Sunday, August 7, 2011

Fasting

Asalamu alaikum everyone! I tell you, fasting is extremely difficult for new Muslims. I haven't made it through an entire day yet. I have tried. Perhaps I am doing something wrong. I know that part of it is the American culture. Everything we do here seems to revolve around food. Business meetings, weddings, funerals, celebrations, etc. There's food everywhere. No wonder we as a nation are obese. When we're happy, we eat. When we're sad, we eat.

Monday started out very well but I don't think I drank enough before Fajr. By noon I had a splitting headache and by 2:20PM I gave in and had a bowl of oatmeal. My boss certainly thought it was weird that I was eating oatmeal in the middle of the afternoon! I also drank a glass of water. The headache still didn't go away. I ended up staying home on Tuesday, and thus not even attempting to fast. Wednesday I tried again but a co-worker brought me a piece of lemon cake that she'd baked. To be polite (and because no one in my office knows about me being a Muslim) I ate it. So there went Wednesday's fast. Thursday I don't know why but I didn't even try that day. And Friday was our monthly sales meeting. The office provides breakfast and lunch for everyone on sales meeting days. Again because no one in the office knows I am Muslim, I ate. So I have an entire week to make up now! Inshallah my strength in fasting will be better next week. Of course, right now I am watching the Food Network and that REALLY doesn't help me to want to fast either. It's my favorite channel and I should probably start avoiding it during Ramadan.

2 comments:

  1. Salaam Alaikum,

    It sounds like the problem is you are giving yourself the option of breaking the fast. You have already set your mind to breaking your fast if needed, which ultimately sets you up for failure. If you give yourself the option of breaking your fast, you will. Try reminding yourself that it is a sin to break your fast. You can complete your fast you just need to stop making excuses ( I mean that it in a nice way). I know you are keeping your conversion a secret but if it means committing sins (e.g. breaking your fast to please others) than you should make up a reason why you cant eat (your sick,your detoxing, etc). Reading the Quran, praying, reading books on islam, etc will help strengthen your iman so that you will want to please Allah by following his commandments (e.g fasting during ramadan, praying 5 times a day etc). Id suggest staying away from food programs while fasting so that you are not tempted to break your fast. Tell yourself that you will NOT eat regardless of how hungry/thirsty you get. You can do this. Muslims around the world are fasting, you too can do this, you just need to motivate yourself to do it. If children as young as 6 can fast 16+ hours, you can too =)

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  2. I know it's bad to lie, but it's also bad to break your fast... Rene's got it spot on. I was at my aunt's for lunch the other day where no one knows I'm Muslim. Every time they offered me food I'd just say I had a late breakfast (lie, breakfast was at 4:30...). When they offered me a drink I filled a glass not very full of water and sat with it at the table. Alhumdullilah, my son even started drinking it making it look more convincing, lol. In your situation, with the cake I would have just told them thank you and wrapped it to take home. Not eating it right then and there would generally be acceptable behavior. With the office dinner it is more difficult, finding excuses for two meals a day just makes you look anorexic. :/ My cousin's rehearsal dinner is this Friday and I'll be going and just sitting and not eating. It will be awkward, especially since some of the guests don't know I'm Muslim, but they probably will after Friday. Alhumdullilah, her wedding is out of town and will count as traveling so I will have a valid reason to break my fast on Saturday.

    I do understand how hard it is. I haven't had such a hard time with fasting, but prayer is more difficult for me. Even with people who know I'm Muslim, and know I'm practicing enough to fast, I'm still afraid to pray at their houses, etc. For example, on Sunday night I spent the night with my cousin. I didn't eat with them, I cooked my own food later in the night. They KNOW I'm Muslim and I packed my prayer rug and everything...yet I never got up the courage to get it out and use it. :( I made up the prayers the following day, but still, I know what I did was wrong and I was even more disappointed in myself because I was doing so much better with prayer this Ramadan.

    Insha'Allah fasting will become easier/more natural for you and prayer will become easier/more natural for me! We all have something we struggle with in this deen so never get down on yourself because just because others' may not be publicly addressing their personal struggles, they do have them!

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