Ramadan Series: The Gift of Pausing

Recently, I experienced something that frustrated me on my first day of Ramadan. This Holy month is about detachment from my desires and distractions. It’s about getting closer to Allah. It’s about being present and mindful of my thoughts and actions. This month is my restart for the year to cleanse my mind and soul. To heal, reflect, and give. Although life continues, Allah provides us with a chance to pause during this month. And that’s what I chose to do this year- learn how to pause. You’re right; I cannot pause school, activities, work, or responsibilities. But, I can pause myself, meaning I can stop for a few minutes, an hour, maybe two, and be mindful of Allah. We are so busy, moving at a speed that sometimes scares us to just pause. We forget the art of pausing. The art of being mindful. The art of looking at our surroundings and appreciating the beauty of life. The art of watching the trees bloom back to life during spring and birds chirping beautiful melodies in the early morning. The art of giving back to any and everyone. The art of gathering as a community, your community. 

I was sad last night, but I decided to pause. The frustration I felt was valid, but what frustrated me will not hold power. I refuse to let it keep its power. So, I breathed, I prayed, and I read. I spent time with my family. 

Pausing, of course, is difficult, but it’s manageable. I believe you can do it. You can take a few minutes to breathe. A few minutes to write. A few minutes to put the phone down. A few minutes to check in with yourself. If you allow it, someone or something will be the thief of your pausing moment. Do not let that happen. 

Ramadan Mubarak, and may Allah continue to give you the peace you’ve been yearning for. 

Written by Diaka Thiam.

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