I love sports. I’ve always loved sports. Growing up, I unapologetically played Barbie dolls and balls.
I know what you’re thinking. Why is this chick talking about balls when she should be talking about the night of power already?! I promise, I’m getting there; patience is a virtue.
But yes, sports. I’ve spent three months out of every year for half a decade showing up to field hockey practices every day, and I’ll continue to do so for the next three years. I love randomly running ten miles on the weekend to clear my head. And I shamelessly admit that I will go hard and be overly competitive in a friendly game of Frisbee at a family picnic. Some things in life are simply inevitable.
My first beat here at Muslim Girl was actually covering sports, and endless thoughts kept streaming from my pen — or rather, keyboard.
It is thus no surprise that when my imam compared the month of Ramadan to a sport at a recent Jummah khutbah, I was hooked.
He said that the first ten days of Ramadan were about mercy, the second ten about asking for forgiveness, and the last ten about asking for freedom from the hellfire and asking for acceptance into Jannah.
The first 20 days are just like going to practice – you have to find your groove. You’re going to make mistakes, but it’s there’s time to rectify them. The more hours you put in, the more dividends you’ll see in the future, whether it be in this Ramadan, in this life, or in the hereafter.
It’s simple: The more we flex our spiritual muscles, the stronger our faith gets. So when we get to the big moment – the big game – cracking under pressure will be non-existent.
The last ten days; that’s the big tournament. It’s like the Stanley Cup or the NBA Finals of Islam. And your success, in part, predicates on how you’ve been acting for the prior parts of the month. If you’ve gone to practice, this transition will feel natural and come easy.
Come the last 10 nights of Ramadan – when Laylatul Qadr falls – and we are at the championship game. It feels like the longest night; you have to constantly re-center your focus, and be on your A-game as a Muslim, but it’s also be the most rewarding.
The Qur’an was brought down from the heavens and revealed on this very night. As Muslims, playing this big game is our way of not only acknowledging that watershed moment, but also finding a moment like that within ourselves. This is a night where some people have felt the closest to the Prophet (SAW) and Allah (SWT) and their Islamic identity as a whole.
The name Laylatul Qadr – “Night of power” – is fitting, because that is powerful.
But let me be clear, there is still time to prepare for the big game if you’ve missed a few practices this month. There are always comeback stories in sports, and there’s no reason why you can’t have one, too. What is one thing you can do differently, one thing you can add in your daily routine in the last nights of Ramadan that will please Allah?
Now, go out and do it for the last day of this holy month.