Tuesday, 24 October 2017
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Teenager Ramadaan Experience

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My Experience of Ramadaan as a Muslim Teenager

Zahraa Schroeder

Article by Zahraa Kaskar

GIS RCL

Ramadaan is the time of peace and tranquillity and should be cherished greatly. Not only are the doors of Jannah open during this time, but the doors of Jahanam are closed. In other words, we have the opportunity be and practice who we truly are- regardless of past or future sins. This is the period in which Taqwah (a piety and fear of Allah ) and Imaan ( belief in the Deen ) are most easily attained.

It is said in an authentic Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, that fasting in the month of Ramadaan sincerely out of faith and in hope of reward, will forgive all previously committed sins.

This year, I was blessed enough to experience yet another month of Ramadaan. This is an opportunity that only few receive and I am grateful that I, along with my friends and family, could practice in this beneficial time.

This Ramadaan I was able to interact with the community a lot more, with charity events, mass iftaars and orphan iftaars, hosted by our very own mosque. I tried to make the most of every event as possible, as more opportunities like these are never guaranteed.
Participating in these activities provided me with a sense of gratitude and prosperity. Not only did I realise how privileged I am, but was also disappointed at the state of care of those in need, specifically the orphans. This inspired me to take initiative for the future and ensure that they are cared for during all months – not just Ramadaan.

Although I remained focused on the piety and blessings of Ramadaan, I couldn't help but feel slightly tempted and pressurised by my school peers. Not only were they inconsiderate with their eating habits, but also slightly disrespectful in their manners. Brushing it all aside, they were all-in-all supportive and understanding and their faults or disrespectful manners could be seen as unintentional.

Accommodating Ramadaan into an already full school time table is surprisingly difficult. This was an experience new to us, as Ramadaan usually fell in the period of the June-July holidays. This year round, it came during our mid-year examinations. I found this challenging, as focused studying and application was slightly affected.
I had many spiritual goals that I set out for myself that was slightly compromised due to the timing of Ramadaan. I intended to attend Taraweeh every night and wanted to make the most out of Quranic recitals, but unfortunately, my actions did not go according to plan. Examinations were physically draining and demanding and as a result, attending Taraweeh every single night was unsuccessful. Recitations were replaced with school books and it was a very disappointing experience.
What I have learnt though, is that no matter the circumstances, Ramadaan will come and go, regardless of time, place or personal preferences. I now understand that we must accommodate our lives accordingly and that it is our responsibility to make the most of this blessed month.

One huge challenge was fasting itself. The act alone started off being extremely slow and draining. After the first few days, I felt a severe lack of energy and an intense fatigue. Thereafter, my body soon regulated and became more accustomed to it. It still has its moments of difficulty, specifically regarding surrounding temptations, but fortunately we push through it all. This reminded me of how minute my problems are and that there are actual people enduring this hunger every single day. That realisation was actually heart-breaking and is only recognised once we too, have felt their pain.

Fortunately, I had many positive experiences that by far surpassed the negatives. Not only were we granted with one of the most precious months of the year, but we were able to openly practice it. I had the opportunity to help and simultaneously socialise with other teenagers my age during the events at the mosque. It was a truly rare and wonderful gathering.

Despite my constant hunger pains and fatigue, I endured few of the many challenges that the less fortunate suffer from. I once again realised how blessed I am and that my problems are truly insignificant compared to theirs. I have learnt so much this Ramadaan and have changed many of my wrong ways. I hope that this stays constant and that Allah guides us all in our endeavours, and that we have all taken note of the valuable lessons Ramadaan teaches us, Inshallah Ameen.