بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ
In the name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful
I had lived 1,5 years in Qatar. Ramadan was around the corner and it was 50 degrees Celsius hot outside. An egg could have been fried in a second on the top of the car. It was really hot. I was drinking excessive amounts of coffee, but was in OK shape physically.
When I got to know about Ramadan and fasting for 30 days, I was really stunned! Why?
I love the question why, because it makes me question things, and it makes me get to know more.
One of things I was told was that it was because it’s part of Islam, and obligatory upon the Muslims. Fasting (saum) is a pillar of Islam. Allah’s Messenger SAWS said, Allah says: “Every deed of the son of Adam is for him, except saum (fasting). It is for Me and I shall reward for it.” [Muslim: 1151]
But also, because it’s a way to humble yourself and understand how it is for the poor people, who don’t have food to eat.
I was still thinking that it couldn’t be good for you. I wasn’t Muslim at that time, I didn’t even know what Islam really was or what it meant.
However, in order to improve my cultural adaptability I decided to fast. SubhanAllah. The 4th day, I took my shahadah and declared my faith, which you may read more about here: http://energizedmuslimah.com/my-journey-to-islam-and-how-everything-fell-into-place/.
Thanks to all amazing sisters in Qatar, I had the best time of my life ever. SubhanAllah. I was directly welcomed and brought to the mosques for night prayers, but also invited for lifters, where we broke the fast together.
Directly, I came to realize that Ramadan and fasting was about fasting, not feasting. We broke the fast with dates and water, we prayed Maghreb and we had Iftar. Which was simple food like chicken and rice and salad. I made a pizza Iftar a couple of times too though, where I welcomed by beloved sisters. We ate, we socialized and we went to the mosque for Isha prayer followed by the night prayer. Then sometimes home for some few couple of hours of precious sleep before sahuur, the pre-dawn meal or back to the mosque again for additional hours of prayers.
I was also working full-time during this time, both as a senior executive but also as my own. The culmination of being busy during Ramadan was my last year in Qatar. It was still 50 degrees hot outside. I worked full-time as a Personal Trainer in my clients’ residences and even taught classes outdoor by the swimming pool. But I also filmed for Qatar TV, and other big events in my life that really kept me busy.
It was hard, but it was life changing. I’m still warm in my chest when I think about it. Amazing memories. Amazing how I managed and a realization how strong you actually can be.
The posh Spas and Fitness Clubs were also busy during the time before Iftar, and being a fitness professional it became natural for me to do my workouts before Iftar. Something that I’ve continued with since then during the holy months of Ramadan.
I think it’s important to remember, that “There is no one who fasts one day in the cause of Allah, but Allah will remove his face (the distance of) seventy autumns from the fire in return for that day.” [Muslim: 1153]
When you study more, and get to know Allah SWT and the religion more, things falls into place. Serenity and inner peace, bi’thnillah.
The whole purpose of this blog post is to reach out to you sister. I’m encouraging you to follow your intention and positive desire of staying healthy and active during Ramadan. Because that is what I was taught Ramadan is about. And I also got to know myself, that fasting is actually good from so many perspectives. And who knows that better than the One who created you and me and everything that exists. Allah says in the Qur’an:
“…And if you fast, it is better for you, if only you knew.” [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:184]
With that, I’m looking forward to this upcoming Ramadan in Shaa Allah. Because, I know how good fasting actually is.
What was your first Ramadan like? Please share, I’d love to know.
Assalaamu ‘Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh (May Peace and Mercy and Blessings of Allah be Upon You).
Thank you & Energetic Regards,