If I had a theme for the departed Ramadan 2018, it would be du’a (1). I entered this blessed month with a very heavy heart; one that carried the overbearing weight of the previous eleven months. A heart drained by routine, disappointment, dwindling hopes, unmet potential…The imperfect and deceiving nature of this world tends to consume one’s core into a limbo of constant dissatisfaction.
What was the state of your heart as you entered Ramadan? Did it feel weak and malnourished? Was your spirituality starving? Desperate for a divine touch? Then you know what I mean.
Among the etiquette of making du’a is to call upon Allah s.w.t using His names/attributes. Through the Quran and Sunnah of our beloved Prophet SAAW, we have 99 of them. You may choose whichever relates to your supplication, and with that you lift your hands and ask of Him. The names I used the most this month are the Gift Giver (Al-Wahab), the Sustainer (Al-Razaq), the All-Knowing (Al-Raqeeb), the Just (Al-Adl), and during the last ten nights, the Forgiver (Al- Afuw)(2). Simply contemplating each and every one of these names leaves me awestruck and in tears of love for He who is Most Loving.
A gift is a beautiful thing to receive. It signifies love and generosity. A gift from a person dear to your heart makes you so happy, imagine a gift from the One who owns the heavens and the earth! What other faith describes its Lord as the Gift Giver? None other than Islam. Truly a holistic faith in all aspects, even in its description of Allah s.w.t.
A very important realization that I made and attempt to live by is that only He can place contentment in my heart and the world in my hands. To Him I belong, to Him I shall return and only to Him I entrust my broken pieces. My heart melts in love and appreciation at the thought that I have a Lord so Great; a creator who caters to the needs of my heart, body, mind and soul with unparalleled generosity and mercy. He hears my prayers before I speak them. He guides with His grace, He protects with His power, He gives endlessly and responds with such subtle compassion and wisdom…
I entered this blessed month with so much that I wanted, both abstract and concrete, both in this world and in Jannah. I spilled all that chaos into a paper and categorized them based on themes. I ended with six themes; six du’as. Not a day of Ramadan passed without me praying for each six, with the all the detail that my heart desired.
At the beginning of the month, I would almost recite them like an essay. The burning desire and emotion did not flow through my prayers as they should have, in spite of my effort to perfect the wording. After the first week, I started picking up on when and where I felt most connected. So rather than an essay, it began to feel more like a poem. Finally, during the last two weeks, it seemed as though my tongue pulled my heart into the prayers. When I would make du’a, it would be as if every limb and organ of my body was contributing to the prayer.
Although my prayers will not stop after Ramadan, now they have a different taste to them; an additional excitement for the response of Allah s.w.t. Along with the eid celebrations, we are celebrating our worship during this month. We go from person to person wishing them a happy eid as well as the acceptance of their Lord. The acceptance of worship is not a certainty. We can only hope and have good faith. But the promise of Allah s.w.t to answer the prayer of a servant who calls to Him, that is certain (3). And Allah s.w.t never disappoints.
Happy Eid Ul-Fitr to all, and may Allah s.w.t accept our worship and prayers.
(1) Du’a is an act of worship consisting of calling upon Allah s.w.t and conversing with Him. It may be to express gratitude, to express grief, to ask for blessings…etc. It is a very private and personal sort of prayer.
(2)It was narrated by al-Tirmidhi, who classed it as saheeh, that ‘A’ishah said: I said: “O Messenger of Allah, If I know which night is Laylat al-Qadr, what should I say?” He said: “Say: O Allah, You are All-Forgiving (Afuw) and You love forgiveness so forgive me.”
(3)In the Quran, Allah s.w.t promises that He will answer the prayers of those who pray to Him: “When My servants ask thee [O Muhammad] concerning Me, [tell them] I am indeed near: I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way” (Quran 2:186)