Friday, July 29, 2011

Ramadan 2011

Moslems around the world are expected to observe the annual month of fasting in 3 days time. This will be my first Ramadan as a moslem. I was told that I am exempted from fasting as it can pose a health threat to my unborn child and I. Nonetheless, I have read that it is not a complete no. There are some pregnant mummies who opt to fast on alternate days - and that fasting was not worrisome probably because "Allah gives you strength and protects your unborn child".

However, it is always wise to consult with your doctor or midwife should you opt to fast. I will probably try fasting for the first few days - which many say is the hardest for most moslems (even non pregger ones) because the body is adapting to fasting and getting our daily work/chores done like normal.

As in my previous posts, I have fasted before during the Ramadan since my Uni days - and of course, during lent. And similiar to Lent, it's not just about abstaining from food, (fasting for catholics defer for each individual, but in general, unlike fasting for the moslems, they are allowed one (small & simple) meal - usually it's breakfast or lunch) but also doing penance and to avoid unpleasant behavior such as lying, back-biting and cheating, while making extra effort to be kind and charitable, to fight against the ego, to perform extra acts of worship and to appreciate what we have and what others do not have.

I guess this time it will be different as I will be praying as a moslem this time around. Fasting during the Ramadan is one of the 5 pillars in Islam. Many people go to the mosque to perform extra prayers in congregation called the Terawih prayers. Every night, during these prayers, one thirtieth of Quran is also recited, so that by the end of the month, the entire Quran has been read. I will need to check if I am unable to fast, can I still participate in this (Terawih prayers etc). Surely I can right?
It is said that during the last 10 days, Moslems try and spend as much time worshipping at the masjid or mosque as possible. Some take this time to visit Mecca and Medina. About the former, I'm not sure if this applies to the men only.

It's going to be very different even for hubby as we are away during this Holy Month. We have found halal meat sold at the Tesco Lotus (Praise God) and apparently around the Nana area, there are many halal dishes sold there (many Arabs are said to live there). Whatever it is, I am looking forward to Ramadan - and celebrating the Eid-ul-Fitr once the Ramadan is over. InsyaAllah, all will be well. Not just with this fasting month, but with healing hearts too. Godwilling, forgiveness and acceptance will take place. I shall doa for this.

* more reading material

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