Remember Ramadan Ramblings – Episode 1: Elephants don’t forget (but sadly, human beings do)
[Yes, the Remember Ramadan Series is finally here.]
Yes indeed. Elephants are quite sharp (although they look quite dumb). They remember old acquaintances and they can harbour grudges for years.
Human beings? Well, the word “insaan” (humans in Arabic) actually comes from the word which means “to forget” (ditto for the word “nisaa” which is the word for women in Arabic, which makes perfect sense as women are especially forgetful).
So, what did we (i.e. Muslims) forget this time?
Ramadan, of course.
Remember Ramadan? It ended just 27 days ago. That’s less than a month.
Remember Ramadan? That’s the month we all love because we can finally stop all our excuses and submit to the Lord of the Worlds.
Remember Ramadan? That’s the month that exposes us for the big frauds and liars that we really are.
Was I too blunt?
Well, sorry. Someone had to point out that elephant* in the room.
[This elephant has no relation to the aforementioned elephants. It’s just that the English language seems to have far too many sayings dedicated to elephants.]
It’s amazing. We always have our excuses ready as to why we find it so difficult to practice Islam (although Allah said that Islam was easy) but then Ramadan comes and viola! All the excuses vanish.
Why do they vanish? Because we were lying to ourselves the other 11 months, that’s why. We might as well admit this now so that we can start to solve this problem. Otherwise we’ll be in big trouble on the Day of Judgment.
Remember Ramadan? That’s the month where we all feel so happy and contented.
And why is that? Simple. The heart was created for worship, so that is its nourishment. When it doesn’t get this nourishment, it feels sad and depressed. When it gets the nourishment, it feels very happy.
As Allah says:
“Those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism), and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah, Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” [Surah Rad (13) : 28]
We all know that doing acts of worship makes us feel better and removes our anxiety. So why is it that we forget this simple fact when we have problems?
We try all means to try to solve the problem – except remembering Allah, of course. For many Muslims, that seems to be the last step, whereas it should actually be the FIRST step.
Remember Ramadan? That’s the month where we seem to have the time to do everything that we want to do.
Hmm…strange. Could it be the simple fact that obeying Allah puts the barakah (blessings) in our time?
Remember Ramadan? That’s the month when we finally realise that we need to learn Arabic because we have no clue what the Imam is reciting.
Remember Ramadan? That’s the month where we make all the nice food so that we can stuff ourselves with it.
Hey, wait a minute…
Remember Ramadan? That’s the month where Muslims are unified, the masjids are filled and the Quran is recited in just about every Muslim home.
Remember Ramadan? That’s the only month in which most of us fast.
Remember Ramadan? That’s the month where we can finally stop all the fakeness and finally be ourselves.
Remember Ramadan? That’s the guest that we prepare for in advance only to do great injustice to it when it comes and forget about it as soon as it goes.
No, that doesn’t makes sense to me either but that’s what happens. How can we be so excited for the arrival of a guest and so lackadaisical about its departure?
No? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Most of the world doesn’t either. They’ve long forgotten about it. They’ll only remember it after 10 months.
You know, sometimes I wish we were all elephants.
No, not body-wise. Memory-wise.
You see, if we had their memories, we wouldn’t forget Ramadan. We’d always remember it.
But sadly, we are ever forgetful.