Sunday, October 8

In High Spirits

Depending on when exactly you started, today marked the 15th or 16th fast of Ramadhan. Either way, we're all now over half way through and are on or way out. How fast (b'dum tish) was that then, eh?

Here's an interesting thing though. I've now had three different people saying how they're not quite feeling the Ramadhan sprit they usually do this time around. This isn't the first time a friend has said this ove the years, and I've never quite managed to understand what they mean.

Don't get me wrong: I do change during this month and I do take advantage of the time I have in it. On the obvious level I fast, do the tarawih prayer, pay zakat, and read more of The Quran than usual. On the more subtle side, I keep my gaze low (well, kinda. At least more than usual anyway), and I like to think I keep more integrity and strengthen my character too. I also tend not to socialise, instead choosing to spend more time with family rather than friends.

But all this is only because I know it's the 50x SUPER REWARD BONUS time of the year. It would be stupid not to stock pile the sawaab. I wouldn't put it down to the kind of "external" force indicated this concept of spirit that my friends are looking for.

So what exactly is this spirit then? And why do some people feel it, while others don't?

I've noticed that, for some, this is the month when they act the Muslim they (emphasis on the "they", by the way) feel they should be for the rest of the year. Perhaps for them this spirit is, in fact, an ease of guilt? On the other hand, perhaps feeling spiritual is exactly that and those that don't get it (including myself) have just never reached that stage before?

On the flip side, maybe those who normally practise (and so have no need to change their habits and lifestyle too much for this holy month) are insensitive to it? That is, that they are always in that spiritual zone and so feel no marked change during this month?

Not that I'm the greatest Muslim, but, for example, waking up for sehri isn't the big soul tearing sacrifice for me that it can be for others not used to praying Fajr. Come to think of it, one thing that these particular friends of mine all have in common is that they stepped up their general awareness of religion at around the same time, a couple of years ago. Maybe they've just become used to it in that time?

Perhaps depends on weather or season? Maybe the fast becomes more pressing, and therefore distracting, as the days become longer?

Whatever the case, it probably doesn't really matter anyway. So some feel special during the month; I think that's great. What I don't think is that there is a correlation between this, quite abstract, feeling and how much advantage is being taken of, or reward being earned in, Ramadhan. Just like everything else it just comes down to one's personal relationship with their faith. And by definition that's something that's always going to be different for everyone.

(IANAS)

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous11:03

    yeah I been feeling like this too... am in a spiritual funk as they say... haven't even been reading Tarawih... dunno what's up

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  2. hmm interesting. I am one of those people that didn't feel the spirit this year... but I figured out why... I found the spirit or feell
    ing the ramadan vibe all come down to how much thought and effort you put in. The last couple of weeks i had been a bit slack despite managing to read my prayers, i had little time to do much else - reflect, read the quran etc. However I am now back on track and started to put more effort into those things and once again the buzz has returned... I guess thats kind of like most things in life - you get back what you put in....

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