Ramadan is a time where Muslims around the world celebrate and reflect on the purpose of life and grow closer to Allah swt. For me, this year’s Ramadan is extra special because I am not just a daughter and a sister but I am also a wife! ? ??
It's been a rollercoaster ride thus far, but a fun ride, nonetheless. I’ve learnt so much not just about myself, but about my husband and my family. ❤️ Here are some of the lessons I learnt so far:
1. Waking up for sahur is challenging, but your effort counts
Prior to marriage, I wasn’t always a big fan of sahur, mainly because I had to wake up early and eat at an ungodly hour. ? Even worse, I used to skip the occasion, which wasn't a good thing. ?
My father would always tease me and say, “Your husband will probably wake up earlier than you for sahur”. Funnily enough, he was right! ?
During the first few days of Ramadan, my husband woke up earlier than I did and prepared his own meal. ? I was mortified of course! I quickly ran to the kitchen and insisted that I did everything for him but it was too late.
Credit: Abdulla Al Muhairi on Flickr
Though my husband doesn’t eat much during sahur, I learnt that it’s still important to wake up and prepare meals together, because your effort counts! ?
2. Making changes to our daily routines brought us closer to Allah s.w.t.
Ever since we got married, we’ve been up to our necks with workouts and cycling activities just so we could become one of those healthy couples (still working on that one! ?). But in Ramadan, we decided to take a step back and focus on our ibadah.
To be honest, I haven’t been able to perform ibadah with my husband. We usually do it separately, but this time, we agreed to pray in congregation. It was eye-opening, to say the least. ❤️
I find that even the smaller changes make a huge difference to the way we do things. Most of the time, we would just be strapped to our laptops, doing work! ? But this time, we’re becoming more active in things like listening to Du’a and reciting the Quran. We’d also make it a point to not miss terawih prayers every night!
3. Fasting can give you mood swings, but patience is a virtue
Ramadan teaches us to discipline ourselves for Allah s.w.t and most people would think that we just need to control ourselves from eating and drinking, but no, there’s more to that.
Fasting can play around with your emotions too, and that’s when controlling what we say and do becomes the hardest. ? At least for me. There was one day during which for reasons I still don’t understand, I was completely demotivated and upset. When I got home from work, I became so overwhelmed that all I could do was just sit on the sofa and burst into tears. ?
When my husband came to my aid, I pushed him away and became even more emotional, to the point where we argued about patience and opening up to each other. It was during that particular moment that I realised how important communication was. ❤️
It would have been easy to get frustrated at each other but maybe through this situation, Allah swt is testing our patience as a married couple. You’ll realise that it’s a waste to let your emotions take over your mind. It's probably the biggest challenge we have been facing during Ramadan, but I always believe that if we manage to overcome it, we’d pass a test set by Him.
4. Be grateful for each other
It’s so easy to get caught up with things around you, and sometimes, you just tend to lose sight of the amazing things in your life. Ramadan gives me THAT time to remember what’s most significant to me: family. ?
My in-laws reside in Bukit Jelutong, and my husband and I live in KL with my family as they need our help to look after my mother. There were other times prior to Ramadan, though not intentional, that we couldn’t pay them a visit and I felt so bad. ?
I guess it's true when people say that a significant part of Ramadan is the attainment of inner peace through the development of relationships with family members. In my case, the most meaningful experience during Ramadan so far was perhaps a family gathering at my husband’s uncle’s house where I got to meet everyone in his family and bond with them.
Ramadan constantly reminds me that I don’t just have one family, but I have two amazing families who provide me with the same love, kindness, support, encouragement and most importantly, acceptance. ❤️
5. Work on your habits and help each other
There’s this saying that goes “Old habits die hard”. I have a pesky habit of getting stressed so easily. Even a stomach rumble can stress me out! ? In Islam, we all know bad habits contradict to the rules of morality. But we often forget that they can disappear too - by abstaining ourselves from exercising them, though sometimes it may sound harder than you think. ?
Credit: Jen Arr on Flickr
There was a time when I woke up a tad bit late for sahur and I realised that I forgot to make samosas. Knowing how much my husband and my father loved them, I began to feel so restless. My husband, ever so patient and kind, told me that he actually baked some curry puffs the night before because he knew that I had forgotten to make samosas. ? He calmed me down instantly.
It’s great to know that you have a partner who’s willing to help you mend your bad habits and make the world a better place to live in. My husband believes that if people try their utmost best to live by the highest values of Islam, they are indeed people of moral conscience. And that teaches me to always be good to yourself, as long as you believe in it. ?
6. At the end of the day, it’s all about teamwork
My late grandfather used to tell me that “Marriage is not 50/50, it’s always a full 100% so whatever you do, remember that you have each other to look out for”. He was married to my grandmother for 43 years (?) before his passing. Throughout the years, I noticed how great they were together. Like a team! ?? My grandfather would help my grandmother cook and do some household chores. I remember telling my 9-year-old self that I would find a man who is just like my grandfather. ?
Alhamdulillah, I met my husband 4 years ago and we instantly clicked. We got married a year ago and one of my major takeaways from us living together for the past 11 months is that teamwork in marriage matters. Without this area being a priority, it can be very difficult. ?
This is so important especially during Ramadan because challenges will come at every angle, but you must be determined to stay in the fight for marriage and Allah swt. Look out for each other, understand each other’s struggles and support one another - this is what marriage is all about. No matter what we face, when we work as a team, it gets easier and better. ❤️