The month of fasting, the month of forgiveness and blessings. It is one of the months of the Islamic calendar that is said to host the revelation of the Holy Quran*. Ramadan is not just about staying hungry or thirsty all day for a month for dawn till sunset – that is just one of the visuals of self-discipline.
Ramadan is about keeping our egos hungry. And how does one do that?
Like one of my friends had reminded me – it is fasting, not only of the stomach, but of the eyes, and ears, and the tongue, and the heart. And to achieve it, one must simply try to by stay away from wrong doing. Wrong doing that is very common among humans which includes anger, lying, back biting, hurting others, disrespecting elders, and so on. This is what Muslims (and other people that I have heard who fast) around the world do their best to observe while fasting, and Ramadan is just this one month that comes around every year as a reminder as to what a good natured human must be throughout a year than rather just for a month.
Anyone who fasts around the world, would fast from dawn till sunset. The person would keep their fast by eating a meal (Suhur*) which includes different items according to each country (for example, we eat paratha* and some curry along with vermicelli dessert, finishing off with tea and water). We carry on with out daily routine minus the food and water, and minus the harmful situations that might entertain our egoistic nature.
Then comes the time for breaking the fast. It is called “Ïftari”* commenced by the evening prayers (Maghrib)*. This is when we break our fasts by eating dates and drinking water and then the other food items. The main being dates which are said to restore all the sugar that the body needed for the day.
And to think! After fasting, such a food item exists, that would actually restore all the sugar requirement of the body! SubhanAllah*!
It is also said that “the gates of hell are closed and the devils are chained.”
A question then arises: “Then why do people still sin? “. And I have just one answer for this:
It becomes a habit. Our bad deeds. If the main source of evil is locked up, and we still continue to sin, then it is time to keep a check on ourselves and our behaviour. Not eating or drinking helps to remind us to keep a check on ourself. To feel the hunger and thirst of humans that are less fortunate than us. To know how blessed we actually are.
Fasting is a form of detox for the body and the soul. And it should be carried on not just for one month, but for months to come.
Holy Quran: the divine revelation of Allah (swt) to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw)
Suhoor: the meal consumed early in the morning by Muslims before fasting, sawm, in daylight hours during the Islamic month of Ramadan.
Paratha: a flat, thick piece of unleavened bread fried on a griddle.
Iftari: the meal eaten by Muslims after sunset during Ramadan.
Maghrib: evening prayers
SubhanAllah: Glory (be) to God