Moment of Truth

Bismihi Ta’ala

It’s been too long since I used this platform to write something.  Facebook makes it easier to hide behind condensed thoughts.  There seems to be little need to explore ideas further if people are only going to read the first couple of lines anyway.

Sometimes, however, writing is about getting things out of your system.   Pouring the words out, letting them spill out of your overflowing cup of emotions seems to be the only way to clear your confusion and begin afresh.  And boy, is there a lot of confusion currently going on at my end.

This blog was about looking at life as a Muslim.  When I began it, I wanted to show how we too can be creative, funny, exciting, adventerous and all those trendy things.  That was a long time ago.  With the unveiling of hijabistas, muslim vloggers, mipsterz and every other ‘cool’ version of liberal Islam, it feels like my brand of real is actually still quite traditional. (lol.)

In all honesty, with the passage of decades (has it really been that long?) and the realisation of mortality hitting quite hard, life right now is not at its most optimistic best.  And that too is part of being Muslim: doubt, scepticism, disillusionment and a general sense of being utterly and completely lost.

I wanted to wait until I found my way out of this phase to write about it, but the months have faded away and the road is still as clear as mud.  I am beginning to wonder if I will even manage to find the way out before it finds me.  And that is a fearsome thought.

Right now, the thing that is getting to me the most is the fact that while everyone and their cousin, uncle, aunt and sibling is filled with the joy of the season of fasting, I am still struggling every day to remind myself that the Month of Ramadhan has come and is passing by too fast.

The excitement and wonder that I used to be able to share in are alien to me right now.  I know how I should feel, but I simply can’t grab a hold of it.  It’s there right in front of me, around me and everywhere, but out of my reach.  The worst bit is, I don’t even know what is creating the barrier.

It would be easy to blame it on the physical tiredness of the long fasts, but that would be a lie.  People far younger and far older are fasting without complaint.  I could blame age, pessimism, disenchantment with the world in general or anything else external, but the fact is that people in far worse conditions are embracing these days with a passion.

The disconnect must therefore be totally personal and writing that down is the only way to face it without excuses.  Something, somewhere along the line in the past couple of years has gone very wrong.

What is it?  How do I fix it?  What do I need to do?  These are questions I ask myself and God every day.  There are no answers yet, which makes me wonder if I have gone so far off the path that I can’t even see the way back?  Or am I not trying hard enough?

There is only one glimmer of hope: it is Ramadhan.  Surely, if there is something to be fixed, some enlightenment to be gained, some ‘soul’ to be saved, it is possible to do so in this month more than any other.

While others bask in the glory of this month, enjoy its bounties and take full advantage of its innumerable opportunities, I will be trying simply to find the way back by the light of its waxing and waning moon.  I will regret not being able to gain from it in the way millions are, but perhaps, in His Infinite Mercy, it will not be as dire a regret as being lost with no hope of being found.

If your Ramadhan is filled with that ‘electric’ feeling this year, say an extra prayer of thanks to God. Because that state of communion alone is a gift beyond compare; a blessing that you cannot fully appreciate until you feel its loss.

Always in need of du’as,

bint Ali