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Ramadan 'Moonlit Musings' series

By Amara Bhimani

It’s hard. To feel the spirituality of this holy month yet feeling unable to quite grasp it. Watching everyone fill their hands with du’a before sunset. Watching the relief of their fasts breaking, as they quench their thirst with cool water, and suffice on a sweet date.

Watching my husband stand for night prayers whilst I lay, nap, trapped by little hands that will stir at any moment I slip away. The momentary moan or cry as I try to escape the slumbering baby, to pray. I often spend an hour or so trying to get up to pray with a failed attempt every time. It feels like I’m blocked from accessing the connection my soul craves.

I want to pour my wishes and prayers into my hands, raised at the sky asking for all that I yearn for, after a meaningful, slow prayer that I hope will be accepted. A prayer used for a moment of peace or mindfulness in conversation with the Creator.

Rather, my fardh prayers are rushed and disturbed by tiny people who view me as a climbing frame. Or use that exact moment to cry in need of me.

I’m working hard to reframe my thoughts. ‘Tending to my babies is an act of worship’, ‘making food for those who are fasting is an act of worship’.

‘Allah hears your prayers even when you’re driving, doing the dishes, playing teddy bears hospital, or car races or whatever imaginary occupation I have been given for a moment.’

But it’s still hard. All that I’ve known Ramadan to be, all I used to do to make it beneficial is now no longer feasible. I can manage a couple of ayahs or a quick du’a after prayer before I’m needed again.

Yet I will continue to try. It’s having enough grace for myself to know Allah has put me in the beautiful position of being a mother. It’s trying to understand and truly believe that those small moments are a means of reward. To keep trying. That I am in this position because I am capable. Knowing that the small people who need me all the time, view me as a facilitator for everything! That these moments will pass, and I will be able to do all the things I used to again.

But I will never live these Ramadans again. That thought is special enough to  know that I can keep trying because Allah is the Most Merciful, and that the Ramadan spent ‘watching’ in in fact the very moments I get to shape how a young person views this holy month.

So, for now, I’ll make these moment count with stories, advent calendars, little treasures, games and making fruit salad. Connecting with my tiny people, so I can connect better with Allah. Fulfilling my duties to the best of my ability. It may not be fasting and long prayers, but it’s patience, it’s trying, it’s silent prayers over the sink, it’s cooking together, it’s playing, it’s exhausting.

It’s a young mother’s Ramadan and it’s still beautiful.