September 16, 2009

I don't fast.

I used to, not-too-long-ago. But somewhere down the line it stopped making sense to me that I stayed hungry from dawn to dusk without praying or changing my lifestyle in any major way. It made even little-er sense to me that I - as some worthy people do - dramatically alter their standards of living for this one blessed month only to return to their drinking, womanizing and other, err, non-halal activities with the tidings of Eid. The former is a personal deficiency perhaps, the latter is simply a desire not to be a hypocrite. But point not that, point is I choose not to fast. Someday, I hope, fasting will make sense to me again. When that happens, I shall gladly re-begin the practice. But right now, I don't fast. Because I choose not to. This choice is between me and my God, just like the desire to fast, pray and generally indulge in the activities of the faithful should be between you and your God. And I will be damned if I will apologize for not fasting to you, or any other proselytizing f0ol who thinks I should.


I don't fast.

And I detest the strange social standard that makes you think I should hide away in corners eating furtively looking around me like a thief to make sure none of the 'faithful' are watching and being tempted away from their steadfastness. I refuse to make excuses and look around shamefully while you look at me judgmentally as I drink my morning, afternoon, evening cups of coffee. I don't flaunt my food in front of you. How dare you turn around and flaunt your piety in my face? It occurs to me, that if your faith is weak enough to be swayed by the sight of someone eating a sandwich, perhaps you should reconsider your status as one of the faithful.

I don't fast.

And that, my love, is that.

21 comments:

Saraa said...

Rightly said-if someone's faith is weak enough to be tempted by someone eating then they should fix that. but there are some people who feel guilty while eating in front of a fasting person for God knows what reason. they shouldn't, should they? they didnt ask the other person to fast and its their choice or any other problem which has lead them to not do so. right?

S said...

Hey, Just out of innocent curiosity, I have a (possibly ignorant) question - If Pakistan is an Islamic nation, and fasting during the month of Ramadan is an Islamic tradition, then is it illegal to keep restaurants open during the day? If not should it be?

(I am sure to get pelted for this one...)

Lonely Perverted Soul said...

Heyy cool.. liked this post.... i just love the way u say it so straight...

Anonymous said...

woman! you need to breathe. you're turning into one extremely edgy and aggressive person. stop being a hater..lifes too short! (cant wait to read your ultra nasty response to this but I didn't write this comment for a reaction..this is honest and sincere advice:)

Nida said...

"I don't flaunt my food in front of you. How dare you turn around and flaunt your piety in my face?"

Well said!

samad said...

i go with the flow, and your damn damn damn damn right, persons faith between god and them, how i wish some ninkompoops would understand that, eh love? :p
behold you got urself a new follower

samad said...

wats anon on about she does'nt sound angry, sounds like an intelligent women. and if you dont fast, that does'nt make you a badder muslim then someone who does fast, infact in most cases the fasting person will pohibit from doing wrongful acts for a set period, but resume to them afterwards, and thats what God does'nt like that.
i fast thought, go with flow init, ;) i even enjoy fastin, lose a bit of muscle,-

jammie said...

you know its funny- but though i fast and am perhaps a "faithful" whatever that could mean :D, this post made me so smile a happy one. Almost as happy as seeing dunkin donuts open during this ramzan from 11 am to midnight :) the point you make is spot on. we arent here to flaunt our piety just fight our demons and battles and its helluva lot easier to do it without righteous eyes accusingly boring into you. fasting isnt only what makes a muslim, tolerance is too- so why throw that away just coz staying hungry and feeling martyr-y trups that?

Xeb said...

Saraa: I think so at any rate. I could, ofcourse, be wrong. But I must admit the possibilities are slim! :P

S: It used to be illegal once-upon-a-Zia-regime. I'm not sure it was ever codified in law as illegal though. Perhaps it was that period that's left the unhappy legacy of shame for the non-fasters. Anyhow, point being I'm not sure of the legalities, but economic sense requires that most eating places (and the closer you get to eid shopping places)open late in the day and stay open till Sehri.

Xeb said...

LPS: :)

Anon: Maybe I am. I react a little too quickly most times. But a reaction is still a reaction to something external. I don't think I'm making any of these social hypocrisies up, I'm just choosing not to ignore them like the rest of us do. Btw, I wish you'd write a name, even a made up one! :P It makes it easier to distinguish one anonymous from the other.

Deepak Iyer said...

Wait, doesn't that make your blog haram too ?

(if Tazeen is to be believed : http://tazeen-tazeen.blogspot.com/2009/09/is-swine-flu-haraam.html)

Xeb said...

