Today marks the first day of the Islamic holy month Ramadhan this year. I find Ramadhan the best month of the year. It is basically the perfect moment for one’s self-control over all negativities.
The fact is, not everyone is a Moslem (a person whose religion is Islam). For the whole month, either you are a Moslem or a non-Moslem, you might spend your daily lives differently. How to deal with it when those around you, especially the ones you love, fast during Ramadhan?
Okay, first things first.
What is Ramadhan?
It is a whole month, or 30 days, joyously celebrated by all legitimate Moslems round the globe by fasting and preventing themselves from all kinds of negativity.
What do they do during Ramadhan?
Each day the fasting period lasts from Imsak to Maghrib. During that time the Moslems:
- Don’t eat
- Don’t drink
- Don’t smoke
- Don’t have sex; they aren’t allowed to even think about it nor watch porn
- Don’t talk trash nor swear
- Don’t gossip about other people
- Avoid anger
- Avoid hatred
- Avoid sadness, including cyring and whining
- Prevent themselves from thinking, talking nor behaving negatively towards anything and anyone
In short, Ramadhan is a month full of self-control.
Imsak? Maghrib? What are those?
Imsak and Maghrib appear repetitively every day. Imsak is a point of time marking the end of Sahur, the last meal the Moslems can have before they start fasting. Maghrib is a point of time marking the end of fast. Each time zone has different Imsak and Maghrib time, but the durations are all the same: about 13.5 hours.
Wait, there are 24 hours a day. If one day’s fasting lasts for 13.5 hours, are you saying that they are allowed to do all those things mentioned above off the time frame?
Well, the negativities are not allowed even after the fasting duration ends. In fact, Islam teaches the Moslems not to do them for the rest of their lives, LOL.
But yeah, a Moslem can eat, drink and have sex with the wife/husband after Maghrib… until the next day’s Imsak, of course. They’re Moslems, not mutants, LOL.
What’s the point of doing all those?
Well, I won’t mention anything about heaven/hell thingy. It’s simply their personal beliefs, and if they can go thru 30 days with the best self-control possible, they will celebrate the biggest Islamic holiday Eid ul-Fitr by the end of Ramadhan gloriously.
Okay. So what must I do to respect them during Ramadhan?
I’m actually not telling you to, you really don’t have to do these if you don’t want to. I’m just suggesting. If you like, you can, for example:
- Not display any food or drink directly in front of your Moslem fellows
- Not provoke them with anything that might upset them; if you need to argue over something, you can do it assertively
- Not ask them to watch porn with you, or offer some for them
- (if he/she is your boyfriend/girlfriend) Not arouse him/her by any means
- Try to understand and adapt appropriately to their changed schedule
What?! Those are hard to do. I need to eat and drink as freely as ever! After all, they’re the ones who fast. Asking me to do all those is just selfish.
Yeah, I know. This tolerance thingy has been discussed over and over again, whether non-Moslems should sacrifice their own daily habits to adapt to the Moslems’ during Ramadhan.
But please, allow me to present to you another perspective. Let’s see things this way…
Imagine I were a tiny girl, you were a big-sized, and we were bestfriends. We sat in a cafe where the best cheesecake in the world was served. My natural body metabolism allowed me to have as many cheesecakes as I want without a single pound added to my weight. Yours did otherwise. Could I order the superb cheesecake? Yes, of course. But would I do it when I knew all along you’d be really sad for not being able to enjoy it? NO! You were my bestfriend, I didn’t wanna see you sad.
So, if I can do such thing for you, why can’t you show the same respect and love for your Moslem fellows?
On the opposite point of view, however,
I also think the Moslems should put their non-Moslem friends’ needs and habits into consideration. If you are a Moslem, you can, for example:
- Not be easily upset and mad over non-Moslem fellows’ behavior that might lead to your fast abortion
- Refuse politely without arguing further when they ask you to do anything that might break the fasting rules
- When they slip up, try to take the fact that they have tried their best anyway
In short, self-control is eminent here.
There was a story…
… of my ex boss. He was an atheist. He mocked all of my Moslem colleagues. “You should be grateful every time I eat and drink rite in front of you, because that way I give you a greater opportunity to go to heaven. By fasting harder, you get ‘extra points.'”
At some certain point he was rite. The Moslems, according to the teaching, might get more benefits when they are more challenged. But from the point of social respect and tolerance, I found it impolite and inappropriate.
But again, as the one being mocked, I said nothing. He simply didn’t understand. And with that mindset I could just completely ignore him. No anger, no hatred, I won. He, being the one with a totally different belief, did not have to go through my (hypothetically speaking) angry reactions. We both were happy, peace emerged. After all, Islam is all about peace, rite?
Last but not least,
this article is purely my personal opinion, so please don’t take it as the whole Moslem community’s. I’m just suggesting, you are free to decide what you’re gonna do.
I dedicate this post to my American atheist ex, who completely understood my situation. His quote would be carved on my memory forever:
I’ll try (to do all things mentioned above) the best I can. But I might slip up. So I bear with you if you can bear it with me. I’ll do my best though!
If everyone in the whole world thinks the same way as he did, I’m sure there won’t be any war nor stupid terrorism bombs.
Either you are a Moslem or non-Moslem, I wish you all the best in your life. May the Force of the holy month Ramadhan be with you.