Muslims will be celebrating Eid ul-Fitr, a holiday that takes place on the first day of Shawwal, the month after Ramadan, either today or tomorrow. The different days are based off of different methods in determining the start and end of months on the Islamic calendar based off of the cycle of the moon, but each opinion has its evidence and would be considered valid.
To those celebrating on either day, Eid Mubarak. I pray its a day full of blessing, laughter and ease for you and all of us and that it marks the first day of many tomorrows in which the lessons learned during this month of Ramadan begin to cement themselves within us.
I've learned a lot about myself this Ramadan, in large part due to the opportunity I was given to write these posts. I am not sure how many people actually kept up and read them throughout the month, but the emails and others correspondences I received were very encouraging and really did keep me going. The ability to write out my thoughts has been an amazing experience, and I'll definitely keep doing it for myself. I would recommend to all of you to keep a journal as well. It can be a very beneficial experience for a variety of reasons. You just have to be honest and open with your words. Don't write what you think you are supposed to write, but write what actually exists within you. It doesn't have to be seen by any eyes other than our own. It also gives us a means to look back at how far we have come, how we have digressed, or perhaps haven't changed at all. It's helpful to see the way we speak to ourselves, how we perceive the world and what kind of things are on our mind. A year from now, I can look back at these posts and see if the year in between brought any change to my life, or if I just stayed the same. That is, if I am blessed to see Ramadan again next year.
Another Ramadan has come and gone, and to be honest I have no way of being certain that I would see another one. This is not meant to be a morbid thought, but moreso a compelling one. Don't wait to do something tomorrow that you are fully able do to today. Don't let someone else come in and take advantage of an opportunity that's in front of you by letting yourself believe that there will probably be another chance for you later. If you can be something good, then go be it. If you can do something meaningful, then go do it.
The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, offered the following advice to a man: "Take benefit of five before five: Your youth before your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free time before you are preoccupied, and your life before your death."
Our lives are given to us to make use of. Ramadan taught us our potential, we just have to embrace it.
The Prophet Muhammad said, "Allah is kind and loves kindness and gives for gentleness what He does not give for harshness nor for anything else."
And in another narration, "Whenever kindness is in a thing it adorns it, and whenever it is removed from anything, it disfigures it."
Be good to others and be good to yourself. Be the reason that someone has hope in this world, not the reason that someone dreads it.
If at any point I can be of assistance to any of you feel free to reach out to me. I can be contacted through our Islamic Center's website. If you are ever in New York please feel free to stop by at an event or a program. I'll also be getting married in September, so if you are in the area, it would be great to have each of you there.
May your noble intentions be elevated and life's objectives be facilitated as you continue to do all that you do. May your lives be free of any worry, anxiety, hardship or pain and may peace be the core of your existence. May you honor the rights of others and others honors your's. May you be trusted because you are truthful, praised because you are sincere and elevated because you are someone we can all look up to. May you be protected from hearts that are not humble, from tongues that are not wise and from eyes that have forgotten how to cry. Please do keep me in your thoughts -- I will keep you in mine.