Friday, 13 August 2010

dispelling myths about Ramadan

No, fasting is not difficult and we're not going to die.

We don't feel bad if you eat in front of us. There are usually mouth watering delicacies waiting for us to devour.

Of course, at times we do feel hungry. Self control is kinda the point. But after years of fasting the body is accustomed to it.

Self control, however, doesn't include only hunger, but also anger, practice of patience and abstinence. Thoughts should be pure, smoking is out of the question and language should not be tainted with swear words. For some, this is more challenging than keeping away from food.

Tiredness during the day can be attributed more to lack of sleep from praying the night before, rather than that of food.

Fasting is not harmful to your health. The over-indulgence that comes later is.

Stop expecting one to pass out any moment. They're not going to unless they're ailing, in which case they're excused from fasting anyway.

You're also excused if you're travelling.

You won't go to hell if you accidentally ate something.

Usually, a hell lot more weight is put on than lost.

One is supposed to go past the pangs of hunger and earthly desires and instead concentrate on bringing oneself closer to God. Fasting enables one to relate to the lesser privileged, creating more room for compassion.

In most Gulf countries, there's a rule enforced in this month that doesn't allow eating in public. It's a rule of the land, not the religion.

Just 'coz the fast is opened at sundown, doesn't entitle one to party the rest of the night.

In the Gulf, the general greeting on the onset of this month is 'Ramadan Kareem' which literally means 'Ramadan is generous' as it is a month that encourages charity and feeding and helping your fellow Man. The response to this is 'Allahu Akram', meaning 'God is even more generous.'

In the Gulf, the best time to test your new ride or to speed would be the hour or so elapsing after dusk. Not a cop in sight! ;)


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