A Ramadan Reflection

In Ramadan of 2023, I decided to challenge myself to write every day during the month for 30 days, without any specific theme or topic. I wanted the freedom to write each day on whatever topic or thought that came to my mind. It was also a way to keep myself accountable throughout the month and to not lose the momentum. Hence, 30 Reflective Days was born. Alhamdulillah, it was the most rewarding experience I ever had. It made my Ramadan that much more enriching. I looked forward to what Allah was going to inspire me to write each day. I decided that I would make this a yearly practice In sha Allah and asked Allah for tawfiq. 

Alhamdulillah this past Ramadan, Allah granted me the opportunity to embark on another 30 Reflective Days journey. As we made it halfway through Ramadan, coincidentally, I was also approaching the halfway mark of my Qur’an Khitmah. I shared in one of my reflections about reaching a midpoint slump that left me feeling dejected because I had expected the journey to be easier once I made it halfway. Many days passed and I continued to feel this way. However, as Ramadan came to its end, on the 25th day of Ramadan, Allah in His Mercy and Generosity, shined His light at the end of the tunnel I found myself in. And so on Ramadan Day 25, I wrote: 

In a previous reflection, I had shared finding myself in a midpoint slump with regards to my Qur’an journey. I shared feeling sad and frustrated with myself for stumbling as I approached the midpoint. In the first half of this journey, while it had been challenging, I was making slow but incremental progress, so I guess I thought that it was going to get easier as I approached the midpoint. However, the opposite has been true. Now that I am approaching the midpoint, it has become even more challenging, almost like climbing up a steep mountain. Hence, this Ramadan, I have been spending some time in introspection – renewing my intentions, asking myself, “What has changed? What can I do better? What is the state of my heart?” And most importantly, seeking Allah’s help.

And in today’s deep reflection (tadabbur) session, I read ayat from Surah Al-Qamar that mended the cracks that were beginning to form in my heart in relation to my Qur’an journey. These ayat held my feeble heart together and gave me hope: hope in Allah’s Mercy, and hope in the Help of Allah. These were ayat 10-14 of Surah Al-Qamar. When the people of prophet Nuh (Noah) (‘alayhi assalaam) rejected him after 900 years of calling them to Allah, the Qur’an says: “So he cried out to his Lord, “I am helpless, so help ˹me˺!” [54:10]. This ayah for me encompassed so much of how I was feeling. The Qur’an is so beautiful in the way it captures emotions and vulnerable moments. This is a prophet of Allah crying out to Him saying he is helpless and asking for Allah’s help. Like Nabi Nuh here, I was feeling defeated as well in my Qur’an journey the more challenging it got. And in this ayah, I found the words to describe how I had been feeling and the words with which to call upon Allah.

The ayat continued and Allah in the subsequent ayat says that He ﷻ opened the gates of the sky with pouring rain and caused the earth to burst with springs [54:11-12]. This opening of the gates of the sky became an answer to Nabi Nuh’s cry, a victory for Him but on the other hand, a punishment for his people who had denied him. Allah says that He carried him on what was made of planks and nails, sailing under Allah’s watchful eyes [54:13-14]. Subhān’Allah, as I read these ayat, what was going through my mind was the immediacy with which Allah answered him after hearing his cry. One of my teachers shared that the use of the letter fa ( ف ) indicates an action being immediate. So in ayah 11 when Allah said “fafatahnā” – “So We opened”, it was to show that Nabi Nuh’s cry was heard and answered immediately, Subhān’Allah. This reassured my heart to know that just like I am feeling defeated, all I need to do is to cry to Allah and have certainty in His immediate response.

The part of the ayah where Allah mentioned planks and nails was another powerful reminder for me that at the end of the day it is not my effort that is going to bring me victory or protection but the Help of Allah and His Protection. Allah points out that Nabi Nuh’s ark was made of planks and nails, pointing out how weak this infrastructure was in comparison to the flood and the storm that was to come. There was no way it would have held up in the flood if it wasn’t for the Protection of Allah, i.e. sailing under Allah’s watchful eyes, Subhan’Allah. Hence similarly, my journey with the Qur’an will not be successful by my sheer efforts but by the Help of Allah, by Allah carrying me as I sail under His watchful eyes. 

And as I continued to read through Surah Al-Qamar, I noticed an ayah that was repeated four times throughout the Surah, in ayah 17, 22, 32 and 40 – “And We have certainly made the Qur’an easy to remember. So is there anyone who will be mindful?” [54:17]. Subhān’Allah it was like Allah was telling me, He has already made it easy for me, that the ease was coming. But the question is, am I mindful of it? That the Qur’an isn’t only for reciting and memorizing but for contemplation. That, part of the Qur’an being made easy for me, is to also be mindful of it, reflecting and pondering on the words of Allah.

And so perhaps this phase of my journey where I find myself stumbling, is the opening of the gates of the Qur’an from Allah, a burst of the springs of the words of Allah for me to immerse myself in. When I made du’a at the beginning of this journey for Allah to choose me for the Qur’an and make it a light in my life, perhaps this struggle is His answer to my du’a just like He answered Nabi Nuh. Perhaps this flood of my struggles and me feeling defeated is actually a blessing that I am oblivious to; that He is granting me, to force me to spend more time as I stumble through the pages, to recite these ayats with mindfulness. Perhaps in this struggle is Allah protecting me and carrying me as I sail on this journey under His watchful eyes. Because He is telling me here that the Qur’an was made easy to remember, that’s a fact. But the question here is am I mindful of it and, in essence, mindful of Allah?

Ya Allah, Ya Rabb, Ya Haqq, You are Truth. Your words are True. Do not leave me to myself even for the blink of an eye. Ya Allah I am helpless, so help me. Ya Rabb open for me the gates of Mercy, of healing, of cure, of comfort in the Qur’an. Ya Rahman, make the Qur’an the spring of my heart, the light of my chest, the remover of my sadness, the reliever of my distress and a guide for me. Ya Rabb, ya Muhaymin carry me under the watchful eyes of Your protection through this Qur’an. Ya Allah as You have made the Qur’an easy to remember, make it easy for me to remember, ease the path to it for me. Ya Rabb make me among those who are mindful of You and the Qur’an. Allow me to remember it often, ponder on it and to live by it, O Most merciful of those who show Mercy. Allahumma Amin.

With Love,

Ibtisam Lambu

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Click one of our contacts below to chat on WhatsApp

× How can I help you?