End of Ramadam: quiet strength, loud weakness

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End of Ramadam - quiet strength, loud weaknesses

by Yahia Lababidi


Matthias Rhomberg (under a Creative Commons Licence)

This year Eid Al Fitr, the celebration for the end of Ramadan, will not be very happy for many people because of the bombing in Gaza. Yahia Lababidi, poet and writer, writes his thoughts, and a poem, about what Ramadan, and the fasting (not eating or drinking), means to him.

‘There is only one religion, but there are a hundred different forms of it,’ said George Bernard Shaw. We can say the same about fasting. Many other groups as well as Muslims fast: Baha’is, Buddhists, Catholics, Copts, Hindus, Jews, Mormons, Pagans, Protestants and Eastern Orthodox. The fast may be for one day to about half a year. But it is similar, for similarly different reasons. People have no food and drink at all, or no solid food, or no meat, dairy products and eggs, or no fish (on some days).

There are so many reasons for fasting: spiritual feeding, spiritual improvement, and/or spiritual war. This means the person becomes pure, they free the mind, free the body, want to help the poor, feel united with the poor, stop their own pleasure and greed, control their desires, break the power of habit, improve their motivation and concentration, as a punishment after doing something wrong, to feel closer to God, to help a political or social problem (like Gandhi made his way of life and diet) or even to be the opposite of modern consumer culture (there is a television and entertainment fast too). Many different ways to fast, but they all show a natural human balancing system. We eat a lot, and then we fast as we move along to a middle way.


month of quiet strength

and loud weaknesses

when our stubborn habits (habits that are very difficult to lose)

and discarded resolutions (decisions we have thrown away)

are re-examined under the regard (we look at again)

and rigorous slowness of fasting (when we fast)

testing our appetite (it’s difficult when we feel hungry, but)

for transfiguration (we change into something better)

month of waiting and wading (month of waiting and walking)

through the shallows to the Deep. (through shallow water to Deep).

NOW READ THE ORIGINAL: http://newint.org/blog/2014/07/28/ramadan-fasting-poem/ (This article has been simplified so the words, text structure and quotes may have been changed).