Assalamu Alaikum! [May Peace be unto you!]
Ramadan is just around the corner and yes, of course I am excited for this blessed month, but at the same time I am also kind of panicking about it. Last year’s Ramadan was pretty much a disaster because I ended up missing a lot of fasts and let’s just say that it wasn’t a good experience and I regretted not being able to make the best of the month.
Okay, let’s backtrack a bit and let me start off with what exactly Ramadan is. In short, it’s a month in the Islamic calendar where Muslims fast during the day and yes, when I say fast I mean we abstain from eating and drinking. This fast begins at dawn and lasts until sunset. There are multiple reasons as to why it’s obligatory for us to fast, one of which is to commemorate the revelation of the Quran. And during the hours of fasting, not only do we refrain from food and water, we also refrain from a lot of other things such as being rude, backbiting, gossiping and every other behavior that’s considered sinful. Now this is a very short introduction about what Ramadan is and InShaAllah I do plan on making a detailed post later on about Ramadan. For now this post is more about my personal struggles with fasting in the past few years.
I started fasting from a very young age because one, I was a very picky eater and fasting meant that I didn’t have to eat anything and I loved the whole idea of it as a kid, two, I grew up in the Middle East, and Ramadan was a huge thing over there and that definitely influenced me as a kid and I am so very grateful for that, Alhamdullilah. As I was growing up, there was a phase where I struggled a lot with the whole concept of praying and all that, and yet, even during those times, I still loved to fast and would always look forward to Ramadan. Simply put, up until I was 18 years old, I had no struggles with fasting.
Five years ago, I had certain health issues, which made me fall off the wagon, with not only fasting but with my whole religion itself. Everything just became so very complicated and it’s still an ongoing battle. And this battle got tougher when I moved to Europe for educational purposes 3 years ago. The sunrise and sunset times are very drastic here, which means the fasting hours are very very long and it wasn’t something that I was used to because in the Middle East, an average day of fasting would be for maximum 15-16 hours and never more than that. But here, it’s minimum 18 hours and almost always more than that and it was very challenging the first year.
Of course we are exempted from fasting if we have health issues and my health was not the best in the first year, so I had to skip that whole month. The next year rolled along and Alhamdulillah, I managed to fast through all of it. And then the next one rolled in and that’s when I fell off the wagon again. And till today I regret missing so many fasts for so many silly reasons because I feel like it was more a lack of willpower than the lack of decent health. And now it’s like I blinked and we are here already, with Ramadan just 2 weeks away and I am so very afraid because I don’t want a repeat of last year.
I want to fast as much as I possibly can but I fear that I am so flawed and weak in my faith and willpower that at the slightest inconvenience I might give up. I don’t want to. I really don’t want to. I love fasting and I really do want to get back on track with my religion and faith and I really do want this Ramadan to help me achieve that. But I am so very tensed because I don’t trust myself. I know that I should place my trust on Allah [SWT] and keep asking for the necessary strength from Him. If you come across this and happen to read it till the end, and you happen to be a believer, please do pray for me.
Yes I am aware that this was less of an informative post and more a rant and I totally apologize for that. I promise that next time InShaAllah I will write a more helpful and informative post. Until then, take care and May Allah always bless us all! ❤