The long Ramadan nights have come to an end, and you’ve been saddened by bidding farewell to the days of fasting, family iftars, and nights of worship, when acts of remembrance were second nature. Now we’re post-Ramadan, and you’re anxious because you haven’t been able to maintain the momentum you’d built during this special month.
Or maybe you feel like you just didn’t do the best you could have done.
Here’s what you need to remember: Moving forward, every day is an opportunity for you to move forward in your life, and closer to Allah (swt).
It all begins with intention.
There are often times when I feel like I am so overwhelmed with my worldly affairs, consumed really. The kids need to have dinner, tests need to be graded, the house is a disaster, and I have an assignment due for my graduate course. When I feel like I am drowning, I have to collect and remind myself to renew my intentions. All of these things that I am doing, even the tedious task of cleaning house, when done for the sake of Allah (SWT) has a reward from in this world and from Allah (SWT), in sha Allah.
Umar bin Khattaab has relayed “Actions are according to intentions, and everyone will get what was intended.” [Sahih and Muslim].
Just taking that moment to remind myself to renew my intentions has saved me from an anxiety attack time and again.
Read with Purpose.
My Ramadan reading included “The Holy Quran in Today’s English” compiled by Yahiya Emerick. Within it, he notes that our beloved Prophet (pbuh) embarked on the Hijrah and entered Madina, and as soon as he built a mosque, the next order of business was to draft a constitution. It was actually the first constitution in human history.
Emerick writes, “…with the support of all the various communities of the city, the Prophet arranged the drafting of a constitution, the first in human history, that spelled out the rights and duties of each segment of society.”
“…with the support of all the various communities of the city, the Prophet arranged the drafting of a constitution, the first in human history, that spelled out the rights and duties of each segment of society.”
Subhan’Allah, we live in a time when our Muslim identity is constantly under attack, and the only way to battle against this aggression is by educating ourselves on what our faith is (and is not). We have an obligation to arm ourselves with knowledge of our history, and also have an understanding of what is going on in the world today.
My next to-read book is “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Scale Back and (Re) Discover Your Passion.
Since I am a teacher, we’re out for the summer! Believe you me — it has been an INTENSE year. I need to recuperate. I am trying to scale back as much as possible. No more scheduled anything. No piano lessons, no basketball practice, no meetings — it’s just chill time. And you know what happens during this time? The creativity starts to bubble, and ideas start to pop up left and right –- so I write them down. I mean, I really write. Period. In this I find my happiness. Even if you’re not off for the summer, scale the noise back and discover, or rediscover your passion.
Get Together with Your Girlfriends.
You know, the ones you haven’t seen because life got in the way? During my down time I try to reconnect with the women in my life who uplift and enlighten me; those who encourage me to move forward. This is the solid group of women I need around me, not the ones who preoccupy themselves with nonsense (sorry ladies, our time is limited and you won’t find me sitting around having frivolous conversations). Reach out to the strong women in your life, and get together. These are the relationships that will sustain and push you forward.
Explore! (Even if it’s just a new part of your city.)
The excitement that comes along with discovering someplace new is simply awesome. Often, when we hear “travel” we immediately think of some far off exotic land beyond our reach. I’m telling you to find a new spot that is local, or an hour or two drive and discover something new (and then tell me about it!).
Let the Muslim Girl community hear how you’ll be dominating your summer in the comments below!
Contributed by Ahlam Yassin, a 24/7 on-call mom, educator, grad student, and writer.