Luis Carreno is a Colombian national who embraced Islam in January 2018 and is fasting for the first time.
My first day of Ramadan fasting was a breeze. I mean, it wasn’t as tough as I expected it to be. I felt light and energetic throughout the day. It was only at 5pm, two hours before the Iftar time, that I had a bit of a headache because of a few hunger pangs but it wasn’t too bad.
Although those two hours were the most difficult part of the day, Alhamdulillah, I learnt how to practice self control and remain patient. Let me tell you the key thing to remember while fasting is to remain active and occupied.
This is one of the beautiful points about Islam that I admire. Islam disciplines you if you practice it the way you are supposed to. It has no frills attached and is a very straight forward way of life that is easy to understand, pure and very flexible.
I love how Islam doesn’t talk about punishing those who genuinely cannot fast due to some illness or old age. In fact, it also allows travellers and mothers breast-feeding their kids to avoid the fast during that period of time and later make it up. This month is only about rewards and how every little good deed you do will bring with it manifold rewards.
When I read about it and see how the young and old, Muslim and even non-Muslims eagerly participating in good deeds like charity, my spirits really go up.
So, coming back to my first fast, although it went well, I got a bit greedy at iftar time. Since I had never stayed away from food and water for so long in my life, I ate too much for Iftar and ended up with a stomach ache.
Although, on hearing the call for Maghrib (evening) prayer, I opened the fast with date and water (the Sunnah way) after which I prayed, I ended up eating way too much after that.
So, I realised my mistake and how we must restrain ourselves and then eat gradually, because our body has been without food for so long and it’s better we don’t shock it by eating too much at one go.
Apart from that, everything else throughout the day was great. I felt so much peace of mind as I also delved deeper into studying the Holy Quran. I was away from the distractions of food and other things and got some quality time to reflect upon life.
Other than a bit of hunger pangs, my day went very well; I was not angry or upset with anyone. On the contrary, I was in a good mood and quite active. And the day was summed up beautifully as I ended it with Taraweeh prayers that helped digest the over-dose of food I had taken.
I am motivated and looking forward to the next day’s fast, Alhamdulillah.
(AS TOLD TO SAMAN HAZIQ)
Luis Carreno is a 36-year-old from Colombia who embraced Islam in January 2018. He is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt coach for the UAE ?armed forces in Dubai