I wrote about the aches in my heart and I wrote about the stinging thoughts in my mind, all of which questioned: ‘Why?’.
I’tekaf, is a practice that was observed by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) during the last 10 days of Ramadhan. Generally, one secludes himself or herself from the world by remembering Allah the Almighty and by indulging themselves in prayers, along with the recitation and/or study of the Holy Quran. The purpose? To enhance our spiritual, physical, and moral values rooted in Islam (yes, fasting is mandatory during this time as well). During this time, you are encouraged to devote yourself completely and repeat three essential tasks – eat, pray, and sleep. Majority of our time is spent in prayers or recitation of the Holy Quran as our main focus should be to supplicate to God Almighty and trust me, it is not as tough or boring as it sounds!
Anyway, I had the blessed opportunity to participate this year and I thought about my experience a lot, mostly questions though. Let me outline what I pondered about whilst I tried to figure out what God Almighty had in store for me:
1. Why was I picked to sit for I’tekaf?
2. Why was I amongst such righteous personalities?
3. Why was I not weeping often?
4. Why was everyone being so mother-like? Sister-like?
5. Why was I being blessed?
I kept wondering what I would learn out of my experience; what God Almighty wanted me to gain out of it.
Now, back at home from staying at the mosque for about 8 days, I have noticed the world around me through an unfamiliar lens. Living in the mosque, there was tranquility, silence, and an atmosphere that inspired you to truly devote yourself, and outside of the mosque everyone is doing their own thing; pursuing worldly affairs.
It was quite the realization and perhaps it was this very realization that I was meant to understand. Excluding yourself from the world to please God is easy however, stepping out into the real world whilst being consumed by worldly desires but still wishing to please God is a lot harder. Although it is a struggle, the blessings are far greater. I did not understand this wholly until now. Now, I am a witness to the difference between a believer in ease and a believer in difficulty, the latter revolving around endless trials.
You can read about how you should act, think, and feel but until you cannot apply it, they are simple instructions. When you struggle to improve your morals and adapt virtues socially, you learn. Personally, I learnt how Prophet Muhammad dealt with the chaos around him. I also learnt how mandatory it was to strengthen your bond with God Almighty if you wish to remain steadfast and faithful.
Quite honestly, I do not think that was my only purpose, I feel like there is a much greater picture I am missing but insha’Allah, I will figure it out if God wills.
Overall, it was a wonderful experience and I would definitely apply again if I could. Blessed!
Aight, peace out. Till next time!