When many Muslims think of Ramadan they can remember beautiful moments spent together as a family: eating suhoor (pre-fast meal) and iftar (meal to break the fast), bustling into the car to make it to the masjid for Tarawih (late night congregational prayer), celebrating `Eid together.
Yet speaking to some reverts will reveal the deep sense of loneliness they can experience at iftar or on `Eid day. This article had initially been intended for any revert brothers or sisters experiencing loneliness during Ramadan. However as I came to realize, this feeling of loneliness is not restricted to reverts or the month of Ramadan, so I hope it will be of benefit to whomever and whenever they feel utterly alone. So here’s an ayah (verse) to reflect upon from the Book of Allah, a mercy, healing, and source of peace for the believers.
Whatever is in the heavens and earth exalts Allah, and He is the Exalted in might, the Wise. (Al-Hadid 57:1)
“Whatever is in the heavens and earth”
We should not feel we’re alone in worshipping our Creator and try to fulfill our sole purpose on this earth. You may be the only Muslim in your house, neighborhood, or even town, but remember that everything in the heavens and earth – the trees, birds, plants, animals, and so on – are also declaring the perfection of Allah, subhanahu wa ta`ala (Exalted is He).
The seven heavens and the earth and whatever is in them exalt Him. And there is not a thing except that it exalts (Allah) by His praise, but you do not understand their (way of) exalting. Indeed, He is ever Forbearing and Forgiving. (Al-Israa’ 17:44)
Do you not see that to Allah prostrates whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, the moving creatures, and many of the people? But upon many the punishment has been justified. And he whom Allah humiliates – for him there is no bestower of honor. Indeed, Allah does what He wills. (Al-Hajj 22:18)
So let’s remember that the greatest blessing that Allah bestowed us with, out of His bounty, kindness, and mercy towards us, is that He guided us to be Muslims. Whether the people and environment around us do not know, realize, or fulfill their purpose, let’s remember that we are in the company of all that is in the heavens and earth exalting Allah and declaring His perfection—from the noble angels to tiny ants. (There is no deity worthy of worship but God).
Beyond the creatures visible to us, the angels that belong to the realm of the unseen are in the constant worship of Allah.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) informed us: “The sky creaked and it had the right to creak: it had not a single space of four fingers on which an angel was not prostrating (in worship).” (Al-Bukhari)
Subhan Allah (Glory be to God)! We can also obtain a sense of blessed company by pushing ourselves to remain in our place after prayer:
“The angels supplicate in favor of one of you so long as he remains in the place where he has performed prayer and does not break his ablution or leave. They (the angels) say: ‘O Allah! Forgive him, O Allah! Have mercy on him.”’ (Malik, Ahmad, Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
We can use this time to say the sunnah adhkar (remembrances of Allah; specific du`a’, supplications, in this context) after salah (prayer) and do dhikr (remembrance of Allah). This quiet time and space to remember Allah has great spiritual benefit. It brings calmness and contentment of the heart as well as provides us with renewed spiritual strength and endurance.
So what’s the effects of the realization that “…every created being is in a state of submission to Allah and worships Him in a manner appropriate to its situation. The sun, moon, stars, trees and animals are all in a state of subjugation and (prostration) to Allah, and all of them worship Him in an appropriate manner”?
A believer may find ridicule and rejection, hindrance and objection, in his endeavor to obey Allah and adhere to the straight path. However “Allah’s soldiers are with him. The angels worship Allah and dedicate their lives to Him as the believer does. Thus, this true believer is not alone on the road to Allah.” (Kitab Al-Iman: According to the Classical Works of Sheikh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, by Dr. Muhammad Naim Yasin)
As Sheikh Jamal Al-Din M. Zarabozo puts it: “An astounding result of this realization is that when the person truly obeys Allah, he is overcome with the feeling that he and all the forces of this creation are acting as one in worshipping the one and only true God and Creator.” (Purification of the Soul: Concept, Process, and Means)
Remain sitting at your place of prayer a bit longer, as much as you can, whenever possible, remembering Allah (Exalted is He).
Allah is the One Who is praised extensively, and all that He does is praiseworthy, so we should remember His decree is praiseworthy and we are rewarded for showing patience and contentment. Be happy that we are among those whom Allah has guided to worship Him. We discussed how everything in the heavens and earth declares the perfection of Allah.
Learn a du`aa’ that our Prophet used to say in ruku` (bowing in prayer) and sujud (prostration): “Subooh, Qudoos, Rabb Al-Malaa’ikati wa Ar-RooH.” (the One Who is Exalted a lot, the One Who is very pure, the Lord of the angels and of Jibreel (Gabriel).
Also from this root of sa-ba-ha in subooh comes the dhikr ‘subhan Allah’ (Glory be to God). Choose a time every morning, daytime, or evening, to reap the following benefit: “Whoever says ‘Subhan-Allahi wa bihamdihi’ (Allah is free from imperfection and to Him belongs all the praise) 100 times a day, all his (minor) sins will be wiped out even if they are equal to the extent of the foam of the ocean.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Surely we’ll fell less lonely when praising and remembering Allah.