Ramadaan is the anticipation of a restless month.
Ramadaan is the empty feeling beneath my ribcage as I sit at my desk at work. Ramadaan is the creak in my knees as they hit the ground for a hundredth time as I supplicate myself to God. Ramadaan is the unbearable thirst that fills my throat from the moment I wake up. It’s the sleepless broken nights when dreams merge with reality and life moves in slow motion. It’s the longing. The longing for sleep, food, sex, anything worth longing for. It’s the fatigue that knits itself into my bones. The fat swollen thoughts that get caught around my dry tongue.
Ramadaan also is the sound of family phone calls announcing the arrival of the month. Ramadaan is the feeling of submission as my forehead rests on the ground and I tell God my fears. Ramadaan is sitting through long starry nights to watch early dawns where the sky splits apart with light. It’s the dance of the soul as it’s stretched to its limit and pulled back again. It’s the feeling of having my mother next to me as we pray together every night next the heater in my room. It’s the smell of samosas frying and the love of lime milkshake made especially for me. It’s my father singing praises to God at 3 in the morning and me shouting for him to let me sleep. It’s phone calls at 4am from my sister in another city making sure we’re awake. It’s nights at my other sister’s where we stay up talking long after prayers. It’s the dishes my aunt exchanges just before we break fast. It’s the month where I remember that God is actually there, that He’s always been there.
Waiting for me to find Him.
It puts all the other months into perspective. It’s the month where I have the most conversations with God, where I spend the most time with my family.
Ramadaan is God and family. Thus Ramadaan must be love.
And I realise this is all worth it to find God and my family ever year.
(Originally published on Huffington Post Religious Reflections Blog in August 2012 here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/20/ramadan-2012-islamic-fasting_n_1690410.html)