Self-Restraint Vital During Ramadan

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Many people think Ramadan is refraining from eating, drinking, smoking and having sex. In many ways, that’s the easy part. Muslims are also meant, from dawn to dusk, to refrain from all bad habits, so they should not be swearing, fighting, arguing, looking at or watching what is forbidden. Such acts would either hinder or invalidate their fasting.

I am a Muslim and it does not bother me one bit that people around me are eating and drinking.

Why should it? Do we lock the kitchen door and hide all food in our homes during the day during Ramadan? Absolutely not.

The month of Ramadan is not just a physical exercise of self-restraint but an emotional, spiritual and psychological one, too. If someone says something upsetting, or that would normally start a fight, one should respond with the words “Allah-humma inni sayim,” which means “I am fasting,” as a reminder that we are meant to respond only in goodness.

That is an excellent exercise in self-restraint that is sometimes harder than abstaining from food and drink. It’s especially difficult in rush-hour traffic.


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