RAMADAN CHRONICLES Ramadan ended few weeks ago but it’s not too late to share the experience from a friend .Basically, this Ramadan was my best so far. Few days before it began, I went home from school and although I was having a kind of mixed feeling, thinking of how I’d get used to not eating for a month. But I looked forward to the hunger pangs, the bustle to cook this and that, the Tahjuds, the Iftar feasts and oh the ever lovely morning sleep that becomes an entitlement once you’re fasting. But Allah forgive me, I didn’t look forward to Taraweeh. After not eating from dawn to sunset, the strength you carry around are the reserved strength and after finally eating, the body shuts down with the next feelings for the need to sleep. Meanwhile staying at home, made fasting easy, there wasn’t much to do. The chores were reduced and everyone was easy on the other. I loved the Tafsir programs too, although I didn’t listen most of the time, it was still an occasion of interest. I learnt a lot of things during this Ramadan; but the biggest thing I learnt was “do not fast while you travel.” Because, it took a toll on me when I went home for the break in school. I school at Ilorin and it is a 5 hour journey which I didn’t see it as much traveling but during the journey, It was the most terrible of all my journeys.I was pale with car sickness. On getting to Ilorin, I could have fried. I already got used to the weather in Lagos and I forgot just how close to the North Ilorin is and also the fact that its a dessert.All that was in my mind then was getting to my hostel and breaking my fast. It was vivid the reason behind “do not fast while you travel”. I could have missed that day’s fast in peace and just repay it after Ramadan but because of my obduracy I fasted almost half and still missed it and will still repay it.I have had experience of fasting in school but in a different way. sleeping studentsIt was excusable that they’ve been awake for a while and the required sleep hours were not completed so at times the teachers allowed students to visit the sick bay when they were too sleepy. I didn’t also have to worry about what to cook and when to cook, since it was covered by my mum and I only had to render assistance.But ball solely rolled in my court. I had to set alarms from 3:00 down to 3:30 and even at that, the struggle to open my eyes was like fire. After opening my eyes, the conjuring of strength to sit up was war and then the power to actually stand up without changing my mind to just screw it all and sleep.I missed The already prepared sahur and the joy of eating another sahur surrounded by a table filled with family, I also missed the indecisiveness that ran around in the house that subjected my mum to making swallow everyday. I missed having someone wake me after my 2 hours morning sleep to go to school; I’m lucky with my timetable this semester, I only had one morning class so I had to train myself to getting up early on Tuesdays to avoid missing lectures.I also missed the peace and tranquility of the mosque in my house.Although, anywhere can become your holy place but it won’t be as what you’re used to. There were times when strength failed me and even as I prayed, I couldn’t quite wrap my mind around what I was asking for. I just knew I was praying and there were times where my heart and head swelled so much I shed tears.Ramadan is not just you denying yourself food; its about you denying yourself everything that could lead you to sinning. It is refraining from worldly things, refraining from talking too much, refraining from using heavy languages, sin generally. Ramadan is the period when all the doors of heaven are open and all your requests are accepted, it is the period where the devil is chained and is unable to whisper into the heart of men and you’ll ask why people still sin during Ramadan. My thesis is ;over the years, man has gradually become the devil that misleads himself. Wahlai, I’m not a saint. I know I sinned during Ramadan a lot but every morning, I poured my heart to Allah, I told Him a lot of things and when tremors of fear shook me; I knew he was listening. Cooking during Ramadan is actually more difficult than cooking on a normal day. On a normal day,you can decide to Start your cooking anytime. But during Ramadan you have to think Sahur and Iftar and you have to time it. You don’t want to eat just anything for Sahur, it has to be something that would hold you for at least half the period ; although some people don’t eat for Sahur. Its Sunnah {act of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh)} to eat enough before commencing your fast. Also for Iftar, you don’t want to eat just anything and also not late. You’ve been fasting for hours andyou’ve been seeing people eat, stirring up your appetite. Food you don’t eat on a normal day becomes appealing and you want to eat special by the time you break which you mentally start a countdown for.The speed at which this Ramadan passed was shocking. In the twinkling of an eye,It was last 10 days. The days of anticipation, the days of endless prayers, the days amongst which is the night of majesty ; king of all nights, The night better than a thousand nights, the night where everyone reaching out to God for a favour is answered, The most beautiful night that exhilarates man to the zenith of holiness. This beautiful night is usually looked forward to by many. It usually falls among the odd number days of the last ten days like 21,23… 29. I get amazed when a date is picked for Lailatul Qadr, In these last 10 days, we were advised to tighten the seat belts of our prayer cars and zoom our prayers with the velocity of light(pardon me if I exaggerate a little) . But, we are all advised to pray more in this period. I don’t know when Lailatul qadr was but I prayed in all the odd nights and by Allah, my prayers will be answered. Amin. Like I said at the precedent of this, this Ramadan was my best. With all the weariness and school stress I gave my best. Although I was lazy with the Quran and Taraweeh, my Tahjud was intact. Ramadan has passed, we are not expected to go back to old ways ; we are expected to continue in the ways we adopted during Ramadan. May Allah make it easy for us all.