Untangled: Fear, trust and Surrender in Ramadan
by Maram Behairy
Ramadan Kareem to our South Florida community.
It’s about this time, before Ramadan that I always feel really nervous. Through conversations with others, I’ve come to realize it’s actually a pretty common feeling. Wouldn’t it be better to welcome Ramadan with joy rather than anxiety.
But alas, we cannot control our emotions. What we can do is try to understand ourselves and allow ourselves to feel whatever is coming up. And for me, it’s nerves.
It’s a fear that I may squander this sacred and blessed month. That I will miss the opportunity to truly benefit from it. That I won’t step up and do what I should.
It reminds me of how I feel about my life in general. That I am missing the joy of my kids childhood Bc I’m so preoccupied with what could go wrong or what it should be or what I should be and on and on and on…. Or that I am missing opportunities of doing good, of doing more, of being more.
But maybe, just maybe, the lesson isn’t to do more, but to trust…to surrender. Trust that Allah is always preparing us and guiding us and molding us. That you are exactly where you need to be. And when you are ready, the correct door will open and you will easily walk through it. Trust that the struggle is your teacher. Trust that you are safe and held in the most divine way. That every pain, every tear is a step forward. Trust that the darkness is simply the winter season, and spring is around the corner. What feels impossibly dead is just resting in solitude and silence, preparing you for the abundance to come.
Ramadan isn’t about how many pages we read or how many rakats we pray or how many elaborate iftars we host. Ramadan is about tuning in to ourselves and allowing ourselves to heal from the past year’s turmoil. Ramadan is a sacred space to nourish our soul for the coming year, where the small steps give the effect of leaps. It’s a respite, healing, and realignment. May we all feel the impact of this Ramadan so deeply within and so far-reaching in the world.
Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:
كُلُّ عَمَلِ ابْنِ آدَمَ يُضَاعَفُ الْحَسَنَةُ عَشْرُ أَمْثَالِهَا إِلَى سَبْعِمِائَةِ ضِعْفٍ قَالَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ إِلاَّ الصَّوْمَ فَإِنَّهُ لِي وَأَنَا أَجْزِي بِهِ يَدَعُ شَهْوَتَهُ وَطَعَامَهُ مِنْ أَجْلِي لِلصَّائِمِ فَرْحَتَانِ فَرْحَةٌ عِنْدَ فِطْرِهِ وَفَرْحَةٌ عِنْدَ لِقَاءِ رَبِّهِ . وَلَخُلُوفُ فِيهِ أَطْيَبُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ مِنْ رِيحِ الْمِسْكِ“Every (good) deed of the son of Adam would be multiplied, a good deed receiving a tenfold to seven hundredfold reward. Allah, the Exalted and Majestic, has said: With the exception of fasting, for it is done for Me and I will give a reward for it, for one abandons his passion and food for My sake. There are two occasions of joy for one who fasts, joy when he breaks it, and joy when he meets his Lord, and the breath (of an observer of fast) is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk.”(Sahih Muslim 1151e)
About the Author:
Maram Behairy is a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction and heads the writers’ group of South Florida Muslim Federation
‘I like to understand the bigger picture, deeper reasons, and nuanced connections. I have always been more interested in the roots under the ground than the fruit above. I complicate and explore in order to find the simple, deep truths. I live those with conviction. My dream is to use my gift for words to inspire and guide others to live with purpose and greater ease. So as I experiment on myself, I will share what I learn along the way. My roles in life (by default my areas of exploration) include being a Muslim, woman, wife, mother, writer, and youth mentor.’
Have a question for the author or want to reach her? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.