Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Ramadan Journal- Day 1

I was in the middle of writing this post last night when the electricity blacked out, and the post wasn't saved. So I called it a night and went to bed, in the hope of retrieving some of the words I wrote from my memory in the morning.

It was an extremely hectic day yesterday. The kitchen was such a mess, there were piles and piles of dishes from the day before heaped on the counters. Grocery that needed to be packed in the cupboards, and a floor that desperately needed a good ol' scrub! A nightmare.
It was left up to me to clean all this mess before Iftar (sunset, when we break our fast) and those who know me well, know how much I love cleaning.. I'm a big fan of cleaning (since you can't hear those words being said in a sarcastic way, I thought I'd mention that I'm being really sarcastic here..).

So, on the first day of Ramadan, my whole afternoon (and part of the evening) was spent scrubbing away in the kitchen. My plans of reading a chapter of the Quran and taking advantage of the blessed day to do something constructive all went down the drain.

A day gone to waste. The first day of Ramadan gone by without me doing anything significant, learning something new, or gaining any spiritual growth. Nothing..

So there I was, standing in the kitchen, with soapy foam all over my arms, hot water streaming down the kitchen sink, with the sound of forks, spoons and knives clinking so loud it started to echo inside my eardrum, and  I wondered, surly there must be something to be learned from this..

What, you may ask, would scrubbing a bunch of dirty dishes teach you?

Well first of all, that you shouldn't leave dirty dishes over night, they will stink so bad and make it harder for you to wash...
No, I kid.. but seriously though..

It really taught me that if you do something for the sake of God, even the hardest of tasks will turn out to be surprisingly easy and time will fly by without you even noticing.

Why would someone do the dishes for the sake of God? For a few apparent reasons. Here are three.

1- Cleanliness is next to godliness. Or, to phrase it Islamically, cleanliness is a part of one's faith, as prophet Mohammad peace be upon him said.

2- It could be considered as an act of "helping others", which is highly valued in Islam, especially during Ramadan. Who am I helping here? My family members, mainly my mother (yes, I still live with my family..)

3- Being alone in a place, doing something that does not require brain power gives you a chance to reflect on things, to try and look at your life from a different angle, a more positive angle. To count your blessings and give thanks for them.. etc.

Turned out it wasn't a wasted day after all! Dirty dishes or no dirty dishes.. there is always a thing or two to be learned from everyday life activities!

Thanks to Bobo (my little bro) for modeling in this photo, and the previous one :)


جيسي فهد said...

It's funny how things like these make us realize bigger things!
I used to never clean up, always left it for a few days. I learned to now ALWAYS do my dishes after eating/cleaning up after myself. We like to think its takes a lot of effort and time when really it just takes a few minutes P:
I spent my whole first day cleaning as well ... don't worry : ) But it made time go by and I did my first day no problem. Now the house is clean for a while : D and I don't have to stress about it !

Mariam said...

Yes, so true! Ironic isn't it!!

Yeah, it's always best to finish whatever work you have right away.. it will take less time than you actually think!

Saba said...

Subhanallah! My husband thinks this Ramadan will be most productive for me out of anyone else, because I'm not working. He doesn't realize folding clothes, ironing, washing dishes, keeping the place clean, and preparing iftaar takes the entire day and then some more. Our Shaikh gave a great khutbah in the beginning of Ramadan about intention. From then on, I have been making sure I do every task with the intention that I am doing it for Allah (swt). May Allah (swt) accept all of our deeds.