July 18, 2012
Posted in Character, Epiphanies, Faith786's Favorites, Islam, Knowledge, Literature, Quotes, Social Commentary, Sufism, Taqwa, Tazkiyah tagged Change, Islam, Metamorphosis, musings, Ramadan, social commentary, taqwa, tazkiyah, thoughts at 12:43 am by faith786
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
As the title suggests, I am experiencing a strong case of pre-Ramadan depression.
For those of you who don’t exactly know what that means, pre-Ramadan depression is a psychological and spiritual state when you begin to really reflect on your life and you realize you aren’t the person you want to be. Pre-Ramadan depression is realizing all the things you have done and said that you want to make amends for. It is realizing who exactly you really are before you make that resolve to be better. Pre-Ramadan depression is a way God invites you to turn back to Him. Some days, we are happy and come to God dancing in His praise. Other days, you realize how spiritually and psychologically weakened you are and you are carried to God’s healing ward, asking for guidance and forgiveness. Pre-Ramadan depression is like the latter, but it is such a powerful and unforgettable feeling and state of being. It is that exact state of being one needs to be before entering Ramadan, entering that month of Mercy, Forgiveness, Redemption from the Hell fire, Rejuvenation, Growth, Guidance, Impunity, Inspiration and, well, a time to get closer to Allah swt.
So why on earth would I be sharing this to you, dear reader?
Because like you, I screw up a lot in life. I make mistakes, do sins, say things I don’t mean to say, done things I wish I have not done, made decisions that were not wise and I probably have done a lot of harm to others I did not intend to do. But before you can start fixing things and making epic plans to be a better person, you have to spend that moment realizing who you are, flaws and all. Right now, I am in that moment. That moment coming to understand that I am not who I want to be. The person I am today is certainly not the person I want to die as. And I think it is really important to have that moment where you see how imperfect and flawed you are. We cannot hope to cure something without seeing the current manifestation of the sickness.
This reminds me a lot Joseph’s Campbell analysis of the hero’s journey. There are multiple stages and there is one stage known as The Belly of the Whale (in reference to Prophet Yunus [Jonah]). This stage is the stage where the individual is separated from the world and enters him/herself. It is the stage where a person ends an old way of life and realizes who he/she is before entering a new life. It is the stage of metamorphosis. That time before Ramadan, it is kind of being in that stage of figuring oneself out in order to undergo metamorphosis.
So what is the point?
I kind of feel like I’m undergoing that metamorphosis, or journey of changing oneself. And if you are kind of going through that process, know you aren’t alone and that it is all part of the journey of life. Making mistakes, coming to terms with them and making amends is all part of the “hero’s” journey.
“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we are not really living.” — Gail Sheehy
“For instance, if a man ceases to take any concern in worldly matters, conceives a distaste for common pleasures, and appears sunk in depression, the doctor will say, “This is a case of melancholy, and requires such and such prescription. The physicist will say, “This is a dryness of the brain caused by hot weather and cannot be relieved till the air becomes moist.” The astrologer will attribute it to some particular conjunction or opposition of planets. “Thus far their wisdom reaches,” says the Koran. It does not occur to them that what has really happened is this: that the Almighty has a concern for the welfare of that man, and has therefore commanded His servants, the planets or the elements, to produce such a condition in him that he may turn away from the world to his Maker.” –Alchemy of Happiness, Imam Al-Ghazali