So much of Ramadan is communal – from family suhoors to group iftaars, the thronging crowds of Taraweeh – that we tend to forget those for whom Ramadan is a truly solitary experience.
Whether it is because of distance or access to the masjid, being single (or a single parent) or chronically ill, or a myriad of other factors, there are those who wake before Fajr in silence; those who break their fasts with only the companionship of recorded qurraa’ reciting their favourite adhaan or surah or dua; those whose qiyaam is witnessed only by the angels and Allah, performed in a private corner of their home instead of amongst fellow Muslims at the center of the community.
For some, it is a painful thing, to have one’s alone-ness feel so poignant at this time of year. For others, it is accepted and welcome, a time to have their lives stripped down to its bare essence: reliance upon Allah alone, whether for sustenance or for company. It is in isolation at these precious moments that we may, in fact, have an advantage – there is no rushing about to feed others or be responsible for their needs, there is merely ourselves and our worship to our Lord. Even so, it is not always easy.
To those of us experiencing a much more community-oriented Ramadan, don’t forget those who are unable to do so.
At the very least, make du’a for those believers scattered in our Ummah like stars who have no constellation to belong to; pray that their faith and their worship are purified, strengthened, and accepted; know that for all that they may be strangers to you in this world, they seek to be your neighbours in Jannah.