It’s Ramadan: Eat, Drink and be Muslim

“and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allaah) likes not Al-Musrifoon (those who waste by extravagance)” [al-A’raaf 7:31]

From the first time I observed Ramadan, I had no idea of its history and great blessings.
The only thing I knew was that going without food made me appreciate food and other aspects of life in a way I never had. Some people are not in touch with their bodies, eating whatever is in front of them and later regretting it (or not). For me, with my first Ramadan, I knew that a small amount of food for iftar could satisfy me and it certainly made me more grateful than a lavish or large amount of food.

But many born into Islam seem to have developed a culture of feasting in Ramadan that deeply disappoints me। If you are invited for iftar you will find a spread fit for a king when all you really want is a simple meal, the kind our prophet Muhammad (salallahu aleihi wa salaam) wou
ld eat. You appreciate the company and sharing a special moment. But your host insists that you eat more and more and you feel obliged to satisfy him at the expense of your observance of the sunnah itself.

The prophet Muhammad (salallahu aleihi wa salaam) said: “The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach; for the son of Adam a few mouthfuls are sufficient to keep his back straight। If you must fill it, then one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for air.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2380; Ibn Maajah, 3349. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 1939).

How many women spend more time in the kitchen in Ramadan than any other time of year। Shouldn’t they be spending more time in front of the Qur’an and behind the imam in prayer than any other time of year? Here’s a picture that says it all:

Allah acts as a witness of that hard work she does in her kitchen to please her family and guests, but he also sees that family and those guests eating in excess and leaving that woman to clean up the subsequent mess and begin preparing the next feast, all at the expense of her prayers and reading Qur’an। How many women are working full time outside the home these days and still trying to keep up with such unislamic demands during Ramadan?

Is not Ramadan, a great month for contemplation? Then we should contemplate this:
Al-Haakim narrated that Abu Juhayfah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The more people eat their fill in this world, the more hungry they will be on the Day of Resurrection।”

Allaah knows best।

I did not inherit Islam, I reverted to this way of life in my mid twenties. I came to Islam via life experience (the school of hard knocks) and simple layman’s logic. Along with a growing faith, it is that simple layman’s logic that has kept me committed to this way of life. It is that logic that confirms in my heart that Ramadan is not about a five course meal at sunset or spread out through the night. It is that simple logic that tells me it is wrong for anyone to discourage my efforts to eat more than the simplest of foods in Ramadan. I understand Ramadan to be the month of prayer and simplicity, so let us save the feasting for Eid ul Fitr.

note: The title of this post is an adaptation of a King James biblical phrase “eat, drink and be merry”. Simply being Muslim makes me merry!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for these words..
I really have been thinking that the secret behind Ramadan should be presented by the fasters(Muslims)to meet the purpose of performing that. One of the purpose that we can undrstand for Ramadan is to stop our desire for a few hours and to say no to ourselves for Allah to keep our selves cleen from just running doing whatever we want during other months and other courses of this life. Ramadan is a great month, I really love it and love its way of renewing myself through it!

i_mochtar said...

Thank you for reminding us. It's nicely written. InsyaAllah, what you say is true.

Anonymous said...

Adhkaar on Saturday, 26th September 2009 at al-Jaami'a Masjid in Stegman Road, Claremont, will recall the fortieth anniversary of the death of al-Shahid Imam Abdullah Haron. The dhikrullah will start from after the Maghrib Salaah, followed by the 'Isha Salaah and the reading from the Giyarwee Sharif by the ’Ibaad-u-Ragmaan Qadiri Jamaa’ah. Everyone is asked to take part.
The officiating Imam at al-Jaami'a Masjid at the time, Imam Abdullah Haron had read the closing du’aa at the Qadiriyyah gatherings. He had studied in Mecca and loved adhkaar. His Uwaisi spiritual connection was through Sheikh Yusuf bin ’Abdullah al-Taj al-Khalwati al-Makaasari.
Arrested by the apartheid security police just after he had led the al-Jaami'a Masjid Milad al-Nabi celebrations on 12 Rabi al-Auwal 1389AH (28 May 1969), he was held under Section 6(1) of the Terrorism Act of 1967 until his death on Saturday, 27th September 1969. He had been starved, interrogated and tortured (May Allah, The Eternal, Be Compassionate towards him).
More than thirty thousand people had crammed into City Park in Crawford for his funeral. Grief showed on the faces of mourners. Muslim anger seethed. Abduragman Galant called the faithful to prayer. Imam Saliem Davids led the prayer for the deceased. The burial procession was the largest in the history of Cape Town, after that of the famous Muslim saint Sayed 'Abd Al-Rahim ibn Muhammad al-Iraqi. It stretched for miles. Imam Abdullah Haron was buried at 4pm on Monday, 29th September 1969. His grave is close to the entrance of the Mowbray Cemetery and is fittingly, adjacent to that of al-Sayed 'Abd Al-Rahim ibn Muhammad al-Iraqi. Imam Abdullah Haron was forty-five years old at the time of his death.
For further information, please speak to Hajja Fatima Haron-Masoet of 8 Nico Avenue, Crawford 7780, Western Cape, South Africa; home telephone +2721 697-2970, cellular telephone number 0833678176.