(Almost) 4 days of fasting in and I’m happy to be in the month of Ramadan. Not gonna lie, I used to dread Ramadan with every fiber in my body. Whether it was the lack of energy from not eating or the disruption of my daily routine, I used to ignorantly dislike this month. Since a few years ago, I have now found the beauty of Ramadan and truly greet it like an old friend when it traipses around. I still don’t enjoy disrupted sleeping hours but I love my tarawih prayers and putting in more hours towards sunnah practices.
I miss my local mosque!
This year’s Ramadan is special, albeit slightly weird. With the COVID-19 circuit breaker, I’m spending my Ramadan with just my parents in their home. Not much different than regular Ramadan. However, I really do miss praying in the mosque. Though you do encounter the odd “mosque prefects”, the beauty of praying with your fellow Muslims is truly priceless. As much as I love staying home, there’s just something about heading out to the mosque for prayers. It sort of forces you to get off your bum and get something done.
I now realized how much I take my local mosques for granted. It’s hard to overlook how Allah has eased my path to pahala with tarawih at the mosque. Sadly, I only came to realize this with the quarantine. Luckily for me, I still have my father to lead the tarawih prayers. I think it would take a forklift of faith if I had to perform my own tarawih prayers every single night. Furthermore, with tarawih prayers at home, I actually have more time during dinner/iftar to actually have conversations with my parents. We usually have to rush through dinner and make our way to the mosque to secure our spot. Ramadan in quarantine surprisingly brings a level of ease and calamity to a usual hectic and tiring month. Alhamdullilah, there’s so much to be grateful for even during these turbulent times.
I was watching a video of Sheikh Hamza Yusuf when welcoming this year’s Ramadan. He was sharing on how prayer, though often communal, is also very much solitary. And these solitary prayers are often the ones that are vital to our spiritual development. He also elaborated on how Imam Maliki actually preferred doing tarawih prayers at home than at the mosque. Yes, tarawih prayers in mosques do fulfill the sunnah kifayah. But tarawih at home is also a great way to protect your heart from Riyadh. Besides this reiterating how flexible Islam is as a religion, this demonstrates how there’s barakah in every situation we’ve been presented in.
I pray that all Muslims stay safe during this Ramadan. Although it’s been a weird couple of months, I’m extremely grateful that everyone I love is safe and healthy. May Allah reward the imams in our households for leading us in prayer. May Allah reward everyone who is working doubly hard in this pandemic. May Allah bless you with a beautiful and fulfilling Ramadan. Ramadan Kareem!