Ramadan is here and muslims around the world will be fasting. Fasting is prescribed for all healthy and mature Muslims in the Quran. This means they will abstain from eating or drinking anything from dawn to dusk. But fasting is so much more than this. Muslims fast as an act of worship, a chance to get closer to God, and a way to become more compassionate to those in need. It is about feeding the soul and abstinence from a lot more than just food and a way to practice patience and break bad habits. I find Ramadan to be a time for reflection and change but also healing! This week we have a 2 part blog explaining what fasting means for us and the spiritual benefits, virtues and conditions of completing a fast
Strengthening our faith:
Im not going to lie to you and tell you that fasting isn’t testing . It is especially if you’re a mum, a caregiver, at school or work or generally just getting through the day to day parts of life can be a bit difficult during the energy slumps. But the spiritual peace and connection I feel with who I am and my Lord is the best part of it! There is no one checking up on how you conduct yourself or whether or not you are eating or drinking, but your self awareness and abstinence to fulfil the requirements of fasting comes from knowing we are fasting as a form of worship. Doing extra good deeds not only reconnects you to your faith but I find that it is a form of reconnecting with yourself. It is a break from the mundane routine of life and it helps you to be more aware and grateful for all you have around you. At home I disconnect the TV and minimise time on screens and phones to reconnect with my family and give my children a chance to work on their bonds and relationships.
Fasting is a great way of putting patience into practice. Fasting especially during the longer days can sometimes feel like a never ending struggle. Especially if you love to snack, live for mealtimes or need a cup of coffee in the morning to get you going. Knowing that you will open your fast with a nutritious meal (if you are fortunate enough to do so) gives you the incentive to push through and end the day feeling both happy and somewhat successful! It is also a reflection of life in general. Hardships and difficult situations do and will pass and with patience you will successfully get through the worst of it. It is also a way to be patient with yourself. If you get grumpy or agitated without your coffee or just irritable when you are hungry, fasting is a great way to reflect on your triggers and emotions and hopefully deal with them in a better way. Perhaps by acknowledging “maybe I feel like this because I am hungry” and if you feel differently after having a meal maybe in future this could be part of your feelings checklist!
Clearing negative emotions
Fasting can be a great character building exercise and a way to clear your heart and mind of negative emotions. Fasting keeps us in check with good conduct and how we should be the best version of ourselves. Speak with kind words, be helpful to others, actively help out in our community, increase good deeds be more patient etc. This is a great way to reflect on our emotions and character and be more aware of our negative emotional characteristics and instincts such as jealousy, pride, anger etc. I like to make a list of the characteristics I actively want to work on during the month for a more productive goal and so that I am not only reflecting on my character but also being truthful to myself.
Working on Forgiveness
Ramadan is a month of mercy. Reflecting on the mercy of God is a great way to reflect on being more merciful to others. Forgiveness is something that I have found difficult to do in recent years because I have felt so let down by those closest to me. But it is something that I am actively working on and trying to be more open to. It is so important to first establish what forgiveness looks like for you and what it means ( I am working on a whole blog post about this for the future) and it doesn’t mean accepting what people do, but its a way of letting go and not harbouring or holding onto bitterness and negative feelings. Knowing that one of Allahs attributes is that He is ‘Al- Ghafur’, the most forgiving, is a reminder for me to be more forgiving and also instills hope in me knowing that He always forgives.
Healing and Improving your Spiritual Connection
Fasting is a time where you feel more enthusiastic and actively work on making positive changes to all aspect of your life. Your character, eating habits and your lifestyle. Changes that you can hopefully carry on with throughout the rest of the year. It is a time for reflection, being grateful and seeing the bigger picture in life. Putting into perspective what matters and what we can let go of. For me it is a time where I work on myself but also a time where I hand over control and leave my worries with my Lord. I feel truly connected and focused and I see Ramadan as a time for change, being better and being more positive and hopeful. I know in my heart that Allah assists me in all aspects of my life, that he is there to give me strength when I feel low, to guide me when I feel lost and help me when I feel truly helpless.
I would love to know if you are fasting this month, or if you fast at different times of the year and what it means to you.
Thank you so much for reading x
respect. love. healing Always xxx
Brown Girl N