Bismi’Llāhi ir-Ramān ir-Raīm

In the Name of God, the Universally Merciful, the Singularly Compassionate


The Almighty ﷻ, Who is Just and Ever-Wise ﷻ, has equitably distributed ease and hardship among mankind. If it ever looks like someone has it easy, it is certain that they have difficulties that you do not have, the depth of which you may not even comprehend. Also, on any given day, anything can happen to any one of us. While some days can seem like a walk in the park, others can feel like a trial by fire. The point is not to have a perpetually easy life, but to accept life however it arrives — with trust in Allāh ﷻ, patient perseverance, and gratitude, regardless of the circumstances. Yes, this is no small achievement.

Our ability to stay on the straight path waxes and wanes. The most fruitful spiritual times are often the most challenging. When things don’t seem to be going well outwardly, it is quite possible that you are also being presented with a great opportunity. Whatever the case may be, spiritual gems are present at every turn. Spiritual communities are empowered by the Divine principles upon which they are built. While your spiritual alignment and state will naturally fluctuate, community serves as an ever-present support and reminder, holding a space for you to find your center once again. Allāh ﷻ says in the Holy Qur’ān (Surat al ‘Asr), “Indeed! Humanity is in a state of loss, except those who believe and do good works, and encourage one another to truth, and encourage one another to patient perseverance.”

Some limit their participation in community to events that deliver personal benefit. Needless to say, this approach is selfish and leads to spiritual stagnation. We should instead cultivate the virtue of looking beyond ourselves to consider how we might contribute, serve, and be of true benefit to others. On your difficult days, community is there to inspire and encourage you. On your easy days, you have an opportunity to make a contribution, as there is always someone in need. Our beloved Prophet Muḥammad ﷺ was often heard supplicating to his Lord ﷻ for his community, so great was his concern for their well-being, including those in the time to come (us!). And he ﷺ said, “None of you has faith until you love for your neighbor what you love for yourself.”

One of the many blessings of Ramaḍān is the fast-breaking time spent with your spiritual family, wherein you break bread together. In a traditional gathering, large dishes of food are laid out with small groups gathering around them to eat from the same dish. The Prophet Muḥammad ﷺ said, “The most blessed food is that with the most hands in it.” Feasting in community is a time of celebration. Be thankful for the community you have. It will never be perfect, because people aren’t perfect. Some simply check out, as they have a low tolerance for the challenges of life. The courageous stay engaged. In the least, we should not be a part of any problem. The real possibility, however, is to live in such a way that draws the Divine Pleasure ﷻ. The Prophet Muḥammad ﷺ offers a sure life-strategy, “Keep God ﷻ in mind wherever you are; follow a wrong with a right that offsets it; and treat people courteously.” And Allāh ﷻ knows best.


© Ḥakīm Ilyās Kāshānī