“Muharram, Saffar, Rabee el Awal…” Khadija could hear that cute voice singing over and over the months of Islam, it was always a bliss to listen to little Fatima learning anasheed. But there was something special today that her mother just couldn’t make out. She decided to take a short break from the chores and walked slowly into the living room to see what her daughter was up to. There she was, reaching out on tippy tip toes, planting those delicious dates in a pattern on the table. Just to get a closer look, Khadija peeked over those tiny curly sunkissed ponytails. “MashaAllah Fatima, what’s this sweetie?”. “Ummi, It’s a surprise! It’s for my date” It was hard to get round that answer with those pearly baby teeth smiling, but Khadija got ever more curious. “Is it someone I know?” She asked, “could you please give ummi some clues?” All Fatima could do was giggle, pointing at her finished work of art, and pausing her nasheed at “Ramadan!”.
There at the table were two number nines as tidy as can be for a six year old, bejewelled in black brown majdool. Of course, a calendar countdown, 99 days to that silver sliver of the holy month. Emotional with cuteness overload, Khadija couldn’t help but feel excited, and embarrassed at the same time. It took her quite a while to realise how oblivious she would have been otherwise to the fact. Time has kept her hands full, blessed really alhamdulillah, but busy. The twins, Fatima’s full time school, her being ‘back to school’, parenting has been a journey to catch up with for both of them. Routines had crept into their normal days once more, that too many Ramadan resolutions slipped through. The spiritual high was not the same, those night prayers of qiyaam were harder to get up to, those pages of Quran were slower to read through. Backbiting was back, and even make-up fast days were just a habit food diet. Not before long, Khadija’s light mood got dimmer, she just wasn’t sure she was ready for the holy month, she wondered if she ever was ready at all.
Catching her mother’s teary eyes, yet not making full sense of it, Fatima squeaked with a smile, “they told us all about it in the Masjid Madrasa; to be prepared for this honoured guest, it only comes once a year you know,” Her ‘matter of fact’ voice was much too wise for her age, but indeed it was a wake up call for her mum. Khadija went from reminiscent to rejuvenated, she shed off that hindering hopelessness, and kissed her positive ray of sunshine. She remembered how the Sahabah (RA) used to pray 6 months ahead that they may blessed to witness the fast, and prayed 6 months later may Allah accept their good deeds. “iyyaka na’budu wa iyyaka nasta’een” “إياك نعبد إياك نستعين” The words rang true in her heart as they do in her ear over 20 times a day, but this time with full meaning, Thee alone we worship and thee alone we seek help . The will to worship, the help to put her heart into a good deed and the barakah of beautifying the soul came from none other than God SWT. And that far end of despair came from Shaytan. Renewed with niyyah, Khadija focused on the big picture, the Creator of this month and the next and the next, and picked up where she had left on those past promises. No more seasonal ups and downs, though they would happen naturally, but it’s as the prophet Muhammad PBUH reminded persistence is key “The most beloved deeds to Allah’s are the most regular and constant even though if were little” [Narrated by Al Bukhari]. By noon, she and Fatima had worked out their project for the month of mercy, waiting, anticipating, little by little, adding up, competing for good deeds to keep each day in a safe diary written by an Angel on her ‘right’, while trying not to keep the Angel on the left half as busy, both Noble Recorders. When the whole family gathered for dinner that night, there was one duaa in mind and in echo: ” Allahuma balleghna Ramadan.”
an animated episode as a reminder of those meanings, with English subtitles
Many thanks to sister Shaqeena Raheem for nominating me to the “5Days 5Photos Challenge”. I chose a series of Black &White photos to intensify a theme, all photos original and credits to pinkperla 🙂 I would like to nominate sister Fateema Abdullah for this challenge next, should she choose accept it, no pressure. Please feel free to pay both sisters’ blogs a visit through the link, and sharing is caring