Here we are at the start of a new season, a new academic year. The summer can be a fun and crazy season, with travel, trips, and visitors. Here at Rabata, the summer was full of beautiful gatherings and inspiring achievements. With the Ribaat Retreat, we had a gathering of beautiful souls, Ribaat students, teachers, and volunteers in one place learning, growing and worshiping together. At the Ribaat graduation, we held our heads high as we witnessed the achievement of the 2022 cohort. And at ISNA, we met beloved Rabata members who had come from all around to enjoy a few days of fun and fellowship together.
Now it is time to settle down and get back into the routine of the day to day. The problem is that we may not be ready yet! Today I feel like I need to call out to September, “Wait! Slow down! I’m not ready!” At times like this, we may feel drained and in need of a vacation to rest after the vacation! Life, however, has different plans, and it just keeps moving along. The challenge is on us to keep on moving with it. To ensure that we are using every moment of this life and not just treading water or jumping from one urgent task to the next, we need to take a step back and set a plan: Here is a new season coming upon me; how am I best going to benefit from it? As the tabi’i al-Hasan al-Basri says,
ابن آدم إنما أنت أيام ، كلما ذهب يوم ذهب بعضك
“Son of Adam, you are but [a collection of] days; every time a day passes, a part of you has passed.”
This can be a scary thought… To imagine oneself floating away in the breeze, one piece at a time. But we don’t have to let it be this way; inshallah we can be present and ensure that every moment that passes is building our self, rather than taking away from it. Let’s start with 3 simple steps and go from there:
1- Schedules. Here’s the fun part! Pull out your calendar, planner, or bullet journal and start marking it up. Add your important events, due dates, and deadlines. Ensure you have time set aside for family, elders, and community. Find time for fun stuff, personal development, worship, and learning.
2- Worship. This tends to be the first thing that drops off the priority list when life gets busy, and with time passing we may have forgotten the deep worship we were able to achieve in Ramadan and Dhulhijjah. However, every day is a new day and a new opportunity to return to a worship schedule that will keep us balanced and connected. Though we may not be able to keep up with the intense worship schedule of the sacred months, we can plan to hold ourselves to a solid minimum that we won’t allow ourselves to dip below, no matter how busy life gets.
3- Learning. If we let time pass too quickly, one term and then another can pass without making any strides in our education. But our ummah is one of learning, and we are encouraged to keep learning and growing both academically and spiritually. Make time for one more class, register yourself, buy your books, and be sure to block it off in your schedule and set it as a priority.
The end of this season will come as quickly as the beginning did, and I pray that we are able to close off this chapter of our lives with joy and achievement. I pray that the end of this season will find us all further along in our personal journeys, whether with baby steps or huge strides.
Education Director, Rabata