With a blog title like “Spilled Skim Milk”, one would expect that of the first couple of posts would be a piece on how to clean a spill up (i.e. get over your mistakes). Instead, I’ll leave you to find that out here, and go on to something else: Cleaning up a spill…when it’s not. Your. FAULT!

It’s in this month of Ramadan, filled with barakah/blessings, that our personalities evolve to fit under one of three categories:

1) A once easy going personaliy changes into a snappy, woke-up-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-bed-for-suhoor monster,

2) Nothing happens, or

3) A once don’t-talk-to-me-before-I’ve-had-my-coffee personality changes into a happy-go-lucky one.

Category One

Only the long days of repetitive fasting and little shut-eye throughout the night can turn someone who once seemed to be Mother Theresa into Oscar the grouch. If you want to see what a person’s truly like, talk to them on an empty stomach. (Which further explains why wives break bad news to their husbands only after they’ve had a nice warm meal and are rested. ;))

Category Two

Do you ever wonder how it’s possible that during the most sacred month of the year, a month that includes a special night better than all the good deeds of an 83 year old person, you still find others (sad to say Muslims included) continuing to wake up to sinful lives? Day in, day out, it’s all the same; if Ramadan means delaying dinner till nine in the evening then so be it, but nothing in their routines will change. It is those whom have hardened, locked hearts resembling rocks, and are heedless to the blessings Allah has given them.

Despite this though, “…there are some [rocks] from which rivers gush forth; others there are which when split apart send forth water; and others which collapse out of fear of Allah. And Allah is not unmindful of what you do.” [Surat Al-Baqarah; Ayah 74]

No matter how hard a rock can be, Allah sets forth the above parable – even the hardest of hearts can cry tears of sweet repentance.

Category Three

As mentioned a number of times above, Ramadan is the month. It is the month of ultimate rahmah/forgiveness from Allah. And it is during this month that one sees a number of once misguided souls return to the straight path of following the Qur’an and sunnah. No longer do the toils of life manage to hold a firm grip on their emotions. Instead, they come out of the month with the biggest of smiles, reflecting ย their back-at-peace pure hearts. And that is the category worth striving for.

So how do these people do it? Surely the pangs of hunger must affect them, too!

And so this is when I come back to the question: On one’s mission to come closer to Allah, how does he/she learn to smile at the trials he/she face’s along the way?

We’re not talking about trials such as continuing to tread clear from luring sins, trapping one back to his/her old habits. We’re talking about the trials set by others: how does one keep their cool when his/her siblings are driving him/her insane? Or when the person in front of you in line for the iftar at the masjid grabs the last piece of chicken, leaving you with iceberg lettuce? Or when someone rudely takes the spot you’ve saved for hours for taraweeh? (Or when a man tells you he wants your kittens?) Or…I think you catch my drift ๐Ÿ™‚

In other words, how does one clean up a spill that he/she didn’t make?

Cleaning it Up

And to that, my answer is to you: Say the “magic” words!

Abu Hurayrah (radiya Allahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Rasul (salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Fasting is not merely abstaining from eating and drinking, rather it is abstaining from ignorant and indecent speech, so if anyone abuses or behaves ignorantly with you, then say: ‘I am fasting, I am fasting.’ ” [Reported by Ibn Khuzaimah (no. 1996) and others. Its isnaad is saheeh.]

ุงู„ู„ู‡ู… ุงู†ูŠ ุตุงุฆู…

Reminding yourself that by staying patient during your fast you are working your way to getting that disney princess castle in Jannah (right beside the Rasul inshaAllah!), will help you to take those deep calming breaths. Just say the “magic” words, and prepare to reap in the ajr inshaAllah. And smile while you’re doing it too, you’re on camera after all. Might as well look good ๐Ÿ˜‰