Ten Days!

I am in shock.

I cannot believe ten days of Ramadan have already passed. Where did they go?

For ten days we have been of those whose prayer is answered. Abū Hurayra (r) tells us that the Prophet ﷺsaid, “Three are those whose prayer is not refused: a just leader, the fasting person until he breaks his fast, and the prayer of the oppressed…” (Sunan al-Tirmidhī)

Have I prayed fervently about all the matters weighing on my head and heart? Certainly not as much as I would have liked.

For ten days we have been in the month of sacred books. Wāthila b. al-Asqaʿ tells us that the Prophet ﷺ said, “The scrolls of Ibrāhīm, peace be upon him, were revealed in the first night of Ramadan, and the Torah was revealed six days into Ramadan and the Injīl when thirteen days of Ramadan had passed and the Criterion (the Quran) when twenty four days of Ramadan had passed.” And the Quran itself tells us, {The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion.} (2:185)

I think about the people who came before – Imām Shāfiʿī, for example, and his complete reading of the Quran in the day and again in the night – and I look with critical eyes at my own limited number of khitmas. By now Imām Shāfiʿī would have read the Quran twenty times.

For ten days we have been without the influence of Shayṭān. The Prophet ﷺ said, “When the first night of Ramadan comes, the Shayṭān and rebellious jinns are put in chains and the doors of hell are closed, none of them remains open. The doors of heaven are open and none of them remains closed. And a caller calls, ‘O seeker of goodness, come forward and O seeker of evil, desist. And Allah has [many] who will be freed from Hell.’ This announcement is made every night.” (Al-Mustadrak)

Knowing that I have not been fighting the influence of Shayṭān for the past ten days is a difficult pill to swallow. It means that the only obstacle in my way of doing what I should do is my nafs. I sigh and resolve to work harder and respond to “O seeker of goodness…” with “Here I am!”

For ten days we have been in a month of feeding people and giving in charity. The Prophet ﷺ assures us, “Whoever helps in breaking the fast of the one who is fasting will get his reward without reducing any part of the reward of the one who is fasting.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhī)

I realize I need to do more than have a few people over for ifṭār. I need to actively seek out fasting people, and bring them delicious food.

Ten days!

And now we look forward to twenty days. May the upcoming twenty days be filled with duʿāʾ, Quran, energetic good deeds, and the feeding of fasters. May Allah (swt) make us of those who enter into Ramadan in one state, and leave having graduated to a better state. May we be of those who take advantage of the blessings of this month, and make deep internal changes. May we face our shortcomings and our weaknesses. May we be forgiven and cleansed of our sins and ugly qualities. May our hearts be filled with the love of God, the love of the Prophet, the love of those who love God and those who are loved by God, and the love of those who are distant and need guidance. May we be people of love that draws others to faith. May we be of those who are filled with light so that it bubbles out to others. Āmīn.

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