“Why do Muslims fast?” – you might ask.
“Why do Muslims restrain the whole day from food and drink?”
“Why do Muslims do this for one whole month?”
“And why do they seem to even like this torture??”
Well, you know, we do this because we are Muslims.
And being a Muslim means to submit oneself totally under the will of God, Allah, the Almighty, who says in the noble Qur’an:
“Oh you who belief, observing the fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become pious” (2:183)
So before explaining some things about Ramadan I should maybe explain some essentials of our faith that build the basis of all our actions:
We as Muslims believe in only one God, Allah, the One Who created us, the One Who causes everything and to Who’s will we totally submit.
We absolutely believe in His wisdom, in His preordainment and we want to obey only Him to gain His pleasure.
This submission gives us the maximum of freedom possible, because we are only responsible to Him and nobody else.
We blindly trust in Him, and we also belief in all of His prophets and messengers (beginning with Adam, Abraham, Moses, Noah, Joseph, David, etc…, to Jesus and Mohammed, peace be upon them) who all brought the eternal message of monotheistic faith.
We belief in the day of resurrection and in God’s final judgment.
We belief in the reality of a hereafter with either the beautiful gardens of paradise or the horrible fires of hell, not only as parables but as a fact.
We belief in God’s angels and in His books (the torah, the psalms, the gospel, and the Qur’an).
We belief that the Holy Qur’an was the last book sent by God to humanity as a mercy, as a reminder and for guidance, because all the other scriptures were changed and falsified over time.
We belief that the Qur’an was revealed to prophet Mohammed (sas) by archangel Gabriel, and that everything written in the Qur’an is the true word of God, valid for all human beings at any time.
So, we accept everything in the Qur’an as a fact and we try to follow all the given orders, which are always based on mercy, justice, peace and the universal good for humanity.
We are absolutely sure that God’s commands lead to the best for everybody.
We belief that this present life is only a quick passage full of tests and mere play and that the only way to succeed in this reality here is by following God’s guidance.
We belief that we are only here to be tested and to worship Him.
We know that life after death will be the real and eternal life, so we strive to gain His pleasure now to deserve a place in paradise then, inchaallah.
So, this absolute and total belief makes us fear only God and it leads us to the wish to respond to all of his commands.
In fact, the wish to please only Him becomes so essential and serious to Muslims, that we put worship over everything else – so, everything worldly and even our own desires become negligible.
This total obedience makes us become aware of our collective responsibility and it gives us the strength to discipline and to sometimes even deny our own ego – because we absolutely trust that all sacrifice and abstain for God’s sake leads us to something better in the end.
So this is why we are able to restrain from food and drink even in the heat of summer (by nearly 50°C in Marrakech), alhamdulillah.
This is why we feel light and pure, refreshed and blessed even after 16 hours of fasting:
Because He makes things easy for us, if we really trust in Him, alhamdulillah.
Because there are many worldly benefits in fasting for the human being, even though God tells us that fasting is the only thing we really do just to please Him.
We can feel the benefits of Ramadan and we understand that there is always something good in His commands, even if we are not able to explain it with our limited human nature, subhanallah. And that’s why we love this Holy month of fasting!
“Verily my prayer, my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the worlds” (6:162) – So please, oh Allah, accept my worship and lead me on Your path.
Allahumma taqqabbil minni oua minkoum. Ameen.
03.48 a.m., right before sunrise; the last meal before 16 hours of fasting.