July 6, 2020

When the World Crowds Your Ramadan – Seeking Introspection and Reflection

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Editor’s note: All this month, Haute Hijab team members are bringing you our Ramadan Diaries, posts about how our month is going, things we’ve learned and struggles we may be having. We are figuring out fasting and worship at home, strengthening our connection with Allah (S) and how to build community while in quarantine, just like all of you! This entry comes from our Lizzy Walsh, our CX Associate.

Lizzy Walsh

In all honesty, this Ramadan has been tough. I haven’t felt that deep connection with Allah that can bring tears to my eyes that I have in past years and have been struggling just to pray on time. I have been doing the bare minimum and barely making it to iftar without breaking my fast. In the last couple of days, I have had to take a good hard look in the mirror to figure out where the disconnect has been.

How did I let myself get so far from my Creator? Why had I let myself get so complacent regarding my ibadah (worship)? I needed to truly face my own nafs (ego) and reset. I realized that I have been entirely consumed with the dunya (the world). See, I work in customer service at Haute Hijab answering all the emails, phone calls and messages that come through our various platforms to help all of you with whatever you need. And, that work has been extra busy in Ramadan.

All month I have been telling myself that it was okay to focus solely on work since what I do is in service to Muslim women, and I truly do consider my work as part of my ibadah. However, I was also starting to use that as an excuse to be lazy with my prayers and all the good spiritual extra credit I could be and should be doing during this holy month. I had to force myself to take some time to sit quietly in solitude and really reevaluate my priorities and while also taking into account all the blessings that have been given to me.

After much difficult introspection and reflection, I was finally, in these last ten days, able to reset and regain my attitude of gratitude. Alhumdulillah. Subsequently, I spent Friday night ugly crying on the floor to Allah (S), partly asking for forgiveness and partly in an expression of pure gratitude. I am so thankful I was able to salvage what was left of this Ramadan, and I intend to keep the same energy moving forward.

From past years, I know the good habits I usually develop during Ramadan are all too easily dropped and replaced with my old, poor habits. So this year, I have a game plan to keep these serene Ramadan vibes going all year.

Ramadan Kareem

1. To start, I am being more gentle with myself for the last few days of Ramadan. I have been taking a “do what I can when I can” approach so that I do not completely burn myself out or get discouraged for not “doing enough.”

2. I have already started to prepare for the month of Shawwal in the same way I did for Ramadan. My Ramadan prep usually entails cleaning my house as if I am expecting guests; creating a special space to pray, reflecting on and reading Quran, decorating, and stocking up on food. This year as Ramadan comes to an end, I have begun my Ramadan deep cleaning process again and am turning my temporary prayer space into a permanent fixture in my home.

3. The most important aspect of keeping the same energy throughout the rest of the year is to maintain consistency in the small acts of worship and charity that I have implemented throughout these last ten days of Ramadan. The simplest and most impactful habit which I hope to keep up post-Ramadan is dhikr – specifically reciting La ilaha illallahu wahdahu la sharika lahu lahul mulku wa lahul hamdu wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay in qadir. It is an attitude game-changer. If you’re not already, recite this 100 times a day, and I swear it will change your life.

As Ramadan comes to an end, I am looking forward to the year ahead with a major attitude adjustment, feeling spiritually fortified and ready to take life on. May the rest of your year go strongly and beautifully!

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