I’m sitting here waiting to open my final fast and reflecting on what a whirlwind of a month it has been.
This year I started Ramadan in Kayseri, Turkey. If I’m being completely honest, in my mind I was making up excuses, all the reasons to not fast. It was the first time I would be fasting away from home, there was a voice in my head telling me ‘it’s going to be too difficult, that I’d be fasting alone, I’d be too tired and lack energy, and therefore wouldn’t be productive with work’. I was justifying missing fasts. I thought I’d do a day and miss a day, do a day and miss a day, to be kind and easy on myself. What I didn’t realise was that God had already planned to be kind to me and
make fasting in Turkey so easy for me.
My first surprise when I got to my hotel was seeing a beautiful mosque opposite the hotel, and what’s more is that it was the view from my balcony. Sitting on my balcony listening to the Azaan going off was my first divine sign. That mosque become my special place – it felt like home, I’d run to prayer during break times, I made friends with the local ladies despite our language barrier and I felt so refreshed and renewed, so full of energy in spite of my lack of sleep. It was a miracle.
I was also worried that I would not be able to maintain my motivation levels, and I’d be the only one fasting. But again, I was worrying for no reason. As if by magic I was blessed with a friend, who has quickly become one of my best friends. We have a special Ramadan bond. We spent every Sahur together when closing our fast and every Iftar together when opening our fast. We drove each other forward and became the quiet, but needed, reassurance to one another. Yet again God was good to me.
The elation never left me. There was a different feeling in the atmosphere, I’ve never experienced it before, it was a feeling of contentment and peace, a virtuous feeling of self-betterment. It was on my return to the UK I found fasting much more difficult.
So, the biggest lesson I’ve learnt this Ramadan is to put my faith in God. To truly believe that everything has been planned for my greater good. I am usually a control freak, but I’ve learnt to trust that God has a plan for me and it’s the best plan for me. I wish you all a Happy Eid.