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.



Ramadan DUAries= (DUA+Stories):Day4- “Definitely, Maybe”!

My cousin had an interview today for a govt job which honestly no matter how much I encouraged her i wasnt sure she would be getting… I made dua for her last couple days even yesterday in tahajjud… just a while ago in sujood during dhuhr i dont know why i just made a sincere heartfelt dua for her i really wanted this job for her… that very moment she texted me that she got that job… 
Even for her marriage i remember I made this really heartfelt dua and her marriage was fixed within a month or two. I wanted for her exactly what I would want for myself . The prophet (peace be upon him) said a true believer is one who wishes for his brother/sister what s/he would want for themselves. Its not that I am particularly good or worthy, I am no saint or angel. Rather its about the promise of messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) that the dua of a muslim in absence of his brother is surely accepted. Its about truly wanting for someone what you would want for yourself, stepping in their shoes and feeling that emotion as you make dua. Dua is an art.


I think the reason its easy to make dua for others because we are less attached to the outcome. For ourselves we worry a lot about the outcome but for others we just make dua, not wondering if it will get answered or not. We dont obsess on the result as much. That truely affects the answer.

I think the reason it is easy to make dua for others is even though we feel the emotion, we are less attached to the outcome or obsess less on the result when the dua is for someone else. Whereas for ourselves, there is too much “Definitely, Maybe” involved. That is understandable, because we are humans and its part of our how we are created. We can’t defy or deny that. We worry a lot on the outcome when it is about ourselves and that affects the outcome.

So go ahead and trade dua this Ramadan. Make dua for others and ask them to make for you (of course you must make dua too you cant rely solely on others).Ask Allah to send you people who will sincerely ask for you, and not do a lip service with some fancy words. 

If you still find noone, well then you know the drill- make dua sincerely for others because angels are saying “ameen may you be granted the same” after every dua everytime you make. You cant make a human being make dua for you so many times but most definitely the angels appointed at your service by Allah are programed to do so. So use it to your advantage. Be smart!!!

Day 3:Ramadan DUAries (Dua+Stories=DUAries)

Something very strange happened. I follow an app where people can post the duas they need and others can hit the pray button to say ameen to their prayers. For the past few days this brother has been constantly posting a desperate plea to be with his wife, and another sister has been posting the same, to be with her husband. For some reason both their duas hit a cord with me I found myself praying for them many times. Last night before sleeping as I was making dua I just had a thought what are tha chances they both are married? Then I ditched the idea because they both are from different parts of the world and it didnt seem like a good idea to speculate something like that.Just a while ago I was revising that app again and I saw that sister copied and pasted the brother’s dua, just changed to “husband” from “wife”. Otherwise the details of their situation and everything else is just the same.

SubhanAllah I dont know what Allah’s underlying message here is but I really thought it was sweet how their love transmits to others even in this dark time of their lives.
So then may be it happens to us too? When we are in the darkest moments of our lives, may be even through that darkness Al Jameel, The Beautiful One orchestrates a beautiful serendipity like this for us in the hearts of someone? May be our pain resonates with someone ans our story spreads like this, much to our own oblivion? We all must have had so many of such moments- the stranger across the cafe, the cleaner down the road, the pedestrian across the street, we dont know whose heart Allah decides to resonate through our hardship. Even in distress somewhere, somehow, a beautiful serendipity might happen. 

No wonder Allah begins the Quran by describing the people of taqwa (people who are mindful of Allah) as those who believe in the unseen.

Sure this story is not enough of a gratitude consolation when reality is bent on ripping you apart left and right, and that is not what it is intended for. I am absolutely against the idea of guilt tripping people into gratitude- with things like “be grateful for eyes” etc. While there is nothing wrong with that in fact its actually a hadith, we also need to remember that some peopl struggle with gratitude. Its sometimes difficult to come despite attempts. No one likes to feel ungrateful but sometimes we confuse gratitude with contentment. Nothing numbs some pain but may be once the pain is over we can look back and ponder on some good things that could have come out of that.

Day II: Ramadan DUAries (Dua+ Stories= Duaries)

So I ordered this charger for my phone on Amazon. I wasnt sure if its worth the money even though the reviews were phenomenal so just to calm myself down I made the istikhara dua once before i confirmed the payment. The shipment arrived and it was exactly what they advertised. As I tried plugging into my phone it turned that the advertisement was incorrect and its really not compatible with my version of the phone. I remember I made that istighfar dua really sincerely from my heart, so it just didnt add up or make sense to me. The charger is supposed to work as per my dua, so I was confused.
I wrote to the seller and explained the situation. They were extremely nice and apologized. I wrote a pretty bitter review because I was upset and they offered me full refund and no return. I calmed down, that atleast I didnt lose money. So Alhamdulillah for that. But that meant I had to reorder another headphone and the none of the other sellers had reliable delivery. So bottom line I needed a headphone which is compatible with my phone and no good seller was available.

Remind you that they let me keep the “incompatible” headphone with full refund. So being technologically chanllenged, it took me a while to realise I could use an adapter. So my friend told me about a place where I can get it because adapters in amazon had poor review. When I ordered the adapter from the place I was recommended, guess what? I paid HALF the price as i paid for the charger.

Charger costed $20 which they returned. So I basically paid nothing

Adapter costed $10.

For $10 bucks I got BOTH ADAPTER AND HEADPHONE,whereas I was expecting that it would cost me so much more.

So yeah, the istikhara did add up and work out alhamdulillah.

And yes, I deleted the review from Amazon lol.