Half Way Through…

In the Name of God, the Subtle, the Loving

It is amazing that Ramadan is half way over. Although I did feel a lot of dread before Ramadan started, now that 15 days are over, it really is not that bad. Indeed, the summer here in Chicago has been pretty pathetic these last two weeks (which is a blessing, believe me), and the weather has not been that bad. But, still, the day is long, and it is a challenge to wait until 7:20 to eat.

And it is amazing how BORING it is when you can’t eat or drink! Frequently, I just sit there and wait until I can eat. But, that made me think: it is amazing how much food and drink distracts us. I wonder if Shaytan uses them to distract us from doing more good in life.

One of the (few) advantages of having a long day to fast is that there is plenty of time to read the Qur’an during Ramadan, which is encouraged. Even if I have a real long day at work, and I come home at 6 PM, I still have about an hour and a half (soon, two hours and a half!) before I can eat. It is the perfect time to read the Scripture.

But, when I am eating and drinking on “normal” days, I frequently don’t find any time to read the Qur’an. What’s the difference? Yes, I am munching all the time. But, still, why can’t I find the time to read even two pages outside of Ramadan when I can find the time to read several pages during Ramadan? It is a very interesting observation I’ve made.

Perhaps Shaytan, who is chained up now, continually distracts us by suggesting this snack or that; that cup of coffee or that can of soda; this drink of water or that drink of juice. Indeed, food and drink are essential to our health and well-being. But, when most of our waking thoughts are about what to eat when, it is very distracting from other equally important things, especially when it comes to our spirituality.

In addition, how is it that I can find the time to go to the mosque to pray many raka’as of Taraweeh (a commendable, but optional, act), but when it is not Ramadan, I can’t find the time to pray Isha in the mosque? Yes, my shows are on…but that is no excuse: I have a DVR.

Also, when I am fasting, I realize that I really do without that extra munch here and there; that I can maybe cut down on the sugary cappuccino I add to my coffee; that maybe I can go without muching before dinner when I get home. Hopefully, this can help me shave off a few pounds when the days of fasting are long gone.

That’s the point of Ramadan: to allow us to polish our hearts, improve our spirituality so we can be better people for the rest of the year and (hopefully) the rest of our lives. It is not simply a diet plan…

But still, it’s amazing how much you think about things when you can’t eat or drink…


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