To make a long story short, (concise writing – that is the key) I fell sick. Horribly so. And I’m only just getting back to normal. I can’t even say that for sure.
It’s been one heck of learning experience though. On the first day, about an hour from maghrib (when one breaks the fast) I was so weak and fuzzy-headed, I could hear an inner voice saying “Hey, whazza matter with you? Pull yourself together!”, but I just couldn’t. I had to lie down, which sent my mother into a worrying frenzy. (You lose consciousness once in your lifetime – five years ago – and suddenly every headache is another sign of a fainting fit.)
Anyway, it’s been like that every day since and I hate it. I seem to do nothing except sleep all day, and I wanted so much to actually do things this year. I just need to figure out what’s draining me so badly.
One thing that has come to my attention is how easily we take fasting as a whole. I mean, after I ate and had something for the pain on that first day, it hit me that maybe this was a little of what I should be learning from the experience of fasting. We eat iftar and nibble our way through to sehri and then call that a fast? Most Ramadans, I don’t even feel hungry during the day. It’s just like skipping lunch – no biggie.
But these past four days have really hit home. I get to eat and to take something to make me feel better at the appointed time, but the people I’m trying to empathise with – they don’t have anything to eat and they don’t have a point to look forward to when they can say: “Only till then, and it will get better”.
I have a time to hang my hopes on. 6.50 p.m. (local time) and I can feel the weight lift off of me, because I know that the cup of hot tea is just a pouring away. How can the needy survive when they have no hopes? What do they look forward to? Promised help from aid agencies? Or from fellow humans? How many of us extend that help?
The more I think about it, the more I realise how inhuman we have become. We can come up with every excuse not to give, or to share, or to go out of our way to help those less fortunate. How much will it cost us to go without an outfit for Idd and give that money to a poor family instead? Or to reduce the amount we spend on clothes, jewellery, furniture, junk…heck, even food!
Surely, as Muslims we are used to going without (Remember when Imam Khomeini (r.a.) and the whole of Iran fasted?) We can easily survive on a quarter of the amount of food we usually consume – and use the rest of the money to help re-build the Muslim nations that are being so easily destroyed.
When did the world become such a place that an entire country could be stamped out with perhaps less thought than an anthill would be? And when did we, Muslims, become so indifferent and hard-hearted as to watch it happen and do absolutely nothing?
May God forgive us this Ramadan for our negligence and help us change for the better. We have truly proved the angels right when they mocked our appointment as kalifas on this earth.
Isn’t it time to join those few who are struggling to bring God’s Promise to pass?