Ramadan. My first observation

Posted in Life,Random Experiences by Ashley Franklin on August 12, 2010
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

This is the first Ramadan for me and my husband. Actually, what that means is that it’s our first Ramadan together. Last year, we were apart. He fasted. I fasted. But, we were separate. This year, we’re together-we’re married. Yay! I get to witness the intricacies of his faith firsthand. He’s taught me many things, shown me many things, and directed me to different resources so that I can come to understand Islam on my own. But, I’ve never been around him during Ramadan.

I’m trying to be a great support system this week to my husband. I couldn’t fast at this time even if I wanted to. Yesterday was the first day of fasting. I was so sad when my husband was without water for the majority of the day and it was well over 100 degrees today. (Sidenote: I have much respect for people of the South for living through this type of heat. I have not adjusted yet.)  What amazed me was that he did not complain once of being hungry or thirsty! Now, I’m a Christian; I’ve fasted before. I’ve been around people who are fasting on numerous occasions. I’ve never been around someone who hasn’t complained while fasting. (Again, this is from my own experience as the daughter of a pastor and being around numerous fasting church members at one time or another.)  This was brand new to me.

I’m not even going to attempt to quote or grossly paraphrase the Bible, but there is a part where the concept is that you’re not supposed to look all twisted in the face when you’re fasting. I can honestly say that I’ve never seen this done. I, myself, haven’t been able to fully pull this off. I remember one fast where we were also forbidden to eat sweets. I have a horrible sweet tooth. So, no sweets for three weeks in addition to daytime fasting was over the top for me. Oddly enough, I was still living with my folks at the time, and the cookie jar was  still full of cookies-my favorite cookies. I literally broke out in tears one day because I wanted a cookie so bad. Obviously, I’m not the best at fasting, but I’ve improved since the cookie incident.

Another thing that I got to see was a sense of brotherhood/ community. Though we hadn’t planned for it, one of my husband’s brothers in the faith came over. I got to see them break their fast together and the good spirits they were in at having a successful day. Honestly, it put me in a good mood. I have great respect for those who fast without needing to alert the world of their hunger woes.

Maybe that’s the key to fasting. Maybe you’re supposed to fill your spiritual hunger to the point that your physical hunger becomes not so important. That seems logical to me. What do you think? I know different faiths have different methods of fasting, but how do you make sure you’re getting the most out of the fast? Is there a right or wrong  (good or better) way to fast? Maybe that all depends on the individual or the faith.


2 Responses to 'Ramadan. My first observation'

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  1. Saladin said,

    A big part of it is reminding ourselves that our fasts WILL (Insh’Allah) be broken, and relatively quickly, but for others, the suffering goes on. You’re right though, that successfully completing a day of fast is something to rejoice and be glad of. I’m glad you’re getting the opportunity to watch this with your husband. Should be a learning experience for you both.


    • transego said,

      Ramadaan Mu’Baraak… May the one God accept your Saum.

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