Why I Fast During Ramadan

Posted: July 9, 2013 in Current Events
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Tomorrow is the first day of Ramadan, some people around the world have already started. Some are just waking up now before sunrise in their respective parts of the world to eat and pray before drifting back to sleep. Its somewhat comical explaining to friends who aren’t Muslims about how we fast everyday from sunrise to sunset for an entire month. Some of them don’t understand how its possible, others think we’re just crazy. Whatever the case though not all of them ask us why we do it. I guess most assume its just some religious reason that they couldn’t care less about. I was eating dinner today and just started reflecting on the reason behind why I fast.

First and foremost well I’m a Muslim. That’s how I was brought up and that’s all I knew in my childhood. I would watch my parents begin fasting, would watch my dad sometimes get a little irritated at that time of the year and then ultimately it would end up in this huge celebration known as Eid al-Fitr. I never truly understood why we do it until I grew into my adolescent years. The purpose of Ramadan is to basically get rid of all the bad habits you learned throughout the past year. It’s supposed to teach you discipline and self control. Think about it, your stopping yourself from eating and drinking for long periods of the day. You teach yourself not to do things that you normally would do every day because you need to do it. So if you can discipline yourself to live without things you actually need for these long periods of time, then why even bother doing things that aren’t allowed for the rest of the months?

Unfortunately not all of us think of it this way. Ramadan is taking place in the summer. People are hot, sweaty, dehydrated and we have this heat wave going on. Most people are thinking wait, on top of all of this crap now I have to fast? How am I going to survive through this? I won’t lie I’ve had these thoughts in my head as well. I was thinking to myself, how the hell am I supposed to work? I have to talk all day day at work I’m going to get dehydrated because of this heat and I can’t drink water. Then I thought about last year, wasn’t much different from this one. I survived last year didn’t I? It’ll be hard yes but its going to be manageable.

So we get passed that initial “oh no” feeling, now we fast and we pray and use this month to become better Muslims. Then at the end we go back to the way we were before the month started. I admit freely that pretty much is what happens to me every year. I’ll pray during Ramadan, and then the rest of the year I’ll just go through the motions with my head wandering through other thoughts. A lot of people would call me a hypocrite and ask me why I bother to fast and pray. I mean look at the things I’ve done. I used to drink, I used to do drugs, and I have pre-marital sex. All of which are things not allowed in Islam. In the past I’ve even broken fasts to do these things. So then why do I fast? Why do I pray? I do it because I still have that bit of hope that maybe I can be forgiven for my sins. I’m a stubborn person and as long as I have just a little bit of hope its enough for me. At the end of the day I do have faith in Allah despite my sins. Insha’ Allah I’ll be forgiven. That’s what I tell myself all the time. Even when my heart isn’t completely in my prayer or my fasting.

At the end of this Ramadan I’ll be a sinner again. That’s just me being honest with myself. I do hope that maybe some of the changes I make in my behavior will carry on through the rest of the year. I see this all the time with so many others. Girls who normally wear skirts and revealing clothing will cover up and be more conservative. The crack heads and the alcoholics will try to keep their addictions away for a while. Then it all starts up all over again.

I’m a modern Muslim. I sin, I fast, and I pray. I try to live out my life keeping thoughts of Allah in it but I admit I’m not the best at doing that. Sorry if I sound a little preachy here but any relationship requires both parties to give full attention to each other right? This applies to any form of faith you may have. God is always giving you his attention at all times, now are you returning it? I admit that I don’t always return it. What about the rest of you? Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments below.

For updates don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and follow me @rahat_music on twitter. To all my fellow Muslims out there, Ramadan Mubarak.

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