I haven't had time to blog it, but my first couple weeks of Ramadan have been interesting and filled with learning, masha'Allah.
I was invited to an iftar up at Alma Mater by an old friend (who's still there, go you!), and I ended up going back to the sisters' place after taraweeh. Which meant that I got to taraweeh first. Excellent experience, that. Ima start looking for a small copy of the Qur'an, though, in English and Arabic, one that I can pray with easily in my hand (good idea, Shabana!). I saw one sister with one later, but hers was all Arabic. Maybe the resolution should be to learn the Arabic by next year, but that's a task that Allah would have to bless. I know people spend YEARS learning qur'anic arabic. I can already read the script, but with the exception of words that I've already picked up from that one class my junior year- mostly pronouns and basic nouns, not so many verbs- I don't understand what it's saying.
There was a halaqa one day by one of the assistant Imams from ADAMS, I want to say his name was Lainti, Lainfi... I'm horrible. But it was good, talking about the fast and how Allah trains us to patience, because human nature is to be grumpy when you're hungry and the fast also trains us to obey Allah and be patient and forebearing even when hungry, so that after the fast we are a ummah with patience and understanding. The imam also talked about how there are 3 different fasts, the body, the tongue, and the mind. All are brought into submission by obeying the command to fast, and all can then testify the providence of Allah, and can more fully trust that He provides all and is merciful.
He also pointed out that the command to say, 'inni s3aim' twice to yourself is FOR YOU, not for the person irritating you. You can't be like, "Yo, I'm fasting! I'M FASTING! If I wadn't fasting, I'd do..." to a person, because that effectively breaks your fast. He told the story of Maryam, and how she was told NOT to speak even when the people would be like,' Yo daddy was honorable and yo mama wadn't a ho, so how you gonna be having a baby without bein' married?' And she kept her fast to Allah, and he worked it out so that she didn't have to speak, but the prophet 'Eisa (upon him peace) did, thus both showing her obedience to God and also that 'Eisa was chosen by God. Subhan'Allah.
I'm sure I've heard all of those things in some way or another before, but this brother was funny, and he put it plainly. Masha'Allah because not all lectures are like that. I guess lecturing to young students will teach you to get to the point and make it memorable.
The imam's wife was with him, and she was veeeery pregnant. It was golden to see how he treats her and pampers her and relies upon her, to the point where when one older brother who came just for the halaqa asked how long he'd been in the USA, the imam said, turn to my wife, she knows more than I do, etc. It was great.
I've been practising patience with respect to living with other people. So, please make du'a that I can be reinforced in forebearance. Now that I've written this whole post I don't want to get into specifics. Just that I've been annoyed and insulted several times, and have been letting it go when my instinct has always been to give the annoyance/insult a piece of my mind. I know that it's better to let it go, but at the same time I don't think it's right to let someone feel they can treat others any kinda way. And it's nothing severe, just everyday things that point out a person's IGNORANCE. Please pray that these situations will be put in the proper perspective for me. I'm doing the same. wa Allahu Alim.
Onnnn another note- my job is going well, masha'Allah. I'm working out my personal rebellions. My mother knows about that (smile for mommy). My boss is leaving but will be around at several points because he still has some work to do for the organization. Therefore, I was given more responsibility, including being out of the office on testings and interpretations twice last week. The testings involved me going out to the western side of nowhere, and sitting (reading Qur'an, hey, I know an opportunity when I see one) for half a day while no candidates showed. The blessing from that day came from driving. I was extremely nervous about driving after not having done so for a year. The first time I got into the car *Zipcar rocks, btw* I just said, 'Allah, YOU are driving this car! Because I trust You like I don't quite trust myself'. And I got through a good 5-6 hours of driving that day with NO incidents, not even near misses, alhamdullilah. That's my testimony for the month, ya'll. Next I will bite the bullet and take a Zipcar the near-hour from my house to ADAMS. ALthough I may have to consult on directions, because Mapquest stinks. They took me an hour outta my way going to the testings. If that happened when I was tryna make taraweeh I'd miss it. Everyone I know who's been has said ADAMS is great. I like the imams I've met from there, but most importantly, I need to be in a steady group of folk my age who are Muslims. I know that I have some good friends and a husband out there to meet, so I have to do my part (as Shabana noted) and put myself in the path of His means.
Aiight. Off to not be annoyed by people. May your fasts be accepted and blessed by the Most High, ameen.