Ramadan Reflections: The Importance of Ridaa رضا

Ramadan Reflections:  The Importance of Ridaa رضا

con·tent·ment
kənˈtentmənt/
noun
1. a state of happiness and satisfaction.

If there’s something that has the potential to serve us faithfully, it is contentment. One of the
biggest blessings that can be bestowed on an individual is that feeling of ease no matter what is
sent their way. Society is structured in such a way that makes it difficult to reach this point:  Every billboard and commercial is calling for us to be unhappy with our homes, with our bodies,
with our clothes, with our skin, and advertise all the products we become convinced we need in
order to be complete human beings. As a result, it feels like everyone is constantly chasing after
what they think will bring them happiness:  The nice car, big house, perfect spouse, the lucrative
career. Society tells us that if we are ever to be happy, we must acquire these things first.

And so the race begins.

We race to marry quickly, for fear that we may approach what we’re told is our
“expiration date.” We make compromises in our haste that can lead to unhappiness later on.

We dedicate years of our life in the study of subjects we believe will help us earn the
most money, usually sacrificing our passion and what drives us the most in the process.

We forsake our families in exchange for devastatingly long work days to bring home a
paycheck we don’t even allow ourselves the time to enjoy.

We abandon our spiritual growth because we’re too busy running after everything we’re
told we need.

And we can still be left feeling unsatisfied.

Imam Ibn Taymiyyah said, “Contentment is the greatest door that one enters to Allah, it is the
source of tranquility for the worshiper and paradise on earth.”

Ridaa is the ability to find joy in our journey to those goals. It is a tool which if we tapped into it allows us to shun the debilitating capitalist machine that dominates our lives,
that constant command to produce, produce, produce, the neverending, draining hustle and
bustle. tweet

Ridaa is that sense of ease with whatever Allah decrees. It is being firm in your belief that Allah
knows what is best and will send you only what is, in the long run, good for you. It is going
through life with that understanding and allowing it to shape your actions and decisions. That is
not to say we should abandon ambition. On the contrary, Islam is a faith that teaches the
importance of aiming for ihsaan, or the pursuit of excellence, in everything we do. We should
absolutely aspire and work towards goals of fulfilling careers, starting a family, establishing
homes, and more. But in the process it is essential that our happiness is not dependent on any
worldly matters. Ridaa is the ability to find joy in our journey to those goals. It is a tool which if we tapped into it allows us to shun the debilitating capitalist machine that dominates our lives,
that constant command to produce, produce, produce, the neverending, draining hustle and
bustle.

I’m a New Yorker, and have been for most of my life. I know hustle and bustle; it runs through
my veins. It can be wonderful, energizing, invigorating, and it’s one of my favorite parts of the
city. But I also know that there is a difference between the hustle and bustle that leaves you with
a spring in your step, feeling that you can take on the world, and one that drains you of every last
drop of energy and still leaves you feeling frustrated, unfulfilled and stuck. There’s where
contentment comes in.

The Prophet ﷺ said: “There is no Muslim servant who says in the morning and the evening three
times: I am pleased with Allah as my Lord, with Islam as my religion and with Muhammad ﷺ as
my Prophet, except that it will be a right upon Allah to please him on the Day of Judgment.” (Ahmad)

This Ramadan, take ridaa on as your spiritual exercise.

May Allah (swt) allow our hearts to be filled with ridaa.

Image courtesy of The Indian Express
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Ramadan Reflections: The Importance of Ridaa رضا
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