FASTING mind, body & soul
People and food fascinate me and today's post is all about a religion that fasts for one entire month per year. I know Mormons do it once a month for 24hrs but I didn't realise Muslims did it for one entire month!!!! So today one of our amazing Team Dani members Khush Bakhat (which means good luck) shares with us her fasting story for the mind, body and soul..... Thank you my beautiful friend.
In my religion, every year, for one whole month, we observe a fast. It begins after the moon is sighted – a time when Muslims all over the world enjoy a month of blessings, prayers & transformation. Some might think ‘ok, what a fool - you have to starve for your Allah to be blessed’.
So, here it is, my friend - we human beings are very selfish creatures and often take everything for granted. So, to balance that, Allah teaches us with this exercise - when we are hungry, ‘ see, even a drop of water is important’; ‘see how blessed you are’. Allah is a teacher who has his own ways to teach & indeed these ways are beautiful. Yes, challenging - some say strict…but even a good mother is a little strict. To begin with, here is a precise reason and logic about blessings. The human brain is always in need of motivation - you can melt a mountain if motivated enough.
For a Muslim, the motivation is blessings and in this month all good deeds are rewarded more, because when a hungry stomach prays, the eyes get wet from tears for forgiveness.. He, indeed, has promised: I will forgive. Obviously, this motivation is enough that I behaved so bad for the whole year but he is giving me a chance to beg for mercy, plus the reward will be doubled. To add, one must never forget the bad deeds are also adding double - because it’s simple justice.
Now it comes to the transformation – it’s about mind, body & soul. We eat breakfast at dawn and it’s called SEHRI. It depends on the region\country you live in as to what they eat. My mother is a strict food inspector and prefers it healthy, with our traditional food called paratha\roti and a milk shake with fruits & nuts. Some drink Lassi - a drink made of yoghurt, which is known for its hydrating qualities. Oh - and LOTS of water, because in the last few years, the Ramadan is in summer.Sweet Lassie drink
- Milk - 100 ml, chilled OR water
- 2 cups, chilled, thick and beaten smooth (yoghurt)
- Sugar - 2 heaped tbsps OR honey
- Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
- Pistachios - 4, finely chopped (or 2 almonds)
- Rose water - 1/4 tsp (optional)
Simply blend all ingredients together in a blender and decorate with finely chopped pistachio's.
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The ritual observed by Muslims is to break the fast, called AFTAR, with a date - it restores sugar levels. Then there are lemons, limes, shakes and milk with soda in it to cool the stomach from acidity. A healthy eating habit is, after drinking and eating, there is a little break for prayer\namaz. It helps the body to settle and prepare for proper food. It is scientifically proven that fasting can be healthy if it is done properly – it is about discipline over your body.
Now about mind - hunger can drive us insane but the purpose of this month is to teach. During this month, smoking, abusing and saying bad things is strictly prohibited, with the threat of losing blessings and this threat is enough, PATIENCE, oh boy! You are hungry, it’s so hot but you are supposed to control your feelings with proper control of your tongue – so you control your mind & bad thoughts to behave. You need to show yourself as a superior being and not an animal. That’s what it’s about.
In that way, Ramadan is a boot camp for control over cravings, obesity other indulgences – a month that is a training for proper, healthy diet with control & discipline. Never forget the soul - it grows in this month, when it starts to feel the world hunger, poverty, the blessings, the lesson of speaking truth, the art of patience and control over your inner demons. It’s more like cleaning the dirt of mind, body & soul. This feeling is a great accomplishment - I can control my body, my mind and I am indeed the perfect creation of my creator.
There are so many great benefits of fasting - what a great way to rest the digestive system and cleanse and detox the body! There is nothing wrong with enjoying our food, however continually over-eating creates a burden for the body. When your body has to try cope with more than it can handle it will really suffer! Lets not do this to our bods - by fasting you free up energy so the healing can begin.
Fasting will create a break in your eating patterns, while really shining a spotlight on them!
What is your experience with Fasting? Please leave me comment below if you would be interested in doing a fast if Khush shared with us her monthly food planner and recipes?