The holy month of fasting is upon us dear folks, and much as we love to celebrate the month, the spirit of giving, the iftar spreads, much as we love to share our sehri shenanigans – what to eat and what not to eat, the 5 benefits of khajoors, yogurt, mango lassi etc etc there are somethings we might NOT really need to share?
We are used to handing out, and receiving muftay ka advice. It’s in our blood. Our cultural DNA will manipulate us to tell someone else how to bring up babies, lose weight, wear the right clothes, handle the mother in-law just right etc etc etc. So… people, let’s start with the free advice for Ramzan – onwards with the tradition, after all, it’s in our DNA!
1. Are You Fasting?
This one, we suggest, you leave to your immediate family members. That is, those who live in your home with you, and that too, if you feel fairly comfortable with the question. Reason being – why do you need to know?
If, your purpose is to provide nourishment to someone who is unable to fast (for whatever reason), perhaps you can address the issue in a general way. For example, you could say:
2. Why Didn’t You Pray?
Oh yes, people do ask this question, and we have come across many. Do not venture there please. Again, refer to point 1 above for clarification.
Yes, if it is your children you’re talking to, you have every right to go ahead and question them…but leave the rest to … well … God?
3. I’m Not Fasting!
This one’s not a question, but just a simple request to not announce your physical state body & mind randomly. You have all manner of freedom to reveal the fact that you are not fasting, after all, dishonesty is never the right policy BUT, you do not need to volunteer this information if no one has asked you!
Reason being: Why do you feel the need to tell people you aren’t fasting, unless you need to take essential medication or yes, it is lunch time, you’re at the office and you plan to eat lunch.
4. Is Everyone Fasting In Your Family?
Again, refer to number 1 above. Why do you need to know? Try not to let your curiosity get the better of you. And again, ask yourself, why do you need to know? Ramzan is a month when we focus inward, try to improve ourselves in all manner of behaviour – outward as well as spiritually. Respect others’ privacy & personal choices.
And that, my dear folks, is the first secret to a life of contentment & peace. Ask those who don’t ask, and they’ll tell you.
5. Why Are You NOT Fasting?
Ahem – this might seem like number 1 above, but guess what? It goes a step further in NOT minding your own business? If you notice someone is not fasting, give them the freedom to do it without being judged or questioned into shame. It is not your place to know why (unless of course, like we mentioned earlier, it is your child who is not fasting and you want to inquire why, for whatever reason)… for the rest … leave it up to … yes, you got it, GOD!
And that’s all Aunty Free Advice has to give you for this week. Please feel free to tell us if you seek advice on anything, anyone, …or an issue that’s been troubling you. We plan to become your mufta go-to advice centre, and we hope you take our golden words into account when you embark on the holy month of fasting very soon.
Wishing you all a blessed month ahead – Happy Fasting, and feasting, oh, and if you’re NOT fasting for any reason – it’s all good, we don’t need to know, but we won’t judge you – Ramzan Mubarak!
This article is the collaboration effort of several members of Team FUCHSIA.