Ramadan is the time of the year where Muslims all over the globe are obligated to fast from dawn to dusk. This is one of the ways that Muslims prove their devotion to their religion. Those who are celebrating this holy month usually are to abstain from the pleasures that they have. For instance, bad habits like smoking or eating sugary foods and instead are obligated to avoid eating, drinking and doing anything that is considered sinful. It’s a beautiful time of the year for them to practice self-control and remember the finer things in life than the short-term pleasures people get (and possibly get fit hehe). However, there are people who have a few misconceptions or don’t fully understand fasting in Ramadan. I’ll be trying my best to debunk those myths, misconceptions, why’s and what’s!
The reason I’m writing this is that a lot of people, including some of my friends that are confused or misinformed about what Ramadan is about and how we celebrate it. So I’m hoping that I could shed some light on the situation a little bit.
PS- Do forgive me for any miswording.
I Can’t Eat In Front Of My Muslim Friends
Okay, first of all, you certainly can (well, depending on who you’re eating in front of). I can safely say that a lot of people do not mind if you happen to be snacking or munching on something in front of them. From my understanding, as a Muslim myself, fasting in Ramadan is for us to have some sort of self-control and discipline instead of stopping the people around us from eating.
Of course, it is always appreciated if you are considerate of whether the people around you are fasting or not. However, it shouldn’t be a problem if someone around you happens to be fasting. Much appreciated concern but don’t worry about it, darling. Not to say that you should rub it in everyone’s face when you’re eating. Instead, you just don’t have to hide or avoid people who are fasting. It’s like, we can’t stop someone from doing their work when we’re on a break, right? So do you, you lovely human being.
Wait- Why Aren’t They Fasting When They’re Muslim?
To make it clear, every Muslim is obligated to fast in Ramadan if, and only if, they are able to. For instance, a pregnant woman could skip her fast for the sake of her baby and make up for the days she didn’t fast later on. In other cases, children who have not come of age and the elderly are not obligated to fast as well. This is because it could take a toll on their health or stunt the child’s growth. People who are not in the pink of health can also skip their fast but must make up for it later on. Lastly, women don’t have to fast when they’re on their periods. So if you see someone eating, who happens to be Muslim, then that’s probably why.
You Shouldn’t Show People That You’re Not Fasting
Now, let’s get into this, quite controversial, topic. When pregnant women, women on their periods or children are not fasting, a lot of people say “That’s not appropriate! Don’t eat in front of them!”. A lot of women, at least most of the women I know, are raised to hide it when they’re not fasting, especially on their periods. However, a friend of mine once told me that her family didn’t mind it if she were eating on her period. She said that they’d encourage her and reassure her that it was okay, she was on her period after all, right? This is similar to the first misconception. Whereby we as Muslims are fasting in Ramadan to humble ourselves, have self-control and discipline. Not stop the people around us from doing what they usually do.
You Just Can’t Eat Or Drink, Right?
Yes, however, fasting in Ramadan is not just about that. Like I’ve said earlier, one of the purposes is to practice self-control and discipline. Basically, anything that can be considered sinful. Mr Shabbir Hassan, an advanced student of Islamic Sciences and Syariah, says that sinful acts include gossiping, swearing, lying or simply sins to do with the tongue. This includes sexual intimacy. We are given a chance to right our wrongs instead of just avoiding food and drinks. Plus, a lot of people actually gather during this holy month, bringing friends and family closer together.
Ramadan is a beautiful celebration in the Muslim community. But it’s no doubt that a lot of people still have things that they’re confused about fasting in this holy month. As a recap, no bad-mouthing, people who are not fasting shouldn’t have to hide it and no, it’s not about just avoiding food and drinks. I’m not a perfect Muslim but there’s no harm in trying to share something that might be helpful. Hope this was informative for you!
Have a nice Ramadan!
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