Written by Mustafa Briggs
This Ramadan has been unlike any Ramadan we have ever experienced before, due to the unprecedented effects of the global pandemic and the resulting self-isolation and social inclusion measures that have been put in place across the globe, and so many Muslims the world over have found themselves having to spend Ramadan alone or just with their immediate families, away from the masjid, with no Jummah or Tarawih prayers, no lectures or social gathering and community iftars and most of all with much less of the usual ‘Ramadan Spirit’ we are acquainted with.
However for me personally upon reflection, this Ramadan has provided us with an unprecedented opportunity, despite the lack of ‘Ramadan Spirit, to actually return to the original spirit of Ramadan, in a way that perhaps hasn’t been done since the time of Rasulullah ﷺ himself. As we know the Holy Month is made special due to the revelation of the Qur’an in it, as Allah describes the month as
“The month of Ramadhan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion (between right and wrong)” 2:185,
and Aisha, the mother of the believers narrated that
“He ﷺ used to go in seclusion in the cave of Hira where he used to worship (Allah alone) continuously for many days before his desire to see his family. He used to take with him the journey food for the stay and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food likewise again till suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira.” (Sahih Bukhari)
When looking at this, we can see that the reason why Ramadan was made special in the first place, and the cause for Allah to send down the revelation and begin the Prophet’s ﷺ mission, was that he would self-isolate, and practice a form of social distancing by retreating from society during the month of Ramadan and use that time to meditate and reflect and soul-search, thus bringing about the revelation itself and the unraveling of his own spiritual reality as the Messenger of Allah.
This month was later honored and immortalized 15 years later, 2 years after the migration when Allah revealed “O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous” — Surat Al-Baqarah 2:183. And now over 1400 years after that, we have been invited by the Lord of Ramadan to imitate the one who came before us ﷺ, in using this period as a time of reflection and self-isolation as He ﷺ originally did, and maybe through that Allah will bring us closer to Him and allow us to utilize the time not going outside by allowing us to go inside ourselves and become reacquainted with our own truths, and the Ultimate Truth (SWT). “We will show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth.” Quran 41:53 “And on the earth are signs for the certain [in faith], and within yourselves. Then will you not see?” Quran 51:20-21
Featured photography by Dana Mahmoud @dana.mahh
Thank you Mustafa for sharing a truly insightful and reflective perspective on Ramadan in lock down.