Sunday 14 July 2013

Reflections of a Non-Muslim: 1st Day of Fasting

 I am following the diary of this non-Muslim sister who has chosen to observe Ramadan and I was very moved by her experience:

It’s about 9 o’clock at night now as I’m writing this, which means only one thing….I SURVIVED MY FIRST DAY OF RAMADAN!!
16 hours and 17 minutes. 16 hours and 17 minutes of looking the other way when someone was eating. Of seeing water and becoming hyper aware of my dry mouth. Of neglecting the three packs of gum waiting in my purse for me in all their minty glory. 16 hours and 17 minutes without my hourly cup of tea or even COFFEE. Gasp! (As a current coffee addict, that might have been harder to part with than the food.)
…if this were a Tweet, this is when I would add the hashtag “#FirstWorldProblems”. Reading the last paragraph over, I realize how privileged I sound. And relative to the rest of the world’s population, I really am.
I spent so much of my day forcing myself to stop thinking about food and water. But I knew the whole time when it would end. I knew that at exactly 8:36 p.m., I could enjoy iftaar (the first meal of the evening to break fast) and I was counting down the minutes.
Not everyone is so lucky. Not everyone has a timer telling them when their hunger will end. While we sometimes might joke that we FEEL like we’re going to die of starvation or thirst while fasting, we know we won’t. And it’s a terrible and sad realization that there are people who aren’t so sure.
I finally get it. I now see how and why fasting builds sympathy for the less fortunate- and it’s ONLY my first day! I would like to add that I never imagined a Cliff Bar could taste so savoury until I had one for iftar today (iftar is the first meal in the evening after breaking fast).


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