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EN Journalist Ƒєммє on Ramadan!

Reflections from the Islamic holy month of Ramadan

I recently completed a second Ramadan. For those who may not know, Ramadan is an Islamic observance of daily fasting from sunrise to sunset for approximately a month. Though fasting may be the heart of what Ramadan is, I’ll offer a few of my thoughts on the holiday.

Fasting is not easy, in fact at times it seemed next to impossible. Living in a non-Muslim society I had to adjust my schedule a lot. I had to wake at 4 a.m. rather than 5:30 to eat my first meal taking in as much food water and coffee as I possibly could along with my vitamins and supplements for the day. I then had to stay awake to ready myself and my family for a day of work and school.

By the way, my family did not fast with me as we are, for all intents and purposes, a Christian home. I have developed a heavy interest in Islam over the past four or five years prompting my decision to fast. In the evenings I would come home from work, cook supper, feed my family while I put my food aside and talk with them while they ate. I would clean the kitchen then eat at the appointed time of Maghrib which is approximately 8:30 in the evening instead of sharing with my family.

By 8 p.m. I was exhausted I had been a wake 16 hours, worked 10 of those, and done it with nothing to feel my body. Most workplaces require one to perform a job with speed accuracy and diligence so an afternoon nap to thwart the effects of fasting was not favored.  The food taken that night at Maghrib did all but give me a food coma. I still had house work to complete and paperwork for my job due the next day but I was beyond tired all I wanted was to sleep. I managed to stay awake 2 more hours the first night then went to bed to do it all over again the next day.

For a highly extremely routinized woman like me, this was a strain on my physical and mental states.  I was lucky to have found encouragement through friends, scriptures, and prayers to help me endure the first few days of adjustment to a different schedule.

Fasting is a physical act that affects your spiritual nature. Growing up in a Christian home I've heard the term fasting a few times. Even now, the church I attend participates in fasting as a way of spiritual strengthening and renewal.  You see, when you deny yourself food or water (or anything for that matter) you must replace it. That replacement is usually found in prayer and good deeds.

Prayer is intended to build a relationship and communicate with God to sustain Believers during trying or adverse times. Good deeds are reflection of the inward person's soul and their spirit state of grace. Whether it come in the act of feeding the hungry, donating to a charity, or praying for a friend good deeds turn the mind from fasting and toward the needs of others.  The benefits far outlast a full course meal. 

Both this year’s Ramadan and last, I faced issues between myself and others which took a toll on my personal and spiritual well-being.  Most setbacks were quickly resolved and continue to remain so.  A handful of incidents continue to press upon my heart and mind.  I ask myself if I could have handled things a different way or if I reacted positively to a negative situation?  In times of spiritual growth and renewal challenges will be placed in your path to sway your focus and efforts and prevent you from moving forward. 

Will I fast next year?  Most likely.  Despite the challenges and changes to a routine, I have found it to be a positive personal experience, wherein I felt growth and renewal.  This, along with daily prayer and practices draws me closer to a peaceful, centered, focused and happy life.


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Smeet name: Femme ID: 23785066