By Romina Afghan
I have waited so long for you to come, I had made so many plans and had so many expectations of our time together. I have had so many conversations with others about how to make the most of my time with you. And now you are finally here, I can’t explain why my heart feels heavy and I feel ashamed of myself, why the lists I had for what we would do taunt me and fill me with the sense that my foolishness and optimism were naive and silly; that I will never be able to break free of the mould of my habits and my own limitations to be the person I want to be when you come to visit…
Dear Ramadan, I want to love you, to dedicate my heart and soul to you, but I can’t…Its not you, it’s me. I know that. I know that my heart is just a vessel, a container, and it carries within it the things I have chosen to fill it with. I realise now and face up to the fact that I the reason I can’t love you, the reason I can’t dedicate my heart to you is because I have already filled it -it is saturated with other things which I didn’t know or admit that I loved- my sleep, my food, my home, my friends, my social media, my time wasting habits…
Or perhaps it is because my heart is a vessel so full of holes that nothing I put in can be contained there- everything falls through the holes like sand through fingers. Or as I write I think maybe it’s a combination of those things…that I can’t love you now because I have spent the whole year dedicating my heart to other than the purpose you were sent to me, and that maybe it’s actually those very things inside it that have been eating away at me and causing the gaping cracks and holes which now are lit up in all their gory detail as your light shines through them but not in them…
Ramadan, you run from me even as I chase you with this fractured heart. I know I haven’t been perfect, not before you came and not since you have been here, but I also know that you don’t expect me to be. I know that you were sent to me as mercy from my Lord and your Lord- the One who loves me enough to still allow me to be with you; the One who descends to the lowest Heaven to ask every single night, “Who is there that is asking of me that I may give him…?” when He is not in need of anything; The One Whose mercy is over all things, encompassing.
Ramadan, I know you are a gift that heals, that wipes away the past and gives us hope for our future with every prayer uttered, every fast opened and every tear shed. So, Ramadan, sit a little closer and stay a little longer, that through your warmth this impoverished soul might warm the coldest corners of her being, that through your presence she might be lifted by His Mercy, that through you she may once more know Him and remember Him and thus fill the heart with what it was intended..
Ramadan, ask the Lord of my soul and the Lord that created you to put barakah in your time with me. I may not love you as I should, but I want to, so ask our Lord to not let you leave until you have healed this shattered vessel; ask our Lord to make me of those freed from the Hellfire through your presence here and our time together; ask our Lord to shower me in His mercy, because even though my deeds are too small and insignificant to reach Him, even though my intentions are clouded and weighed down by my love for this dunya, I have heard His Mercy descends like the rain, falling upon everything it touches and giving life to even the dead. Tell Him, I wait for it, thirsty and needy, parched and dry, sorry that I had not done more to stop me from being in this state, sorry that I haven’t lived up to the promises I made to myself last year…
Dear Ramadan, ask your Lord, because I am weak, He alone is Strong. I am faulty, He alone is Perfect. I am sinful, and He is Forgiving. I am limited, and He cannot be grasped by my Knowledge. I am blundering, His Plan is Perfect. I don’t know where to turn or hide, and He is my eternal Refuge that will save me from myself. I don’t know how to love, and He is the source and Giver of Love. I am empty, He is Complete. I am Broken, He is the One Who Fixes. I am impoverished, He is Rich and Free of all needs.
Ramadan, I know you are a gift sent to me by Him, so I will love you, because for a surety, I do love Him, faulty and incomplete as that love is. Ramadan, I was ashamed, but now I know it is because I was pretending to be something I’m not, I was comparing myself to your other lovers, I was trying to be perfect; and now I see that the imperfections are what led me to Him whom I seek through you. He does not need me to serve you, Ramadan, but He loves me to bring my heart to His Door and beg for His Love which you remind me to do; He does not need me to love you, but if I love Him, He can grant me what exists within your company and what exists outside of it.
Ramadan, you are only a month, and your goodness comes from Him, so I seek Him with my heart and actions, and turn to Him in prayer, and I ask from Him at every failing through which He allows me to realise His Perfection and Completion more. Ramadan, you came to me while I was broken, and I trust In Him Who sent you that you will only leave when I am somehow better, maybe patched up and still incomplete, but better. Ramadan, I know you will leave me a more complete incomplete soul.
Thank you Ramadan, for teaching me that I need not be perfect to approach the Sublime. Thank You Allaah for letting me host the guest you sent from Your Mercy and Love. Thank You for letting me see the love, past the self hatred and the guilt; thank you for letting me see the mercy past my own mistakes and shortcomings, thank You for letting me know You, when You have nothing to gain from me and I have everything to lose.
About the author:
Romina is a happy mother to four children, a Master NLP-practitioner in training, part-time teacher and passionate believer in unlocking the wonderful potential of each and every soul by connecting them to Allaah and His Book. She has been blessed to be a part of Solace for some years now, and loves connecting with sisters everywhere, so if you happen to come to a Solace event where she is, come on over and introduce yourself!