Ramadhan as a Student

By Hassan Deen (Physical Education and Coaching student)

Eating and drinking is a basic need for all humans although have you considered the vast amount of energy we have to utilize when we constantly eat, it is seemingly obvious as to why ‘intermittent fasting’ has become popular within western society…

Fasting in the month of Ramadhan, the conscious deprivation of food and drink, creates an experience throughout the day which is a constant internal echo of hunger and the desire to quench one’s thirst, yet countless unfortunate people lack the option to evade from. When fasting for 30 days consecutively, the awareness of world suffering increases and our forgetfulness of our privilege to eat and drink when we desire. Whether you are rich or poor, Muslims around the world fast together as one to obey Allah’s commands, which represents the core meaning of the human being, unity.

There are several benefits to those who fast during Ramadhan either from spiritual or physical perspectives. The positive effects of Ramadhan and fasting have not only been mentioned in the Holy Quran which Muslims around the globe use as a guide for their life but also by numerous scientific studies.  When someone around me heard I was fasting, I instantly would hear,  ‘How? I could not do it… no water? no food?..” I take a deep breath, smile and express how I did it.. and let me explain to you why it means absolutely everything to me. There were days where I experienced fatigue out in the hot sun, shying away from running great lengths and hoping to gain my breath in the shade and there were days where I had more clarity and clear vision than other days in my life. It was a truly a blessed experience that anyone can try. All my friends were comforting and supportive, as well as intrigued to also feel the experiences that occur from fasting such as increased empathy for the poor and needy, knowing what it is like to go a whole day without eating and drinking, many people in this world experience this as a norm daily…

Whilst the overpour of many assignments and group presentations passed through this month, it was the first Ramadhan experience alone, being without family to open the fast did increase my yearning to belong to a loving environment where we sit and eat and enjoy the fruits we worked hard for. It was amazing to have the support from my flatmate, who would have a late dinner with me so we can enjoy the dinner together even though he was not fasting!

Through this month I have had much time to reflect, and it has made me realise that I would like to be in a constant state of giving to those who live in this condition unintentionally. Overall fasting in the month of Ramadhan, has increased my self-discipline to other aspects in my life as well as reflective thoughts upon how our life is dominated by food, I also have increased gratitude to all the basic needs I receive daily.

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