It’s a good thing I didn’t put this blog on hiatus.
I really did think I would be away for the entire month. But the problem was that I never deactivated my Facebook account! I went to check one day for work (technically I rejoined last year for work) and I was shocked to see that most of my Muslim friends had not thought to rid themselves of the monster this month. Sure, there were/are way more Islamic-themed posts, but not all of them were/are.
And that made me think, was I being too stringent on myself? I’m definitely not addicted to Facebook. But is it because it’s the ubiquitous “worldly” unnecessity that I felt the need to distance myself from it?
The truth of the matter is, the world doesn’t stop even in Ramadan, as much as I’d like some facets of it to. I think it’s a fallacy to assume that we can give up everything that’s not explicitly religious in nature. In terms of jurisprudence, Islam doesn’t even command it – just food, drink, and marital relations from sunrise to sunset. Of course, it’s recommended and encouraged to partake in more spiritual/religious activities, but it’s practically impossible to do it for the entire 16-hour fast.
Although I’ve come a long way in my spiritual development since 2011-2012, I realize there are still some vestiges of the strict legalism I had absorbed during those years. It seems to come out most in Ramadan. But I have to be honest with myself: do I really want to eschew the world and live an ascetic life? I admire those who do, but I like cake a little too much. Also, Mr. Rafia. I can’t just get rid of him now.
I have to learn to fully accept the Islamic wisdom that consistency is better than an all-or-nothing approach (although the picture painted by the media seems to suggest otherwise). I have a proclivity to all-or-nothing — and this too because of my OCDness, not my faith. But it’s not sustainable, as I learned first-hand, nor is it even required in this religion that was revealed over 1400 years ago specifically to give us a middle path. Yes, we have laws and practices that we can’t do away with, but God does not ask us to completely deny ourselves in the process. There are some Muslims who do take the latter approach, but it’s not the Islam I know and love and try to practice everyday.
I’m not sure what I’ll be able to say about my spiritual development at the end of the month. I do hope that the changes I’ve made in my life will cross over, but writing nor the urge to write is something I can give up ever.
So I guess that means I’m back?