Tuesday, September 02, 2008

For One Month

This is Ramadan. Between dawn and sunset, we don't eat. We don't drink. We don't ingest in basically any form (because I've had questions about chewing gum, popping mints, cigarettes, etc. But no ingesting happens. Nothing.) Before dawn, most Muslims will get up to eat something in order to go the rest of the day without. After a couple of days, the hunger pangs tend to subside and you get used to feeling a little emptier. One of the hardest parts for me is going without the coffee. I've taken to just drinking it before dawn...
The other, less talked about aspect of Ramadan is controlling your temper and behaviour. The food we don't eat is really more of an outward manifestation of the self-control we're supposed to exhibit through out every aspect of our lives. It's almost what I'd call a spiritual-detox period. We use this time to get back on track in our habits, our behaviours, our spiritual / ritual devotions, etc. Things we've let creep in that we don't like, we try to stop. Things we've let slip by the way-side that we want to do, we pick back up. It's like New Year's Resolutions in some ways, except for one month, as the whole community prays together, fasts together, and spends more time together, the hope is that the resolutions won't be broken a few days later, but become ingrained into our daily lives, at least for a while.
Happy Ramadan to all!


Anonymous said...

Ramadan is only a few days young, but it's helping me already. Having just moved across the world I was cutting myself a lot of slack for things like being short-tempered with my kids because of my moodswings in missing home while I knew that poor them, they miss home just as much. But now I have this constant reminder of the character that i really want to be & your post was a good reminder too. May we all grow a littl in this month & be blessed by being better people at the end, better citizens of the world.

Your sister in Dubai

Anonymous said...

Sounds not unlike the season of Lent, where people will fast or give up some luxury to put themselves into a more contemplative place. Out of curiosity (I mean no offense byu this, I wonder this ablout all spiritual tradtiions which involve fasting) - are there exceptions for people with blood sugar problems? I get shaky and light headed and sick to my stomach if I og more than a few hours wihtout food.

Happy Ramadan to you, too.

And look your sister in Dubai mentioned me by name! :)

noha said...

COTW, I noticed she wrote about being better COTW's too, and of course thought of you :)
To answer your question, yes, there are exceptions for those with medical conditions, those who are ill, those who are travelling, pregnant... I'm trying to remember if there are other exceptions. Perhaps someone with more Islamic knowledge can elaborate?