Written by Ahmed al-Moroni
The prophetﷺ said ‘al qasd al qasd tablughu’ [.Sahih al-Bukhari 6463] Often awkwardly translated as ‘adopt a middle, moderate regular course whereby you will reach your target’. Essentially, once you know where to go, take it slow. With that in mind then, setting our goals for Ramadan becomes a lot easier. As forgetful creatures we often occupy ourselves with the vehicle and not where it’s going. So the Muslim’s mind begins to wonder. “How many acts of worship can I physically squeeze in? Is this amount of raka’at correct? Also how often can I tell people about it? Shouldn’t I be doing i’tikaf this year?” These thoughts and many more plague us whilst we heedlessly neglect that Allah’s pleasure is all we need.
Ramadan as a time of taqwa (God consciousness), peace and reflection often comes with its social pressures. All the more amplified by social media and this apparent inability to quit ‘flexing’ our piety. Something that strangely doesn’t seem to have been affected by the lockdown. This can put a downer on an otherwise blessed time. Question marks appear, voices whispering. “Am I doing enough, why can’t I be like that guy or this girl.”. Anxiety sets in, the pressure mounts and Ramadan is ruined.
The sunnah however is quite clear. The prophetﷺ encouraged acts that were consistent even if small.[Sahih al-Bukhari 6464] I personally always admired those who strategically set themselves Ramadan goals within their personal limits. That always seemed to be closest to the sunnah. Better still, those who formed bonds of sacred friendship to pursue a common Ramadan target. With the prophetic exemplar in our minds it would perhaps be best then to just sit down, calm ourselves, chat to friends, let the blessings pour in and plan out the road ahead, one step at a time. Allah is the destination, Ramadan the vehicle.
Featured photography by Dana Mahmoud @dana.mahh
Thank you Ahmed, for sharing such valuable reflections with us. May we all be reminded of our purpose here and to be kinder to ourselves.