Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Spiritual Harvest of Ramadan

On my Twitter account, @jihadijew, I asked my Muslim friends to share with me what they had gained from their experience of Ramadan. Here are their answers in the order in which I received them. I have edited them a little to fill in words left out for twitteresque brevity or corrected grammar for a few non-English speakers. I didn’t edit the content at all.

I asked the question to encourage people to inspire each other but also as a way of helping me think about the Jewish month of reflection (Elul) which begins this week. I can only hope that in a month’s time, with the help of God, I will be able to report a few wonderful gains myself.

Here is what folks said:

I learned to have more patience

I learned that praying in the House of God and listening to beautiful recitation, brings peace to your heart like nothing else can!

I learned to to remember Allah every moment of my life, and be patient enough til I meet Him.

I learned that taking out one or two hours just to focus on your spirit (whether through reading/meditation/prayer) is really rejuvenating.

I learned about “unity.” We rarely see this atmosphere in our daily life. Everyone is busy with their own life but in this month you feel the difference

I learned that God is always on your side, so be on His

I learned that fasting is not just about depriving your body of food and drink but more significantly about reaching the state taqwa (piety)

I learned to take my time in doing things that I would like to achieve. I am trying to persevere with patience.

I learned that faith isn’t a physical destination but a spiritual state that transcends and emanates from wherever you travel.

I learned to appreciate waking up each day. Life is really short so we have to take advantage of every little minute we can breath without difficulties.

I learned to learned help family first and to train our selves to remember Allah so that the soul feel happy and the nafs (lower self) doesn't go astray

I learned more patience and spiritual insight! Also the need for loving all humans.

Allah says be merciful to my creation and I will show you mercy!

I learned to praise Allah for every blessing even if it was little because there are people fasting but they don't have anything to break their fast

When we abstain from the bounties that Allah provides us during Ramadan, Makes us realise how merciful Allah actually is!

For me Ramadan represents the act of attaining contentment through the exhibition of gratitude to Allah for all that we have

In Ramadan I focused on the equality aspect in Islam.We all stand side by side in prayer humbling ourselves to God

Im starting to go to the mosque more this Ramadhan. Hearing the azan and not showing up on time makes me feel bad.

that my community in Toronto is flawed and united; which is, in fact, a beautiful thing.

I learned to talk to Him again and I realised that nothing is possible without His help and guidance. That fact made me happier

I noticed our ability for sself control,people around the world sit in front of food and don't touch it until the maghrib prayer .

I learned that fasting for a month in summer is no joke! More importantly I learned to filter bad thoughts and actions by fasting.

I learned patience, not sweating over the petty things

I have been thinking bout what I've gained in this holy month. I definitely learned a lot but its challenging to keep it up for the other 11 months. Inshallah, G-d give us the strength!

I increased my love for the Qur'an as well as my daily adkhaar (remembrance of Allah) in the morning and evening.

I learned that my desires can be controlled.

That the Path leads to the Oasis. Our sights must be set on the Oasis - not the dust on the Path. (a paraphrase of Shams Tabrizi)

I spent more time and money for the cause of Somalia. The satisfaction and closeness to G-d I felt, will make me do it all year long.

In Ramadan I decided I won't enter into endless arguments whether I was right or not.. Time is better spent trying to get close to G-D!

I began writing a diary. When I looked back at how hard times passed (during some days of the revolution in Egypt) I thanked G-d.

We need to forgive and set things aright with others around us. Helping others as much as we can, we take this spirit along with us . And there is hope in every human being to change for the better. If they choose to do it, there's no stopping them!

I have been taking care of every single word I say, making sure that it won't harm anyone's feelings.

I learned, strangely enough, the importance of sleeping in the night as opposed to during the day. I used to stay up eating and then sleep because I wasn't working but I was tired all the time. I realized that the night was made for rest.

I learned that you should give your heart to God instead of people

We're all hungry- for love, for peace, for contentment. Keeping away from food curbs unchecked hunger for lesser priorities. Just as Ramadan ends so will the blessing of Life. Stop procrastination with regards to giving Life, every bit of energy we have.


  1. Thank you for sharing these beautiful reflections, jazakallahu khayran. I'm looking forward to reading your own jewels of reflection. Peace be with you!

  2. You, Leo are an inspiration in your Twitter campaign. Thanks for capturing the universal struggle of Muslims as they realign their priorities during Ramadhan.

  3. I just started following you, and I love you for the sake of Allah. We need more people like you, solidarity isn't so hard to achieve if people just opened up their hearts to each other.

  4. beautiful and true. where can i find your email address?

  5. Hi.

    My name is Tuval and I am the web project manager at BEIT AVI CHAI, which is an Israeli cultural center that addresses major issues in the Jewish and Israeli society.

    I will be happy if you could cantact me via mail, concerning your blog.
    tuval at

  6. What a beautiful energy in here!
    The world will always be a better place with people like you

  7. Great blog, great sentiment. You are a light of peace! Blessings to you!!

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  9. I felt the beauty and the blessed bliss in the complete submission to God's orders.from fajr to maghrib i'm not eating not drinking not feeding any desire of my nafs for you,Allah so please love me,be pleased with me,look upon me with a's enough!

    I felt so blessed because i know at the call of Azan i know i will have food on the table.i know i will have milk and dates.some people don't know when their next meal,even worse,their next sip of water will be

    I felt the difference in how people treat you knowing that you both are going through the same thing..Ramadan,i wish people could realise that we rly are going through the same things all the time.we are going through dunya.

    I felt the beauty in seeing people hold their anger and their immense desire to hurt with words because the rewards are so immediate to them.i wish they could be that concrete in our lives everyday the way they are during ramadan

    I knew that i can do anything i set my mind to.I finished reading the quran in 30 days.some people read it 5 or 6 times in 30 takes me a couple of months to read the quran in the other 11 months!

    I felt the power it gives u when u go with people to pray the night prayers in the masjid.walking through crowds of people and knowing that no matter how different we might look or feel or think..we are there to worship feel feel him look at us with content.and we are all in the end so needy of his mercy and his knowledge.