I’m not really a religious person. I just find it hard to believe that if there is an almighty benevolent being “up there” he’s going to send me to hell just because I don’t pray to him 5 times a day. At the same time, I’m not altogether ready to let go of the possibility of some higher power or phenomenon that maybe watches over us – I just don’t agree with the formalistic character of most organized religions.
Having said that, for “official” purposes I am Muslim. But I’ll have to admit, I’m not a very good one (I have my vices). Still, every year I put myself through the rather trying ordeal of fasting for month during the time of Ramzaan. Part of the reasoning behind doing this yearly ritual is that it makes my Grandfather really happy. He’s quite advanced in age now and so he can’t fast anymore himself. But in Muslim tradition, those who sit with a fasting person to break their fast, share in the reward of that fast. And while I may have strayed from the “true path of Islam” it does me happy to sit and share those moments with him.
This time of year is also about sacrifice for me. It’s a time when I test my resolve and self-control by giving up all my vices. Not only do I not partake in the usual during the day – Water, Food, anything fun – but I also giving up consuming alcohol for the month. This isn’t a religious thing of course – technically I shouldn’t be drinking at all, but like I said – not a very good Muslim. While it may not seem like much, giving up your vices for an entire month is far more challenging than you would imagine, but in the end, it feels amazing to come through the other end having put your muster to the test and emerging victorious.
So tomorrow I begin this journey yet again. But with a Dissertation to hand in and many friends yet to meet before I return to London, it seems quite a challenge before me. Let us see what the month ahead brings and those out there fast along with me, good luck and god speed!