Ramadan in Quarantine

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Make Dua – its Ramadan the month of forgiveness.

 

I want to fast and at the same time, I don’t. I no longer have an issue with my weight but the threat of a possible relapse is always there. If I fast then I have to monitor my weight and stick to meal plans. I’m no longer under treatment and I no longer have any outpatient appointments.
I’m one of the few lucky ones who made a speedy recovery from their eating disorder. The main motivating factor for my survival was my graduation and I am truly grateful for the help I got from the University. My support team was threatening me with deferring my program if I continued to lose my weight. I had to have a blood test every week and my diet chart was monitored.

 

Dear Readers,

 

Please find below a guest post from one of our readers. Thank you so much for this great contribution, we really enjoyed reading it and it filled us with lost of positivity. Wishing everyone a very blessed Ramadan and wishing our writer a very healing month filled with love light and blessings.

 

 

Ramadan in Quarantine

 

I don’t know how this Ramadan will turn out to be. I do not know what to expect.
My last Ramadan was chaotic. I did not keep all the fasts and the few fasts I did keep, I was being monitored. Alongside my father being a doctor, he also became an overnight ED expert so hiding my ED from him became very challenging. A part of me deeply resents him for seeing me as a lab-rat and scientific experiment but part of me also feels guilty for giving him a hard time.

I want to fast and at the same time, I don’t. I no longer have an issue with my weight but the threat of a possible relapse is always there. If I fast then I have to monitor my weight and stick to meal plans. I’m no longer under treatment and I no longer have any outpatient appointments.
I’m one of the few lucky ones who made a speedy recovery from their eating disorder. The main motivating factor for my survival was my graduation and I am truly grateful for the help I got from the University. My support team was threatening me with deferring my program if I continued to lose my weight. I had to have a blood test every week and my diet chart was monitored.
I was in the middle of a purging session when someone raised the alarm and that was my colleague. We haven’t been on speaking terms since then but, this Ramadan, I want to send her a card and a small gift to thank her for raising the alarm.

In the past, my driving force to fast was to simply lose weight.  I have a terrible sweet tooth and perhaps this always contributes to my fluctuating weight. I doubt I even prayed properly. My days would be spent sleeping. If I was not sleeping, I was be looking forward to the evening iftar meal and the bars of chocolates waiting for me under my bed. Following this meal, I would spend the next hours performing a quick prayer and then bouncing around the house like a kangaroo to burn off the calories.

I didn’t fast for three consecutive years and during those years I felt worst and guilty. Though we gave money to charity but I felt a loss. I envied my mother who fasted with so much ease and prayed with more ease. If I tell my father I don’t want to fast this year, he won’t say a word but will encourage me to consider fasting for the final few days.

I have made a conscious decision to fast this year to become closer to Allah, attain salvation and to improve myself.
I have my meal plan and we have brought nearly everything on the list.
I will be completing my Qur’an this Ramadan with the translation.
I will be contributing to charity.
I’ve never contributed in our house with any household chores and this Ramadan, I want to help my mother will all the food preparation.
My grandmother is 70 and keeping all her fasting and I intend to spend at least an hour with her.
I want to consume all my meals with my family on the dining table and I want to eat at least three meals from their menu with them.

There are many misconceptions about fasting and I am guilty for talking about my misguided view during my therapy sessions. I never understood the purpose of the month, or maybe I never wanted to understand. I was angry when the opportunity to fast was taken away from me and I was fuelled with anger over so many things.

I still remember being engaged in one of my ongoing eating sessions during Ramadan last year when my grandmother walked in. She always fasts and does so beautifully so for her to see me in that frenzy brought pain to her heart. She never said a word to me but she informed my father that my inconsistent eating regime was a cause of concern. Later, my inconsistent eating regime was labelled as stress eating. It was then that I felt like an outcast within own family. I always prided myself on how different I was, how clever I was and how popular I was but in reality I was cut off from them. I understood my ED to some extent but I never understood my family fully. We are different but what we do share in common is that we are good natured and hard working. My father is now working on the  front line so we hardly ever see him. Now I realise how much we value him. He’s not just my father, he is a man who has devoted himself to saves lives. He calls us every day and speaks to his mother. I see how much time my grandmother spends on her prayer mat, praying for him and for everyone. I also see how much my mother prays and how my relatives are always calling us to see if we are coping okay.

I have no idea how this Ramadan will be – but the last few days of Ramadan are good every single year. I feel mentally cleansed and at ease and though there was a lot of chocolate consumption in the evening, it was with a guilty pleasure.

I have ironed my outfits for the first 10 days of Ramadan. I’m enrolled in Ramadan online classes and I will try to help my mother in the garden. My father was very proud of me when I told him I have decided to fast this Ramadan. This is a valuable time for us to connect with our Lord, reflect on ourselves and do service. Service to our family, our friends, our community and the rest of the world.

The aims of fasting are to practise:

    • Tolerance
    • Patience
    • Control of oneself
    • Good manners (My manners are terrible, especially my anger)
    • Abstaining from desires such as food and sex from sunrise to sunset
    • Abstaining from sinful acts such as listening to music, watching films, etc

 

  • Rectifying one’s dealings and prayers

 

  • Training of accepting Allah’s orders
  • Attaining piety
  • Achieving contentmentI wish you all a blessed Ramadan. May this month bring you peace, contentment and closeness to God.
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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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