But I Have Promises To Keep, And Miles To Go Before I Sleep: Reflections On Ramadan 2017


Despite my phobia of Ramadan, despite dreading its arrival, despite not being mentally ready to walk down that same time of the year that took everything away from me, it happened. Ramadan happened, it came and it left. 

It was a roller coaster ride, perhaps with more lows than highs.The lows were brutal, much akin to the monstrous events of last year. I was hurt, bruised, torn, yet again. Most of the Ramadan I did very little worship, because my health couldnt take the difficulties than kept coming, the bruises kept hurting and the heartache kept consuming me like a fire burning everything inside of me. Guilty as charged, at my lowest, I even pondered if death would rid me of this pain (may Allah forgive me).

Sounds like a total replica of last year horrific Ramadan memories, doesnt it?

But it wasnt so. This Ramadan was anything but that of last year. The good things Allah sent to me this Ramadan, most definitely never happened to me ever. From being saved from a near death experience absolutely untouched, to some of the most beautiful serendipities- ones I never knew existed, happened. And I finally did what I could never do- accept the mistakes I made last Ramadan in terms of worship. Accept that even though I thought I did all I could, I was not doing them the right way. My mindset wasnt right, and perhaps my maturity wasnt upto the level of being able to have the things I wanted out of last year’s Ramadan. Allah knows best. 

I wont forget how this year Allah let me carry on with my low energy, low enthusiastic,D graded worship for the first 20 days. I wasnt doing physically well, so alhamdulillah Allah gave me lots of leeways. But He knew better that in order for me to NOT have the Ramadan like last hear,I needed to do things that I did NOT do last year. Allah always knows better. So in ways I still cant comprehend, I literally felt Allah gently holding my hand and guiding me through the last ten nights to worship Him, regardless of the external circumstances- however much I could.He sent me support and assistance I needed in terms of spiritual motivation, through some very special people. People who were not there last year. He ordained for me to witness some of miraculous ways He saves us, as I witnessed it in my own life as well as in the life of my friend- the miraculous and unimaginable ways He helps against every odds, bending every rules, every laws. Against everything that always goes wrong, when we ask Allah, He doesnt hesitate to go the unusual way. One of the verses that I witnessed this month was: 


Despite everything, as Ramadan is leaving I feel little unsafe. I feel little unprotected. I feel like no matter what I was being protected under the shade of Ramadan. And this is when I remind myself that I worship Allah, not Ramadan. Its the same Allah with His Unimaginable Mercy and Power that will always be there, because unlike Ramadan, He is not seasonal. That the doors to duas remain open throughout the year as long as I live, because Allah will continue to come down in the last one third of everynight to ask me what I want, regardless of the time of the year.

Because Allah protects me, not Ramadan. 

Thank you Allah. 

Alhamdulillah.


Day 15: Ramadan DUAries (DUA+Stories)-No Strings Attached

Disclaimer: The title does NOT refer to the literal meaning of having no strings attached. I have attempted to use it in a different context.


About 10mins ago I was making dua after Asr prayer for someone- she wants to come close to Allah and His book, and wants to know Allah better by His names. Again, it wasnt one of those bawling or crying my eyes out dua- but yes I knew what I was asking for her and the importance of that. 

Just as I finished my prayer, she texted me. Goes without saying, I told her that I was just making dua for her about 10mins back. Her reply? “About 10 mins ago I was reading the Quran, and came across this verse that really touched my heart”.

SubhanAllah, Glory is to The Lord of the Skies and the Earth. When I was making dua for her, I wasnt even thinking about her- in the sense what is she doing now, is she eating, basically at that moment she only existed in my “dua world” to Allah. At the same time, she was reading the Book of Allah, listening to what He has to say, not remembering (that exact moment) that she asked someone to make dua for her Quran journey. We both were vested in our own relationship with Allah that moment, and Allah was busy using one of us to benefit the other. 

I dont know if I could explain the chorewheel as simply as I hoped I would. Because its not simple. I sometimes really cant fathom the multitude of strings Allah pulls to make an event, as mundane as this to happen. Somehow He connects people He wants to connect, without attaching any visible strings. You know there is a string but you cant put your fingers on it. And that baffles me, because countless of such things happen to us everyday, and we let go of them without contemplating about the scenes in the background. 

