Ramadan Reflection Day 2: The Good Neighbours

Narrated by Abdullah ibn Umar, radhiaAllahu ‘anhu, The Prophet sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, ‘The best friend in the sight of Allah is he who is the well-wisher of his companions, and the best neighbour is one who behaves best towards his neighbours.’ [Tirmidhi]

On the first night of taraweeh, we had some lovely teens who decided it would be a good idea to ring the doorbells of neighbourhood houses and run away. These neighbours, who may have been sleeping at the time, were obviously not impressed (to say the least). They called the police. (Hey, at least this time, they weren’t smoking weed, right? Ha.)

We all know what a nuisance this is. We also know kids will be kids. It’s the summer. School is out. Everyone is together and taraweeh sure takes a long time to end. But this is when it matters. If Ramadan, our most blessed time of the year, ends up being a major pain for our neighbours, are we really, truly reaping the rewards?

Yes, the onus is on the parents of those kids to make sure they’re doing what they came to the mosque for. As individuals, however, it is a good idea to evaluate what we’ve done. What kind of relationship do we have with our neighbours? Have we said more than 5 words to them in the 5, 10, 20 years we’ve been there?

Make this Ramadan the change in your relationship with your neighbours. Smile. Start up a conversation. Become friends. Mow their lawn when they need it. Shovel the driveway in the winter. Take the garbage to the curb. Send over sweets and a card on Eid. Share the khayr, the rahma, the barakah. The benefits will last you much longer than 29 or 30 days.

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Ramadan Reflection Day 1: Off-Duty Problems.

It’s the typical Moslem-Girl-Problem-in-Ramadan. You can’t fast. Or pray. So you’re all bummed out. Because you won’t be eating suhoor or iftar with your family or praying taraweeh with the community.

But here’s the deal. We always look at the things we can’t have or can’t do and forget about what we CAN do or CAN have. Out of all the things you can do in Ramadan, for the few days you are on your period, you can’t fast, pray, or read Qur’an while directly touching the mus’haf. That’s a grand total of *drum roll* 3 things.

Guess what? Everything else is still available to you. Shocking, isn’t it? Do your dhikr, read Qur’an in another manner, read tafsir, listen to lectures, give sadaqah, volunteer in the mosque, help make food for someone’s iftar or suhoor, getting up at qiyaam time for du’aa, du’aa in general, etc. There is no need to slow down in any way.

This is a reflection not just for Ramadan and your favourite little period, but for life. Just because you can’t do A or B doesn’t mean the rest of the alphabet is also off-limits. Even in Islam, for all the things that are forbidden, there are exponentially more things which are permissible. Don’t let shaytaan (or in this month – your nafs) get to you and have you miss out on all the other forms of khayr there is.