faith, fasting, life, ramadan

Thoughts on Ramadan

Today is the first day of Ramadan which for me represents a spiritual reset- a cleansing to help me focus and reflect on life, faith and to try to be a better person. This month also represents an unwavering belief in hope for the human condition- that we can both be better and do better if we put aside the petty day-to-day and focus on the things that matter. Our faith, our family, and our community.

Like any aspirational ideal this is not always the case. Family is far, and though I love my friends as sincerely as one can the community at large is distant from where I stand for reasons too complicated to venture into here. My complex relationship to my Maker- the questions that ebb and flow- remain, well, complex. And fasting? The act of not eating or drinking from sun up to sun down? To be perfectly honest, its hard. Just as difficult as it is indescribably beautiful to feel the first drops of water rush down your throat and travel through your body- something you have to experience to appreciate in all its beauty.

Life doesn’t become roses and daffodils this month. But I guess that’s the point. Life is not easy or perfect. But it is also to a great extent, what we make of it. Tonight I feel blessed to have another year to try to be a better person and make the most of what I’ve been given. This month will not erase my worries but it will help me refocus and strive to see them in new ways because “with all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.”

Ramadan Kareem to you and yours.

17 thoughts on “Thoughts on Ramadan”

  1. Ramadan Mubarak. I feel such immense respect for all of you. It takes a lot of faith to make it through this month. I was engaged to a Muslim guy for 4 years and fasted along with him once. tough as hell…I wish I could share the hustle bustle of Hyderabad evenings. Hyderabad comes alive during Ramadan.

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  2. Ramadan Kareem to you and your family! I've always been a tiny bit envious of people who have such a rich, spiritual ritual to (look forward to? dread?) anticipate each year. (Somehow, the cultural ritual of a month of christmas shopping just doesn't seem to fill the same deep-seated need…) Will be thinking of you and wishing you cool days and joyful evenings.

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  3. Thanks Rasha and Maleeha! To you as well!!!!

    C- that's impressive! I wish I could be in a place like Hyderabad or Lahore during this time- its a different experience I'm sure!

    Susan, look forward to and dread is a good way to put it 🙂 I am not going to lie, I struggle with the act of fasting, but each time the day ends- I'm so thankful I did it. Thanks for your well wishes!

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  4. Ramadan Mubarak. It is hard to admit that there is a certain level of dread, regarding long/ hard days of fast, the weeks prior to Ramadan. In the end, that sense of dread and the annual “talk to yourself” about undergoing the fast is all part of the humbling process that makes our faith even stronger- we are after all, only human!

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  5. Insh'Allah Pixie!!! 🙂

    Leigh Ann, I hesitated sharing my nervousness about it but figured I couldn't be the only one! lol- yes it is a humbling process- its a beautiful struggle- and nothing worth having is gained easily. Hope your Ramadan goes well!

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  6. I am not Muslim but have fasted several times for Ramadan, as well as attended mosque with friends. Strangely enough this morning I woke up determined to do a fasting cleanse to “reset the clock”. Maybe it is a sign that I should be fasting for Ramadan 😉 I wish you As-salamu Alaykum and may this year bring you renewal and insight.

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  7. Thanks Anon 🙂

    PandaBear- that is so impressive that you are as open minded as you are- I hope you had a good cleansing fast [since I know you are on top of your health stuff, was curious if you knew anything about if fasting did actually reset anything?] and walaikum asalaam! 🙂

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  8. Thank you! I think fasting (for me at least) really is about mental clarity as well as being able to put yourself in a place (again mentally) to understand the suffering of others, like those who may be hungry or in need. I think it takes alot of willpower and determination to fast even for a short period of time, but if you have the determination and willpower to do it you really do find a renewed sense of inner peace. So for me anyway I see that as the benefit, and I suppose you can say it resets your internal clock for spiritual renewal. However, I don't know if physically a cleanse has any benefit, unless of course you are eating nothing but junk food, and then of course it will help remove toxins from your body. But if you are eating normally then I don't think the cleansing aspect of a fast really has as much benefit as some “health experts” say it does.

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