The month of Ramzan is a time for family, faith and forgiveness. It is considered to be a time for self-reflection and rejuvenation, where all Muslims willingly sacrifice their physical needs to meet spiritual ends. There is something very powerful about giving up on food and water, and willingly putting our well-being in the hands of Allah.
Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, but there are many brothers and sisters who “do not (cannot)” fast. Allah (SWT) has given us all guidelines for who is able to fast and who is not and He alone has the right to judge who will be forgiven for not fasting. Yet still, we being fallible humans sometimes feel we have the right to judge and criticize those who do not fast without really knowing their reasons. “In all honestly, we don’t have the right to know their reasons.” Along these lines, there are 3 questions we should never ask someone who may not be or is not fasting:
1. Are You Fasting?
Unless it is absolutely necessary and you absolutely need to ask the question, avoid asking it from people.
2. Why Aren’t You Fasting?
“Don’t ask a question you may not want the answer to! Faith and how we practice our faith is extremely personal. Really it’s none of your business why someone is not fasting. That is between them and Allah (SWT). Not only are you invading their privacy with a question you have no right to know the answer to but also you could be putting them in an awkward position to tell you something they may not be ready or ever wanting to tell. Remember that there are an infinite number of reasons that someone may not fast during Ramadan. The reasons can range from a cold to menstruation, pregnancy or a more serious illness.”
Regardless, if it does become evident that a brother or sister is not fasting, avoid making assumptions regarding their reasons.
Some women may not be comfortable disclosing whether they are fasting or not because of pregnancy. “What if someone was diagnosed with an illness such as cancer and was unable to fast. Would they want to tell every person they meet?”
View this post on Instagram
3. You Are So Lucky You Aren’t Fasting?
“Have you forgotten what it means to be able to fast? Being able to fast means that you are healthy! It means you are so healthy that you are able to stop nourishing your body for so many hours. It means your body is so healthy that you can exhaust it and starve it and still live! Being able to fast is not a burden, it is a blessing that so many people take for granted.”
In many circumstances, those who are not fasting are not doing so simply because they do not want to fast. Instead it is a varied set of circumstances and complications that render them unable to do so. “Although the person may not be hungry, or thirsty or have headaches but they feel pain in a whole other way. It is an internal spiritual struggle knowing you “should” be fasting but can’t.”
Therefore, let’s remember to be mindful this Ramzan