We’re continuing our series on the month of Ramadan because… that’s where we’re right now. We know that Ramadan’s a time when we really wanna pull our socks up, right? When we want to make change and decide, life from this point will be different. When we say, “The habits are going out of the window, okay. I’m ready to be here for Allah. Like seriously… this is my time.”

This is like the January 1st for most Muslims. We’re like, “Ramadan resolutions. New year resolutions. New me. New life.”

You know what I’m saying, right?

It’s really the time when most of us decide we’re gonna show up. Now, here’s the thing about Ramadan, yes? There’s the tingling in the air, maybe we can smell the fried food as well. It’s the time when we decide that we’re gonna show up, but there’s also the danger of it being a time of show.

Mhm-hmm.

Yes, Ramadan is a time when we decide that we want to show up, yeah? Let’s be aware of the danger of it being a time of show. Because really, with the focus on external actions, transformations, speech, what we do, what we watch, et cetera, there’s actually a reality that many people face, don’t wanna say, but LaYinka’s gonna say it, because you know I like to be real.

The reality is that there’s a disconnection between the external and how we’re really feeling.

Mhm. You know, where people are gung ho, doing the actions, the prayers, the tarawih, going to the masjid, they stopped smoking, stopped talking to boys and girls, stopped engaging in all of the haram, but inside, there’s been no shift. They’re still feeling a certain way.

Maybe, they’re still feeling lost, disconnected, shameful, and uncertain.

So, you find that as you meet up with friends, your chatter can be about what you’ve been up to, where your goals are at, how much Qur’an you’ve recited, which tarawih you went to, which shaykh you’re listening to, which this and that, which are all external, and you know, we’re all gonna talk about that because no one wants to feel or look bad, or like they’re not Ramadan-ing HARD, and yet, there’ll be those who are crumbling and keeping up appearances due to shame.

You know I like to be real and to really bring to you what I see and know is happening. Things that we don’t wanna talk about.

So, in all of this realness, Ramadan-ing hard — and you might be Ramadan-ing hard and crumbling inside, or you might just see people Ramadan-ing hard — instead of talking about all the things you do, where you went, what you listened to, and what you’re doing etc., I invite you to connect with what’s going on with one’s heart.

“Assalamu alaikum, sis. How have you been? How’s your heart today?”

That question is really different from, “How are you doing? What’ve you been up to?”

In the latter, what’s the focus on? The focus is on what you’re doing, where you’ve been, what you’ve seen, how you’ve done this, how you’ve done that. That’s what, ‘What have you been up to’ means.

‘How is your heart?’ gets straight to the heart of the matter. It pulls away all of the façade, the dressing up, the masks.

‘Sis, how’s your heart doing today?’

Because the heart’s the centre of life. It’s where everything’s brings forth from. When you’re asking a sister about her heart now in Ramadan, you’re asking her how she truly is. You’re inviting her to connect with you on a deeper level. You’ve invited her to be real. You’re also inviting and opening the doors of possibility for change. Because for a sister to say, “Sis, my heart is crushing right now.”

Then your eyes can start setting on, “Aight, how’re we gonna make this better? How are we gonna help soothe, console, make it better? What do we need here to achieve that?”

‘What have you been up to?’ doesn’t achieve that level of depth. And in Ramadan, we need depth, honesty, realness.

So, the next time you meet up with a sister, ask her: “Sis, how’s your heart doing today?”

And see how you can connect with her, and help her in whatever she’s going through beyond just the deeds that she’s doing, inshaAllah.

 

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