Written by Anja Saleh

you have truly been a mirror,
one that I needed more than I knew I did.
I have learned that silence
is my favorite language.
there is little misunderstanding and
much peace hidden in this sort of full nothingness.
oh, the discomfort it brought, too!
but nothing ever changed in comfort only.
I accept.

I fasted more than food and water.
I fasted words, interactions,
abstained from anything that
threatened to waste my time and energy,
kept my distance from people,
places, actions I had doubts about.
and learned a lot in doing so.
also, acceptance. –

I think most of us do not struggle with ramadan;
we struggle with our very own selves
and it becomes more than clear to us during ramadan. –

I found myself asking “am I good enough for heaven?am I really bad enough for hell?“ repeatedly.
my conclusion is that it doesn’t matter.
I am living now.
and it is not on me to judge myself
for a time and situation that is way beyond
my imagination and its capacity.
I love God for Gods sake.
so, it doesn’t matter.
because I see and feel God. every day,
sometimes heavier than others,
and that’s all I have.
a knowing of a love so great
that I know that all that counts is me being an extension of such.
being supposed to be.
and learning more about God through it.

there is much hardship in the process,
but immeasurable beauty, too.

We oftentimes lose ourselves in questions
that only Allah can answer and Allah repeats this ever so often,
yet we forget.
and I feel that we forget and overlook the most obvious,
the phrases that Allah makes us repeat constantly
and truly; there is nothing Our Lord gifts us or advices us to do
that isn’t for our own benefit.
We love to forget about how Our Lord is The Most Merciful,
even though Allah chose to place this attribute of Theirs
at the beginning of 113 of 114 Suras
and advices us to repeat it at the beginning of our every move:
Bism’Illah Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
A gentle, soul-soothing reminder. A hug, when we are falling apart,
a pillar when our world does: In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.
A reminder to keep on going, to trust in the greatness of Allah over all and to never forget that no doubt of ours, no guilt of ours could ever exceed the mercy of Allah swt.
We forget this in our treatment of and perspectives on others – and our very selves.
Our image of God is oftentimes painted by those who project themselves on Allah and not by Allahs mention of Themself.
Ramadan usually offers the space to reflect ourselves on levels we sometimes struggle to reach outside of Ramadan. And maybe this Ramadan that took place in isolation for most of us, also made room for us to view ourselves outside of the context of “community“. It was mostly us and the quality of our soul’s connections to their Creator.
(Allah has no gender, Sheikha (Halima Krausen) approved usage of They)

Photography by Dana Mahmoud @dana.mahh

Thank you Anja, for sharing such honest, and deeply resonating reflections so beautifully and eloquently.

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