This blog is published for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala and the thousands of Muslims raised or reverts, or even non-Muslis, who might be living in areas where they are not able to experience Ramadan in a Muslim community; so we, at MWA, invite you to be a part of our community in Ramadan.

The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong) Al-Baqarah 2:185

Established in 2006, Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA) is an internationally-based collaboration of Muslim women writers and advocates working together to counter negative and inaccurate perceptions regarding members of the Muslim community and the Islamic faith.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Reflecting on life and Ramadan: a journal entry from MWA's Nafisa Cooper

Ramadan is always a welcomed and sought out time for me to not only participate in all of the many activities that bring us closer to Allah and His Messenger, but also to do a lot of self reflection.

This time of the year I remember more of who has been a constant and positive influence in my life than most anytime. I have found that I measure my spiritual growth not from season-to-season, but I unintentionally measure the changes and growth during this month from year-to-year. Maybe because I know this is the month of mercy.

It is a time when I get a glimpse into the hearts of my brothers by seeing their actions, and I know that if ever I want to work harder at building bridges and mending feelings, this is one of the times when it is and has always been, easiest for me.

I also realize that as I have been experiencing many hardships lately, that throughout it all I have been blessed with good companions who have made my struggles a part of their duas, and I have been shown those who have a genuine concern for me and my well being.

It is easier to deal with chronic conditions when you have supportive people in your life. These people have meant a lot to me and my ability to continue my fight to get through day by day with the help of Allah.

As I sit here and openly share with you all that I have chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and other very serious health issues in addition to struggling with my sight, I can say today that once not so long ago I could not get out of bed and would sleep from sun up to the next day. I would miss praying, eating and life was passing me by. 

I could walk a mile or two on the treadmill in the morning, and now I move throughout the day struggling to simply walk without severe pain and with the assistance of a cane.

My sight has been so distorted and dark that seeing anything with clarity was almost impossible, this is and has been one of the most difficult tests.

A successful business, secure home and other materialistic and costly possessions have been lost.

My life has completely taken a 360 degree turn from what I had, to what it is now. However, I am no longer questioning or angry. I will admit that I was troubled in my heart and mind at the changes that have taken place in my life. Now I can honestly share with you all that I have become humbled by it, and even more fearful of gaining the displeasure of My Lord above; and I know that HIS word is true.

He raises us in different degrees and levels and we will be tested as those before us have been. As Muslims we are taught this, however, how many of us have been tested?

I have a new found appreciation for the simple and subtle things that impact my life and it has made me more grateful than ever before. I don’t claim to be holier than thou, or to know more than the next about the struggle of life, but I have learned that throughout all of this I have been blessed with understanding and acceptance; the Qadr of Allah!

My heart is full with a gratitude and love by which the magnitude and inner feelings I hold are difficult to put into words that I find befitting.

Today my sight is improving, I am able to function throughout the day without as much fatigue, I am able to pray more, I am grateful with what Allah has given me, and one thing that I have from all of this is humility.

I cry from knowing where I was and where I am today, and Ramadan is the time that I can say that I wish to share this with you all because I want you to know that some of the simple things we take for granted are the very things we could be tested with.

I look at what others are blessed with and certainly, being human I can wish and hope for some or all of what someone else has, possibly because of a quick thought of getting ease in my situation, but then I have an aha moment. Another push into the beautiful reality that what is for me, will be given to me, and what is not, simply is just not for me. And that the very thing I may wish for could be the one thing Allah is keeping from harming me, SubhannaAllah!

So my beloved sisters and brothers, I don’t usually like to put my personal information out to everyone in this manner, however, I am compelled to share with you all how much this has changed who I am today and how I pray for your increased spiritual enlightenment and clarity of self reflection and growth during this month while you fast, break bread and spread love amongst your fellow brethren.

The simple things in life should never be taken for granted. Live today as if it is your last.

I love you all for the Pleasure of Allah and I pray that your fasting is accepted and your rewards are great. Amin.

I am a mother, grandmother, student, wife, entrepreneur, activist, writer, event planner and business owner. I could continue to list my many jobs, hobbies and titles however the list would be too long. I am an African American woman raised in the Islamic faith and truly grateful to have four grown Muslim children with families of their own. I enjoy being independent and making changes where they are needed whether within or outside of the Muslim community. I have always advocated for the underdog (so to speak) and have always pushed for justice in all situations.

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