As we touched before, Ramadan is a month where hearts are softened due to becoming more focused on worship of Allah and giving the Quran a chance to enter your heart. This effect creates empathy and compassion towards others. The root of becoming more empathetic towards others is always thinking good of others to begin with. Not everyone is out to get you all the time. Not everyone who disagrees with you is doing so to attack you on a personal level. Not everyone who says wrong things to you are doing it to hurt you, they may do it because they just have no filter or aren’t mindful of what they’re saying out loud. They may even begin to feel bad about it afterwards and never have the courage to speak up to you.

We are only in control of how we act and how we react in these types of situations. Ramadan allows us to think good of pretty much everything and have a positive outlook on even the worst of situations. This is a month of Mercy where we can act merciful towards others even when they do wrong to us, we can always make excuses for them and learn to think good of them as a result.

A little while ago I was realizing the magnitude of Surah qadr in the Quran. In it there is a description of the night of power (laylatul qadr), in which doing good deeds is the equivalent as doing those good deeds for 1000 months. Meaning the reward given is that humongous. That reward amounts to the equivalent of having done the good deed for 83 years. So Allah put a night in between a month to give us that much reward. Not only that but that night happens to be in a month where we are already mentally preparing to do good deeds because it’s Ramadan. It’s not like trying to do it all year long hoping to finally get to laylatul qadr. It’s literally in a night in a month that we are already in higher worship mode naturally. Then it got me thinking. How merciful is our Lord?

Outside of Ramadan, every Friday there is a time between asr and Maghreb in the last portion where we can make dua and it will be like an arrow hitting its target. Right on the mark. Every single Friday comes that time. Every week of the whole year. Then there comes a time that when you pray in congregation and say Ameen after the imam has finished Surah Fatiha in the prayer, if you end up saying Ameen at the same time as the angels then all your previous sins are forgiven. If we look deeply, there are many many ways to earn the pleasure of Allah. There are many ways to be forgiven. There are many ways to come back to Allah. To get what we so desire in the world and afterlife. Isn’t that a merciful Lord?

He is the bestower of both mercy and punishment as he is the King but on His throne he has written that His mercy supersedes His anger. We sometimes get an achy feeling in the heart as the end of each Ramadan draws near. And with good reason. But the ache should be comforted in knowing that even though Ramadan leaves us, Allah never does. Alhumdulillah. May Allah be pleased with us and forgive all of us for all of our wrongs and admit us into jannatul firdous without hisab. Ameen.

When you fast from food and water all day, your other senses become much more stronger. For example, your nose can smell a lot of things due to your conscious effort not to eat or drink anything. I know when my husband actually walks in the door and correctly guesses that I put bell peppers in the chicken salan, that this man is definitely fasting because on any other normal day he would just say “What’s a bell pepper” LOL, but I digress. Because you are refraining from food and drink you have more energy in your body for other things that you would have not imagined being so good at. You begin to listen to the other person more and understand where they’re coming from. You begin to drop the pettiness because frankly it just takes too much energy to argue on small issues. And one of the most important things I find that happens while fasting is I become more mindful of others and the situation at hand. I find myself more in tune with what another is trying to say to me, or I put more attention on others’ reactions to certain things and draw upon more accurate conclusions from it. You begin to think a little before you speak or do something because you aren’t doing things so carelessly.

This is the beauty of fasting in Ramadan. It helps your relationships with your family and friends because you start to give more attention to what matters rather than mindlessly just going about your day and not listening or caring about another person’s feelings. And it also helps your relationship with your own self. You self assess and reflect on certain things in life that you would’ve never given a second thought of. Take the time to actually read through an article instead of looking at the comments first. Take the time to take in another’s body language while they are making their point to see what is stressing them out. Take the time to thoroughly assess the situation of your current self in order to create a more positive YOU.

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Ramadan is a month where our ability to feel compassion and empathy for each other is heightened.  The heart is softened through the fasting during the day and the long prayers at night.  Even if you, like me, don’t yet understand what is being recited in the taraweeh prayers, just listening to the recitation of the Quran has a softening effect on the heart.  This softening leads us to be more lenient with those we love and to give and forgive without any hesitation.  It also leads us to understand where someone else is coming from and to look at things from their perspective which in turn leads us to improve our relationships with people.  We are less likely to resort to blame when a problem arises and more likely to seek to understand people’s unique perspective and work out a compromise.

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