2019-05-23 13:17:51date was

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  • Why ‘Loving’ Ramadan Isn’t Necessarily Pious


    Every year we hear people saying things like, “I can’t wait for Ramadan!” and  ”Ramadan is my favourite time of the year”.  Sure, they may be referring to the social aspect and the special TV series and commercials, but when someone says they ‘enjoy’ fasting, you know something’s off.

    Who actually ‘enjoy’s being starving and lethargic?! You can be proud or satisfied with yourself for doing it to please God, but that’s different from joy. Joy doesn’t stem from strife.

    You can be happy about the prospect of being rewarded, but getting that reward isn’t exactly a walk in the park, and we all know that. So, a lot of the time, when people talk about how much they love Ramadan it’s usually fake to an extent – that is, they’re saying these things because they think that it will make Allah pleased with them, and other people see them as pious. And you can’t exactly blame them– why wouldn’t they want to get on God’s good side? 

    However, when you really think about it, why would Allah reward you for something you claim you love so much? If you don’t see it as a struggle and sacrifice, then it’s a reward in itself, isn’t it? Saying you “love” fasting is like saying you love chocolate chip cookies; why would you be praised and rewarded for eating cookies? Aren’t cookies the treat/reward to begin with?

     Take the Marshmallow Test, for example. A group of kids were given a marshmallow and told that they can either eat it right away, or wait five minutes and be given another one. Choosing to wait for the second marshmallow, while being tantalized by the one in front of them (struggle), resulted in a reward of another marshmallow. Do you see how this fits in here now? Struggle is to be rewarded. Factor in the kids’ reasoning for waiting/struggling (i.e. add faith and the want to please God to the equation) and it’s pretty similar to fasting, no?

    Does it not make more sense for Allah to be happy with you for doing something that you don’t enjoy and struggle with, but still do it for God’s sake (in the literal sense) ? Isn’t it the fact that you alter your way of life in order to please the Lord, that makes Ramadan so holy?

    Therefore, perhaps it’s the people that don’t put on a front during the month that are truly pious. Because they don’t pretend to love it– they find it hard going without food and drink, and they’re honest about it. God is all-knowing, right? So it’s not like if you pretend fasting is super awesome for you, that it won’t be transparent. The people that openly admit and express how hard Ramadan is for them, are in a way, respecting Allah more; and that’s something to be rewarded for, no? So is the struggle we go through; so let’s give the Lord something to be proud of, and fast in spite of our headaches and hunger pangs – and not lie about it to impress anyone. 

    Maybe even break our fast with a chocolate chip cookie – because we earned it.

    By Salma Anderson 

    * The opinions expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect those of Cairo Gossip.