Thursday, September 18, 2008

Another Year, Another Niyyah

"I'm seeking clarity and focus in this blessed month. I pray this becomes an effort we can all extend well beyond Ramdan, insha'Allah!" ...that was, in part, my niyyah (intention) from last year. I'd like to renew that intention again for this year.

Moreover, I'm fascinated (and humbled) by the power of fasting. I think we take it for granted. I know I do. A friend recently told me about the ayurvedic ("life + knowledge") concept of the digestive fire within also being able to digest emotions. If only we don't overtax it by smothering it with food. As we so often do, in Ramadan or otherwise. This reminds me of Rumi's ghazal on fasting:
If the soundbox is stuffed full of anything, no music.
If the brain and belly are burning clean with fasting,
every moment a new song comes out of the fire.
I believe Ramadan (and all the fasting recommended outside of the blessed month... some calculations of which brings the Blessed Prophet's fast count to 150+ days a year) is a Muslim sabbath of sorts. A time to slow down, reflect, be aware and intentional in terms of our daily habits and relationships. That's what the Compact helps me do.

That said, I'm afraid I've already broken the Ramadan Compact on a couple of items. One "big-ticket" (literally!) from DC to Dubai, where I am now. Another, a smaller purchase, is a book... which I could've borrowed from a friend or the local library. See Dina's post below for more on that.

Make du'aa for me out here in this land of plenty! and I'll do the same for all of you, insha'Allah.

salaam :)


Mohamad A. Chakaki said...

IMAGE: thanks to my friend Nadine for sending this to me... not sure what it says about Ramadan in the Muslim World?

Dina Badawy said...

Rumi's ghazal is beautiful and true, that space filled with something cannot have room for what may naturally exist or be produced in that space.

this might be a tangent but i feel like my mind gets like that sometimes. filled with so much of the visual and verbal pollution out there, that i can't think purely. who knows what thoughts could come out of a mind that isn't cluttered with other junk? kind of like how children are so brilliant in their untainted simplicity... =)

and that Burger King ad is pretty creative (and disturbing!). Rabina ma3ak while you're out there...

Mohamad A. Chakaki said...

in damascus now... the food is really good out here and it's really hard to have just one, of anything!

that said, it's good to be around friends and family. and there's still much baraka in these parts.

though, i must say, ramadan in the middle east is increasingly a commercial spectacle. sad sometimes.

BTW... many thanks for your thoughts, dina! could'nt agree more on a clear mind. that's what dhikr does, right? clear the mind.