Thursday, 20 September 2007

Nerves, Anxiety & Fasting

Ramadhan at a distant glance can sometimes seem intimidating. I'm not talking about the non-Muslim who is reading about the impending Holy Muslim Months in a local daily - I'm talking about the Muslim who is about to embark on the month, fasting - refusing food, drink and marital intimacy for the duration of sunrise.

In addition to that, once the sun dips, it is not all fun and games, karaoke singing and food fests. Ramadhan is just a continuous whole month of worship, worship and more worship.

Iftar, the breaking of the fast, is followed by Maghrib prayers, a quick preparation for Tarawih prayers, usually held at the Masjid or Islamic centre, right after Isha'. Then there are those Muslims who awake in the early morning for other prayers such as Tahajjud, Hajat, Taubah. Others recite the Qur'an in the spare time. If not already awake, Muslims rise before dawn for the blessed meal that would help them through the day. Fasting begins once again.

I always thought I was the only one feeling totally unprepared for the fast. But after reading this post, I realise it is only natural. It can be intimidating to know that as a Muslim, you would engage in so much of worship 24 hours a day - for some, more than they can muster for the rest of the year.

Alhamdulillah, anxiety and nerves settle once Ramadhan arrives, and the natural inclination of surrendering to Allah and only Allah, kicks in, as if it were the day we were born.

There really is magic in Ramadhan, for those who focus on excelling in the eyes of Allah. Maybe it is all the nerves and anxiety that help build up the zeal to continuously worship God like there is no tomorrow!

Subhan'Allah!

I guess a person who is generally apathetic about religion would not enjoy Ramadhan the same way a person who was chewing off finger nails and prespiring like crazy as the month approached.

Personally it was a difficult preparation for me this year. I thought I would buckle, for several health reasons. But masha'Allah and Alhamdulillah, Allah has made it easy for me so far! He has given me the energy that I has been absent for some time now and rebuilt my self-confidence in partaking in this beautiful month - despite my nerves and ugly fingernails!

One week has passed since the first iftar, may the next four weeks be as wonderful as this one.

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