N: *bows*


s: Thank you! :) I like followers! :P And re: fasting, I initially stopped fasting because I have chronic low BP, developed sometime last year. I re-started a while back, but honestly it made NO sense. My mission in life is to get hold of a little faith first, and then worry about whether or not I fast.

J: Dunkin Donuts is open in the morning? Yay for them! :) I don't have anything against the fast-ers! I totally respect them for what they do, I just wish they understood that religion is personal. Or it should be at any rate.

Xeb said...

D: Probably! :P But strangely, I can live with that! *hehe*

Desert Mystery said...

I was in Dubai a few days back and they had a setup that should truly be followed in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Lots of restaurants were open for take away only (hence not 'offending' the fasters and providing a source of food for the rest) and hotels had nice little dividers where people could eat without getting the evil eye that is all too prevelant over here. Faith should never be as fickle as it be in our beloved land of the pure.

OnLY OnE..! said...

I agree with Desert Mystery, things were the same 10 years ago when I lived in Abu Dhabi. At school the non-fasters had to sit in one tiny room boarded with cardboard so the fasters couldn't see the non-fasters eating.

I never got the essence of fasting till I moved here and saw what fasting is about and what it should be about.

Great post.

maria said...

i'm not sure what to think of this new trend among "moderate 'muslims'" to associate most if not every element of islamic tradition with senselessness. first they quit praying because 5 times a day every day is way too much, then they discard any sense of modesty (this includes but is not exclusive to the desperation to attain 6 figure salaries, to the need to clothe in shorter and shorter clothes, for hey its only legs! its only the shoulders!), then they quit fasting because yes denying their body the luxury of mostly excessive eating for 20-some days once a year is very very damaging to their health and well being and lets not forget, the change in pattern will disrupt the copious amounts of coffee their taste buds and nerves are dependant on. now i'm sure even the very idea of expanding their mind to the possibility of the existence of something bigger, the notion that this phenomenon, which occurs as a consequence of the hard and laborious and intricate and magical work of billions of teeny particles that we call cells, existing may be bound and produced by laws that transcend the oh-so-devastatingly fragile world we experience.

long point short. i fear about the state of muslims in the world today. nothing inherently in the belief system of the religion contradicts or hinders the enjoyment of post-modern life. and yet every privileged, 'educated' 'liberated' 'modern' Pakistani i come upon seems to be galloping in the direction of an atheistic take on living. and this beautiful gift of faith is left in the wretched hands of the poor and bereft masses who cannot help and mold islam into the notorious set of beliefs that pave the way to terrorism.

Ali said...

While the blogger may do as he/she wishes..

Maria, You summed up the current state of muslims - so beautifully too :)

Xeb said...

DM, OO: Different countries have different ways of dealing with this 'issue'. To my mind it's not a policy issue, more of an attitude thing.

maria: I will not comment on what you're saying, primarily because I believe you have the right to your opinion. I will point out, however, that you assume that I am a 'moderate muslim'. I make no such pretensions. I am an individual who is trying to decide what to believe in. And yes, I'm an 'educated', possibly 'liberal', most definitely 'post modern' 'Pakistani',and you may be the exact opposite. However I feel, and I may be wrong here, that I have a right to form my own beliefs and values - as do you - and you have no right to comment on them. Wear full clothes if you must, just be a big enough person to let others live the way they see fit. Or so I think. You may not agree, but I hope you won't just illustrate the point I'm trying to make by proselityzing further. Have a nice day :)

A: I can safely say, this blogger will continue to do whatever she wishes... Your permission to do so is much appreciated!

The Masked Moderate said...

I see the word proselytize (and its derivatives) far too often on this blog these days... Anyway, that was just an observation...

@ Maria: I don't quite understand the link you're trying to establish between being a 'good' muslim and the magical world of cells and molecules. Without going into the details, I'm sure anyone with a little history of Islam will agree that several of the customs that you accuse 'moderate muslims' of breaking were put in place by pragmatic humans taking into account the time they lived in, not by a divine act of the Maker. So while you're entitled to your beliefs and no one should have the right to trample upon them, they are YOUR beliefs, and they were handed down to you by flesh and blood human beings. Don't turn the Holy Quran into a science textbook just so that you can take thinly disguised potshots at people who don't subscribe to your views. You don't get to question my faith when you clearly can't separate faith from indoctrination...

Deepak Iyer said...

"and this beautiful gift of faith is left in the wretched hands of the poor and bereft masses who cannot help and mold islam into the notorious set of beliefs that pave the way to terrorism."

What ?? Did the person even bother to read that sentence ?

Even worse is if he/she means it.

Annie said...

Xeb.

*Multiple high fives*

I sooooo hear you!