Living the Rug Life


“Water & Persian Rugs” by Jalal Sepehr.

It’s the early hours before the 28th day of Ramadan, and in these precious hours before dawn, the world’s 1.7 billion Muslims suddenly become nocturnal owls.

We rush towards the mosques of our towns, cities, hearts and homes alike, albeit in a Zombie-like state, to bank on the spiritual jackpot of Ramadan.

Instead of being rewarded with a monetary, quantifiable ‘kerching!’, invaluable good deeds await us in the form of musty smelling prayer mats, dhikr, and a whole lot of introspection. It’s all about the rug life, and less about the thug life.

Our tasbirs act as our spiritual umbilical cord to God. With every utterance of Subhanallah (Glory be to God), Alhamdulillah (All praise to God), and Allahu Akbar (God is great), bead by bead, we gravitate closer to God as if mimicking the stars and planets which carpet the night sky.

If you look carefully, you might see a faint glow radiating from our bodies as we hit spiritual overdrive, or at least try to.

The fabled poet Jalaluddin Rumi once said:

Indeed hunger is the king of medicines: listen, take hunger to heart, don’t regard it with such contempt. Everything unsweet is made sweet with hunger.

And he was right.

Before Ramadan, we start out as hollow beings without hearts, very much like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz.

A month of fasting leaves our stomachs shriveled and empt.

But by the end of it, isn’t it strange how our hearts suddenly reappear and are overflowing with more than just blood and air?

Such is the magic of Ramadan.


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