Ramadan – The Epitome of Modesty.
Soon, (actually by this Saturday), you might start seeing your Muslim friends at work or neighbors doing that annual ‘fasting’ thing that they do, that you’ve heard about a little over the years, but didn’t think too much of it or might have been too shy to ask, just in case you might come off as ignorant.
You might think fasting all day long without food or water would be something really tasking and difficult or…, is it just water no food for half a day?? Whatever the case, I bet you’ve always told yourself,
“Gosh, there’s just no way I’d be able to do that for a whole, month, I get hungry even before lunchtime!”
A lot of people have so many misconceptions about this ‘Ramadan fasting thing’. Some people even think Muslims in Ramadan can’t eat ANY food at all, or even fasting is just some torturous exercise that just doesn’t have a place in this instant gratification age.
The truth is, fasting regularly isn’t really even a ‘Muslim thing’, nor did Muslims invent fasting. Fasting is mentioned in the Bible along with the Mahabharata (Hindu Holy Book). In Judaism, fasting is practiced on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement or mourning.
Fasting for Jews means completely abstaining from food and drink, including water. Roman Catholics observe a 40-day fast during Lent, before Easter, and during Advent, before December. Many Roman Catholics regularly practice fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday during Lent.
So you see, a lot of people all throughout time, have been fasting, quite regularly and they’ve been enjoying it! Sure, at first it seems harsh, but it’s really easier than it sounds.
Just like any beneficial habit, once you start, you get used to it and then you really look forward to this month. Let me just point out the obvious benefits in a nutshell right off the cuff of my exquisite long
Basically fasting is really a holistic mindset resetting revamping exercise. The only thing I could compare it to is, like buying a new leather jacket and putting your old one away in the back of the closet. That soft leather with its unique leathery thick aroma and all the zippers glide easily up and down. It’s much better at repelling rain than your really old, brown faded one. It just feels new and clean.
Fasting in any form is proven to improve metabolism, brain function, make you slim and trim, get you to think faster, boost your hormone and immune system to optimal levels and even increase your longevity. Fasting makes you the best version of yourself.
Now I wouldn’t be doing anyone any favors if I said fasting and its huge physical benefits are the only cool things about Ramadan, and you might be wondering why you’re reading about this on this blog. Well, fasting and this month are all about modesty.
Ramadan can be summarized into that one word. If there’s anything Modestrove London is about, it’s always been modesty and what better a month to symbolize that other than Ramadan; modesty in eating and dressing even, modesty in speech and thought.
Ramadan is just one of those month long holistic exercises that modestly modify everything about how you were living your life. In Islam Ramadan is seen as a school or a training ground to transform you into a better human being. It’s a month of experiencing hunger so we can feel what the homeless and starving feel like. It’s a month of humility and a month of giving. It’s the month of PEACE.
At the end of this month, which at first will seem long but will fly by rather fast, you’ll have a great sigh of relief but also an overwhelming feeling of achievement and confidence. Kind of like your body and soul saying,
“Yes, I did it again! I’ve still got the power.”
This Ramadan, keeping that in mind, I like to tone it down a notch and use this month to get centered, grounded and more connected to my Creator. Most of all it’s the time for me to get reconnected to myself. I try to do less of the worldly stuff in Ramadan; it’s like a retreat month for me where I do lots of reflection and strategizing.
This month of fasting has so many hidden gems in it. I could ramble on for a few more pages. I believe that fasting this way consecutively, subconsciously forces you to reevaluate your life.
The best part of Ramadan is that build up and anticipation towards sunset, as you know there’s only a few hours left but you can smell the cooking (or hopefully you’re the one cooking not waiting) and all your siblings or extended family just seem to appear out of nowhere, all waiting for that smartphone app to tell you it’s sunset and it’s time to break fast.
Even then, I have to exercise discipline and self restraint not to eat and drink too much at one time. Imagine that you’ve been hungry since dawn. Your instincts kick in once you see tasty, hot food, so you have to fight the tendency to gorge.
Trust me, a lot of families, especially in the first week will lay out a huge variety of food, it will be carnival of colors ready to satisfy each of your senses but modesty is pacing yourself, knowing to eat just enough to not reach that full bloated state.
Modesty is not taking part in that gossipy conversation about Jennifer in Accounts, or well, basically anyone.
Modesty is saying,
“You know what, that handbag on sale can wait for now because I already have 3 at home in different colours and I can buy 5 meals with it, to feed the homeless.”
Modesty is eating half the amount of carbs you usually eat and still feel the same –actually even better, even though you were fasting from dawn till dusk and realizing,
“Wow, I have the power to eat better and feel really great about it!”
Modesty is eating just enough till you’re about to reach that ‘full stuffed feeling’ but quit when you’re still way ahead. It makes you feel much lighter and in control.
Modesty just helps you to realize that maybe; just maybe, you don’t need to eat as much as you think you needed to throughout the day all this time.
Modesty is better time management, working smarter and better for less time, instead of working longer, hard hours.
Remember ladies, give fasting and yourself a chance, you’re much stronger than you think you are. Let modesty soak right into your soul, and you’ll come out feeling centered and at peace again, like the way we were meant to be.
A glorious Ramadan to all you reading this and I encourage you to try fasting for a few days if you haven’t already. Find a Muslim buddy or sister to break fast with who encourages you along the way, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. Your body and soul will thank you for this courageous act and you’ll emerge stronger that ever, once this month ends!
Remember to watch our countdown on Instagram for fasting tips and advice. This is Miss M signing off.