FASTING: LESSON IN GRATITUDE

It has been almost 2 weeks since Ramadan left us and I am starting to miss the month. Fasting and performing the night prayers in congregation creates an atmosphere for a spiritual highness that I yearn for throughout the year.

One of the best things about the month of Ramadan is fasting from food and water from sunrise to sunset. This may seem like a surprise to some people but most of my Muslim friends would agree with me that there is a real magic to fasting.

I started fasting when I was a kid and in all honesty, I didn’t use to like it. Even up till my teenage years I always thought fasting was quite a burden. That was probably because I didn’t know how to make full use of it myself at the time.

It is only recently that I started to have a slight paradigm shift about fasting and how it can truly transform a person if we allow it to. This year I made a conscious decision to practice gratitude while I’m fasting. Being aware of my blessings as much as I am aware of my ordeals can be a challenge.

I am a chronic complainer. Every time something small goes wrong in my life the first thing I do is that I complain about it with my heart and soul. Unfortunately, I do not give the same kind of effort to be grateful when something goes right in my life.

So, on my last Ramadan, I decided to make it a practice to be grateful every time I broke my fast. I had to remind myself every day that I may be going without food and water for 13 hours but I get to break it by the end of the day. There are at least a million people out there who are not as blessed.

I did my best to break my fast with snacks like dates, bananas, eggs, bread, and a glass of water or milk.

I would eat a whole meal later at night after prayers and this really taught me that if we have food on our table every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner we need to realize that we are rich beyond we care to admit.

In a society that is constantly harping about how we need to live in MTV Cribs-like lifestyle to be happy, being grateful is often overlooked and confused with being comfortable with where we are in life.

Fasting teaches me to be grateful and to keep pushing myself. When you are fasting you still need to find a way to function and produce your best work throughout the day.

The point is to carry out your duties every day with a sense of gratitude. Know that gratitude is the mother of all virtue. We cannot be kind, courageous, or hopeful without gratitude.

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Fasting is one of the best practices in my life to learn gratitude. What are some of the things you do to stay grateful? Share your comments below. Would love to hear your thoughts.

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3 thoughts on “FASTING: LESSON IN GRATITUDE

  1. Hi Wawan – this is lovely. Tbh I cant share what I practice to “stay” grateful because it’s a continuous struggle. But grateful always reminds me about patience. Because Allah swt actually says in the Quran that when calamity hits you, be grateful. Syukur. And not just be patient. I learnt this a couple of years back and totally shifted my paradigm. We are asked to be grateful “in place” of patience, because patience is passive, potentially defeating. The defeated complain. Grateful is active. It’s a proactive way of for us to deal with difficulties. The grateful triump. So really, it’s not a concept that stands alone; we are grateful (ie thankful) in the good times, but also grateful (as a dealing mechanism) in the bad. That’s what make gratitude as a concept so powerful to me.

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    1. Hi, Mek. Thanks for your thoughts. You’re right, it is a constant struggle. I guess there’s more than one mechanism to deal with it and we need a few to keep up the fight? Especially when we fall I guess. Hehe. Staying proactive. I will keep that in mind when challenges hit me. 🙂

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