This blog was given birth to during the blessed month of Ramadan, and so it is only fitting that I should spend time exploring this subject.
Having been a muslim for only a year and a bit, this Ramadan is only my 2nd one, and really the first one I entered fully prepared... or so I thought.
I spent the whole month of June and July telling myself that fasting was approaching and that I would have to keep every single day of it without fail. I was motivated, determined and inspired. I can even say I was really excited about it!
The first 3 days of fasting went really smoothly for me, AlHambdullilah. I hardly felt any hunger or thirst, found it easier to stay up and have my last meal just before going to sleep at 3am rather than sleeping for 2 hours then waking up again.
And i felt really good, positive, peaceful, reconnected with my mind and my body, this was something I'd hardly experienced before...
But by the 3rd day, tiredness started to take its toll. I found it hard to stay up late, impossible to wake up for sehri, and eventually started feeling really ill.
Of course in Islam, it is forbidden to fast when you are ill so I stopped fasting till I felt better.
But this made me think of how much more difficult it is for sisters and brothers who are reverts and living in a non-muslim country. You have no one around you to help you, everyone carries on eating and drinking, offering you food or drinks as they just keep forgetting that you are fasting...
What's been keeping me going on days of fast is the thought of breaking the fast with my fiances' family or with a group of other muslim friends.
It is also really hard to keep working during this month as your employer will not see that you are fasting and therefore, you should be excused, but more likely that you are jeopardising their company and just not performing well enough... That is what I have found anyway. I have found it hard to focus, and my employer can tell. They even said to me that I shouldn't be keeping it if it affects my work, and that I should at least be drinking water...
But difficulties are part of the journey. After all, fasting isn't meant to be for pleasure. We fast because God has asked us too.
And they are a lot of benefits to it too!
I personally find myself concentrating on feeding my body essentials, increasing my intake of fruit, nuts and veg, your diet HAS to be varied to keep you going for the next day! And the excitement of actually being able to break the fast at Iftar is amazing!
To finish this first entry, this is an article I found on the BBC most read articles today, not at all related to Islam, but about a study made on the benefits of short term fasting... There must be an Islamic verse for this but in my own words: Doesn't this just prove how much God does know everything...
Peace to all of you :)