Ahlan wasahlan ya Ramadhan. There is something peaceful and calming about this holy month of Ramadhan. Allah is giving us a whole month, to perform our ibadah without distractions, temptations and whisperings from the evil syaitan. Allah loves us so much that he even increases and rewards our deeds by multifolds during this month.
Here are the 8 things Allah has blessed me with this Ramadhan:
1. Sickness. It is a gift from Allah. When we fall sick, this is when Allah expiates our sins. On the eve of Ramadhan, while writing my previous post, I was already down with a very bad cough and a sore throat. But i still did my niyyah and woke up for sahoor the next day and ate my medicine. By the next afternoon, on the first day of ramadhan, i was down with fever. I was shivering and coughing, and all i could do was lie down. I even put cold compresses but my temperature got higher. In the end, i broke my fast - on the first day of Ramadhan. I may have been too sick to keep my fast - but Allah still allowed me the strength for me to perform my fardh prayers, and to my terawih at home slowly but surely. InshaAllah.
2. Health - I was up and about at work again after being sick for four days. And I was well enough to fast. It hit me suddenly, that I was blessed to be healthy enough to fast, while some people are not able to fast due to their health. It hits close to home. My father is a diabetic, and has had some heart problems in the past. As a result, he is under heavy medication and he was advised by his doctor and his specialist that he has to eat his medication at certain times of the day - which means he cannot fast. And this year, he actually tried to fast for half a day to test his strength. It makes me ponder...have I taken my health for granted. But it also made me respect my father so much more MashaAllah.
3. Family. MashaAllah I am blessed with large and loving family. Being the middle child, i get to experience being the older one and the younger one, and this Ramadhan, being with my family for iftar after a hectic day at work makes me realise how fortunate I am to have my family with me, to guide and remind me this blessed month.
4. Prayers. Allah has blessed with rewards of nafl prayers - terawih and tahajjud, qiyam with our loved ones. And to be blessed to spare time to do these prayers, to be able to stand and ruku' and do sujud and know that Allah expiates our small sins, or even the big ones with a beautiful doa - Allahumma innaka afuwwun tuhibbul afwan fa'fu'anna. This is magnanimous and absolutely beautiful and blessed.
5. Food - Alhamdulillah, there is always food on the table, and in the fridge. Even if there weren't, we can afford to order some food or buy our iftar on the way home from work. There are some people out there who do not even have food for sahoor or iftar...but Allah has blessed me with enough food for my family. Alhamdulillah! Alhamdulillah! Alhamdulillah!
6. My job - It is extremely tiring to take care of children, no matter how long you have been working. Alhamdulillah, it is the term break so at least I don't have to plan lessons. But working at a childcare is a year round thing, and although it is tiring, at least I have a job. Allah blessed me with a job to nurture and educate young children, and I am so grateful for the parents of the children I am teaching, who constantly asked me how i am in this holy month, fasting and working. MashaAllah!
7. Memory - This may seem weird, but it suddenly hit me, that it is a blessing to be able to recall and remember the verses of Quran which my mother and ustazah has taught me from young. There are people who are struggling to remember and memorise, be it young children, reverts or those who are relearning the Quran. I mean, we are all reading and learning the Quran in this month, and to memorise the verses or juz amma is actually a blessing from Allah - for us to worship and be close to him.
8. Deen - I am grateful, blessed and infinitely fortunate to be a Muslim. To be in a religion where half of the iman is sabr, to be blessed with reaping large rewards from the remembrance and dhikr of our Lord, to be given the chance to communicate and connect with our Creator through prayer....the blessings are endless and I can never fully express how grateful I am, but I can strive to do things for His pleasure.
There is a dua by Imam Ash-Shafi'i that I love, which suits my love for the deen perfectly:
Ya Allah! You blessed me with Islam and I did not ask you for it. Ya Allah! Bless me with Al-Firdaus and I am asking you for it.