So, it’s the IsLamic hoLy month of Ramadan, the month when the Qur’an first began to be reveaLed to the Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh: Peace be upon him). I mentioned in a previous post how the fast of Ramadan is not as difficuLt as one may think, provided you stick to some simpLe guideLines. If you’re new to IsLam, you probabLy don’t have the motivation or know how to “successfuLLy” compLete your fast during the actuaL month of Ramadan, this year ( or maybe severaL years even if your deaLing with some harmfuL addiction/dependency issue(s) Like I went through) because,being that the fast is during June and July, there’s a Long time to fast each day. But, Lord WiLLing, in the moderateLy near future you can fast/ or make up the fast with the beLief it was successfuL and you wILL be BLessed by ALLah for it. From what I remember, there’s a saying of ALLah recorded where ALLah says something to the effect of everything His servant does practicing their faith is for the benefit of themseLves except fasting; fasting is done compLeteLy to pLease ALLah.
If you’re struggLing with nicotine addiction or something similar…I’d suggest that you make up the fast during December, when the fasting time is a Lot Less because there’s so LittLe sunLight time ( the fast is from sunrise to sunset, about 7am to 430pm, roughLy). You may have to “fake it untiL you make it”. By that I mean you may not be abLe to fast the 29 or 30 days of the fast but at Least you can do what you’re abLe to do as it says in the Qur’an, ” I desire reform as much as I’m abLe.” Maybe you may have to smoke a cigarette during the fast but not eat anything during it. That wouLd probabLy stiLL give a feeLing of accompLishment and buiLd momentum towards compLetion of the goaL, uLtimateLy. TechnicaLLy, the schoLars of IsLam wouLd probabLy say your fast was incorrect and unacceptabLe but, IsLam teaches ALLah judges you by your intentions, as weLL as your practice. It wouLd probabLy bring you cLoser to “proper practice”. The Prophet Muhammad postponed his fast sometimes to a month other than Ramadan. The Honorable ELijah Muhammad originaLLy instituted the Nation of IsLam’s fast during December as WeLL( they were extremeLy criticized for it but, it did have the support of the Prophet’s exampLe.)
Some suggestions for practicing your fast:
1. ReguLate your addictions beforehand: PersonaLLy, I drink about 8 caffeine drinks a day. Drinking them at fixed, weLL spaced times before the monthLy fast of Ramadan begins aLLows me to know how much of my caffeine drinks I need daiLy before the fast begins to Last untiL the fast ends at sunset. It takes me a LittLe over an hour to drink my koLas, tea, and coffee before sunrise. After about the second day of fasting the body adjusts. The first day is onLy sLightLy uncomfortable at a few pLaces, briefLy.
2. Eat a SMALL portion before the daiLy fast begins: A portion about the size of the PaLm of your hand without the fingers or sLightLy Less. Eating much more than this wiLL trigger your appetite and make the fast more chaLLenging
3. Hydrate: EspeciaLLy during the warm season when Ramadan comes you need to drink pLenty of water. Drinking ice coLd water after brushing your teeth and/or mouth is very refreshing during the warm season. You can teLL if you shouLd be drinking more water if your urine turns dark. If it does, you need to drink more water.
4. Eat your protein: not having protein enough before the daiLy fast wiLL probabLy make you uncomfortable and irritabLe which wiLL liKeLy make you contentious with others. During the fast, this is not how it’s supposed to be (and probably no other time, based on some of the things that the Qur’an–and the Tao Te Ching–say about being contentious).
5.Take your medication as prescribed:From what I remember reading about the schoLars beLief is this is totaLLy permissibLe. I never heard of IsLam denying a reLigiousLy LegaL, Legitimate need.
The above suggestions have made even these Long days of Ramadan fasting ( between about 530am to 830pm) seem not that difficuLt to me. I wish y’aLL the same.
LastLy, begin the monthLy fasting with the intentionaL prayer to fast Ramadan. This probabLy shouLd be done daiLy as weLL, Like in IsLam’s formaL prayers.
-Yu Muhammad Zhivago
Update 1(6.23.16): The Tao Te Ching says,”The sages don’t attempt the great deeds aLL through Life, thus they can achieve greatness” (chapter 63). The Qur’an suggests that we can be great when it says, “What Is the matter with you that you don’t desire the greatness of ALLah? (71:13)”. What does these 2 Lessons mean reconciLed and congruent, as we beLieve they were meant to be? It means go sLowLy and don’t bite off more than you can chew,in our opinion. It’s extremeLy difficuLt to beLieve you fasted “successfuLLy” this actuaL Ramadan month this year if you haven’t prepared properLy, beforehand, due to the warm weather and extended Length of the fast time. If you don’t have a LittLe excess weight or more, I would suggest not fasting more than 2 days at a time, to give your body an opportunity to repLenish its nourishment and recuperate. An IsLamic magazine I read reguLarLy for awhiLe said a Lot of MusLims actuaLLy gain weight by the fasting of the month of Ramadan. That’s probabLy due to the fact that your Metabolism may sLow fasting and because a Lot of peopLe break their fast Like a ceLebration meaL and eat a Lot. Some MusLims criticize this but , it may actuaLLy be the better way to fast this actuaL month of Ramadan and the actuaL Ramadan months in the next few years to come, Lord WiLLing. On a U.S. Army website, I read that they suggest you eat heavier for Like A month in advance if you’re going to try to compLete some of their more physicaLLy demanding courses. Fasting the actuaL month of Ramadan this year is physicaLLy demanding, especiaLLy if you haven’t conditioned your seLf properLy, beforehand.