The spiritual boost from Ramadan prayers

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As Ramadan enters its final days, we are immersed in thought and prayer for our individual salvation. A letter I received from a local high school student who aspires to be a journalist one day captures the feeling of the moment. Johara A.M. shares her reflections upon this month:

“My heart is racing. I can hear it beat fast, strong and I can almost feel the rush of blood roaring past my ears. My mind goes blank, and I forget my surroundings, I can’t remember what I had for fatoor (breakfast), and the sound of a baby’s wails fades out as the imam’s voice replaces it, filling every inch of my mind, each ayah (verse) echoes in the silence of the masjid.

“The shuffles, the snuffles, my neighbor’s perfume, the masjid’s whitewashed walls, I no longer hear or smell or see. My senses are busy. After all, I am in the race of my life, a race for which the prize is beyond any worldly pleasure, as it is worth more than my soul. I am in the race for jannah, for Heaven.

“The rules of this race are quite simple, and everybody is allowed to join. You do not need special skills or physical strength or mental intelligence, only belief in One God, Allah, and His messenger, the Prophet (peace be upon him). There are many winners and there are losers. And once a year, we are blessed with Ramadan, the holy month given us to help in this race.

Allahu Akbar

“I bow in submission to my Creator. A feeling of euphoria filled my chest. Subhanna Rabbi A’ala, Subhanna Rabbi A’ala, I silently chant. Ya Rab (Oh God), give me Al Jannah. Ya Rab put me in the highest levels of Heaven. Ya Rab, cure the sickness in the world!

Allahu Akbar

“It was in Ramadan, that beautiful month, that Taraweeh took place. There were 12 successive rak’at in all, with the final one ending in dua’a. And it was in Taraweeh that I found myself lost in a strong feeling of faith. Taraweeh was an important step in the race towards Jannah, and it was 45 minutes that I would not miss.

Allahu Akbar

“I raised my hands towards the sky. Allahumma ishfee mardhana. Allahumma, heal our sick, and help them in their difficult times, grant them patience and strength, grant their loved ones patience.

“Amen! There were other voices now; I could hear other voices, male and female, young and old, praying along with the imam, answering with a resounding “Amen” that filled the mosque with unity, and togetherness. We were one in that moment, sharing pains, sharing joys, and molding together to form one voice that shook the windows with its power. Oh the beauty of Islam! What mattered whether I was rich or poor, white, black, brown, red, yellow, or any other color? I was a Muslim and that’s what counted.

“Allahumma qawee ilmuslemeena fe kulle makan. Allah protect Muslims everywhere, give them strength in their faith. Allahumma qina min athab ilnar, Allahumma qina min athab ilnar, Allahumma save us from the flames of Hell. Allahumma dakhilna iljannah, Allahumma give us Heaven, we ask no higher!

Amen!

“Allahuma taqabbal siyamana wa qiyamana wa salatina wa dua’a inah! Ya Rab! Accept our fasting and our prayers, and answer our dua’a, for You are the Most Magnificent, the Most Merciful, there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the messenger of Allah.

“Allahu Akbar. Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatu Allah. Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatu Allah.

“As I finish, my heart slows down. The whitewashed walls come back to focus, and I feel the pain in my legs from standing for a long time. I remember that I forgot to bring my mobile phone, and now what will I do without it? And will someone please give that baby a bottle?!! The woman on my right is sniffling, poor thing, she has a cold. Weird, though, I didn’t hear her during the prayer! Probably the dua’a moved her. It does that to people.

“As these trivial thoughts race through my mind, my senses dragged cruelly back to earth, and I smiled. What wouldn’t I give to have that peace wash over me again and for the imam’s harmonious voice to wash over me again!

“Well, I suppose there will always be tomorrow and the day after! And next year’s Ramadan, I can’t wait! Now, where did I put my shoes again?

...Johara A.M.”

So appropriately put, Johara. As we individually reflect and pray for salvation from our sins in these remaining days and nights of Ramadan, let those living today and entrapped by worldly greed and who continue to dispense with injustice and deny the inherited rights of others understand that there is still time to right their wrongs and beg the Almighty for atonement from eternal damnation.

For tomorrow may just be too late. Allahu Akbar!

The author can be reached at talmaeena@aol.com. Follow him on Twitter @talmaeena


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