By Nigar, New Age Islam
10 July, 2015
Ramadan is always a very amazing month. Each of us goes through our own personal moments of elation when we complete the day of fasting and take our first sip of water at iftar time. Fasting, like prayers, represents a personal, private relationship each one of us has with God. Every Ramadan, we are blessed with many opportunities to learn valuable lessons that can help us understand life and ourselves better.
Many years ago, my friend Sarah told me, “Individual piety is the only thing that makes a person better than someone else.” Back in those years, I was associated with a group of girls who were Sarah’s friends. They had halaqas in their homes and they often invited me to participate. There would be discussions, followed by prayers, and then food.
The holy month of Ramadan arrived, and one day I was invited to the Iftar the girls had organised. After the Iftar, we prayed, and I was all set to leave after thanking them when they requested that I lead the Isha prayers. To me, this came as a thunderbolt! Never in my life had I led a prayer. Ever since I started praying regularly, I had done so in the solitude of my room. I requested Sarah to ‘spare’ me as I would only mislead them. I was too afraid to make mistakes! But they insisted. I silently prayed to God to rescue me, when I got a call from my mother asking me to return home as it was getting dark!
Thanks God! Thanks Mummy!
This experience that Ramadan, many years ago, taught me a lesson—that I needed to work harder on my individual piety.
This Ramadan, God Almighty, in His abundance grace, about brought situations wherein my patience was tested! For instance, one morning, I set off in an auto. All seemed well till I reached my destination, paid the driver and said “Thank you, Bhaiya.”
“What, you are older to me and are calling me Bhaiya?” the driver screeched.
Stunned at this outburst, I kept silent. Fasting had slowed my mind, thankfully, and I was happy I did not react. But it taught me a lesson: there’s no need to call any stranger “Bhaiya Vaiya”. There’s no knowing what offends whom and when!
Fasting helped me treat challenging situations as petty, rather than making them into a huge mountains: things like your colleague giving away your mobile number to someone without even first asking you, or discovering that a shopkeeper had given you a fake battery for your cell-phone and charged you for the original. It was definitely not worth my time and energy getting upset about such things.
This Ramadan, I admit I haven’t done every good thing I could have, but I am happy that so far I’ve been able to pass some tests of patience God sent to me through various people and situations by not losing my temper or loosening my tongue!