Last week I went all out with what I had felt during the first half of Ramadhan and how I felt that I was not feeling the Ramadhan as I would have liked to. Just to remind you again that it is so so normal to slip sometimes, and to feel that way as we are humans. We have our bad days, down moments but what these moments of brokenness or “guilt” would turn us into. It is often that we don’t know how to use these moments, as it is to me, is like a gift from Allah as it could be a means for us to soften our hardened hearts.
Perhaps, it is because we don’t know how to utilise these moments to return to Him that we continue to be in a cycle of sadness to a point of hopelessness—a state or more accurately, a trap, in which the shaitaan would celebrate if we are in these states. So in the light of Ramadhan, here are a few lessons that we can take whenever we do fall into these states so we wouldn’t fall back into the state of hopelessness.
Indeed, it is not abnormal to feel that you want to give up or that you are in a state of sadness as these feelings had been felt by our beloved Prophets too.
For instance, when Rasulullah (SAW) had lost both of his beloved wife and uncle in the same year, he had fallen into immense sadness. Not only that, his other uncle, Abu Lahab mocked him even more. This was in fact, known as the “Year of Sadness”.
Then there was the story of Nabi Yaqub (AS) when he lost his eyesight (as evident in Surah Yusuf, ayat 84) because he cried continuously as he thought he lost his beloved son, Nabi Yusuf (AS) when his son was just a child, from the doing of his own other children.
They were in grave sadness which shows us that it is normal to go into the states of sadness, but what we might be missing out from these stories is this.
The difference between our states when we feel sad with the states of the Prophets whom had fallen in sadness is that they never lost hope in the mercy of Allah. They always returned to Allah whenever they fell into sadness and there are so many du’a in the Quran that indicates this. For instance,
He said, “I only complain of my suffering and my grief to Allah, and I know from Allah that which you do not know”Surah Yusuf:86
This ayat shows that despite his sadness and suffering, Prophet Ya’qub never stopped praying to Allah and gained hope and trust in Allah instead. It is to remind us to find the balance between our sadness (to attain humility) and hope in Allah’s mercy (confidence that He’s only doing what’s best for us).
Don’t ever, ever fall into the trap or the state of hopelessness that when you are not achieving or ticking off every deed in your list, that you would stop altogether because you’d think to yourself “What’s the point?”
No! Please, don’t do that to yourself as you are making it easy for yourself to fail and that we would only open doors to shaitan to rob away our hopes for Allah.
Perhaps, these down moments are just a means for you to readjust your goals or reset your intentions for every ibadah that you’ve set yourself to.
To all my ladies who are either going through PMS or on their period, fret not. I understand PMS and period are the most challenging times for us women as our bodies are secreting hormones that would make us more emotional and physically exhausted, right? It’s okay to feel this way.
To me, it’s amazing how Allah is giving us a break (period) as He knows that we are all sometimes, too hard on ourselves as we are all trying to care for everything—making sure your household doesn’t fall apart. Yes it is for us to rest, but it is also a time for us to pace ourselves, and reflect on what ibadah has been made easy for us and what ibadah do we need support from others if we would like to add them into our lives, in preparation for after our period.
The worst thing that we can do is as I mentioned above is neglecting all of our ibadah to a point that we don’t do one at all.
Even if you are still at the early stage of trying to pray your 5 daily prayers this Ramadhan, it is so so important that you don’t feel hopeless when it isn’t perfected yet.
Remember, we are all going through different stages. Some are way ahead, some are just starting but the most important thing is don’t compare your capabilities with other people. The reason why I wrote that some ibadah has been made easy for us is because yes, it is Allah whom has made it easy for us. It is not entirely dependent upon our own efforts.
Always pray to Allah so that He will keep you steadfast.
Praying to Allah specifically to make you steadfast is so crucial as this would set the right intention for why you would like to increase your ibadah. Sometimes, it is because we are highly dependent on ourselves and other people—our support systems and friends—that we might fall short on taking our ibadah to the next level.
I’ve learned this through reflecting upon one of His beautiful names, Al-Hasib—the Reckoner—which means it is He who is sufficient and all belongs to Him.
Imam Al-Ghazali uses an analogy of a student and a teacher in which when the student is dependent on the teacher for the knowledge to an extent he or she no longer needs the support, or the teacher has worn out of knowledge or the energy to give that support, the student would only have Allah to depend on to suffice him in knowledge.
This is not to say the student stops seeking knowledge, but he finds other teachers to further seeking. In other words, the teacher is just a means for the student to be sufficient in knowledge, but the teacher herself/himself would never be sufficient in knowledge. So, we are all just either agents or recipients of the knowledge, not the ultimate source.
In simple words, yes, we need people to support us and yes we have to be our own biggest cheerleaders, but we are not sufficient enough to be completely independent of Allah.
He is the One who allows us to show up to our ibadah; He is the One who we would turn to whenever we would be at our lowest points that even when we vent our problems to our friends, or our spouses is not enough, because we are aware that He is Al-Hasib. It is to an extent, that we would are assured that our hearts would reach a state that “He is sufficient for me, and to Him we all belong to”.
I will leave this to a du’a that we can inculcate in our Ramadhan, but also our lives, which is this:
I pray that we will get the best out of Ramadhan. Amin Amiin! Remember, it's never too late to get the momentum going! PS/ Share this with anyone whom you think might benefit from.