Of Self-Restraint and Faith

Posted by Abdel Kadz on Monday, September 01, 2008 with 8 comments
I actually just broke my fast. Twelve hours or so of no food and water, and you’re probably wondering how we Muslims do it and what for. It’s both the will and the faith, and if you have both, then you will be able to live through the whole month of September, the Holy Ramadan. It’s an act of bringing ourselves closer to God, of cleansing our souls of impure thoughts, to put our feet even in the shoes of our less fortunate brothers and sisters who have little to eat.

Like Kristin who just got her halo back, I feel like I’m wearing one as the day of fasting begins from dawn till sunset, and that's when the act of self-restraint takes on a whole different level. This not only involves abstaining from food and water. It also is a reflection of what we say and do and feel, what we think of. The uninformed would be surprised to learn that even thinking of lustful thoughts is prohibited while one is fasting. Add lying and fighting and smoking to that, even involving one's self in an act of coitus (read: sex), if "lustful thoughts" wasn't rubbing it in. Some people I know would surely not last a day doing what Muslims have done throughout time when Ramadan commences; doing that for a month maybe suicidal (pun intended).

I’m no saint, I admit, so I have no reason to sound all good and flawless. But even so, it helps to think that what you do and say during this day mirrors something worth lauding about, not only because you had proven the strength you have over your mind and body but because with each day that passes, you are bringing yourself closer to the One True God, Allah, and the sacrifice is well worth it.