Tuesday, June 13, 2017

It will strike us - that moment, like a punch in the gut, of anger, or resentment, or jealousy, or bitterness - just when we think that we have read enough Qur'an to make us religious enough, prayed enough qiyaam to be spiritual enough, endured enough hunger and thirst to be good enough - too good for these feelings.
It could be a minor matter, something petty or trivial; or it could be something that strikes at some of our most painful insecurities. There is something about experiencing such a moment in Ramadan that makes it feel even more intense than it would normally. Our inner human instinct, that initial flare of emotion, seems amplified.
In that moment, the choice before us is even more difficult - and more meaningful - than it is at other times.
Will we choose to become defensive and deflect? Will we become sullen and simmer in our rage? Will we focus on the wrongdoing of others, seize onto their slights against us, harbour a silent grudge? Will we latch onto our own self-righteousness and build inside ourselves a convincing argument of how wrong the other party is, how faultless we are, what victims we are to others' selfishness?
Or will we bite back the urge to lash out, and remember that we are no better, no less human, no less inclined to making silly mistakes and committing unintended offences towards others?
Will we swallow our pride and insecurities, and rather than allowing ourselves to wallow in our emotions, acknowledge the ways in which *we* need to change for the better?
Will we take this as a moment to turn to Allah, wounded pride and stinging hearts and all, and seek His healing?
Will we be of those who say:
{..."Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith and put not in our hearts [any] resentment toward those who have believed. Our Lord, indeed You are Kind and Merciful.} (Quran 59:10)

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