Writing for Aquila Style Magazine, Fatimah Jackson-Best discusses the challenges of fasting during Ramadan when you can’t fast due to health conditions like diabetes, pregnancy or chronic illnesses. In an effort to find other ways to satisfy the emotional and spiritual needs of fasting, particularly for those who feel like they are missing out on an extremely important part of the Muslim faith, Jackson-Best poses some meaningful solutions to this challenge.
“Ramadan isn’t about just fasting from food, but also avoiding negative thoughts and behaviours. Many fasting and non-fasting Muslims forget this and continue to gossip with friends and argue with loved ones, which can be spiritually damaging. If you cannot fast this Ramadan try your best to treat friends, family, co-workers, and strangers with the utmost respect and love. Instead of getting involved in juicy gossip, remind your friend that it is Ramadan and bring up a different topic.
If you are in your car and someone cuts you off, don’t lean on the horn in anger but instead try excusing the driver’s behaviour and remember Allah and the goals of this holy month. Make an extra effort to be patient and kind, because this is what Ramadan is truly about.
Those of us who cannot fast are already obligated to feed a person who is experiencing financial hardship. How about going a bit further and doing some charity work consistently? You can get together with friends and family to make Ramadan or Eid baskets for community members who may be economically disadvantaged. These can be left at your local mosque or Islamic centre for distribution.
Don’t forget about Muslims in prisons who also need our assistance during Ramadan. There is a great Muslim organisation in Toronto called Islamic Chaplaincy Services Canada that collects books, prayer rugs and other items during Ramadan to distribute to Muslims in prisons at Eid. Whether they converted to Islam in prison or repented their sins while being confined, these inmates need our support.
Ramadan is a great month to do extra acts of worship such as prayer, meditation, dhikr, study circles and reading Qur’an. If you cannot fast this year, try to increase your supplication to Allah in whatever form you feel is best. Attend tarawih prayers at night and go to the mosque as much as possible to participate in congregational prayers. This will allow you to connect with your brothers and sisters in Islam…”
Read the article in its entirety at Aquila Style Magazine.