My Unique Ramadan Experience
When You Call Him,
The Response Comes!
Istaghfar Is The Cure
Of All Ailments
(M. Javed Naseem)
وَتُوبُوۤاْ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ جَمِيعاً أَيُّهَا ٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
"... And turn unto Allah together, O believers,
in order that you may succeed."
Ramadan is going very well, Alhamdo-lillah. We are almost in the last week now. This has been a very unusual Ramadan for me. I just had a unique experience and I would like to share it with you.
I have been fasting every Monday and Thursday for more than seven years now and transition into Ramadan was always smooth and trouble-free. This year, in the middle of Sha’aban month, I fell ill and it dragged over 4-weeks.
Normally, I don’t get sick and stay away from doctors (or their medication) for years at a stretch. So, two things came to my mind:
First thought: Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) advised us Muslims to welcome Ramadan in a befitting manner and prepare (physically and spiritually) for it by taking some good rest, sound sleep and other health measures. He recommended to stop ‘Nafl’ fasting after 15th of Sha’aban to replenish physically.
Second thought: Allah is not pleased with my bragging about good health and staying away from doctors, so He is giving me a ‘slap on the wrist’ to shut me up – a small lesson to learn.
Following the first cause, I thought Allah was telling me to stop and take a break this time before Ramadan. I took the message and stopped fasting during the last 15 days of Sha’aban. But then it got worse. Every evening between Asr and Maghrib, I would start feeling cold, would be shivering, whole body aching followed by light fever. I would cover up, jacket, blanket, etc., sweat like crazy with all my clothes drenching. An hour later, I would start feeling normal but a little weak. I could not do my routine 6-km walk any more. At night, I would sweat again and in the morning I needed to change clothes. This continued every day for three weeks.
I consulted the pharmacy and they gave me some tablets for flu, cold, cough, fever. One week passed, no results. I consulted the doctor then, who gave me anti-biotic drugs. One more week of that but no results. Then the doctor prescribed seven different lab tests, chest X-rays and echography from chest to abdomin. I completed the circle by visiting the pharmacy, then doctor’s clinic, then medical lab, then hospital and finally back to the doctor.
In the meantime, Ramadan had started. I didn’t want to miss a day of it, although Allah gave us the concession to complete the number of days later. But no day is equal to a Ramadan day. So, I continued and He gave me the strength for that too.
At the end of the third week, the results came. Everything was clear! I could not believe it, nor could the doctor. Chest X-rays: Clear; echography images: Clear; blood-sugar, cholesterol (LDL, HDL, TG), uric acid, PSA, blood-pressure, etc., all in the normal limits. Lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas, prostate, etc., were all clear, healthy and functioning normal. What was wrong then?
After three weeks of misery, after using 6 different kinds of medicines and after spending $200 (Rs.20,000/=), only last week I started feeling better. Today, after 4 weeks, I am about 80-90% fine, still not 100% fit. But it’s coming slowly, I’m getting there. Insha-Allah!
Now, the situation I want to talk about! After three weeks of misery, I cried to Allah. Of course, we remember Allah every day, more in Ramadan than otherwise, more in trouble than in comfort. It was Thursday (last week), my birthday (I was born on Thursday morning before Fajr, so I consider every Thursday as my birthday … lol). It was 2:00a.m. as I had set the alarm for Sehri at 2:15a.m. Adhan (Azan) of Fajr in Casablanca is around 3:30a.m. these days. I had a brief but vivid dream.
I was in a spacious and comfortable room (never felt like a grave) with a couple of people, with only one link with the outside world – a round hole (window) in the middle of the ceiling. It was night time and somebody came looking for me with a flash-light in his hand. When I saw the searching light circling here and there, I asked who it was. I heard no answer. Then I saw a human figure outside the ceiling-window with the flash-light. I shouted at him: “Are you looking for me? I can see you but I can’t hear you!” The human figure leans his head inside the ceiling-window and speaks to me in a very clear and affectionate voice: “Do the Istaghfar”, he says, and then leans back and disappears. At that moment, the alarm sounded, and I woke up. It was 2:15a.m., time for Sehri and Tahajjud.
I normally do the Zikr (Dhikr) after Fajr for about 90-minutes every day and that includes many Tasbeehat, e.g., one Tasbeeh (100 times) of Istaghfar:
استغفر اللہ ان اللہ غفور الرحیم۔
اللھم اغفرلی، اللھم اغفرلی، اللھم اغفرلی و اتوب الیہ۔
I Seek forgiveness of Allah! For Allah
is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
“O Allah! Forgive me, O’Allah, forgive me,
O’Allah forgive me, as I repent to you!”
And one Istaghfar Tasbeeh (100 times) of:
And another Istaghfar Tasbeeh (100 times) of:
رَبَّنَا ٱغْفِرْ لِى وَلِوَالِدَىَّ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَوْمَ يَقُومُ ٱلْحِسَابُ
"O our Lord! Forgive me and my parents,
"O our Lord! Forgive me and my parents,
and (all) believers, on the Day when
the Reckoning will be established!”
So, I thought these Tasbeehat were not enough, therefore, I have added one more Tasbeeh of Istaghfar, recommended by the Prophet (s.a.w.):
Morals & Lessons:
All sickness and cure (Shifa) comes from Allah and He grants it whenever He wills. All your lab-tests show that nothing is wrong, everything is clear and normal, but you could still be sick and suffering. You need His Mercy to survive!
Remember Him with every breath! He reminds us in the Quran that without remembrance of Allah, our hearts (bodies and souls) cannot find peace and tranquility. And the best way to remember Allah is through repentance (Istaghfar). Istaghfar can get you out of any trouble – any trouble!
ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُمْ بِذِكْرِ ٱللَّهِ أَلاَ بِذِكْرِ ٱللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ ٱلْقُلُوبُ
"Those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction
in the remembrance of Allah; for without doubt in the
remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction."
Allah rewards and compensates us for all pains and sufferings by forgiving our sins, easing up our hardships and bestowing His mercy upon us. Otherwise, our own good deeds are not “good” enough to earn that.
And the last but not the least: He responds. Whenever you call Him, he answers. He communicates with you in a million ways, depending on your relationship with Him. His promise is True and it stands.
May Allah bless you all with His infinite Mercy! Aameen!