This is my 4th year as a single mom but the first time in a long time that I am able to focus on worship these beloved 10 days. Each day, I have been spending a little time watching special video lessons by renowned scholars and making time for nawafil deeds. Aside from the day of Arafat, I am not sure if I have ever fasted in these days before this year even as a highly zealous Muslim American youth. These fasts have made so much sense just a little while after Ramadan and particularly with the things going on in my life during this time.
Yesterday, a sudden dua I used to read came to mind and I felt like repeating it before bed. When I turned on the video lesson right afterwards, I was shocked to hear the scholar talk about that very same dua. Beyond the goosebumps, it was as if God knew what I had been thinking only moments before. Today, another scholar mentioned the story of Hajar running back and forth in such a way that I really connected with it. In fact, he connected her to single mothers everywhere and it was healing. I often felt like her pacing the dark hallways of where I was left to be a single mother wondering where my next source of help would come from, practicing intermittent fasting to preserve food for my son. I never saw fountains of water spring up but I used to receive doorbells – spontaneous visits by people who were not a part of my life anymore but whom God brought to my doorstep anyway for temporary solace. Since then He has brought me all sorts of people, all sorts of opportunities and all sorts of joyful moments among the hard ones.
I am grateful.
More than that, I am content that God hears all of us everywhere and that He responds to those who reach out. Sometimes not right away, but often times, in ways we could not imagine. Even though many of us could not attend Hajj this year, this quarantine is great practice for the greatest sort of self-control ever and the most intimate form of connection with our Lord possible outside of His House. Having been in a sort of quarantine before, I believe that our homes can be our mosques during desperate times and that prayer is prayer is prayer.
Please pray. For yourself. For your families. For the communities undergoing crazy changes. For our cities and countries. For everyone.
La Ilaha illAllah