Saturday, August 18, 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Value of Fasting

The fast or the period of cleanliness and piety and abstinence from food, begins at the outset of the day when we open our fast.   We realize that there is a certain order to the day of fasting and it starts with the morning worship.  We can discern how much to consume in the morning when we open our fast since our bodies tell us when to stop eating and to avoid eating too much to overcome the fast.   Thus, when we open our fast, it is important to realize that the fast is commensurate to our physical and bodily requirements.  We should resist the urge to overeat since the body speaks to us to let us know that we are exceeding our prescribed amount.

Throughout the day, it is absolutely important to avoid cursing, fighting, arguing, bickering and if necessary avoiding people who may irritate you or annoy you for your fast to be holy and pure.  Worship and prayer is an important part of the day and excessive TV, Internet or entertainment should be avoided for the simple reason that these are uncensored and may desecrate our fast unwittingly.

Try to find your center and the fast can be very enlightening.   You will feel very close to God and immediately, feel a renewed sense of commitment to priorities in your life – the people you care about, dispel vanities and vices and bring us back to the basic principles of life and humble ourselves before God. 

Besides that, one also learns greater responsibility – that the fast requires us to pay attention to our daily needs, that include eating and breaking our fast on time, spending our day in a constructive way,  being clean and practicing good hygiene and reflecting on God to make our time on earth more meaningful.  We should also pay attention to how we conduct ourselves on a social, economic and political level that the fast permeates with its clarity and righteousness.

When we break our fast, we should observe humbleness and piety and consume either a date or drink water that helps know the value of fasting and the expiation of hunger.   It’s akin to a three-course meal – we can open the fast with an appetizer and after completing prayer, we can proceed to a second course and finally a sensible main course that our bodies can adjust to the lengthy period of fasting and abstinence.  Thus, we exorcise the ravenous wolf that speaks to our souls. 

These are some observations that I think can help people who are fasting and that extends to the rest of their lives beyond the period of Ramadan.    I hope your fast is blessed and brings you closer to God.