Ramadan Mubarak! Just like that, another blessed month has arrived, and the next 30 days will be joyous, and we will do our best to make them fruitful insha’Allah. As we look amongst ourselves, and into our hearts, we see so many who were with us one year ago, who have returned to their Lord, and will be missed at our daily prayer services, and our dinner tables. We pray for them and miss them dearly, but we know that we will be reunited with them in the highest levels of paradise insha’Allah. Ramadan is a month of reflection, a time to take stock of who we are in our hearts, what we bring to this dunya, and what we are preparing for our akhira.
I myself have been thinking about Ramadan and Social Justice. From the stories of our Prophet, May Peace Be Upon Him, and from his traditions, we know that the act of fulfilling the needs of our brothers is more beloved to Allah than nights spent on the prayer mat. Islam is a social religion, one that demands that the most pious amongst us be a part of society, at minimum 5 times a day. It is obligatory upon us to wish a greeting of peace to our companions.
Throughout the seasons of our lives, we see that Ramadan undertakes many personal and communal themes for us. When you are young, Ramadan may be a season of dua, and as you get older, it may be a season of reflection. 3 years ago, during Covid, Ramadan was a season of community, after that, our Ramadan became a season of rebuilding. This year, my theme for Ramadan is personal. What is my impact on this world, and how can I make it better?
While we pray, fast, read Quran and make Dua, I encourage you to look at the micro impacts of your life. Things like how much water you use, who you choose to support with your money, and how much waste you create. These issues are also a form of Social Justice, because everything you do has a true and tangible impact on the most vulnerable people in our world.
This Ramadan, I humbly ask you to fill up a reusable water bottle, to limit your food waste at Iftar, to open the blinds and let in the light, to walk to your local masjid instead of drive. I urge to you to read the labels before you buy your Eid clothes, to support Muslim businesses, and to invest in your community and take accountability for the way you treat your world. Keep an eye on our social media pages and our email for some great material about how you can make a micro-impact, and make dua that we, as a community, can make a larger than life effect on the world.
This month will fly by before we know it, and I hope to keep you updated about my personal reflections, and what we are doing as a community here at ICNA CSJ. I hope to spend time with my family, to see my friends and community members, and to meet you all during our communal prayer and Iftar events. May Allah allow us to make the most of this month, May He allow us to take the benefit of our community, and May He grant us the grit to struggle through our desires for His sake this month and every other month of the year. Ameen.
Zahid Bukhari, Executive Director of ICNA CSJ