Today I am sharing sister Sare Çizmecioğlu’s reflections on Ramadan, with great gratitude to her for sharing her feelings with us.
“I saw the crescent in the sky of the dark blue night, in the red of the flag, on the top of the dome, above the Neretva.* I had a difficult time fasting through the long hours. The gates of divine help opened wide. The sun hid its heat, and the clouds wished the fasters well. Little children envied the adults having suhoor and fasted with food breaks in between. Then they took the next step and fasted all day. Grandparents competed with each other to reward these kids in this life, leaving the reward of the afterlife to their Lord.
Tongues were loath to speak and minds were loath to think evil. The devils were chained. The words of the Holy Book were echoing throughout the mosques. Iftaars were offered for tens of thousands. The rattle of cutlery dominated the night as people had suhoor. Even when maghrib was less than a second away, the fasts were not broken without His permission. Parched mouths begged for forgiveness. For Gabriel had lamented the person who lived through Ramadan without being forgiven, and our Prophet (s.a.w) had supported him with his “ameen”.
The full moon has reached its brightest stage. The foreheads are in sajda, and the souls are in conversation with their roots. I knew that Ramadan is an opportunity for forgiveness, clarification, and purification. I knew that I had to resist my lower self. I faced it every day with a new shield. I made the intention to not only stay hungry, but also to speak little, purify myself of my sins, desert my bad habits, and refine my lumbering feelings.
The moon started to wane. I bundled up my sins with feelings of shame and covered them up, hopefully to never open them again. The One who purifies everything could purify them too if He wanted, as long as my soul keeps the promise it made and stays loyal to its repentance. As the clouds changed color, evening time came along again. With the call to prayer, the streets became empty. Lines of prayer formed in historic mosques. The “ameen”s that penetrated the columns, domes, and walls of mosques were preparing themselves to say goodbye to yet another Ramadan.”