My first Ramadan was in ’97 when I was a freshman at Prairie View A&M University. I was so focused on not being able to eat or drink that I would sleep in between classes to “pass the time” and got behind on my Qur’anic readings on the second day because Surah 2 seemed so long. I told myself I would catch up. I did not.
I even started nibbling on peppermints because I figured that wasn’t actually food. As you can see, I was all messed up. I was thankful to my older brother, who is a Muslim also, for guiding me and encouraging me to finish it stronger than when I started. By the Grace of Allah (God) I did.
Since then, I have come to realize that Ramadan is so much bigger than just the absence of food, drink and sexual relations with your spouse throughout the day. It is about moral discipline. It’s about deep reflection and channeling that same sense of joy, unity, love, high spirituality, compassion and self-discipline towards the rest of the year to battle against bad habits that we commit to breaking during Ramadan. Bad habits can become like grips taught in martial arts, but we know all grips can be broken with the proper technique.
What bad habit has a grip on you right now that you would like to break?