I am home, after the (supposedly last tarawih) for the year. As I recall the final moment there, the hugs and handshakes between us, the whispers of 'May Allah accept all our deeds,' I wonder, who among us have truly succeed in this month. and I wonder, whether I am one of those lucky people whom Allah would forgive all of their previous sins.
For me, it has been a humbling month, a (constant) struggle to submit my soul, wholly, to the One who created me.
Having been unemployed for some time (my freelance work at the moment totally lack intellectual challenge, and so I consider myself not working! ahah!) I somewhat reluctantly had to revise my spending habit. and it is, I admit, more of an EGO thing that makes it hard. I also realize that once you are married, your lifestyle will somewhat change naturally. If before, your lifestyle was determined by your parents; now its level is determined by a different person, with a different pocket size. it can go three ways: a) your lifestyle remain the same b) somewhat you move up a notch or two c) somewhat you move down a notch or two. and you adjust accordingly. now, before you start thinking that i married a farmer who's living in a wooden hut and I've started to wear straw hat and flip-flops, let me just tell you you are wrong. the straw hat idea is not too bad though...
anyway, i am adjusting well, in fact i have never been happier. Allah has freed me from the shackle of...ADDICTION TO SHOP FOR STUFF. It is very liberating not to splash hundreds on clothes or hair products. Though its harder with handbag, if i see one I like, I can feel the itch in my palm to swipe my card over the counter.
I see now the beauty of Islam where the husband becomes the provider for women. though the money is there, any good wife wouldn't waste it, knowing how hard the husband works for it. (now i still shop, moderately most of the time. the trick for the hasben is not to give cash in bulk at one time :D)
If you think you are over spending, stop it now! for the habit will drain your precious energy, and you'll be chasing for more money all the time. if you feel that your money is running quicker than a squirrel (yes, they do run), yet you can't quite point out what you spent with it, reassess where you get the money from, your shopping habit, and your goal in life. chasing dunya is a never ending quest that will only be satisfied with the dust from your grave!
Anyway, a bigger reason of the change in lifestyle is also because there are simply more substantial things to plan and think about. if before marriage, we all aim through this sacred bond to get closer to Allah, and to get to jannah. after marriage the goal becomes clearer, more real, and tangible. its like someone who's been planning for years to do something. when she finds a partner who actually wants to achieve the same thing as her (if he's not yours yet catch him faster than you can say CATCH! this is your EEMAN you wanna protect) , it becomes a huge motivator for her to actually take bigger steps towards the aim.
somehow other things become less important...living with a spouse gives you the chance to reflect how much you really have done for your goal. because he's working towards the same goal, and you see his milestone, and you do not want to be left behind. and a good partner won't leave you behind. oh gosh that sounds soo corny. alamak now i remember some lines from a movie, where the man gives the girl a flower to wear on her wrist and he says "I hope this is not too corny." and she says "I've been looking for corny all my life." hahahhaaaaa. corniness gives me goosebumps, and i still cant determine how i can hate and love it at the same time!
anyway, back to the topic. what have Ramadhan done to me?
well it further emphasize the big change that marriage has brought. I have a new family. and new sets of extended family. doing something big and important with my new family (in this case experiencing Ramadhan together) has further force me to adjust myself in accepting my new life. i don't know how other recently married girls deal with it, and their speed in adjusting to their new life, but for me it takes time. new things take time to be adjusted to. the nest is different, and therefore the body needs to acclimate itself with its new habitat.
i must admit that in one of the early days of Ramadhan, during sahur I cried. I missed my family, i missed that sense of familiarity, i missed being goofy with my sisters, and laughing for the silliest things... in my new house (this is my first ramadhan with hasben) it felt different. I quickly dried my tears and told myself to get myself together. This is my family now.
the last few days, one sweet day I finally, finally let go. for a while, I was too busy comparing my family and my hasben's family. they are definitely more outspoken with each other than we would. at first i thought it was just plain rude. when my hasben is not pleased with his parents, he would just say it to their face. likewise they would do the same, and even to me.
my family would eat together during dinner, here they would eat at different time. and many other differences...these things messed my head for a while, finally i decided to embrace the concept of accepting people as they are.
its easy to say we've been practicing this all the way, but do we really mean it? on my part i think i have been too forceful to change people to be better Muslims, to follow the Sunnah; when i know that only Allah can give guidance to whom He wants.
إِنَّكَ لَا تَهْدِي مَنْ أَحْبَبْتَ وَلَكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَهْدِي مَن يَشَاء وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ
Indeed, [O Muhammad], you do not guide whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He is most knowing of the [rightly] guided.
All we can do is try our best to to be better Muslim our self, seeing our flaws before seeing others first! and invite others in embracing this beautiful religion. if you are one of those friends whom i have aggressively smoulder with religious concepts and lines, i am sorry. i am only doing it because i love you that much :) and may Allah guide all of us...
Finally, what have Ramadhan done to us as husband and wife?
Definitely less arguments :D (mostly because I am stubborn) and more patience and mercy towards each other. I try not to dwell too much on the fact that hasben doesn't know where to put his wet towels, and he forgives my goldfish memory especially when it comes to where i put his stuff. i have also accept the fact that he cannot read my mind, and i must say what i'm thinking. he also has accept the fact that women can cry for no apparent reason, and yes, their scarf must match their clothes.
So many lessons i've learnt within the span of one month, and i dont think i can squeeze them all in this post.
All in all, I've been reminded about being human. we are all full of flaws and imperfection, and there will always be a mixture of sadness and happiness in life. that's just life!
Soon, Eid will arrive, and indeed it should be a happy day for all of us who have been striving to be better Muslims. may the joy of Eid reminds us of the real joy in the hereafter, and further motivates us to take a step forward towards it.
Let's remember this ayat, and structure our life around it. Let's remember why we are here!
وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ
And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.
[Quran 51:56]May the upcoming months be better for all of us, and may Allah let us taste the sweetness of Ramadhan again, next year.
Islam is Amazing and I LOVE being a Muslim! Alhamdulillah.