Wake up, Fajr salah. Get the kids up, breakfast, uniforms, school bags. Check. Rush to school. Back home, do the dishes, vacuum the living room, prepare lunch and dinner, Dhuhr salah. Check. 3:30pm, pick up the kids, fix a snack, finish making dinner, ‘Asr salah. Help with homework, teach Qur’an, Maghrib salah. Dinner. Get the kids to bed. Isha salah.
Your eyes drift as soon as your head hits the pillow. You promised yourself that you would recite some words in remembrance of Allah , but your slumber overtakes you.
In a fast-paced society, routines tend to become rote and mechanical. Day in day out, we commit to the regular tasks of the week: driving to and from work, taking kids to and from school, and fitting in as many extracurricular activities as possible – all without much thought and emotions. As the pace picks up, we can unknowingly disengage with the important people in our lives such as husbands, wives, children, parents, other family, friends and neighbours. Even though we interact with these people on a daily basis, we can still find ourselves emotionally detached. We may be physically there but with our thoughts racing to catch up with our busy routines, our minds can be elsewhere.
Well, let’s start this off with a confession. I have always found it hard to keep a daily wird of reciting Qur’an (the part of the Qur’an one reads or assigns to him/herself daily). Sometimes I would get my spirits up and commit, but that would last for a couple of weeks only. I used to come up with a whole lot of excuses: You’re a medical student. You have exams. You’ve had a long day today. Tomorrow is a long day, you need to go to sleep.
Ramadan is a time of spiritual retreat – we are able to invest in the extra good deeds and gain more reward than at any time of the year. It is meant to be the most productive time of the year for us on a spiritual, social and physical level but this isn’t always the case. Sisters face a different productivity challenge during the days they are unable to fast due to menstruating or post-natal bleeding, so often I hear sisters complain about how unproductive they are during the days where they can’t fast. It’s like they feel a spiritual loss and miss out on the blessings of Ramadan. Here’s the good news sisters, you can still be productive during these days when you are unable to fast!