Another Ramadhan comes to an end. This has been a strange Ramadhan. And will be a stranger Eid. This Eid, many homes have lost a loved one. And loved ones who have lost their homes.
Ramadhan is a celebration of the spiritual over the material. That our bodies are transient but our souls eternal. It’s not just our bodies, but everything that you see around you. Your furniture, your home, even your spouse and children. At one point none of this existed. They all came into being. And will one day cease to be. But the soul. The soul is forever.
It’s something that we all experience. Anytime you’ve given something (a gift to a friend or alms to a beggar) and felt so warm and fuzzy inside. Why does that happen? You’re materially less. You’ve given something away. If anything you should be a bit more sad and depressed. Instead, you’re happy even fulfilled.
Likewise, there are times when I’ve been selfish and greedy. I’ve been asked for something, but I hold on to it tightly, squeeze it closer to me. Shouting “Go away!” When I’ve done so, I feel miserable. I should celebrate as I have more now. Yet I feel empty inside.
We can forget the Reality but we can’t hide from it. We aren’t our material selves. But are our spiritual selves. We are our soul. And our soul flourishes or withers depending on how we nourish it. And that’s all that matters.
It’s a realisation that has deepened for me this Ramadhan.
Everything that we strive for life, money, comfort, respect. They’re like wisps of fragrances passing us by. We’re blissful for a moment and then it’s gone.
Indeed I exist in a material realm and the struggle for the material is necessary, even noble. Yet I lose sight that it is ephemeral. Even worse I attach my happiness to it. I’d like to grow from here. I’d like to live from the place that the material world is a gateway to the spiritual world. That these are opportunities to reach the fullness of my existence. To becoming Godly. Godlike.
Eid Mubarak. There’s immense anxiety, injustice, loss. Yet there is something life-affirming about celebrating despite it all. May the oppressed find peace, justice and freedom. May those who have lost find strength and hope.