Well, I have to confess I’m not the best at relationship advice. But, before you do anything, asking God for guidance wouldn’t be a bad idea.
In practice, it’s simple. Say, ‘God, I don’t know what to do about this. I’m lost, and I need your guidance. Guide me, God. I am yours. Where ever you say I should go, what ever you say I should do. I’ll do.’
But here’s the tricky part: you have to mean that. Asking for guidance means giving up the notions of where you think you should go. It means surrendering your will for God’s.
Sometimes it’s hard to do. Sometimes we ask for guidance knowing full well where we want to go. But where we want to go, and where we need to go, are sometimes different places.
And really, who better to guide you. God knows your heart, and your girlfriend’s. He can see your past and destiny. And, if He guides you, there is no force in the Universe that can lead you astray.
One day, the Prophet (SAW) came across a friend, Zahif (SAW), shopping or selling something in the market place. The Prophet (SAW) then grasped him from behind. Zahir was shocked, and tried to break free, until he saw who it was. The Prophet (P) joked that he would sell Zahir (P) as a slave. Zahir (P) joked that he was unsellable, And he was told that to Allah, he had great worth.
I think about this exchange this Ramadan, especially when I hear Muslims talk of ‘idle talk’. It’s become fashionable to publicly abstain from ‘idleness’ this Ramadan. It’s a worthy pursuit, But what do we mean by idle talk? What does it mean to be consumed by trivial matters of this world with no effect on the next?
I’m going to propose something radical: nothing — nothing — done in kindness to another is idle. Even if an act of kindness seems trivial, it isn’t. A stray cat meows outside your window. It’s no effort to put milk (or water) in a plate and put it outside. But there is a woman who will sit in heaven for nothing more than giving a dog water out of her shoe.
I think about the Prophet (P) and Zahir (P), joking around in the marketplace. It’s something I’d expect kids to do, grabbing each other in jest and friendship Kids don’t need to be told about this behavior. They instinctively get how to act like this. How to just be kind to one another. Even in the most silly, trivial, ‘idle’ way possible.
There are a thousand ways into Heaven. Allah is merciful for giving us this. we can fast, pray, remember Him and ask for guidance. But the way we remember him in this world is how we interact with others. The way of kindness is broad, encompassing small and large, short term and long. It’s such a core value in Islam, weaved through the sunnah and the pillars. And I thank Allah for granting it to us.
And the best way to thank Allah for granting us kindness, is to show it others. Nothing idle about that.
I break my fast by myself
Because Muslims aren’t accepted here
Because LGBTQ aren’t accepted here
Because I am both
And my heart sometimes feels like it can’t take the weight
The crushing weight of loneliness
So I pray, and I fast, and I find ways to wear hijab that don’t out me
And I try not to smile “like that” at the cute girl at the gym
Moving here put me back in the closet
But I pray. And I fast. And I breathe. And I feel.
And I savor my dates, taking as long as I like to eat them
I’m finding a quiet peace here
Ramadan can be difficult and strenuous and anxiety-causing for many of us even if we’re looking forward to it. But this year, I have found some things about it that really really had me looking forward to it. Excited even. Overall, I’m trying to consciously be a Muslim, one who submits to God’s will
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeven when it pertains to me
and eeeeeeeeeeeeeven when we have 15 hour days
I would like to share 3 of them with y’all.
1. Fasting, like every single other aspect of our religio-spiritual existence, is something we as individuals do for our Lord/Creator.
No matter how many times people try to C their way into this A-B relationship, they simply have no place. And while some people feel the need to do so to others based on rainbow identity, that is not their sole justification. There is a laundry list of reasons they will come up with simply because they don’t have anything better to do than worry bout you..
So.. you must be doing something right.
2. The month before Ramadan, Sha’aban, ALWAYS SUCKS…
for me at least. One year my brother got mugged at gunpoint. Another year, my ex crashed my sister’s car. This year, Mercury was in retrograde, too. So I was good and ready to get past that mess.
3. Ramadan is a month where we get to see ourselves without any filter… if we dare to look.
Mannnnnnnnnnnnnn, one year I prayed extra, fasted extra, read Qur’an extra, dhikred extra, loosened up my clothing extra… I even drank some Zamzam water. (I was trying to get the gay removed from my being for once and for all.)
Do you know I was still gay after all that? Queer as a 3 sided square!!! And that year, I just gave in. I just stopped fighting it. I thought I was crazy fa sho. I did get tested for crazy tho … that only showed I had PTSD.
It took me a minute to figure out how to say those things. I’ve spent a lot of time fighting myself as God saw fit to make me instead of accepting and honoring that same self. This year, I am making a conscious decision to not do that. I’m still me at the end of the day. I’ll still be me at the end of this life.. .and the next.. and the next. (May Allah give us peace and light in every stage and plane of existence.)
HAPPY I AM NOT HARAMADAN!!!!
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental condition, causing things such as flashbacks, avoidance of certain memories, and yes, dramatic mood swings. I’ve had a few vet friends with PTSD, and so I know what they face is no joke.
The thing is, when Allah tells us to control our anger, he isn’t talking about overcoming medical conditions. He’s talking about people without things like PTSD, who just manage to get angry all the time. (it happens) You should think of your PTSD as a kindof mental/emotional flu. Allah makes exceptions to fasting when you have these conditions, but your are expected to seek treatment as soon as possible, and not simply rely on your condition as an excuse to skirk your duties.
My advice to you is to seek treatment as soon as possible. In the meantime, it’s probably better to hit a pillow than to be mean to another person. But the best solution is to find a way to get better in the long term.
Although the Quran “[a]llows a believer to abstain from fasting if he or she is far from home or involved in strenuous work,” many enslaved Muslims demonstrated transcendent piety by choosing to fast while bonded. In addition to abstaining from food and drink, enslaved Muslims held holy month prayers in slave quarters, and put together iftars - meals at sundown to break the fast - that brought observing Muslims together. These prayers and iftars violated slave codes restricting assembly of any kind.
For instance, the Virginia Slave Code of 1723 considered the assembly of five slaves as an “unlawful and tumultuous meeting”, convened to plot rebellion attempts. Every state in the south codified similar laws barring slave assemblages, which disparately impacted enslaved African Muslims observing the Holy Month.
Therefore, practicing Islam and observing Ramadan and its fundamental rituals, for enslaved Muslims in antebellum America, necessitated the violation of slave codes. This exposed them to barbaric punishment, injury, and oftentimes, even death. However, the courage to observe the holy month while bonded, and in the face of grave risk, highlights the supreme piety of many enslaved Muslims.
Ramadan was widely observed by enslaved Muslims. Yet, this history is largely ignored by Muslim American leaders and laypeople alike - and erased from the modern Muslim American narrative.