I DID not expect this Ramadan to be this heavy…

Eid mubarak beautiful,

I don’t know how this Ramadan was for you but for me it brought a lot of breakthroughs and self-questioning.

It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve fasted in my life, I’m always so humbled by the fact that it only takes a lack of food and water for us humans to become so fragile.

This year, more than ever, it hit me harder. I realised how I completely depend on Allah but most importantly, how ungrateful I am to Him on a daily basis.

Although I remember Him and thank Him hundreds of times each day, I uncovered another form or ingratitude this time: the one that we indulge in when we disobey Allah.

That one is the hardest to get rid of because, surely we are human beings and we can’t help but sin and wrong ourselves constantly.

But this year, I looked at myself with blunt honesty. I looked at all my bad habits and how some of them had become so natural. I listened to the stories I had created around those sins.

“It’s not that big of a deal”

“Everyone is doing it so it’s okay!”

“If I stop doing that, I’m going to lose popularity”

Looking at myself with this amount of transparency was painful, to say the least.

It felt like agony to see how sheitan and my nafs had worked so well to make what is detestable to Allah so appealing and natural to me.

But after a mentoring and a therapy session, I came to these conclusions:

  • Awareness is painful but it is a gift from Allah: He opens the eyes of those whom He wants closer to Him. If He didn’t make my sins so obvious to me, I wouldn’t be able to better myself for His sake.
  • A certain amount of guilt is healthy, it helps take action to step away from the lower self and embody the potential of the higher self.
  • Too much guilt is counter productive: Allah doesn’t want me to fall into the trap of self-pity and to start thinking that there’s no hope for me because I’ve sinned. I was created to sin AND repent constantly, so is the nature of the servant that Allah loves.
  • The breakthroughs aren’t worth anything if no action is taken after them. It’s great to feel bad for displeasing Allah but you have to do something about it to earn His forgiveness and to get out of the unhealthy cycle of complacent sinning.

After reflecting on those things, I journaled on how I felt, addressing my writing to Allah directly and I made a sincere intention to change very specific things in my life.

I wrote those down as a way to hold myself to account and made dua that Allah makes it easy for me to let go of what doesn’t please Him.

I know this isn’t your typical EID MUBARAK newsletter, full of joy and excitement, but I wanted to be real with you

Despite how I just described it, this Ramadan was probably one of my best I’ve ever had. It made me look inward, reflect, and decide to improve my behaviour for the sake of Allah.

That’s how I envision a good Ramadan to be: an opening to a better me.

I pray this email benefits you by making you reflect on the things you want to leave behind after this month of cleansing.

You are in my duas, I hope you keep me in yours too.

Soumaya

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