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JustHere | November 15, 2017

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“I fast because I want to”

“I fast because I want to”

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I started fasting when I was about 15 years old and have been doing it on and off since. My parents would always encourage my siblings and me to try out different things. The decision to partake in the tradition, at the time, was mainly because I saw all my friends doing it. Initially I used to feel like I was part of something bigger, like I belonged to something different but I had still not completely understood the concept of Ramadan; sometimes I feel I still haven’t. It took me a couple of years and lots of conversations with different people to understand more about the Holy month and the ideology behind it.

Lately I have been spending this month as my own designated time to consciously appreciate what I have, not waste food, stay calm and observe myself. Your mind and body both go through a lot during this period and it is a great experience if you take it as it comes.

It took me a couple of years and lots of conversations with different people to understand more about the Holy month and the ideology behind it.

My earliest memory of Ramadan is watching my mom fast when I didn’t. Knowing that she would be fasting with me and supporting me through the month gave me a sense of security. She always ensured that Iftar was a family event by making sure we helped out with the food, secretly making our favourites and laying it on the table at the last minute, having a no-TV rule for those 45 minutes so we would concentrate on our food and each other.

I still find it hard to focus my thoughts and energy during the fasting hours. All through the day I crave for food and those feelings interrupt almost every activity, but it is exactly those thoughts that I am trying to curb. Practice restraint and respect. Even now I get a lot of questions about why I fast for Ramadan, I have never been able to articulate an answer that conveys all my emotions so I just say: “Because I want to.”

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