Eating Disorders and Dhul Hijjah

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“The best supplication and prayer that supplicants had asked the almighty God is Hajj and omrah to his holy house”. Imam Ali

Dear Readers,

A reader from Kuwait asked me a Question on performing Hajj with your Eating Disorder and Fasting during this month. I’ve not been blessed with this so far, so therefore, I cannot answer this Question fully. If you’re suffering from an Eating Disorder, then this demon will travel with you to Hajj. I was in Saudi Arabia in 2009 and this demon was my companion. At that time, my Eating Disorder wasn’t diagnosed and somehow I functioned just OK, but what I did experience on that journey was how this demon started losing its hold once I entered the vicinity of Kaa’ba, it just perished, just simply vanished in thin air. All of a sudden what mattered was praying and making dua and seeking forgiveness . But over the years, I learned one thing, You can’t cheat your body and you can’t cheat the nature, you can hide your eating disorder in layers of lies and secrecy, but it all catches up with you, this demon strikes you at a place where no one has an access, it afflicts mental torture on you, and only you know the pain. The most damage eating disorder does is to your mind. Hajj is one in a life time opportunity, and you really need a strong mind, a mind that is free from all the disordered thoughts to engage in this Holy Pilgrimage. You don’t want to give this demon priority over Allah.

As Imam Ali said: “Hajji and Omrah seeker are God’s visitors, he (God) bestows upon them from his graciousness”.

“God had made Hajj as a reason for his graciousness”. Imam Ali

“The almighty God had designated the holy mosque as a banner for Islam and a sanctuary for protectors, he (God) decreed Hajj upon creatures and imposed his rites and asked them to come along, he almighty said in the holy Koran: God decreed Hajj the holy mosque upon those who are capable of doing so, whoever disbelieves, God is in dispense with the commons”. Imam Ali

If your illness has prevented you from undertaking this journey, then despair not, Allah is very Merciful, and He has not excluded us from gathering the blessings of this holy month. Be part of the spirit of Hajj from your home and tell the Demon of Eating Disorder to take a permanent break.

“Imam Ali (pbuh) willed before his martyrdom: I swear by God to you, do not abandon your Lord’s house, do not desert it so long you are alive, if it would be deserted you would not gather and never discuss concerned issues”.

Set a Goal of Recovery this Month and Ask Allah to bless you with the blessings of Hajj next Year- You can only embark on this journey once your stronger in body, mind and soul. Period!

“God had decreed Hajj, and it is a bolster for religion”. Imam Ali

The first ten days of Dhul Hijjah are full of virtues and great blessings.  These 10 days are a blessed gift to us from Allah, a fresh opportunity to erase our sins and cleanse ourselves.The ten nights mentioned in Soorah Al Fajr are the nights of the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. Allah says:

By the Dawn; By the ten Nights; (89:1-2)

Fasting for Allah or for the Demon of Eating Disorder?

Among the deeds recommended during those ten days are observing voluntary fasting, offering animal sacrifices (lamb, goat, etc.), sincere repentance, recitation of the Quran, staying up the night and finally praying the Eid prayers on the tenth day of Dhul Hijjah.

For those who suffer from Eating Disorders, after Ramadan this is another challenging time of the year.

During these ten days, there is a voluntary fasting on the day of Arafah (9th of Dhul Hijjah) and many Muslims across the world start observing the fast from 1st of Dhul Hijjah to ninth of Dhul Hijjah.

“O you who believe fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you so that you can learn Taqwa (God consciousness).”

But do bear in mind that fasting in Islam is not like crash dieting, it is adequate in calorie intake and involves no malnutrition. All religious acts in Islam begin with a Niyyah (Intentions). First of all, behind any action or form of behavior there are certain motives.  What Islam regards as essential is that the motives behind what we say or do should always be directed towards God.  They should always be directed towards the purpose of perusing the pleasure, approval and satisfaction of God. Fasting in this month is purely voluntary and for those who are healthy and able to do so. A person suffering from Eating Disorder at times may be unaware of some of the inner motives that motivates them to fast. Whatever your motive for fasting, Don’t forget that God sees us and knows what is in our hearts.

These last few days of Dhul Hijjah are all about connecting with Allah and seeking His mercy. Don’t let the Demon of Eating Disorder take away the joy and blessings of Dhul Hijjah away from you.

You can live your Life Free From Eating Disorder. Recovery is Possible.

Want to Maximise Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah? Click here for great Tips: Ways to Maximise Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah

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About Author

Islam and Eating Disorders founded in 2012 – run by Maha Khan, the blog creates awareness of Eating Disorders in the Muslim world, offers information and support for sufferers and their loved ones.

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