And so Eid ul Fitr is almost upon us. It seems like only yesterday that I was sitting at my laptop, writing a Ramadan message to you all. The passage of time..like a fleeting night.
By time, indeed mankind is in loss...
Surah al Asr verse 1-2.
We are reminded many times in the Quran about the passage of time, about the incredibly short time we have in this world, in comparison to the next. Of how it will be almost as if we were only here for an hour of one day.
On the Day they see what they were promised, it will be as if they had only tarried for just one hour of a single day.
Surah Ahqaf verse 35
It is one of God’s amazing creation, how much life we can squeeze into every minute, every second, yet when we will face our Lord in the next world, this world will seem like only a day, or an hour.
The time for Eid and celebration is here, but it is with an unusually heavy heart that I say. The beautiful month of Ramadan is almost over. This beautiful month of mercy, forgiveness, fasting of the tongue, fasting of the limbs. This beautiful month where all the realities of life and all that is important comes sharply into focus. Whereas before everything was hazy and unclear, Ramadan has that unique quality of making us understand what is really, truly important. Our Lord, our faith, family, friends, striving to please God in all we do. Everything else just seems a little irrelevant almost.
I feel like Ramadan is a long-awaited visitor, and now it is time to leave. Life is short. Time is short. I was sitting in the mosque just tonight, and thinking about how this Ramadan could be my last. There is no guarantee that any of us will be here to experience the pleasures and joys of another Ramadan. This life is short, with no guarantees. The only guarantee is the return to our Lord. So fill it with goodness. Life is too short for hurt or anger or bitterness or resentment. Tell those you love, you love them. Kiss your mother and your father. Tell your siblings that despite the constant bickering (!) you love them to bits and that there is nothing you would not do for them. Tell your friends how much you appreciate them and how much they are a blessing in your life. And ask your Lord for mercy, protection and forgiveness. Ask Him to ease your difficulties and lead you to eternal bliss in the next life.
Fill your life with goodness. Forget grudges. Forget it all. It’s immaterial. Ramadan is time for change, and the real test is whether this change will last beyond Ramadan. That’s the challenge. Look ahead, and let this goodness extend all the way to the next Ramadan.
I ask you all to forgive me for all of my mistakes. I ask you to pray that we all live to experience another Ramadan. And I ask you to pray that the Lord envelops us in His mercy and protection and helps us continue to live with goodness beyond this month.