Day 12: Ramadan DUAries(Dua+Stories)-Faith Is A Funny Thing


This morning I was making dua for my friend. Among other things I threw in a casual dua for her- I wanted Allah to give her some peace and time so she can spend quality time with herself, contemplating and thinking about what she wants to do for her ownself. Her domestic affairs always keep her on her toes 24×7. I want her to do something constructive with her life, which, given her present circumstances is not usually possible. She didnt ask me to make this dua and I didnt tell her either. It was more like something I personally asked for her, because I knew she wants it deep down.

About less than 2 hours later, i texted her asking how is her day going, only to hear that she is looking through the applications of the courses she wishes to do. 

I was baffled at that moment. I had absolutely no clue she was toying with this idea. I just truly wanted her to have some time off for herself to atleast be able to think properly, let alone look through courses. The dua that I made for her, albeit heartfelt, wasnt something I was “begging for” either. It was a pretty casual dua, in fact I was just sitting on my bed when I made it. But Allah already started the chorewheel for her before makind dua for it even came to my mind. Allah just wanted someone to perhaps “lobby” for her, because He loved being called for her. Because He loves her.

The same way He loves you.



Day 11:Ramadan DUAries(DUA+Stories)-So Help Me God

She could sense this voice inside her heart telling her to have that really “pour your heart” out conversation with Allah. But she kept tossing it, not that she was not praying but she was scared to break down. But finally she did. She got up and tried having that convertation, basically asking Allah what to do. If there is anything she can do to get out of this situation, she would.

Minutes later she was in a conversation with a friend who randomly mentioned her a charity which is very cheap to donate to. In no time she had a feeling that this was Allah. Allah telling her what to do. So she went ahead and donated little bit of money, whatever she could. She made sincere dua to Allah to help her with that money. May be in half an hour, she got her relief. 

After doing the prostration of thankfulness, realising that besides the duas of her friends, this donation also helped her with her relief,she opened the browser again for some reason, only to find that the money did not go through. There was some problem so they couldnt charge her card. But Allah helped her out anyway. Allah didnt need the money He just needed her sincerity. He needed her to make that one little, desperate, earnest dua to specifically want what her heart was asking for, and she knew it hit the Divine Cord, by the will of Allah.

As I think of this story, I realise sometimes its not the action but the intention that is needed. Instead of running around with so many things to do, we can focus on one thing, take 1 minute to clearly explore the intention that is in our heart, not that one we are supposed to make. 


If you cant find anyone to make dua for you, make the same dua for someone who might be in the same trouble (its a world of 6bn so chances are someone has the similar problem as you), to have the angels make dua for you. Thats their automated job, so use to your advantage.

Day 10:Ramadan Reflections(Quran)- Twists In Faith


If you are struggling with faith, losing hope in dua, you can ask Allah to increase your faith through fulfilling your dua. Prophet Ibrahim did it, and Allah in His infinite wisdom actually recorded it in the Quran to exemplify for you. It won’t make you any less of a believer.


Even for Prophet Musa’s mother (peace be upon them both), Allah says Musa had to return home to his mother, (despite all the faith and strength Allah gave her to firm her heart), for her to have the ultimate comfort. Allah knows us- He knows that despite our faith tawaqqul at the end of the day we need to have the things we so dearly desire, for us to truly absorb the realisation that Allah’s promise is true.  

Therefore ask Allah to fulfill your desires, so just like her, you would also be of those who truly know that His promise is true. Because as Allah says, most of the people don’t. 

It doesn’t have to be so hard. We think everything worth achieving must be hard, with twists and turns. We made that rule, Allah didn’t.He created us, and He knows He didn’t create all five fingers equally.

