Ramadān and Mortality


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Ramadān Reinforcement: Part I | Part II

A poet wrote that death was like arrows; it may miss you and hit someone else. But one day, it will capture you.

Nothing humbles us as much as our own mortality. It is one of the most effective ways to lasso a soul gone wild, a soul intoxicated by itself and the world around it. For that reason, Abraham `alayhi as-salaam (peace be upon him) said to Nimrod, “My lord causes life and death,” teaching him that, even though Nimrod had amassed a vast kingdom and was blinded by his own narcissism, one day he will perish. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (peace be upon him) echoed this when he said to us, “Abundantly remember that which cuts deceptive pleasures, death.” 
Mortality screams at us, reminding us that we have a limited time to do good. But we are negligent. For that reason, the Qu’ran is filled with verses that speak of it. Imām Ibn Taymiyya said, “It is almost impossible to find a page of the Qur’an that the hereafter is absent.”
Ramadān brings with it a host of things; some of them obvious, like refraining from food and drink, and others more subtle, what scholars called asrār (En. secrets) of worship. Walk with me as I show you one of them.

During this month, we start the day strong and as it continues we get progressively weaker. So that shortly before the sunset prayer, our muscles start to tighten from dehydration—it gets hard to move and our facilities begin to fail us. Then, as the call to prayer is sounded, announcing the success, we rehydrate, eat, and find our souls overcome by a sense of peace and comfort.

The days of Ramadān are microcosms of death. They remind us, scream at us, our own mortality. We start life active.We flourish in our youth. If God blesses us, we live to be old and feeble. If we lived good lives, we will celebrate in the hereafter.

Our birth is fajr (dawn); our youth is duhā (when the morning sun is bright) until `asr (the afternoon prayer) and middle age sets in from then till maghrib, and just before death, we are resurrected by food and drink.

Each day is an analogy of life; we start strong and gradually get older and weaker. If we spend our lives struggling to worship God and serve others, we will break our fast after our deaths! We will break it drinking from the fount and hands of our beloved, Muhammad . Ibn Rajab said, “I have fasted my life from the forbidden and I hope to break my fast after death!”

Think upon this well and respect yourself, your age and your place. Use the time you have to serve your Lord and be useful to others.

Praying that your Ramadān is blessed, and asking you to please like and support Ella Collins Institute! An institute I started a few years ago. I’m about to embark on an important fundraiser and I will need your help!

Suhaib Webb

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5 Comments

  1. Salsabil says:

    Jazzak Allah Khair! Thank you for this reminder brother, Webb! May the Ummah benefit from this post like all the other posts on this site. May all of our Ramadans be that of a reminder to us all to hasten in good deeds and not forget our purposes in life.

  2. mutȃhhira says:

    Ma sha Allah! :) A much needed reminder. Alhumdulillah! Jazak Allahu Khayran Katheera!. I have a doubt, though. As I’ve grown up, I seem to have lost the image of Ramadhan I used to have as a child.. At times it seems like an ordinary month for me.. When I was a 10,11 year old, it was completely different.. Could there be any specific reason for this queer feeling?.

  3. Fatima says:

    Asalmaualaikum,
    JazakAllah for writing a wonderful article and explaining the life cycle in an easy example. Keep on writing !

  4. Louisa says:

    Mashallah! Thank you, tears welled up as I read this, A very much needed reminder for me, when all around me people are just thinking “what should we cook, what should we eat”
    Jazaka allahou khairan

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