons to boast over, but the closeness we can gain to Allah (SWT) and His beloved Prophet (ﷺ).
Believers are better together
Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said: “Verily, the believers are like a structure, each part strengthening the other,” and the Prophet clasped his fingers together.” (Bukhari)
There’s always one person – a cousin or frenemy, or brother or sister at the masjid, that rubs you the wrong way, right? So, what happened after lockdowns were lifted? You appreciated them a little more, right?
That was another blessing of the pandemic. All the social distancing and lockdowns we’ve had to endure did our community a great deal of good. They’ve taught us to value each other more and removed animosity and competitiveness from our hearts. In these increasingly isolating times, we have a greater desire now to heed Allah’s command to: ‘hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided.’ (Holy Qur’an 3:103)
Life is too short to not do as much as we can
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Take advantage of five before five: your youth before your old age, your health before your illness, your riches before your poverty, your free time before your work, and your life before your death.” (Al-Hakim)
If the pandemic has taught us all one defining thing, it would be this. Despite the difficulties we face today, there is no guarantee that things won’t become more difficult still. So don’t put your dreams on hold for tomorrow. That tomorrow may never come. Don’t save that cool jumper for a special day. Every day that you’re alive is special, and so are you. Make family your priority, not work. It’s Allah (SWT) who provides for them, not you. Don’t tell yourself you’re too old to climb mountains or run marathons. Get training now and pledge to do it for charity!
Start doing what you can today to be your best self and live your best life, for Allah (SWT). Yes, we all face restrictions, limitations, and things we can’t change but focus on the things you can. Start by doing what you are able to, for the pleasure of Allah (SWT). And He will open the way and even reward you for the things you fell short of doing.
Our wealth is no guarantee
Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said: “Cure your sick ones through Sadaqah, deflect the storms of calamities through supplication and guard your wealth through Zakat.” (Wasil ul-shia)
During the pandemic, many lost their lives, many more lost their jobs, and all of us are working to rebuild from its ashes. We’ve been to the grocery store with money in our pocket only to return home without the items on the shopping list because the shelves were bare, or prices were too high. We’ve seen that expensive medical insurance can’t save someone that Allah (SWT) has willed to take. And we know now that a high paying job and all our savings are no guarantee for anything.
Our lives are literally in the hands of Allah (SWT). And all we can do to preserve the blessings we enjoy is show gratitude through our worship and our charity.
We only have Allah (SWT) to rely on
And rely upon Allah; and sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs. (Holy Qur’an 33:3)
During the pandemic, there was another pandemic no one talked about much: the rising rates of anxiety and stress. To tackle this, Allah (SWT) tells us to trust in Him. And it’s the greatest comfort! Knowing that nothing we have or do can guarantee the safety of a trouble-free tomorrow takes the pressure off. And then it seems like such a pointless waste of energy, all that daily anxiety we go through, trying to achieve more; get it all done; think of the future; avoid mistakes; avoid losses.
Our faith emphasises the importance of moderation in everything. We’re advised to ‘tie our camel,’ but also instructed to trust in Allah once the proverbial camel has been tied. So, work hard, but not at the expense of your health and mental wellbeing. Put your heart in the right place, make the intention, and ask Allah (SWT) for the rest. If you fail, take comfort in the fact that Allah (SWT) has placed good even in that failure. And pat yourself on the back, because you’re doing the best you can and you’re doing really well!
Did you find this useful? Please share it with others, so that they can benefit as well. And please remember our patients and our doctors and nurses and staff in your prayers this Ramadan.
We’ve put together a host of resources to inspire and get you into the spirit of the blessed month. Browse our other Ramadan blogs packed with useful tips, inspiring hadiths, and prayers.
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