Every year before Ramazan starts, I resolve to be good for a month. Yes, I most sincerely do! I vow not to read any novel. I vow not to see my favorite shows on Netflix and YouTube, and above all, I vow to resist pakoras!
Now, the thing is, I do manage to avoid shows and novels, and I do keep pakoras and other fried stuff at bay, but try as I might I am not successful at one thing: not washing the gunah of others! Yes, I admit most remorsefully that even when I try not to malign anyone behind their back, my relatives and friends foil me.
A couple of days back, I was talking to my sister who started saying some unsavoury stuff about a mutual acquaintance. Thinking of my resolve about being good, I told her that she should not present the savab of all her good deeds to that person. She shrugged it off by saying she wasn’t doing anything of the sort. Then, afraid of offending her, I decided to adhere to the weakest form of Iman – thinking in my heart that what she was doing was bad!
Resolving to do something in Ramazan and failing is bad but I believe that we should not limit our good intentions to Ramazan alone. Allah won’t ask us about Ramazan alone, right?
Resolutions are made to be broken; I understand it. But the important thing is to try our best. Well, this Ramazan, I decided to recite more Quran kareem than I did last year. I resolved also to keep my temper in check and help others if and when possible. In my first resolve I think I succeeded somewhat. Controlling my temper has proved more challenging, but I am trying my best. I haven’t had the opportunity to help people, so will just have to give what I can to people in need. I know people resolve to eat less of the mouthwatering iftari items, but I am a believer in iftari. Why can’t we do without dinner and have iftari for a month? My friend says in her house they have dinner straight away instead of iftari. How boring! We have dinner the whole year. Who says it’s wrong to have iftari dishes we all love? Think: in Ramazan we eat the same pakoray, chaat, cholay, etc. daily without getting bored. But in other months, can you think of doing the same? So please, all those who resolve to do away with iftari, don’t spoil it for the rest! It is better to resolve not to hurt others and other good things!
This is our second Ramazan since the nasty Covid came to our planet earth. Life is being tough, but Ramazan feels completely different. No iftar parties; no get-togethers at nani’s home; no eid shopping (though it’s not true for people who don’t believe in Covid). For me this social distancing during Ramazan has been a blessing. During all that peaceful time at my hand, I got a chance to look inward and reflect on my life.
This Ramazan, I resolve to take better care of myself. Sounds mean? Nah, not mean at all. I can only be helpful to someone when my cup is full! If I am depressed myself and my mental health is not in place, how will I be able to comfort a friend who has just lost her job? If I am sleep-deprived and physical exhausted, how will I be able to run errands for my parents or pray salah with a focused mind? So, I will be taking a good night’s sleep and smiling more; I will eat every delicious food including my favourite chips and candies (for my mental health, of course); and I will make a conscious effort to find joy in every little thing I do (excluding chores like doing dishes and laundry).
And, another resolution that I always stick to is praying constantly. I will do my best to shun all my inner doubts and pray for all the impossible and unattainable awesome things in life. (God, send me a free supply of strawberry cheesecake ice-cream and fried chicken and don’t make me fat, ameen). I will expand my imagination and let my heart ask God for anything I desire.