A Sikh Ramadan
I too, along with most of my friends, wondered why this Ramadan, I had decided to fast. There is nothing in fasting or sacred baths (states Gurbani), only meditation on the name of God matters. So why do millions forego the sacred right to eat during the day for an entire month? What is so spiritual about denying yourself your human needs?
This Ramadan, as asteroid dust drew up the sky like fireworks, I fasted. To discover what it means to be Muslim; To deny myself the food that so many go without; To attain a higher level of consciousness.
To attain global peace we need global understanding. We have to invoke that vision of ourselves that is compassionate to one anotherâ€™s needs, thoughts and behaviors. I attempted to be one step closer to understanding my Muslim brethren.
But as 4:57pm rolled along and my appetite grew exhausted, it was no longer about religion. Eating after the days fasting made me realize that I still had more to eat that most people on the planet. Why is it that I had plenty of food and water after only 13 hours of fasting while most go days without the same bare necessities? The hunger I felt at 5pm is a hunger that most live with their entire lives. And here I was, gorging on dates, bread, rice, washing down the entire 13 hours spent earlier. I wondered what it would be like to live without food or water for an entire week. I did feel fortunate for the food I had, but also felt far removed from the average human being.
Ramadan also brought me closer to self realization. As each moment of hunger passed I felt invincible, impregnable. Nothing could effect me. I felt a calm I had never experienced before. In the past, hunger had always irritated me, now it comforted me. I felt as if I could give up anything in the name of God, even life. A friend of mine once stated that you find energy in everything you do when doing Godâ€™s work. Truth is, I donâ€™t really know if God wanted me to fast, it doesnâ€™t matter, I felt closer to her for my own sake, closer to my fellow Muslims.
This Ramadan, I cleansed myself internally, eternally. This Ramadan I attempted to rid myself of sins committed years ago, lives ago.
This month I found myself breaking fast with strangers. We came from different countries, spoke different languages, the moment of kindness was the common bond between us. This month I fasted, I honored my Muslim brothers and sisters in their age-old tradition. This Ramadan I felt closer to God.
In the name of Nanak, I am Muslim. Eid Mubarak.