Thursday, September 20, 2007

Is it 7:16 yet?

I was speaking with someone during a recent iftaar and he kept complaining about how pissed off he was that the Ramadan days were so long, lol. He wasn't just hungry...he was straight up angry. Obviously, I understood his hunger and whatnot, but I brought up how he now knows how the hungry population feels...except that they may break their fast with half a dorito and be quite thankful. (Not: fruit chaat, pakoras, mango shake, samosas, and dates galore of course. And then get all angry about it.) Pretty simple, commonly heard, non-rocket sciency stuff right? Well, he responded with "Is that why we fast?" And he wasn't 5...or 15...or 28...he was older.

And he was serious.

That brought to my attention that more adults than I wish probably fast thinking that God just wants them to starve for Him. You know, just because. No further reflection.

I think it gets scary when religious practices (especially the basic ones) just become automatic, robotic motions and we fail to wonder what the reasoning or beneficial effects are. Or to consider those effects while we are engaging in the actions. We're all guilty of it sometimes.

Of course there's multiple reasons for fasting-physical, mental, and spiritual. And there's the interaction of physical-mental-spiritual effects of fasting too. This year, there's one area in particular I've been focusing on: sabr (patience.) I'm too tired right now to finish this post so you're gonna have to wait until tomorrow to read it. (haha, get it get it) winkwink :P
But anyway, just wanted to post some thoughts on fasting and sabr a lil later. salamssss.


1 comment:

syed said...

(I had just typed a comment and my laptop froze! I’ll try again :D)

Good reflection. We fast because of X,Y,Z.? when this sort of statement is proclaimed in a categorical manner as it does, often entitles one to pontificate about religion. The statement in effect reduces ibaadah down into a tool for specific utilities or manifestations that are produced by the given ritual. If the essence of fasting is to feel the hunger and pain of the poor then one need not necessarily starve him/herself; he/she could as well experience it in contemplation. The plausible answer to why we fast is because it is a hukm of Allah and the potential outcome is strengthneing our islamic disposition and to attain taqwa.

The expectation by the vast majority about the success in the spheres of ones religion and soul should always be linked to ease and comforts is a gross mis-asessment.

Jo main sar ba sajda hua kabhi to zameen se aane lagi sada; tera dil hain sanam aashna tujhe kya milega namaaz main

Allah knows best