We are in the final stretch now, the precipice of attaining a lifetimes worth of amazing reward or washing out. Can you handle the pressure? Its immense and I know from past experiences when Ramandan hasn’t gone by all that well- lots of failure, lots of struggle, total lack of commitment the last ten days seem dismal. You might be thinking “lets just get this over with” or feeling like you just don’t care.
But I want to tell you a little secret, from my own personal experience, so listen closely. Stop being such a defeatist! The mercy of God is such a significant thing that a person on their deathbed, having lived a life of sin and craptacularness will be awarded with Paradise by doing a one simple little thing- saying the declaration of faith (Islamic one that is).
Dude that is immense to the infinite level! You made it through this far and granted things weren’t going well, but that doesn’t mean throwing in the towel. Up until the last few moments you can reap rewards from God and all you got to do is stop feeding your ego! Yeah you heard me, its your ego- your pride, your stubbornness, your nags that is holding you back from benefitting! There needs to be a recognition that you are not going to pursue your suicidal tendencies- yes, its true, you are committing spiritual suicide by not recognizing that you, yourself, are the one to blame for the funk you are in.
Alter your psychological self and just accept that you are at fault, so you can run to God and seek forgiveness. Something profound that I heard after Isha prayer before Ramadan was from Sheikh Faqih, at IIOC. He was talking about or reflecting on ‘duah’ or supplication.
Now, for a long time I was not a “duah” person- I would just quickly say somethings and be on with my day. But your supplication is the only time where you are truly intimate with God. This is where you can share your troubles with the Creator, who actually has the power to do something about it. But I never approached the supplication like that, it was sort of the tail end of my prayers, usually only the obligatory prayers. But Sheikh Faqih said something profound that night and it registered with me because I was already formulating that reflection inside my head/heart for sometime- the power of Duah, and why we fear it.
We fear dual, supplicating to God, because we fear change in ourselves. If I ask for God to grant me a better life, that might mean a life without a “guilty pleasure” that I partake in- eating that delicious Hagaan Daz ice cream or that upside down caramel machiotto from the Israeli-aparthaid-supporting-coffee-shop-chain-that-will-not-be-named-on-my-blog. You get the point? If God answers our prayers we just might stop being the way we are comfortable with being. Such a profound reflection, because, right in that reflection is the recognition that God is ultimately the one that can answer our supplications, but more so give us the thing that will make us the better us!
But Shiekh Faqih said that we run from this, we run because we are afraid, but also we are arrogant- “how do I know I don’t need this in my life?” in response to the idea that we should ask God for what is best for us, and not what we ultimately want or want to happen.
Man our own arrogance, not even the Devil’s does us in during Ramadan. We can’t blame our circumstances on the Devil, because we all know during Ramadan they are locked up. So I remember I would turn to other people or circumstances and blame my lack of Ramadan-spirit on that. You read it in my blogs already, previous reflections complaining about how its a circus in the masjid. We need to change our mindset and stop looking for excuses, when the plain and simple truth is that we are the fault for our own lack of Ramadan spirit.
Go forth, my wonderful readers, and seize carpe-layatul-qader (like how I took carpe diem and turned it on the Islamic concept of the “night of power“?!) Check out these videos by my buddy Kareem Elsayed on making the most of your search for the night of power.