Reflections On Surah Ikhlaas (Sincerity)

Say,” Allah is The One

Allah is The One To Go to (with all your problems and intentions)

He begets not, nor is He begotten

And there is no One like Him”.
We read the above Surah all the time. We all understand what it means. But what strikes me is the third verse- Allah does not give birth nor He is born of anyone. Basically it reflects that Allah has no mortal quality. That means, Allah is the One to go to with all the duas- wishes, needs and wants, because unlike human beings, He does not judge us, He does not talk about what is possible and what not, His “mood” to give doesnt flactuate based on our atittudes. He wont tell you what you are asking for is silly, He wont make you uncomfortable (because people most definitely will), He wont make fun of you or most importantly, He wont belite your concerns just because something else is more important.Your silly dua will still be in priority line, because Allah’s generosity is not “either/or”. It is “and”.

Next time you recite these verses, remember this. Allah is NOT going to treat you like human beings. So you can tell Him your deepest secrets, especially when your head is on the ground (thats when you soul rises to Allah and you are closest to Him). Your whispers will be securedly absorbed on the prayer mat before they rip through the sky and reach your Lord. Not only will He fulfil them by His generosity, He will also never reveal your secrets to anyone.

Because He begets not, nor is He begotten.

And there is No One like Him.

Complains Do Not Negate Gratitude: Counsel From The Quran

Complains and gratitude are not mutually exclusive. You can grieve and complain to Allah, and yet remain grateful. When Prophet Yaqoob lost his 10year old son Yusuf, he was devastated and he cried so much he lost his eye sight. Yet when Allah narrates us the story,  NO WHERE does He mention anything about gratitude. Allah never tells him to be grateful that his other sons are alive. None. In fact, Allah captures his struggle by actually telling us that his grief did in fact affect his health, people around him were uncomfortable with his sorrow so they told him to move on- all things that every single one of us unfortunately have heard or told others. 

In this very famous verse Allah actually glorifies the fact that this prophet did complain. He kept telling Allah about his sorrow UNAPOLOGETICALLY. Unlike us humans, Allah did not guilt trip him into being grateful to supress his emotions. In His immense wisdom Allah never tells us to suppress our emotions because He knows it is not healthy.

What is also remarkable is that Allah revealed this story when His messenger (peace be upon him) needed counsel, when he was goung through the most difficult phase of his life. So basically even to his messenger (peace be upon him) Allah did not condemn his grief or ask him to stop complaining and be grateful. Allah gave both these prophets the time and space to grieve, to mourn. Allah acknowledged their sorrow and if any He actually tells us that through their legacies that we can turn to Him too to complain. Complain with unwavering certainty that Allah will change our condition for the better.


Even in this very famous verse of gratitude if you look at the background, Allah revealed it to the Children of Israel after Pharaoh killed their baby boys. Allah through His messenger Moses consoled them and encouraged them to be grateful. But Allah did NOT negate their grief or ask them to stop complaining. That is not a practice of Allah. He gives us the leeway to be grateful and still lament.

Basically what I am trying to convey is that we shouldn’t be ungrateful. We shouldn’t try to negate the value of what we have. But that does not mean that we settle with our miseries. It does not mean we pretend life is a bed of roses when in reality it might be not. There is a reason Allah says in the Quran “and do not forget your share of the world” (28:77)

So relieve yourself of that burden today. That burden where you are “supposed” to be only grateful and not complain. You can do both. You can complain to Allah, complain like nobody’s business, pour out to Him every bitterness that is there. As long as you are not being ungrateful, as long as you are not dismissing the favors He has done to you, you are good. “Remember Me, I will remember you. Be grateful to Me and do not deny Me.”(2:152). 

If you are still unsure, try it today. I do this experiment with myself. I was at a very bad situation and I complained to Allah a lot, but the whole time I kept an eye on my attitude. I figured that I did not feel “ingratitude”, I did feel grateful for what I have, but the pain of what I dont have, that sense of inadequacy created from that void was unbearable. 

Pain is given to us for a reason, to feel it. Feeling the sense of incompleteness for the things we do not have in life, for our unfulfilled dreams, wishes and desires, its part of our human creation. It is how Allah created us. We cant cloak them up with veils of gratitude and run away from acknowledging those emotions. Gratitude has its own place and so does our want and need for a better life.