Ramadan 2015: Self-Belief

By Fatima K - July 10, 2015

The first time I thought about ramadan this year - really really really thought about it and realised how close it really was - was about a week before on a walk home when my cousin said this to me: 
"I'm not going to lie to you F, it's gonna be tough".
This is probably the most truthful thing I've heard because my cousin wasn't trying to glam it all up. The prospect of not eating or drinking for a whopping 19 hours isn't appealing and I was doing well of putting that out of my head till then. I love ramadan and when I say I didn't think about it till then, I don't mean that I hadn't thought about Ramadan at all. I thought about the extra prayers, gatherings and talks I would attend, feasts we would have, donating to charities, potential cakes and biscuits I would make for Eid, the family gatherings, tasty food, fruit and drinks, the late nights and odd social hours - so yes, I was thinking about Ramadan. - Just not how long I wouldn't be able to eat and drink for. 

And then Ramadan began. I knew it was going to be long - there were numerous articles in the media expressing concern with the hours muslims would stay hungry for, but not once did I think I wouldn't be able to do it. Not once did I doubt my ability to fast for the day or month. Others did. Actually a lot of people did. I'm sure even you did at one point. I mean come on, 19 hours is one heck of a long time to not eat or drink WHILST continuing with your normal daily routine. 

I keep getting asked strange questions at work and whilst I'm out and about like:

  • "How do you manage?" 
  • "You can't even drink water?"
  • "This heat makes it harder doesn't it?" 
  • "Are you sure you'll be ok?" 
  • "Do you eat all night?" 
Surprisingly, alhamdulillah, I've been managing fine without food or water for the whole day. Yes, the heat does make it harder because I can't refuel with water - that's hard. But not impossible. And no, no matter how much I try, it's not possible for me to eat all night. What would be helpful is if our bodies could store water like camels because that's what I get full from really quickly - drinking too much water!

Now remember, there is more to Ramadan than just staying hungry. It's also about having more control and discipline within ourselves, appreciating and a realising blessings and also to be humble and generous to those less fortunate. But it seems that not eating and drinking is something that we are all well aware of and so this is often the topic of conversation. 

Anyway, the most common thing I've heard this Ramadan is: 

"I'd never be able to do it!" 

My response to this has nearly always been to assure the person telling me this that I think they would, and it's true, I do think they would be able to do it. I just wonder why people don't have that confidence in themselves to believe they can. It was hard at the beginning but I always knew I would be ok. See, here's the thing, you have to believe in yourself and try things - that's what I've been taught and it works for me.

Tariq Ramadan has a great quote about fasting and this is what you can get from fasting even if you aren't doing it for religious reasons. 

So there, moral of this post is: a little self-belief goes a long way - have faith in yourself and your own abilities!

If you want to know more about Muslims fasting and Ramadan, check out my post "Lessons From This Month" where you can find links and helpful videos to explain all. :) 

Have you been fasting/fasted? What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below to let me know :)

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  1. I have such admiration for those who fast! I probably could do it as I'm pretty good with self discipline, so maybe I should give it a go sometime despite not being religious.
    Ramadan does actually sound so much fun with all the festivities! I attended a muslim wedding a couple of months ago and the spirit of family is lovely :)
    lily x

    1. There are many benefits to fasting too - check them out and see if they take your fancy. And you don't have to stop eating and drinking completely - you can set the rules :) Wedding are so much fun!! x

  2. I admire people who really fast and I think it's amazing you're doing it!

    You're totally right, we can do much more than we think. Or maybe those who say "I'd never be able to do it!" actually mean "I'd never want to do it" because I think it's actually possible if you really want to do it.

    I've only tried the "Christian fasting" but more in the sense of not eating/doing something I usually eat/do as a challenge to myself than for religious reasons (selfish, I know). I guess I don't want to do the real thing because my relationship with food could get critical and I am a beast when I'm thirsty.


    1. "my relationship with food could get critical" - thats great!! My relationship with food is at a rocky stage - I still haven't been eating as well as I should be but I'm getting there! xox


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