Days upon days go by and as a practicing Muslim, I hardly ever get time to open the Holy Book left by our Prophet (pbuh). It stays there in one of the sacred shelves, safe and sound, away from the reach of my mostly idle hands and mind. There is no sense of remorse, no sense of loss of time, no feeling that something is missing. And then comes Ramadan and I get punctual and concerned about my prayers. Not only that I also act like a marathon runner and make it a point to complete the entire Quran’s recitation, sometimes more than once. To attend Quran classes becomes the highlight of all my Ramadan rituals.
Being a seasonal Muslim suits me the best. For the next thirty days I am a devout follower of my religion. However, once Eid festivities begin I start to shed my layers. One after the other, the layers melt into one another and the hidden scars of the worldly temptations start to show. The Quran finds its secure place in the sacred shelf once again. My prayers are replaced by more important priorities. I do pray, after all I m a practicing Muslim but the devotion seems to fade a little. Quran classes become too difficult a routine to maintain, many other social commitments consume all of my attention. My politeness with others around me disappears into oblivion. You will not get to see the humble and God fearing me until the next Ramadan. And so the cycle continues until the next year.
This is sad. But we are all victims to the above, if not all of it, at least some of it. Our grip on our religion weakens, our hands slip on the rope that Allah has asked us to hold onto firmly. We let ourselves bow to the glittering worldly desires and caring little for the faith that we cared for so much during Ramadan. Its ironic that we nourish and nurture our faith back to life and then strangle it with our own hands.
This year I hope to keep the faith, keep the humility, hold onto the Quran instead of tucking it away, achieve perfection in prayers, or at least consider them a priority. So that when Ramadan visits next year, it will find me an evergreen Muslim not seasonal.
On one of the wakeful nights in aitekaf I felt an amazing sense of calm and peace rest upon me. Many a times during my solitude I felt as if the world had come to a tranquil halt. There was no rush, no competition, no expectations to be met, no worldly goals to be achieved; I was in control.