Literally everyday of Ramadan has its own miracles.
Today was not different. Even
still, I am stunned by them and anticipate them. It is like knowing that The
Creator is going to do something special for you (besides properly apportion
you for the environment, order the stars and planets into fixed orbits, make an
invisible energy field called gravity keeping everything in its place on earth,
make plants and animals our friends, protectors, and sustenance, and rain water
on us so that our bodies stay moist – oh and perfectly position my heart in
relationship to all my other organs so that I can live – plus making my soul
and literally everything else: time, love, feelings, etc…) Still, everyday I
feel like Allah gives me a special opportunity to reflect in a way that is like
a mini revelation. In Ramadan I suppose I am keenly tuned in.
It is the month that the Angel Gabriel would relate the signs of Allah in the form of Arabic verse, and ordered divinely to our Nabi (saws), so that now we have a collection called The Quran. SO being open-hearted an able to discern the previously indiscernible is quite likely.
Regarding my heart… a dear friend sent me this:
There’s this pace in all of us that wants to love, a soft childlike place – the place that can connect easily to spirit, to God, to joy. This place is the most exposed and hurting during times of heartbreak. Much of the time, we aren’t as connected to this part of us. But in heartbreak we can connect easily, we are constantly mindful of this soft part. We have a unique opportunity to open up to this part – to fall in it – to let groundlessness be grounding. We can see with new eyes when we are seeing from this soft place – we can see ourselves differently and move in different ways. If we allow it, we can learn, grow, and love, pray, eat, sleep, and work more intensely & with more presence and awareness than ever before. We have new insight, we can become more awake. If we don’t fight it. This is ultimately a chance to surrender.
So with these new eyes, with this open heart, with a situation where I needed to really take a look at myself and find out what I can do to get myself right within I have been spending more time around the elders in my Muslim community. As a result I came across a recurring friendship with Brother Abdul Qadir, of Masjid At-Taqwa, the special assistant to Imam Siraj. He and I have been talking, building, me listening and learning from my elder. This is a miracle in itself – time with an elder black anchor in my community. Especially since both of my grandfathers passed long before I could come to know them.
Well, it turns out that this brother also has a role in my life that I did not even know. It has to do with him and my mother. Here’s how she tells it:
“I was a freshman in college, he would sell Muhammad speaks, on Franklin Ave, I started buying the paper and would go to this progressive afro centric shop to get black stuff … that sorta stuff was still relatively new in 1970. We would talk about the Nation and eventually invited me to the mosque on 116th street first, its’s where I first took shahada, prior to taking that I was in college taking a religious course, I took theology and liberation, that and other courses, one of instructors was a Muslim from Egypt, gave me a Quran he got in 1952, the year I was born – I was planning to convert, serious thinking, I had gone to the mosque on 72nd and riverside [now the 96th street mosque] and went a few times, and never felt quite at home and that is why I joined the nation of Islam. He would come by the house and sell the paper, and soon I became active with the paper, then I became one of the secretaries, over the years we would always recognize one anther. [as the community grew more insular and less accepting of difference] He was one of the people that was never harsh, never judged me”
Brother Qadir did not take me under his wing because he knew who my mother was. But when he did find out he shocked me and mentioned the street where my mother grew up. After that we became buddies. Last night after iftar at Taqwa (Imam Siraj returned yesterday too and I handed him a date that he broke his fast with!) we rushed to his house and ate some strip steak, green beans, and brown rice his wife left for us. A wonderful circle of faith and fellowship in black and Muslim Brooklyn – that is a Ramadan Miracle, and its one for the ages.