#Ramadaan2016 with Aaisha Dadi Patel: Day 1

Day 1.

Ramadan 1437 is here! I’m most looking forward to getting a damn grip on myself.

One of my favourite Quran verses is from Surah Takwir, (81:26)

فَأَيْنَ تَذْهَبُونَ

The rough translation of this verse is “So where are you going?”

It’s a verse that I like to think informs everything I do, but lately I feel like I’ve grown negligent of its guidance. And it’s reflecting in my life as well. I’m a very busy girl: I’m doing my masters in media studies, working at The Daily Vox, and up until yesterday I was tutoring two subjects at Wits that come with truckloads of marking. I’ve already decided to drop my tutoring commitments. But it’s not only academic and professional commitments I must balance. I’ve also got four little sisters and too many best friends (no, seriously), and in the midst of all of this, I sometimes lose focus.

I’ve seen a lot of people saying on social media how excited they are for Ramadan to save them. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to time to reflect, and to figure out how to reset myself somehow. I want to become accountable, and responsible, and to do this I know I need to take stock of myself and then evaluate what needs to change.

I had a beautiful Ramadan last year. I felt so at peace, and developed some good habits that I like to think I carried forward this past year, so I’m really looking forward to discovering what this year’s Ramadan holds for me.

I don’t want it to be a month of drudgery before an opportunity to feast on Eid.

When my 11-year-old cousin said he just can’t wait for Eid, I had to intervene.

“Make the most out of your Ramadan. Don’t just see it as the thing standing in between you and Eid. This is time when you get a chance to really just think – what am I doing in my life? Am I living in a way that if I die tomorrow, Allah will be pleased with me? It sounds scary but that’s what it is! It’s not just about skipping lunch, having smelly breath, being in a bad mood, having too many samoosas or getting tired during taraweeh [additional prayers] – it’s about just sitting and thinking more deeply about your life and trying to improve yourself in the areas you feel you have room for improvement. Make the most of this time. Shaytaan [the devil] is locked away so if you get up to shit it means he’s in you (JK) (Not really),” I said.

This will be a space where I’ll share my experiences, reflections, musings and ideas over the course of this holy month, and keep you updated about how my pledge to not get angry at people who say stupid things on social media is going. Keep checking in for updates on it all, and let me know what you’re thinking in the comments, or tweet me if you like @aaishadadipatel.

Featured image via Pixabay