This isn’t at all what I had in mind for my next post, but I just read Humble and Hoping‘s blog post, and feel inclined to write this for everyone who struggles with any sort of health issues.
I wish I could go over my whole experience of not fasting last Ramadan, go over the fiqh of it which I’ve been taught, but in this limited amount of time I have I’ll try to condense what I want to say to anyone who’s not medically well.
Everyone around you will always judge you and throw words like “taqwa”, “sabr”, and “resilience” when you mention your difficulty with fasting. That includes your friends, and possibly your family. I don’t know why, but Muslims, especially from the desi culture, have this insane perspective that “the more it hurts, the more reward there is”, because let me tell you now, that this isn’t true. SubhanAllah, how screwed up is this concept, where people have started believing that you must fast, even if you’re harming your health?!
This issue is close to my heart, because I think I shouldn’t have been fasting for the last 5 years or so, based on my medical reports. The truth is NO-ONE knows your body and your resilience like you do or your doctor does. You should not be allowing people to guilt-trip you into fasting if you’ve been adviced otherwise. Allah swt is Ar-Rahman, he is the most merciful, he doesn’t want hardship for us, he wants ease.
If you have medical issues, and you have a doctor who tells you that you shouldn’t be fasting, you should take them seriously. You should discuss this issue with your local imam, and go from there. This is for you:
Ramadan is about Quran, and about Dua. Focus on those two things. Try and attach yourself to Quran as much as possible in this month. Write up a dua list, and make sure to make all those duas especially in the last ten days of Ramadan. When you cross off things from your dua list in the months that follow Ramadan, the amount of gratitude and contentment you feel will be astounding inshAllah. Try and attend the night prayers. Donate a dollar a day, especially in the last ten nights, and you’ll have made a donation on Laylatul Qadr, which is worth a huge amount of reward. Miswak it guys, it’s sunnah, it’s hygenic, and your reward for each prayer is increased substantially. Please do remember me in your duas too! 🙂
It’s really hard to accept not being able to fast, but think about it this way: Fasting may actually be makruh (disliked) for you, if you fall into the specific category of those people who’re unwell, and aren’t supposed to be fasting. Be merciful to yourself guys. ❤ Understand that it may just be that you really want to get close to Allah swt through fasting, but what if he’s actually upset at you for hurting yourself?
There are a lot of people not fasting because of their own health issues around you. You just don’t know who they are. Reach out. You’ll find support, inshAllah. Sister Sa’diyya Nesar has done an excellent job of discussing her experience with not being able to fast in her article, Quality Over Quantity: Ramadan with ‘Different,’ Abilities. She had a really cool Facebook group for those who couldn’t fast last Ramadan, and I was stunned at the number of people on that group, locally and globally. I don’t think it’s active right now, otherwise I’d share it with you.
Let’s just do our best, that’s all Allah swt wants from us. May Allah swt make this the absolute best Ramadan in our lives so far, and may he accept our duas, ameen ❤
The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.
And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.