The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was sent down,
a guidance for the people, and clear verses of guidance and criterion.
[Quran: Chapter 2:183]


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ramadan Message 2008 - Day 10

Empty Coffee Cup, Full Heart

Some days will be harder than others. For some reason, I had a terrible headache this morning when I woke up. And it was difficult to concentrate on working with the continuous low intensity throbbing in my temples. I couldn't lie down to sleep, nor could I do anything functional. It is times such as this when one begins to think about why do this at all. Afterall, if I could have had my late morning coffee as I usually do while I worked on my computer, I knew I would not be having the throbbing headache.

No one ever said it would be an easy thing to do.

But there is a deeper meaning to this, for the empty coffee cup, and the empty plates, results in a filling of the heart (soul) through the purification process that the self-restraint in Ramadan brings us, the lucky observers.

Imam Mawlud writes in Matharat-al-Qulub,

I begin by starting with the heart of beginnings,
for it is the highest and noblest of beginnings.

Have courtesy with God, the High and the Majestic,
by practicing modesty and humility -

dejected out of shame and humility
humbled in awe, imploring Him -

by giving up your designs for His,
emptied of covetousness for what His servants have,

by hastening to fulfill His commands, and by being wary of
the subtle encroachment of bad manners.

If you - the spiritual aspirant - realize your attributes of
servitude, you will then be assisted with something of the
attributes of the Eternally Besought.

Realize your abject character and impoverishment, and you
will gain dignity and wealth from the All-Powerful.

There is no salvation like the heart's salvation,
given that all the limbs respond to its desires.

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Special Ramadan Series

Dear Reader, Assalaamu’alaikum.

Ramadan Mubarak. We wish you a blessed and productive Ramadan! Make no mistake about it - keeping the fast and increasing our acts of worship during this blessed month is not an easy task. The physical demands of balancing work or school with fasting all day, feeling fatigued and less effective than you normally are, waking up for Suhoor, praying Teraweeh and Tahajjud prayers, dealing with sleep deficits.

But the last thing we would want is to let Ramadan pass us by without doing all that we aim and desire to. Do not allow yourself to feel guilty or regretful when Ramadan passes.

The Ramadan Series will send you emails with practical tips on how to gain and maintain the physical and spiritual energy necessary to embark on increased religious oligations so that you will reap the benefits from this blessed month. This includes special Ramadan duas to say during the month. Do sign-up today!

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