Ramadan is all about spirituality. Getting your spiritual connection on. Dialing up the good Lord and checking in. But, why on God’s green Earth would you treat Ramadan like it was some circus. Like you got a date on your social calender all 30 days of Ramadan. I understand what being popular means, it’s not lost to me, but when it comes time to getting your prayer on, come on. Tune the world out and tune in to the God-connection.
I was at two mosques this past week where I just got this horrible feeling like the whole prayer thing was an after thought. People coming and going in waves as the prayer continued. Children running around like the carnival was in town. Women chattering away and the men were no better. I realize that Ramadan for me is not the festive environment as much as it is the ability to really get my engine cleaned out so the spirituality is flowing through out me. It’s that one month of time I need to really hone in on some good practices to try to get me through the year. I can’t do that with all the distractions I notice at the masjid. I realize that while its compulsory to be part of the larger community- our prayers are communal, we are encouraged to share our food, have a masjid as our central point of communal activity that all of this doesnt mean quantity is whats best. In fact its the opposite. Give me a small group of people who know how to behave and go about their business, who are serious about getting their Ramadan on without harassing others, I will take that community in a heart beat over the larger 1000+ mosques around the county.
The time we have in Ramadan is so critical. Surah Al Baqarah says “It was in the month of Ramadan in which the Quran was first bestowed from on high as a guidance unto man and a self-evident proof of that guidance, and as the standard by which to discern the true from the false. Hence whoever of you lives to see this month shall fast throughout it” (2:185). But prior to this verse, in Surah Al Baqarah Allah says “Oh you who have attained to faith! Fasting is ordained for you as it was ordained for those before you, so that you might remain conscious of God” (2:183)
That verse literally tells us what we need to be attaining from Ramadan- higher level of God Consciousness. To attain this higher degree of spirituality it requires Muslims to purify our souls. This process is about self-discipline, to exercise upon oneself a sense of control, structure and greater existence beyond ones own selfish needs. I could go on about what God Consciousness means, but there are entire books written on this topic, for all intents and purposes, I find that what I need during this month to achieve a higher degree of God-consciousness is to stay away from the circus, to give myself the personal space to pray, to make supplications, to reflect. I feel that one cannot do that when there are so many people around, everyone busy talking or kids out of control. Our masjids should be places where we encourage each other to achieve a higher sense of God Consciousness, so try hard to follow an etiquettie during this Ramadan to help your brothers and sisters focus in on the benefits of Ramadan.