My first day of fasting was easier then I had anticipated.
Before Ramadan started, to be honest, I was worried. The thought of fasting was inconceivable, although I have done it before. It just seemed something that would be a struggle and a hardship! Although, of course I was looking forward to Ramadan at the same time. I really thought I would find not eating and drinking hard.
I remember when I was in South Africa, and talking to my cousin and his Muslim girlfriend about the fasts in London, and how long they were, and my cousins reaction was incredulity “No one can do that!” He said, my reply was “We all did though”.
I think sometimes as Muslims, especially those brought up in Muslim families in which fasting is the norm, we forget or we do not realise what an achievement fasting is. How those who do not fast view it as a feat of epic proportions! It just seems impossible to fast 18 hours a day for 30 days straight. Yet somehow we manage it. We manage it out of taqwa.
On the first day of Ramadan, I found refraining from food and drink surprisingly easy. I did not really think about food much. Kept busy. I felt a bit drained but nothing I couldn’t handle. When iftar came around I didn’t even feel hungry anymore!
However, unexpectedly I found controlling my thoughts a lot harder then controlling my food intake. My mind had been in the habit of thinking in a certain direction, linking certain comments and conversations with specific actions or thoughts. When I was at rest my mind wondered and wandered to places it shouldn’t go. While I was drifting of to sleep, or day dreaming. When I was having conversations and specific words or phrases reminded me of things.
For the first time I became consciously aware of the fact thoughts, backbiting, and so on could break your fast. I became scared that my fast would break, not as I would deliberately eat or drink, but because I couldn’t stop my mind drifting. Because certain thoughts I shouldn’t have, I held on to. The way I had been used to before Ramadan.
It just shows you the methods of the shaytaan. He knows he will be locked up so makes his preparations months in advance.Why are we not doing the same? He gets us in to these habits that will diminish our rewards in Ramadan. Make us waste our time and our efforts.
May Allah make it easy for me to resist the fitnah.