I won’t wish you a Ramadan Karim

A post from last year.
Ramadan Karim

Arwa

Every year I decide to write a post about Ramadan: either to wish my friends a Ramadan Karim, or just to criticize Ramadan. But each year I find no words to justify my thoughts and I keep postponing the task. It’s the middle of Ramadan now and here is what I have to say:

There are few things you should know about me. One, I’m not a racist (Or as I like to believe I am not). Two, I hate religions. Three, I hate the religion of Islam in particular. And four, I always try to justify my opinion. And I mostly know that I might lose a lot of followers after posting this.

When it comes to religions, I need to say that growing up in the Middle East in a Jewish country, among a majority of Muslims people who keep more traditions as time passes by, all that made…

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19 thoughts on “I won’t wish you a Ramadan Karim

  1. For the Sake of God

    A person who fasts during the month of Ramadan is, by way of fasting, making a declaration that ‘O God, my Lord, for Your sake I will save myself from all distractions, even if it involves abstaining from food and water.’ Why does one save oneself from distractions during the month of Ramadan? It is so that one can read the Book of God, ponder over its messages and discover its deeper meaning through reflection.  

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    1. So it becomes a law? and the person who breaks that law gets to pay the price?
      In what world do we live in?
      If you pray, fast and believe, then why others must do it?

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        1. I’ll have to take this accusation very seriously. You’re accusing me of being biased.
          And yet, you’re judging me for my opinion.
          I have stated my opinion as I see it. I know the situation, I’ve given it many thoughts.
          You are denying everything I’ve written and started defending your religion and god.
          can you justify everything that is happening in the Arab and the Muslim World? I see no real freedom and I’m a human being who fights for freedom.

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          1. What’s happening in arab you.ll blame the religion …I have no problem with your Atheism. ..
            And provocatively criticising Ramadan….?
            Why ….?

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          2. I’m criticizing it because I think it’s ridiculous that people are obligated to fast during this month. I’m criticizing it because many people act like maniacs for a whole year and forget the good essential morals, but on this particular month they start acting like angels doing all the good deed so they can insure their place in heaven.
            And not only that, they fast for an entire day and then eat heavy meals only for the rich. Pretending to be poor during the entire day and then finally eating like kings for the rest of the night. and THEIR women have to cook all of that, because no matter how tired they are they still belong in the kitchen.

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          3. It’s complicated where I live. I live in a more secular place. In one of the most multi-cultural cities in the middle east. But I grew up in a village with 90% Muslims and 10% Christians.

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          4. The US? It’s different when you live in a place that does not force you to keep your traditions. But I can imagine how difficult life can be for secular people living in a religious state.

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  2. Medical benefits of Ramadan

    Muslims do not fast because of medical benefits which are of a secondary nature. Fasting has been used by patients for weight management, to rest the digestive tract and for lowering lipids. There are many adverse effects of total fasting as well as of crash diets. Islamic fasting is different from such diet plans because in Ramadan fasting, there is no malnutrition or inadequate calorie intake. The calorie intake of Muslims during Ramadan is at or slightly below the nutritional requirement guidelines. In1 addition, the fasting in Ramadan is voluntarily taken and is not a prescribed imposition from the physician.

    Ramadan is a month of self-regulation and self training, with the hope that this training will last beyond the end of Ramadan. If the lessons learned during Ramadan, whether in terms of dietary intake or righteousness, are carried on after Ramadan, there effects will be long lasting. Moreover, the type of food taken during Ramadan does not have any selective criteria of crash diets such as those which are protein only or fruit only type diets. Everything that is permissible is taken in moderate quantities.

    The difference between Ramadan and total fasting is the timing of the food; during Ramadan, we basically miss lunch and take an early breakfast and do not eat until dusk. Abstinence from water for 8 to 10 hours is not necessarily bad for health and in fact, it causes concentration of all fluids within the body, producing slight dehydration. The body has its own water conservation mechanism; in fact, it has been shown that slight dehydration and water conservation, at least in plant life, improve their longevity.

    The physiological effect of fasting includes lowering of blood sugar, lowering of cholesterol and lowering of the systolic blood pressure. In fact, Ramadan fasting would be an ideal recommendation for the treatment of mild to moderate, stable, non-insulin diabetes, obesity, and essential hypertension. In 1994 the first International Congress on “Health and Ramadan”, held in Casablanca, entered 50 extensive studies on the medical ethics of fasting. While improvement in many medical conditions was noted; however, in no way did fasting worsen any patients’ health or their baseline medical condition. On the other hand, patients who are suffering from sever diseases, whether type I diabetes or coronary artery disease, kidney stones, etc., are exempt from fasting and should not be allowed to fast.

    There are psychological effects of fasting as well. There is a peace and tranquility for those who fast during the month of Ramadan. Personal hostility is at a minimum, and the crime rate decreases. Muslims take advice from the Prophet who said, “If one slanders you or aggresses against you, say I am fasting.”

    This psychological improvement could be related to better stabilization of blood glucose during fasting as hypoglycemia after eating, aggravates behavior changes. There is a beneficial effect of extra prayer at night. This not only helps with better utilization of food but also helps in energy output. There are 10 extra calories output for each unit of the prayer. Again, we do not do prayers for exercise, but a mild movement of the joints with extra calorie utilization is a better form of exercise. Similarly, recitation of the Quran not only produces a tranquility of heart and mind, but improves the memory.

    One of the odd nights in the last 10 days of Ramadan is called the night of power when angels descend down, and take the prayer of worship to God for acceptance.

    Fasting is a special act of worship which is only between humans and God since no one else knows for sure if this person is actually fasting. Thus God says in a hadith qudsi that “Fasting is for Me and I only will reward it”. In another hadith, the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) has said “If one does not give up falsehoods in words and actions, God has no need of him giving up food and drink”.

    Happy Ramadan1 to all Muslims.

    Shahid Athar M.D. is Clinical Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Endocrinology, Indiana University School of Medicine Indianapolis, Indiana, and a writer on Islam.

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