Several years ago – disclosing the exact number of years will reveal my true (old) age, hehe – I was studying in Australia.
It was summer – so the days were extremely long.
I was not used to the super looooong days (or long nights for that matter). Malaysia has (approximately-ish) the same length of days and nights (plus minus a few minutes) throughout the year.
And it so happened that Ramadan fell right in the middle of summer!!
It was not long that I found out my study week was DURING Ramadan! In SUMMERRR!
Subhanallah, looooong hours of fasting! AND exams! In the scorching heat! Taraweeh ended at 11.30pm ish. Sahuur was about 3am ish. And somewhere in between I was supposed to do tahajjud, read Quran as much as I could and study! And of course catch some zzz’s (This was pre-mommy hood times)
I caught myself being super anxious about how I was going to focus on studying while fasting for so long.
I was so worried about where I’d get all my energy to study and that I’d do horribly for the exams – Study, exam, results. Stress can be pretty intense when it evolves around these 3 words. Hehe I’m totally #asian like that.
When was I to do extra ibaadah when I’ve got to study for my exams! And how was I supposed to have any concentration in my ibaadah due to the long hours of fasting and short sleeping time?
I was ready to explode out of extreme anxiety!
Then Ramadan came.
And you know what? – that Ramadan was indeed one of the most memorable Ramadan for me Alhamdulillah. In the 4 years of my degree, this was the one and only time when Ramadan fell during our exam week. And guess what? Those exam results were the best throughout my course. I was never able to replicate or even come close to those numbers in other semesters.
Alhamdulillah by Allah’s grace too, I was able to also finish 1 juz’ of Quran memorisation and a few rounds of Quran.
Like, where did that come from, Subhanallah?
I knew it wasn’t me. Because I’ve been struggling to finish 1 juz’ of Quran memorisation for the last 3 (THREE!!!) years.
AND finish a few rounds of Quran? Subhanallah. I’ve never been able to finish even 1 round of Quran in the Ramadan’s before!
This was from Allah Subhanaahu wata’aala. Hazaa min fadhli rabbi. This is by the Grace of my Rabb.
I was so humbled by the whole experience MashaAllah. I was really stressed out with exams and a whole lot of other things – but it was in Allah’s Words, the Quran, did I find solace and did I find strength to soldier on.
And beneath all the layers of worry and anxiety, I found myself craving and somewhat addicted to Allah’s words. I couldn’t let go. I wanted – needed – more. Subhanallah.
And as I reminisce this very Ramadan I am reminded of another Ramadan miracle – I just finished praying, and it was studying time. I sat down at my desk to study what I considered the toughest subject for me. Gosh, how I struggled with this subject. I honestly felt reluctant to study it but it was my weakest subject – so I knew I couldn’t run away from it.
As I read my notes, somehow somewhat, I suddenly felt enlightenment and everything just clicked into place!
Subhanallah. By His Grace and Mercy, Allah gave me understanding! I opened up all my tutorials and did every one of them to test my understanding and Subhanallah, praise be to Allah. I answered them all correctly!
My worst subject became my best subject that semester.
It was the Ramadan that changed my life
It was definitely the Ramadan that changed my life. It shifted my paradigm. It just hit home, MashaAllah.
I was so worried about being tired, about not being able to focus – I forgot that it is Allah that provides. Physical strength comes from Allah, emotional strength comes from Allah, knowledge comes from Allah, understanding comes from Allah, barakah in time comes from Allah – everything is from Allah Subhanahu wa taa’ala.
But what I had to do was to plan, make effort and lots of du’aa and strive the best I could – give the best I could. And then leave the rest in Allah’s Hands. Subhanallah it was the most empowering yet humbling reminder that I ever got.
And there’s just something magical about Ramadan. There’s just so much barakah in this month.
Since then, I’ve always looked forward to Ramadan. It’s the most special month for me:)
Allahumma balighna Ramadan.
Ya ‘Aliy, Ya ‘Aadzim, Ya Ghafuur, Ya Raheem,
You are the Mighty Lord, none is like You, and You are the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.
This is a month which You have made;
exalted, honored, ennobled and excelled over the other months.
It is the month in which You have made fasting obligatory on me,
and it is the month of Ramadan,in which You sent down the Qur’an,
a guidance for mankind, having clear signs of guidance and distinction. (2:185)
You have placed in it the night of power,
and made it better than a thousand months.
O One who favours,
favour me by saving me from the fire, amongst the ones You favour,
and make me enter Heaven,
by Your Mercy, O the Most Merciful.
Ameen Ya Rabbal Alameen.