Note: The following post is mainly intended for Muslim readers, hence containing first person pronouns such as ‘we, us and others’. However anyone else in general, interested or curious, may feel free to read it^-^
Most of the times we usually consider an ‘ending’ to anything good as sad or regretful. We usually connect endings with teary eyes, dull faces and longing sighs. On the other hand it is quiet the opposite when the end comes to a tyrannical rule, days of war or simply a malicious little pimple on the side of your cheek. One feels grateful, happy and relieved. It is however a bit different and same with Ramadan.
That’s the beauty of it. It leaves us sad but it ends with three joyous days of Eid. For whatever time I have spent on Earth, I have never witnessed such a paradox of sentiments within the same phenomenon. I might have experienced fractions of such a possibility at some instances but right now as I try to think hard, I can remember none.
What I experienced yesterday was very similar. I felt an immense sadness engulf me all over like a thick gray cloud because the days of bliss were over. That may sound exaggerated but I would be only dishonest to myself if I do not put it that way. I had emotionally and physically experienced a spiritual high, I had felt protected, less anxious and stronger during the month. Of course I do not force it upon any other Muslim in the world; it was just my own little experience. The realization that the inevitable end of the month had finally arrived made me feel so vulnerable, defenseless and melancholic. I really couldn’t just bring myself to the notion of celebrating Eid. All I could think of was could Eid really be this sad?
At the same time, however; I couldn’t help but feel a bit excited about the next day and as soon as it started, I slowly but surely gave in to the positive vibes of the joyful day. Even though Eid’s are not as home to introverts as they are to extroverts (as Farees puts it), I could still feel and observe the little spurts of joy throughout the day, Alhumdulillah. I would Insha’Allah write another post rounding up the happenings of all three days of Eid some other day but right now I want to come back to the actual purpose of the post.
In spite of all the reinvigorating and merry vibes of Eid, Ramadan is over and this year it has left me feeling a bit empty. It will not be wrong to say that I have been trying to hold on to the remnants of Ramadan. It does feel like a shield of protection has been lifted off and I can not help but miss the daily suhur, iftar, prayers and an air of holiness about my place. Perhaps what I will miss the most and have been largely uncertain about is the connection with the Almighty which had developed over the month. To put it very honestly, all of this is a highly individualized experience. Therefore, I do not expect anyone to relate. The reason why I am putting it here is just to give an outlet to the many feelings and thoughts which have left me quite confused and out of place.
However if there are still some Muslim brothers and sisters who ended up feeling the same, the next few words may comfort you a bit. If you feel like despite trying you were not able to make the most out of this month; if you feel that your Ramadan couldn’t be as picture perfect and neatly organized as many blogs posed it to be; if you feel like there still were days where you felt too drained (emotionally/physically) to maintain the soul in your worship; if you feel that you could have probably done away with a few more days of fasting and a few more days of earning extra thawab; if you feel like some of the days were simply wasted and some of the prayers you just could have made more-then do not tense yourself up or get anxious about it. It is okay.
Sometimes we try our best and do not get what we have been aiming for, sometimes we do not make half the efforts and end up with more than we have expected. The consequences in reality are just a step of ladder to what comes ahead. Your effort should be the actual source of contentment and so as long as you tried to make something out of this month, as long as you intended to perform acts of goodness and kindness; you did a great job. True the month is over and we are left feeling a little empty and suspended, there’s still something we can do.
Out of all those charities we made during the month, let’s not discontinue the one to that old lady who sits by the nearby shop. Of all the stray animals we fed during the month, let’s not stop hanging that water bowl for the birds. Of all those nawafils we offered during the month let’s not miss the two we prayed on Saturday nights. Of all the tasbeehs that we recited over the month, let’s make one of them our everyday habit. Of all the days we tried to restrain from lying and backbiting let’s select one day of the week when we would restrain from them throughout the year. Of all the Ramadan that we spent, let us keep a remnant or two of the Holy month for the rest of the year. With the hope that we are able to stick onto some of the good habits that we developed during the blissful month, I can safely conclude that even though the month of Ramadan has ended, we can still let it continue its existence in some aspect of our lives until we get to witness the next Ramadan Insha’Allah.