“Oh my goodness I can’t wait to meet you!”
You were obviously hyped about meeting me. The amount of Facebook status posts and whatever you declared on Twitter said it all. As you anticipated my arrival, I sensed the shine in your eyes as you smiled at my presence, coupled with incessant praising of Allah. You dwelled on about how much you missed me and even created a list of activities you wanted to do when I visit you.
You even reminisced the times we shared before: from the time you decided to put in a wee bit more effort to perform your Fardhu prayers, to the moment you donned on the hijab for the first time or to the time you finally became someone’s beloved spouse. You often associated me with your new personal status that you recently embraced. Your first time as a wife, as a mother. Each time you had a new role embedded in your life, you did not neglect me. In fact, you always welcomed me in your conversations. I appreciated that about you.
My other friends shared that they have never seen so many Muslims particularly cautious in practising the Deen, especially when I was around. People could abandon entertainment. They were vigilant with their deeds and were very careful with their words. My friends were so impressed and hopeful that the after Muslims meet me, they would do the same when my friends visit. However, that has not been the case for the past few years, maybe even decades.
During the first week of meeting, I have never been so happy to see the cluttering mess outside the mosque! The shoe racks were brimming and often, footwear would scatter the floor. Cute toddlers, the elderly or people that I rarely see at the mosque, would join the congregation prayers. Everyone tried to be extra kind to each other, like offering dates to the person beside them before they ate one themselves or simply smiling to each other.
You seemed more productive at work. You would leave the office early, just so that you could eat with your family and loved ones. If only it was like this for the rest of the year. You also cared about those who were less fortunate. Oddly, these sentiments arose only when I was around. When you grimaced at the pang of hunger or resisting the desire to let a drop water linger down your throat, it was only then you remembered about the starving children who was in that very situation. Unlike you, they suffered all year long. But, you only remembered when I was around.
The last ten nights with me was amazing. Oh, you could be up all night immersing yourself in the magnificent beauty of the Quran. You would contemplate on so many other things that you experienced for the past years. Your tears and begging. Those tears of confusion, of repentance, of incredible hope for His Forgiveness. I witnessed all of those tears.
On the last week, three rows during congregational prayers was considered quite exceptional. Sometimes you were heedless as your excitement to meet my friend blurred you from the fact that I was about to leave you soon.
During the last few nights, you kept asking me whether your company with me was more meaningful than the last time we met. You kept wondering whether you will ever be able to meet me again. It breaks me that I don’t have the answer to that question. At the same time, I am hopeful that the next time I meet someone who awaits my arrival, they will embrace me with open arms.
I am Ramadhan. It was lovely meeting you.
Fazliah aspires to be an adventurer in life and dreams of collaborating with Paolo Coelho to write a book together. She seeks inspiration to write through contemplating during nature walks or mountain hikes.