Ramadan is over.
I can’t be the only one this ridiculously sad that the 30 days flew by the way they did. It’s not anything new either; it happens every year.
Every year Ramadan is upon us without warning (at least that’s what it feels like) so we scramble to get our homes ready, food prepped and frozen, and stabilize our internal state so that we have room to grow.
The month starts off slowly, especially with everyone adjusting to the new eating and sleeping schedule. It even feels manageable.
Then before you know it we’re right in the middle of 30 days running off of three hours of sleep every day and juggling healthy eating with binging tendencies. Yet somewhere in the middle of all of that chaos we find ourselves feeling more spiritually settled. In the middle of the juggling act we start to find our balance and the crowds and pressure don’t feel as unbearable as they can the rest of the year.
We don’t even realize we’ve hit the last 10 days and we start to really amp up our spiritual game – more time reading the Quran, more effort in the extra prayers, more charity where possible.
Again, I don’t know how accurately this describes everyone’s experience, but Ramadan as a whole is a crystalizing moment for me – when the time slows down and I can see clearly again.
And then it’s over, just as abruptly as it started.
Don’t get me wrong now, I love Eid-ul-Fitr and wouldn’t miss it for anything!
I love the way everyone gets excited for new clothes, henna, and giving gifts and sweets to the people around them. I love the happy atmosphere for the whole day and how it feels like new beginnings.
I look forward to Eid-ul-Fitr every year, I’m just always sad that it also means the end of Ramadan that year. It’s all very bittersweet.
My first thought was “now we wait for next year” but the word “wait” makes it seem like a stagnant activity. It’s not as if we stand in line from one Ramadan to the next – at least that’s not the way it should be.
Every Ramadan we get to experience is a gift. We work so hard to better ourselves during Ramadan, now that it’s over the goal should be to maintain the new good habits and continue the progress.
By the next Ramadan we shouldn’t have the same goals as we did this year. Our next goal list should be composed of things we never thought we’d get to. That’s my idea anyways.
I don’t want to be stuck in the same loop of semi-seasonal progress every year.
This year I feel like I was able to purge myself of a handful of bad habits. It wasn’t easy, but I’m in a better place than I was before. I want to keep going.
It gets hard without the community factor of Ramadan; I can attest to that from every previous year where I’ve fallen off the horse of my goals list.
But it’s not impossible.
Maybe I’ll check-in here every now and then – we can all share our progress and our struggles to progress.
The overarching goal for now is not to have let this Ramadan pass in pain.
The 30 Days of Ramadan blog is written by Sobia Siddiqui, CAIR-Houston’s Operations Coordinator.