My life is all about talking on the world my way so when I announced some weeks ago that I would be observing Ramadan some of my friends and colleagues thought I was bonkers. They are probably correct but this is how I see it: I have numerous Islamic friends (from multiple countries) and with all the judgements people make of something they (and I) do know anything about of a long standing religious practice I decided to not be arrogant and participate.
Granted I am PETRIFIED, what do you mean I can’t eat or drink anything from dawn to sunset. Now for those that don’t know dawn is almost 1.5 hours before sunrise so I will be eating at 4 am. Best I buy some concealer as there may be very big black circles under my eyes by the end of this month. I think back though to the one comment that made me commit to this experience – ‘it brings me closer to God’.
I am not participating in the view that I will be converting, if that was the case all the other religious and spiritual places I go to I would have converted from being inherently spiritual to Buddhism, Syrian Orthodox, Catholicism and Islam in a little over two years. This is about getting closer to my sense of the divine and getting to know my friends faith a little better.
The beginning of Ramadan is marked by the Hilal (the crescent) which is typically a day or more after the astronomical new moon. I am grateful that is should fall this year on Friday so that I have at least Friday and Saturday to face the headaches and discomfort that I am assured comes but leaves quickly at the start of fasting before going back to work.
As the month passes I will attempt to explain Ramadan and any difficulties and spiritual experiences that are revealed. I have my Saudi dates ready to break fast, I have commenced cleaning out my cupboards ready to extend my charity and have more Kiva loans ready and waiting to be given.