1. “..Not even water?”
Yes. Not even water. In Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating and drinking, and provocative behavior from dusk until dawn.
That means, for 30 days, every year, in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims around the whole world, a massive 1.6 billion people, wake up just before sunrise, they huddle around their kitchen tables with their eyes half opened, and and the rest of their minds still asleep
They have their breakfast, fill their tanks with as much water possible, and say their goodnights! They then make their first prayer of the day, before going back to sleep.
They then get on with their day to day activities, whether that be going to school, going to work, taking examinations, performing a surgery, whatever you can think of, they continue with their daily dues. All while self reflecting, remembering God, and focusing on bettering themselves.
Fasts are broken just before sunrise. Families come together to eat, distribute food, feed the poor, and reap from the rewards of their fasts.
The days are for fasting, and the nights are meant for praying, Believers will stand in prayer at nights, with the hopes that their sins are forgiven, and that their prayers are accepted.
2 “..I feel so bad for you!”
It’s funny, a lot of people say that they feel bad for those who have too fast for so many hours, because Muslims are always sad to see the month go. You shouldn’t feel bad, because Ramadan is a month of reward for Muslims.
For me, I feel that no matter how many sins I’ve committed, no matter how much I may have gone astray, no matter how much I’ve distanced myself from my faith, I find peace with myself in Ramadan.
It is believed that the door of heaven are open, and the gates to hell are closed, and the prayers that you make with the right intentions, in this month, are always accepted. God brings forth a season for all his believers a month to ask for forgiveness, a time to reflect, time to connect with one’s self. A time for a believer to become righteous.
3 “..How do you do it??”
Fasting is very good for your health, there’re numerous surveys and reports to prove that. In fact, Muslims aren’t the only people in the world to observe fasts.
Buddha’s are known to fast for numerous days, as they believe it to be a method of purification, aiding them in meditation and good health.
Catholics fast as it teaches control of fleshly desires, penance for sins, and solidarity with the poor.
Hindu’s fast as way to enhance concentration during meditation or worship; purification for the system; sometimes considered a sacrifice.
You would have to submit to the fast in order to feel the spiritual benefits. I can tell you that much!
4 “..Why do you have to fast?”
Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, thus it is compulsory for any Muslim to observe fast during the month of Ramadan.
With it being the month of Forgiveness, I strive to rid myself of my demons and the toxic I’ve allowed gather in my soul during the year. Some say that the people during Muhammad PBUH time used to prepare six month before Ramadan because they would say, if the month of Ramadan goes well, the entire year goes well.
As well as fasting, to the believer, there are many pearls of Wisdom in the Quran. Reading the Quran aids in self reflection, and helps us to feel closer to our God. It is stated in the Quran, that God will not change ones state of mind unless he wants to change himself.
Our minds, and our hearts collect cobwebs and dust, as we grow – only in the passages of the Quran will you find guidance of how to give your soul a long and overdue spring clean!
5 “..Bit out of order, having to starve yourself for that many hours!”
I don’t think I’ve known a Muslim to take Ramadan as good opportunity to starve themselves. Who is gaining anything from keeping themselves away from food and drink? Who, but the one fasting will benefit from the fast they’re keeping? Only the one keeping that fast, knows of the rewards that the month reaps.
It’s a month of self-discipline, God consciousness. We disconnect our minds from our physical desires, and from doing so, we give ourselves room to remind us of our purpose. We take honest assessments of our shortcomings.
The act of fasting is intended to direct our energies to purity, self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice and charity to those less fortunate. Abstaining from the things that are easily accessible to us on a day to day basis, helps us to remember those who have to go through the physical process of hunger every single day.
“The night comes with its shining stars, and its crescent moon. I wait for an old friend, one who is eager to meet me every year. My heart fills with joy as I await my old friend, a friend
who’ll stay with me for 30 days, to help me cleanse my soul, of all the toxic and waste that built up inside me throughout the year. There’s a knock on my door, and there is my friend Ramadhan, with gifts of, Forgiveness, Mercy, and Faith. As the whole Muslim community comes together to greet my old friend Ramadhan, I hope that we’re all successful in accepting it’s gifts, and that we are all triumphant in our individual journey.”