“Mommmmmmm! I’m so hungry! How long till Maghreb?” The kids asked for the 36th time (But you know, who’s counting!)
“Four hours and 17 minutes!” I reply in an automated-service tone.
A hot summery Ramadan and it’s like 100 degrees outside so the kids are staying indoors, and with no caffeine in my system, I feel my crankiness slowly turning me into an intolerable ‘Hulkette’! But then again, it’s the Holy month, where your heart, mind, soul and body are being purified while going through the ultimate test of patience. It’s the month of blessings and serenity. I can do this…
Yes I can.
“Mommmmmm! It’s been forever! How long till Maghreb now?”
“Four hours and 16 minutes!”
Hmmmm on second thought… I so CAN’T do this!
With Satan and all the horrible little devils chained away for 30 days and nights I’m not sure who to blame my grumpiness on.
Me? Noooooooo! Come on people I’m a very pleasant person.
Okay fine, I’ll take responsibility for my own bad mood and today I’ll be the devil’s advocate to mess with your minds a little bit (yeah I’m mean I know). As much as I like Ramadan, I’m one of those people who worry about its arrival 11 months before it’s here. Between the loss of sleep, no food or water, no entertainment, and kids whining endlessly, I must say these 30 days are challenging.
What’s So Special About Ramadan?
1.The Ultimate Delete Button
Yes you heard that right! In the Holy month, you literally start a new page and all your sins are deleted.
Aha even if you did HORRIBLE things.
Yup! Even those nasty sins too.
Yes I’m totally serious, literally EVERYTHING and ANYTHING bad you did is deleted. Listen to this:
“Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said: ‘Whoever fasts Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, he will be forgiven his previous sins.” (Sunan an-Nasa’i 2205)
The devil’s advocate starts fidgeting then suddenly gets up: “It doesn’t mean you’ll go to Jannah you know. Satan is a genius and he’ll definitely lead you to sin after Ramadan is over and you’ll hopefully die during the act and go to hell! Sorry to burst your bubble guys! What else do you got?”
2.The Big Save Button
So if you’re worried that your fasting and prayers weren’t perfect, or that you’ll sin again, there’s another getaway that makes Ramadan extra special. It’s Allah’s extreme mercy and kindness. Check this out:
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “In every day and every night, during the month of Ramadan, there are people to whom Allah grants freedom from the Fire, and there is for every Muslim a supplication which he can make and will be granted”. [al-Bazzaar, Ahmad and Ibn Majah; Sahih]
And God Almighty doesn’t go back on His word. Once you’re granted freedom for Hellfire it’s a lifetime guarantee. Congratulations, you’ve been saved.
The devil’s advocate sweats uncontrollably and his eyes widen double their size. “Whoa easy there buddy. Careful what you say! Besides you’ll never know you’re saved for sure till Judgment Day, and it still doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be in a high level in Heaven. Nah, I’m thinking that’s not enough to make Ramadan so special!
3.The Instant Multiplication Button
Alright! You want special I’ll give you special.
I’m pretty sure you’re familiar with the Holy verse 6:160 which explains that Allah multiplies each good deed by 10. And we also know that praying in Jama’a or groups multiplies the reward by 27. Not just that, but the Prophet (PBUH) also said this about Ramadan: “Every deed of the son of Adam will be multiplied for him, between ten and seven hundred times for each merit. Allah said: ‘Except for fasting, for it is for Me and I shall reward for it.'” (Bukhari).
Now let the Mathematicians step forward please.
1 prayer X 5 times a day X 10 X 700 X 27 X 30 Days = 28, 350,000 points.
More than 28 million Hasanat for prayers alone. And Salat Taraweeh (Night prayers), reciting Qur’an (which by the way is 1 point for each LETTER you read- that’s 323,671 points) and add the charity money, acts of kindness and the sunnah prayers before and after obligatory Salat, feeding the poor, hospitality… Etc. As for the reward for fasting, God said He decides on that, and when the Most Kind and Most Generous rewards His slaves, I don’t think my brain can absorb the amount of points He’s talking about.
So yeah, put all together, that’s math I can’t even do! But I know it’s more than enough to raise your status in Jannah!
“Hmmmmm! Let’s see what the devil’s advocate has to say about THAT!” I cross my arms triumphantly.
Oh my God, wait! He’s having a seizure. Help!
4.The Humongous Power Button
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for! The night of nights, when thousands of angels including the great angel Jibreel himself, descend from the sky to visit our world. The once a year opportunity that’s literally worth your whole life! Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pleasure that I announce the ‘Night of Power’ and its glory! But before I do that, let me ask the audience here a question.
“Sir, what do you think is the average life span of a human being?”
“Ummmm I don’t know, 80 years?”
“That is correct! And how many months would that be sir?”
“Exactly! But now get this!”
“The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.” (97:3, Holy Qur’an)
Also known as Laylat Al Qadr, sincere worship of the Great Lord on the Night Of Power is equal to more than a lifetime of non-stop praying. And that is every single year. So we’re talking about at least 50 lifetimes of zero sins and oceans of endless rewards!
Who’s your mama now?
Sirens of ambulances invade the sound systems and nurses with gurneys and oxygen masks run to the rescue of the poor devil’s advocate, who is now on the ground motionless after a massive stroke.
Later that evening, still chained to the hospital bed and wearing that funny green gown, the devil’s advocate lifts his oxygen mask and growls….
“I thought I could depend on you to distract the humankind! You let me down! You put the name of evil to shame!”
“Yeah whatever” I laughed
“On Eid we meet again! I will be revenged! You’ll see! You’ll ALL SEE!”
Driving home, I see Muslims handing out bottles of water and dates on the streets, helping each other and setting out iftar tables for the poor. There’s a soothing kind of serenity in the air… I can’t explain it. It’s like an 11 month tornado has gone by and kindness is all that survived. There’s still good in this world… I swear to God there is…
“Sorry kids. I had to run to the hospital. Long story!” I apologized as I walked in.
“Mommy come on! One minute till Maghreb! Oh my God we are so excited!” The kids jump happily.
Excited to eat food they eat all year long….
Eager to sit down with the family they see everyday….
Hurrying to the mosque to pray with the friends they always hang out with….
Every single ordinary moment is appreciated in the most extraordinary ways… and I can’t help but think that this is the real meaning of happiness….
Blessed light cleansing our souls like a pure waterfall on a hot burning day…
Our Lord’s mercy is overwhelming… fulfilling and recharging…
And yet that’s not even a fraction of how special and glorious this Holy month is… Compared to that, our love for it isn’t enough…
It never will be… until the angels greet us with open arms at the gates of Paradise…and we finally see the Face of our Lord…
The Owner of Majesty and Honor….
Because that was and always will be, the truest love of all….
So tell us what do you love most about Ramadan?