By Parin Begum
How I'm managing fasting, in the slow life:
LearnJust because we can’t pray and eat together, it doesn’t mean we can’t still connect! A special way to do this is to connect through giving. I have seen many remarkable examples of this on social media already where people are supporting each other by donating through charity appeals.
This is, of course, very important, as one vital aspect of Ramadan is to be conscious of people in need around the world. A collective effort to support those in unfortunate positions can strengthen our community spirit and our compassion for people around us.
This is also a special month to connect with the holy book, the Quran. A lot of Muslims try and increase their recitation of the Quran more especially during this month.
I have decided to use this time in lockdown to try and understand the Quran by exploring the meaning and the contexts of the written verses. I am using my old books that I studied with in my Islamic education – a five-volume collection of exegesis of the Quran. Of course, I may (just about) get through the first book only for this Ramadan.
This is a really good collection if you want to further deepen your understanding of the Quranic verses, the interpretations, commentaries, and reflections verse-by-verse.
Another book I can recommend from my studies is the intricate biography of the Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h), called The Seerah. This is an award-winning book that details the life of Muhammad (p.b.u.h), even explaining the historical context of Arabia prior to his birth.
Slightly continuing with the learning theme here but, I’ve also been trying to listen to some lectures online or participating in Zoom call discussions for a change. Here are some suggestions for my go-to places for Islamic talks and key discussions:
In order to truly reap the benefits of Ramadan, I wanted to not only enhance myself but, also rid some bad habits! Again, I handpicked a few things that I can focus on easily so that it helps me to stay consistent. Two things that I’ve decided to work on were my addictions – namely my excessive snacking and over usage of social media.
While fasting, you’re naturally encouraging yourself to curb those inner desires which help to limit snacking. The challenge lies in continuing this habit post-Ramadan. However, fasting serves as a reminder to not be greedy and think about people who are living in poverty, which helps to curb this desire to eat excessively.
As for my social media usage, I wanted to try and limit my screen time massively. In the last seven days, my screen time was a total of 51 hours and 13 minutes, with social media taking top tier of 28 hours and 43 minutes! That can almost cover the hours of a full-time job. Ridiculous.
To solve this issue, I thought about trying a few things – firstly, only to post content on specific days (Wednesdays & Thursdays); secondly, to limit scrolling aimlessly, so no more than 5/10 minutes at a time; and lastly, to not carry my phone with me everywhere and instead just leave it somewhere away from me.
Let’s see how it goes and hopefully, I can continue the good habits that I learn post-Ramadan.
It’s unprecedented times but, I hope this month of reflection and gratitude serves everyone positively.
Please reach out and let me know your thoughts and tell me how fasting in Ramadan is going for you!
Wishing you all a blessed month of Ramadan. Stay safe.