The month of the year where Muslims around the world fast starts next week. You may wonder, “Why on earth would a group of people give up eating for more than 8 hours in a day?” Well the answer my friend is a way to show gratitude for our blessings, learn discipline, have empathy for those without food, and improve ourselves spiritually.
I tell you, time flies faster than one can imagine. I remember last year’s Ramadan like it was yesterday. This would be my first Ramadan in Spain. While some practices may vary according to location, there are some things Muslims around the world are guilty of during this sacred month.
1. Watching our Actions: For Muslims, the month of Ramadan is like extra points for good deeds. We are always looking for the opportunity to do more good things. This could be saying nice words, giving food to those in need, our neighbors, community, etc.We avoid doing and saying bad things. This is the month whereby when you do something so annoying to your Muslim friends, parents, siblings etc and they want insult to you they would quickly say “I am fasting”. In addition to this, Ramadan is the time where Muslims are extra extra generous, based on the extra points I mentioned earlier.
2. Suhoor is Sacred: Suhoor is the moment we eat and pray to start our fast. It is usually done before the sun rises, so around 3 or 4 a.m. *time may vary by location*. Although this is the most difficult time to get up, we force ourselves to because you know you ain’t having nothin till 9 pm. Oh and you better not have cereal for Suhoor. #starvation
3.. Trying not to forget: During the first two weeks of Ramadan this happens at least once.
4. Conserving energy: For those active people out there (me included) that like to play tennis, basketball, swimming or do other intensive sports, this is the month you slow down on these activities. For most of us, we can’t burn all the energy we would store for 16 hours. I salute those Muslim athletes that fast and still continue to play or people like my mum that still goes to the gym. Energy is not restricted to sports alone. It could also be talking less, doing less physical labor etc.
5. Watching the food channel: For some reason this is the month where the food channel is somehow more appealing. It is the month where you cherish the food you used to eat in abundance. While fasting, one can’t help but think of all the cool new dishes to make. The food channel is our source for inspiration albeit making us more hungry. When you finally break your fast with water, you are suddenly satisfied and all your food imagination is gone. #wasitshaytanallalong? #ohwaitheislockedup,awkward
6. Paying more attention to Maghrib: On a normal day one doesn’t pay too much attention to the exact time for Maghrib (evening prayer) as he/she should. During ramadan it is impossible to miss this time as this is the time we break our fast.
7. Ifthaar is gold: “Oh I think am just gonna skip Ifhaar today” says no fasting Muslim ever! Ifthaar is the time we break our fast. Remember the imagination I mentioned of all the food we wished or couldn’t wait to eat?, yeah this is the moment we try to eat it all. 9.8 out of 10 times our stomach disagrees with us.
8. Gaining pounds*: For some lucky Muslims this is the month they actually gain weight rather than lose as one would think. Why is that? There is always an event whereby a Muslim family or individual is offering a free full course meal in the mosque, their house, community center etc. There is always free food going around every evening.
9. Trying not to sleep during Taraweeh: After our long day of working, anticipating, praying, imagining and overeating when it is time for Taraweeh (a special prayer done during Ramadan), one is usually dead tired. You are going to see at least three people during this month falling asleep while standing and praying taraweeh.
These are some of the guilty things Muslims do during Ramadan. Of course this doesn’t apply to all Muslims, in fact any Muslim that is having this experience should be thankful for their blessings. There are some Muslims or non Muslims that don’t have the luxury of gaining pounds,enjoying free food from the community, or even planning to make new dishes. Those who have should cherish the fact that they know there will be food on their table everyday.
The true meaning of Ramadan is to remind people of our blessings, be thankful for it; do more good during this month and beyond.
What are some guilty things you do while fasting?