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.” 

 

#FabulousVeilsNovel#Communication_Mistakes

All relationship problems stem from poor communication.” John Gray, Best Selling Author of ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’, identified fourteen communication mistakes women do in times of conflict. Gray was fair enough to identify fourteen communication mistakes men do as well. In order to have a better planet, we need to have better relationships and without healthy communication relationships die.

 

Which Type of Abuse Are You Incubating?

I can’t imagine how stupid you are. What is it, don’t you have a brain?” ‘Stupid’, ‘lazy’, ‘fat’, ‘careless’, ‘dumb’, ‘ignorant’, are few examples of the insults women often embrace passively.

Insults don’t stick”, a friend once told me. “I don’t care if my husband insults me as long as he pays my checks,” laughingly she added. The same friend, a decade later, went through an aggressive divorce battle and had to give up all her possessions just to rescue herself and her children from a cheater and a domestic abuser. It’s true that words don’t stick, yet their impact does. The emotional pain of insults remains in our nervous system and our subconscious. And gradually we start to belittle ourselves and to accept what we thought we would never tolerate.

Fatma, the poor vulnerable help in Fabulous Veils, thought she was obeying God by surrendering to her husband. The greatest heaven was the reward she awaited in exchange to her husband’s verbal, physical and sexual abuse.

Gameela, the middle class wife, accepted an unhealthy marriage under the name of love. Baring verbal abuse at first and then physical abuse and infidelity.

Madiha, the high class divorced woman, protecting her reputation, remained silent towards her husband’s financial abuse and her manager’s sexual harassment.

Why do women accept abuse?

Brainwashing. Whether at schools, on traditional media channels or social media, we are subject to subliminal messages all the time. Forming, or better say deforming, our beliefs about ourselves and our capabilities. We get raised in an environment that incubate gender inequality. We don’t object that boys be treated differently than girls. We grow up thinking that men’s main role is to work and provide money and women’s main role is to raise children. We let go of our rights, and many of us so often live and die unaware of their rights.

Advertising, music, atmospheres, subliminal messages and films can have an impact on our emotional life, and we cannot control it because we are not even conscious of it.” Tariq Ramadan

Who are the worst abusers?

Parents who disempower their daughters, from my perspective, are the first and most violent abusers. And husbands who continue to disempower their wives are the most stupid of all. For how could abused women raise healthy and stable children? When we disempower women we actually corrupt the world.

If you really want to change a culture… empower women.” Greg Mortenson

 

Why Organising Time Isn’t Enough?

Many people complain that they don’t have enough time. No matter how hard they work or how fast they try to become, the problem remain almost the same.

Stephen R. Covey, author of the best selling book “The 7 habits of highly effective people“, dedicated a full book for habit number three ‘First Things First‘. In this life changing book he shared new perspectives for looking at our time and leading our lives.

The first perspective I’m presenting in this video is the perspective of the ‘Roles‘ and how we ought to consider the various roles we’re playing in life and then start dividing our time over these various roles and based on the significance of each role and its importance to us.

Fate or Destiny, Which One Are You Living?

Religion. One of the concepts people aggressively use to veil our brains. ‘Ady Allah we ady hekmeto’ (that is God’s will and wisdom), was the mantra Sheikh Hassan taught Fatma, the vulnerable Help in Fabulous Veils. Brainwashed by false religious teachings, she surrendered to her violent husband. Embraced his domestic abuse. And she called it ‘fate’.

Do we truly have no control over the events of our lives? ‘Nassiby’, ‘Kadary’, ‘Esmety’, are examples of the words the society install in our brains and they become a part of our identity. Scared to be accused of not worshiping God, we consider it a taboo to discuss religion.

Would we ever give ourselves permission to discuss this taboo? Identifying what’s sacred and holy from what’s evil and ugly? Not allowed to think, Fatma accepted the Sheikh’s words and took them for granted. She was an illiterate poor maid. She lacked the ability to think logically, analyse and reflect. What about us the ‘educated’? Do we allow ourselves to think or evaluate what we were taught about religion? Or are we acting like Fatma, creating more misery on Earth; accepting to be victims of fate?

Year after year we keep worshiping Allah during Ramadan through fasting, praying, donating and serving. Why not adding to these practices the habit of thinking? To reflect and evaluate our contributions in God’s kingdom. To study the concepts we were taught about religion and their frames of references. Why not shaping our destinies through selected positive actions that we choose instead of submitting to a fate that we believe it’s ours?

Fate is the preordained course of your life that will occur because of or in spite of your actions. Destiny is a set of predetermined events within your life that you take an active course in shaping.”