The depths of this journey should not be underestimated, and Umm Junayd tells you why.
Imagine the 29th of Sha'aban, Muslims around the world anticipate news of the coming of the blessed month. Radios are tuned, satellite channels are constantly flicked through and the telephone line is checked several times.
The advent of Ramadhan brings about a change in many, some temporary while others aim for a degree of permanence. It was my wish last Ramadhan to move away from the mundane and opt to pack my spiritual bags on a journey that reached back into the depths of history, yet stretched to the time of eternity. The journey required discipline and diligence; organisation and austerity; focus and foresight; it was one that caused a synchronised flutter of my heart and hand as I mapped out the path I would take. Doubt often plagued me, the slight whisperings that told me that I could never make it, and although it was a path that had been trodden by several of Allah's (SWT) slaves before me, it was to be my first excursion through the wondrous tales of the days of old, thus I wanted to have my resting points well charted in order to pace myself steadily through the days and nights of Ramadhan.
As the month drew nearer, the nights leading up to Ramadhan became more purposeful as I concluded the route of my journey. It was dotted with mystery, depth and insight and all the while I knew that every aspect would help shape me once the blessed month had left. The goal was envisaged, and I anxiously awaited the confirmed sighting of the moon in order to cross the start line.
It was upon the sight of the thin crescent that I proclaimed the praise of my Lord, the one who created all things and the King in front of whom I would stand. I firmly asked for His Guidance on the straight path, protection from the crooked ways of those who earn His Anger and His curse.
The directions on my map plunged me into pages that are deeper than the ocean Yunus (AS) was thrown in, and I scurried past the destruction of Thamud, 'Aad and the treacherous people of Sodom. The emotions were overwhelming - I batted back tears as I marvelled at the unfaltering strength of Ya'qub (AS), the heartbreaking patience of Ayyub (AS) and the superb bravery of Dawud (AS). While I journeyed, pangs of longing of companionship with the wife of Fir'awn and the conviction of Maryam (RA) overcome me.
I stopped by to once again praise the Owner of the Dominion and pondered upon how He causes birds to fly with nothing to hold them up but He. I trembled when I tiptoed through images of the fire and the torment that awaits those who reject Him; my eyes glazed over as I prayed for my supplications to be responded to on the Night of Power, and quivered upon mention of the convulsion of the ground that I know to be firm and stable.
Thirst beheld me as I envisioned quenching it with the sweet drink of Al-Kauthar, until I whispered with hot tears tumbling down my face: "Who whispers into the breast of mankind, from jinn and mankind."
My thirty-day odyssey through the Qur'an was a steep and steady one, a dream that was once thought to be shallow, despite the many footsteps I had to trace. The journey through the Qur'an thrusts deep within the soul of the one who wishes to reflect – the one who wishes to retrace the steps of the faithful, and for you too it can be a dream that is not far off, and it begins upon the sight of the thin crescent.
Umm Junayd is a lover of poetry, and a homeschooling mother-of-two currently based in London, UK.
This article was first published in SISTERS, the magazine for fabulous Muslim women. Visit the SISTERS website at www.sisters-magazine.com to read more articles - and download a complimentary issue!