I try to learn a lot not only about Religion and Beliefs, but also myself, others and other things in general. How I’d assess myself in this learning process is when I would have a sitting with my Mentor and we’d talk about different things. Prior to meeting him, I’d feel that I’m ready to ace or shine on him with my brilliant ideas and the new things that I have come across only to leave his presence wondering what am I doing with my lazy self. Sometimes I wished I never opened my mouth in the first place. His wisdom? (story for another day)
I met my best friend 5 years ago. She is a Muslim. Not to mention that I have other friends who are Muslims. (Yeah, I hear you Saeed and Amina you top the list, calm down…haha) Last year I did fast during Ramadan, despite being a Christian. I have fasted before, but this time it was different. My reason was; I needed strength and support from someone who has gone through it and was committed. Who else to do it, other than with your bff! (you know the bff goals type of thing) But more importantly, DISCIPLINE! Not in a million years did I think I would ever suffice.
Back to learning. For the sake of brevity, I’m such a curious person.
Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year in Islamic culture usually the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, which is a lunar calendar based on the cycles of the moon. Muslims observe the month of Ramadan, to mark that Allah, or God, gave the first chapters of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad in 610 AD. At this time, Muslims fast, abstain from pleasures and pray to become closer to God. It is also a time for families to gather and celebrate.
During Ramadan, you will be amazed by the random act of kindness to strangers. Everyone fasting supports, encourages and share what they have – no matter how little it is – whole heartedly. I remember when I saw my friends Fatoor for the first time I was amazed by the kindness that was demonstrated. It was one of those chilly evenings at the University of Nairobi, Chiromo campus (In case you’re wondering, that’s where I met most of my Muslim friends. Matilda and Anne (classmates would always ask…..”ni nini huwa mnaambiana na walalo? wanashindanga wamekufuata!” and I would laugh at their question because I had no adequate response….haha) and there are so many things I know I wasn’t sure of since it was an exam day but what I was 104% sure is that not all of them had the Iftar, but you couldn’t tell who it was.
Your mind is way stronger than you imagine it to be. When you hear someone talk about fasting, some make it sound or feel like you’re being told to climb Mt. Everest. While this may be the case for many, mine was totally different. Well, not that I couldn’t hear my stomach borborygmus from hunger pangs, I did. I could have eaten a horse between two bread vans. But not even one moment did it cross my mind that I should give up. I realised food could be a luxury. No? And this is not brought about by my not so good appetite. But truth be told, you should have seen the joy in my eyes when I could finally take my first sip of water, or a COLD bamboocha!!!!!
I love to experience other people’s beliefs and way of life. I haven’t travelled as much as I would want to (my mutu better be taking notes……chuckles) but if there is one thing I have come to respect and, still try to, understand is religion and modus vivendi other than my own. When you try to live through real life experiences, you enjoy such a much better perspective to life. I’d be elated to hear your fasting experience.
As our Muslim brothers and sisters embark on this journey, let’s support them. Have empathy and love for one another.
Thank you for stopping by!