Salaamun Alaikum, Brothers and Sisters,
There is an old story that circulates in India for centuries now. Perhaps we can all take a little from that story and reflect upon it to see if we can make a serious effort during this holy month to find out if we are also plagued with the kind of problem the story so aptly portrays.
The story goes this way. Once upon a time, there was a great spiritual saint who conducted prayers and meditation exercises at a temple. He had hundreds of devotees. People would flock into his presence and he would conduct a meditation session which sent people into an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. But there was a small problem in the exercise. The saint had a cat which regularly disturbed that peace. She would move from one devotee to the other, scratch her body against the saint and the devotees and distract the congregation one way or the other. So the devotees complained to the saint who ordered that the cat be tied up each day before the meditation practice started. This was done and all was OK after that. Devotees, new and old, came and left, the exercise went on to everybody’s satisfaction.
As is true with all creatures, humans and animals, one day the saint died and the cat failed to turn up. Next day, the devotees, in particular the new lot, came and discovered there was no cat tied outside before the meditation exercise started. This caused a problem. They could not understand an exercise without the cat tied to the pole outside. To them, as they understood the exercise, a cat had to be tied to a pole outside the temple and only then can any practice start. Ignorant of the reason why the cat was tied to the pole in the first place, they understood the tying of the cat as a part of the meditation exercise. Hence, someone was sent to the village to bring another cat so that it could be tied outside before they could start their meditation.
Brothers and sisters, in this holy month of Ramadhan, we, as people who make loads of mistakes from time to time, have been given an opportunity to attain our Lord’s presence. Whilst confessing to our short-comings, we need to communicate with HIM from the innermost recesses of our hearts and seek HIS indulgence so that we could be guided, seek HIM and get HIM to bless us, seek HIM so that we can progress in the right direction and seek HIM to show us the way to our soul’s salvation. Let us agree that the exercise of seeking from HIM does not require a special way or a tied cat somewhere. HE has bestowed upon us the Grace to seek and, in that light, we need to understand the inner reality of our fasting devotion and take full advantage of the holy month. Communication with HIM does not have any special language save an invocation that sincerely comes out of our hearts.
We wish all our brothers and sisters a very blessed Ramadhan. In the holiest of nights during this month, let’s strive to seek a small semblance of HIS infinite mercy to dwell in our hearts so that we can be blessed with hearts that FORGIVE and hearts that LOVE. This entire month we will broadcast a Daily Dua for you to receive and read as an easy reference and spend a couple minutes reflecting on its message.
Global CHANGE Team
Ramadan Dua: DAY 1
ALLAH, on this day make my fasts the fasts of those who fast (sincerely), and my standing up in prayer of those who stand up in prayer (obediently), awaken me in it from the sleep of the heedless, and forgive me my sins , O God of the worlds, and forgive me, O one who forgives the sinners.