Peace be upon you my dear readers. Every year I hope to see the new moon of Ramadan. There is something magical about being able to spot the new moon in the few minutes that thin crescent will be visible before it sets a few minutes after the sun. So this year for the first time I formed my own ‘hilal’ committee (hilal is the arabic word meaning ‘thin crescent’) and drove out to try to see the moon from various good vantage points in the city. Why you ask, did I not do this before? Well, Vancouver is not unfamous for its rain, and indeed this is a rare year where we have had blue skies running the past few weeks. Below are some pictures…unfortunately the blue skies gave way to sunset time cloud cover over the horizon so I did not spot the moon the first night, instead caught a beautiful sunset
The second night, I did see it and glory be to God, it was beautiful! But I could not get a picture, for by the time I reached a place I could park the car the moon had gone behind cloud. I spotted it in a teeny glimpse while driving and it was magical. I wish I could have shared that with you.
But what I can share is this picture; of the hilal of the third night of Ramadan. Alhamdulillah! What a feeling to witness it and know one is in the blessed month. To gaze at that moon and know it was the same moon that saw the beloved prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) watching it so many centuries ago. Our beloved, the prophet (peace be upon him) used to make a beautiful supplication or ‘du’a’ when he saw the moon. I repeat it as do many Muslims. He is reported to have said;
‘O Moon, as you do worship God, so do I’
As we believe, every natural object is in a constant state of worship, simply by virtue of fulfilling its natural laws and purpose if not by more.
And O Moon, as you do worship God, so do I! May the peace and blessing of this blessed month continue to envelope you.
O my dear brothers and sisters fortunate enough to witness another Ramadan, I greet you with joy and hope and pray that the light of Allah shines upon you and your loved ones this blessed month.
I have been meaning to write a long while, first to share all the beautiful events that I was a part of since my last posting. Not all pleasant mind you, but full of the teaching of Allah, as I journeyed through hurdle upon hurdle and learned much along the way. It is not easy to summarize and indeed I began this post to share some of the joy and pleasure of knowing it is once more, ramadan. But shortly put, as we continued upon our journey through the countryside of Sri Lanka, we came across many interesting and diverse scenes that spoke to much. A sad visit through what used to be a pristine mountain village by a famous waterfall now full of a type of tourism that unnerved me much…it was tourism for drugs it looked like. All these people in the middle of nowhere looking drugged and senseless…the local women staying off the streets and simple village men now stoned and with blood-shot eyes. It was telling, this never existed a few years ago. I guess when the war was on, this type of tourists did not visit the island. Now we hear, coccaine is grown in the jungles and it has become a hotspot. Or so the driver of our vehicle informed us later on as he reported being solicited by locals to bring more of the ‘right type’ of people through. Thankfully we were not the right type, and we were pretty quick to exit the place. There were other things that happened to us along the way, including a rather bizarre and incredibly memorable encounter with a wild elephant! MashaAllah Sri Lanka really is an incredible country.
Then that night we were staying a small guesthouse, with rooms by a paddy-field…mashaallah it was very pretty, when we heard that my beloved grandmother had suffered a bad fall. Alhamdulillah for the salah and the comfort of putting one’s trust in God. May it always be so for all of us! So then in the morning we rushed back to the city and it took us the day to get there. Thereafter began some good work, as that was the main reason I was in the island. MashaAllah we visited many a social service organization and medical center and learned a lot about what is needed and what needs to be done. Allah bless the brave and tireless people working to help all who need help. I have forgotten much about service, now living in this affluent western world removed from the constant reminder of need. I miss this, for in it there is a great healing and great blessing. There is a reason for suffering and want…I believe it brings us closer to being good people and open our hearts to be merciful…this when one is a sincere seeker or truth or a humble human being. These are some brief thoughts I am sharing, there is of course much more to be said. I pray that these experiences stay cemented in me and I am able to contribute in whatever way God wills. Please include me in your prayers too.
Then it was about leave-taking and coming back home again. Then about settling in and preparing for the month of months just around the corner, and now so swiftly upon us all. I am wordlessly happy! I will end with sharing a lovely youtube time-lapse video featuring one of my favourite anasheed, and this du’a
‘O Allah, please remove oppression from all those oppresed in the world and ensure a peace based on justice and mercy to everyone in the world. Bless us, forgive us and increase us in your light upon light. And bless and elevate our beloved Muhammed, the chosen one’