Fasting and Hypocrisy

Before Ramadan starts people pray for it to start, when it starts people celebrate it then when it comes close to ending, people cry over how much they're going to miss it. The question is why do people love Ramadan so much? Here the answers vary between it being the month of goodwill and kindness, it being a chance to refrain from all the wrong and to go back to God's straight path. Or because it's a time when the Satan is locked up and can't tempt people to do wrong. Or because it's a time when they come closer to God and can end the month with being better people. And some others love it because they love fasting and those of course never want Ramadan to end. I'm concerned in this post with the last group.

Fasting is a practice in almost every religion that exists or had existed, so it must have a great meaning and value. The question is does this meaning or value makes us love it? Most of us as Muslims have grown up being told that the reason we fast for a month is to feel how the poor people who don't have enough money to eat feel and whenever I was told that at school I wondered why couldn't those people drink. It just didn't make sense to me...

Some years later I was introduced to a meaning that makes more sense to me and gives fasting more meaning and value. The idea is that by putting rules that make humans deprive themselves from many pleasures, and not just food and drink, fasting teaches us discipline and helps you be responsible. Fasting teaches us to wait, it teaches us patience and from patience we get an ability to live a much better life with less disappointments, so it's a training for your personality. It is also to do something against your will to train your willpower, so if you enjoy fasting it loses it's meaning!

We are ordered to fast only 29/30 days a year because fasting is unhealthy (and you can go ask any nutritionist if you don't believe me), it's against our body's nature and for that it's only one month. To wish to fast for a whole year is either a way to ruin your digestive system or simply hypocrisy. To cry over Ramadan ending is no different than praying for the breakfast not to come or to go pray before you eat. Religion is no torture, God knows well the limits of our bodies and never orders us, or even asks us to exceed them.

I love Ramadan too, but I don't like fasting. I'm grateful I fast, but not because it's enjoyable but because it's a good training for both my body and personality. Yes, it trains your body by teaching it that not everything it wishes for it shall get. I love Ramadan for it's Egyptian nature and because we try to be better. It's my time to renew my vows to my religion, it's the time when I read the Quran, to review the rules, I love it because it's the time of forgiveness and it's holy. But I certainly hate fasting with all my heart and I celebrate Ramadan's end just as I did with the end of my final exams, and only this way it makes sense to me, anything else would be hypocrisy. And with this post I celebrate the end of fasting, I celebrate passing my training and renewing my vows. Happy Eid =)


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