Ramadan day 11. Fasting might be getting to you. If you are doing those late night prayers and waking up at 430AM to eat your sahoor than you might just look like a Fleischer zombie. People around you must be wondering whats going on with your life to make you look so crazy or tired, but obviously if you been reading my post you’ve shared Ramadan with folks outside the Muslim community. I thought I would share a quote that I read each Ramadan that helps me remember the way of the asthetic (a word I use loosely to suggest someone that is focused on spiritual nirvana and so is not caught up in the fine details of the world, like grooming, so some might say for men its the Ramadan beard.) The quote is from Imam al Ghazali’s “On Disciplining the Soul and Breaking the Two Desires“ found as part of the larger volume known as The Revival of the Religious Sciences (“Ihya ulum al din”), and if you own the book, or buy it, you will find it in (23.1) “An Exposition of the Merit of Hunger and a Condemnation of Satiety” on page 109, the quote reads:
The nearest of all men to God on the day of Arising shall be those who were often hunry, thirsty and sad in this world, and who were affectionate and God-fearing; who, when seen, went unrecognised, and who, when absent, were never missed by men, but yet were known to the provinces of the earth and were compassed by the angels of heaven. Others rejoiced in teh world, but they rejoiced in their obedience to God. Others made soft beds for themselves, w hile they rested only on their forehead and their knees. Others caused the works and morals of the Prophets to be lost, while they observed them. The earth itself weeps when it loses them, and the Almighty’s wrath descends upon every land in which they are not found. They did not rush into the world as dogs decend upon a carcass; rather did they eat such food as was sufficient to retain life, wear patched raiment, and were dishevlled and dusty-headed. When people saw them they through them to be sick, yet they were not sick. It was said, “they are deranged; they have lost their minds”; yet they were of sound mind, it was only that the people’s hearts behld the decree of God, which had idivested them of the world, so that for the world’s epeople they walked without minds. Yet when the minds of the people had departed from them, it was they who understood. Theirs is the hour of the Afterlife. When you see them in a land, know that they are a source of protection for its people, for God shall never loose HIs chastisement upon a nation amonst whom the live. The very earth rejoices at them and with them the Almighty is well-pleased. Therefore hold your salvation. And if you can live so that when death comes to youyour stomach hungers and your liver thirsts, then you shall attain the most exalted ranks, and shall abide with the Prophets; the angels theemslves sahll rejoice at the advent of your spirit, and the Almighty shall grant you His blessing.”
Hope you had something to reflect on as you fast today!