In one of my previous posts, I mentioned about my struggle on my first few days of fasting. And now that Ramadan is over, I am here to share my first fasting experience.
Once again I would like to mention that I am not a Muslim however, I tried to fast during Ramadan since I have always wanted to try to fast and Ramadan would be the easiest time for me to try since every one else is fasting and I find it easier (and more motivational) that way.
I have just completed 19 days of fasting and though I am not really satisfied that I was not able to complete the 30 days, I am still happy as I know that I did my best. Maybe I’ll try harder next year.
On the physical aspect, I must say that fasting have made me healthier. I dramatically reduced junk food intake, almost zero intake of rice and pasta, I started liking broccoli and for 19 days my body was completely out of caffeine. The first few days without caffeine was really difficult. I was so sleepy all the time that I can’t concentrate at work. So I started sleeping early. I sleep at around 9:30pm or 10pm and I wake up at 8am. This helped me get through the day(s). I can focus at work and my mind is so fresh after sleeping for 8 to 10 hours.
More than the physical aspect, fasting made me realize other things too. Some from self-realizations, some from trying to answer questions from other people.
Why Do You Fast?
Since I am not a Muslim, a lot of my colleagues asked me the same question almost everyday, Why do you fast? But even before I was able to answer the first question, the second one comes in, Are you on diet?
Sometimes I feel that men (as I got he questions mostly from male colleagues) have this notion that women have nothing else in their heads but to try to lose weight and look pretty.
When my answer to the second question is, No, then the first question comes again, So why do you fast? Sometimes I feel like I was doing a crime by fasting with the way I was interrogated by almost everyone but I feel that I don’t have a need to explain myself all the time so my only answer is, I have personal reasons for fasting. And that ends the story.
One of my colleagues asked me secretly (trying to get a more personal answer by asking me privately) as to why I fast. There was no one else nearby when he approached me so I thought I’d give him an interesting answer so I told him, it says in Chapter 2 of Quran that Fasting is prescribed for you so that you will be righteous. I almost laughed when I saw his reaction to my answer.
Someone told me that if I fast but I’m not a Muslim, I will not get God’s Blessing. I didn’t know what that comment was for. I believe that fasting is not only for Muslims. If one have read the bible, there were so many instances where the characters fasted just like Moses who fasted in Mount Sinai when God gave the 10 Commandments, the people of Niniveh fasted upon knowing God through Jonas who was swallowed by a huge fish and was able to come out of the fish’ belly alive and Jesus fasted too.
Even today, Christians fast too, however they are more lenient. They fast during the Holy Week, but up to certain extent depending on their choice. Some fast from meat, some fast from food but they drink water.
That we only pray to one God, I sometimes wonder why people create divisions between religion.
Appreciate What We Have
The experience of not eating nor drinking the whole day made me think of the situation of the needy; those people in poverty-stricken or war-thorn countries who don’t know when they can have their next meal.
I know that by fasting, I won’t be able to help any of the needy however, I learned: how to appreciate (more) what I have, to not complain about things that I don’t like and to not look for unnecessary things.
I appreciate whatever is served on the table and I am thankful for whatever I receive.
He Answers Prayers
One of my reasons for fasting is to pray for something. He answered me even before I finished my fasting days. He also gave me answers to questions I haven’t even asked yet.
A Fresh New Start
Fasting is like a cleansing process of our body, our mind and our soul. After fasting, it feels like something has changed. I feel refreshed. I feel like spring. I feel like fresh waters flowed once more and brought new life to the world and made the flowers bloom again.
Wishing everyone a Blessed Eid-al-Fitr!