Why Do We – Muslims – Fast Ramadan?

My mother had an aunt who was nearly her age and whom she considered her best friend. Whenever she felt angry she would call her aunt who would listen to her empathetically, calm her down and encourage her to be patient and strong in facing life’s adversities. They both belonged to a different world than the one we currently live in.

Scrolling the Facebook I feel puzzled with the large number of posts women share on their personal problems and conflicts with their spouses or divorcés. The hottest the problem is, the more likes and interactions. Comments vary between other women sharing more problems or encouraging the original post writer to avenge. And sadly, almost no one plays the role my mother’s aunt used to play.

Why do we Fast?

I started seriously to consider this question. Why apart from God’s many orders we still fast while neglecting other devotions? And what is fasting about from the first place? Was it meant to spend the day, while fasting, fighting with our spouses, complaining from our children and cursing our lives and circumstances? Didn’t the same God who ordered us to fast order us to have love and mercy in our marriages and to well raise our children?

‘Iqraa’ (Read) was the first order from God to his prophet Muhammed (PBUH). It was neither fast nor pray. And this order to read wasn’t for sure an order to read social media posts which go viral destroying marriages and tearing familial bonds. And though to ‘read’ was God’s first order, I learned in a recent course I attended that Arabs read an average of six minutes a year. SIX MINUTES A YEAR.

Fasting in the 21st Century

Shocked with the 6-minutes-news my mind started to wander. What if we adopted a new style of fasting. One in which we fast for a whole month from complaining from our families, from sharing our intimate problems on social media and from detoxing our minds from the poisonous posts on women’s private groups. What would happen if we start investing the same time we used to spend in such toxic activities in reading and learning about restoring marriages and raising children. And what if we go out of Ramadan with an action plan for the next year to put what we learned into practice. What if Ramadan became a month in which we fast from familial fights, conflicts and disputes and we come out of it with a peaceful home and better marriage ties. Isn’t Islam in its origin a religion of peace?

“Marriage is hard work. You cannot do it on your own. The secret is to always ask Allah to help you make it work.” 

 

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