Book Review: Ramadan Reflections: A Guided Journal |

Book Review: Ramadan Reflections: A Guided Journal

Alhamdulillah, praise be to Allah, the blessed month of fasting and spiritual reflection is nearly upon us. Muslims around the world are preparing, whether it is physically, mentally, or spiritually to make the best of the holy month. 

“O you who believe, the fasts have  been enjoined upon you as they were enjoined upon those before you, so that you may have taqwa.” 

(Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:183) 

As individuals, our journey to attain Taqwa, or be conscious of Allah in our everyday lives and actions, may be difficult to secure. Becoming closer to our Creator can be challenging as our everyday responsibilities, a spiritual disconnect, or not knowing where to begin the path get in the way. Ramadan is an opportunity for Muslims to seek forgiveness and recenter their mind, body, and soul for our designated purpose to worship Allah.

“I did not create not create the jinn and the humans except to worship Me.” 

(Surah Adh-Dhariat, 51:56)

How can we as individuals really leave the worries and responsibilities of this life to only focus on the next? As a mother, a teacher, an active member of the Muslim community, there are nights when I feel l have given my energy to everyone except He who deserves it the most. The reminder that this work is a form of worship brings some comfort to my mind and soul; yet, I still want to seek ways to better my physical acts of worship and my intentions.

Alhamdulillah, I came across a little treasure, Ramadan Reflections, A Guided Journal by Aliyah Umm Raiyaan. This book is an intimate journal to guide the reader through Ramadan and help deepen the individual connection to Allah for the year ahead. The book consists of thirty short chapters, one for each day of Ramadan focused on one aspect that needs attention in our lives. It begins with acknowledging that we as Muslims need moments and times of reflection to be gifted with lessons, growth, and closeness to our Creator.

The chapters then go on to speak of responsibility, gratitude, repentance, understanding and accepting destiny, as well as forgiving others, believing in the last day, and Ihsaan (the state of worshiping Allah as though you see Him and even though you do not see Him knowing He sees you). For each topic, there are little reflections, practical exercises, powerful quotes, and spiritual wisdom from the Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammed, peace and blessings be upon him. These offer invitations to allow your heart to ponder insightful words that stir the soul.

The author gives us a glimpse into some personal experiences in her life, reminding readers that simple interactions or experiences can always be connected back to our relationship with our Creator. Each chapter is essentially divided into three parts: one that encourages the reader to pay attention to lessons of their past, another that invites one to live in the present mindfully, and the last that plans for an akhirah-focused future. Each chapter concludes with sections titled “Let Your Heart Ponder” and “Dua’s Invitation” to push the reader to look within and ponder.

My favorite part of Ramadan Reflections is the little gems that I was able to share with my children. I would take short yet beautifully written experts to read out loud to them. An example: in the first chapter titled Reflections, the author takes us to the magnificent hills and mountains of Arabia when our beloved Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, sought solitude. She writes “... He did not escape to something which would simply numb his disturbance, confusion, or pain. He escaped to solitude, to silence, to nature, to creation, to contemplation, and to prayer. It was here that he found solace in reflection. It was here that Allah turned to him and gifted him with Divine revelation.” This is a simple yet powerful reminder that we need to leave the business of this life to regularly retreat and reflect so that we may find our way closer to Allah.

May Allah bring Muslims around the world safely to Ramadan. May He allow the crescent moon to loom over us in peace and faith, in safety and Islam, and in agreement with all that He loves and pleases Him. May He help us in our fasts and good deeds, and make it easy to stay away from what is forbidden. May He allow us to gain taqwa in this month and stay on the guided path until our last breaths. Ameen.

Miriam Mohamed is a mother to seven children and a granny to two cats!  She loves trying new things and learning cool facts. She has taught in an Islamic school setting, has experience assisting children with special needs, and enjoys volunteering and being a part of the community. Miriam lives in Chicago with her beautiful flowering cherry tree and big family.

Add new comment