Guest blog from Abdul Hamid Faruki who has participated in a humanitarian aid convoy from the UK to Gaza
Children waiting for food at Internally Displaced Persons Camp Pakistan (DAWN)
A month of many sacrifices, sacrifices of personal and materialistic desires, all for the sake of Allah. Each one of us must use this time to reflect, mend broken ties, be abundant in good actions and become closer to our lord. Sometimes we forget the purpose of fasting, and it passes by just like any other month. We are tested highly in Ramadhan, Muslims around the world fast in difficult situations, be it due to weather, length of time, type of work or personal hardships.
In this month we appreciate the things we have. It is a miracle and blessing from Allah that we have the patience and will power to go long periods without the basics. We know that on a normal day we struggle to go half a day without a drink. No doubt it will be tough this year with people fasting for 18-21 hours, especially if we have a good summer. However, I always believe that the more you strive and struggle in something good, the more reward and satisfaction you get. With days going by so fast, we need to make sure we make the most of it.
Majority of us around the world are fortunate. We know that before sunrise and at sunset, we will still have food on our tables. We have modern amenities to make fasting easy for us. One of the reasons we fast is to sympathise with the hungry and needy. We put ourselves in their shoes, we walk their life, and it’s a very small portion of their life we experience. In countries like Syria, Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia, Burma and Kashmir, the people do not know when their next meal will come from. They will go days without a glass of water or a bowl of rice. They don’t have clothes or homes to protect themselves from things like the weather. They don’t have transport so they can travel to places for food, see family or even have the opportunity to perform salah.
So, next time we complain about the fast, be thankful that we don’t have bombs being dropped on us, our houses being demolished, land stolen, businesses destroyed, education wiped out, our men being killed, women being raped, children made orphans and food, water and medicine unavailable to us. I pray that Allah the almighty makes it easy for those who are observing the fast, give us patience, guide us rightly, protect us from evil, help the oppressed and free the lands of the Mu’mineen. May we all come out of this month as better people, be inspired by others and also be an inspiration, Aameen.
Abdul Hamid Faruki
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad . She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.