BLOG: Muslims should not turn Ramadhan into a feasting season
To many non-Muslims, the main theme of Ramadhan revolves around feasting. And if the conduct of the faithful during this holy month is anything to go by, this assessment may after all not be wrong.
Regretfully, this month of religious devotion, mercy, generosity and spiritual upliftment has been turned into a month of feasting by a growing number of Muslims.
At the beginning of the month, a shopping frenzy is evident in many Muslim homes. Stocking up a wide array of food items is considered part of preparations for the holy month.
Expenditure on food suddenly skyrockets and the amount spent during this period far eclipses the cash used in the other 11 months of the year.
A visitor to mosques and streets in Muslim populated areas will be welcomed with stalls packed with snacks ready to be consumed by the faithful during iftar (breaking the fast) at sundown.
While Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, recommended a healthy combination of dates and water at the time of breaking the fast, unhealthy oily snacks and fizzy drinks are the common foods of choice for many faithful at iftar.
The snacks are thereafter followed by an iftar dinner where various sumptuous delicacies are served. It is not a surprise therefore, that the resulting effects of overeating -indigestion, stomach upsets, heartburn, bloating, belching, nausea, and low energy levels-are a common feature among Muslims in Ramadhan.
Islamic ethics discourage overeating and in a tradition reported by Ibn Majah, the Prophet said: “The worst container a person can fill is his stomach. A few morsels of food are sufficient. However, if his desires overcomes him, then let him eat a third, drink a third and leave a third for breathing.”
Regretfully, while many souls go hungry due to the lack of food, contrary to the spirit of this month, much of these food will later end up in dustbins.
On wastefulness of food, the Quran states, “Eat and drink, but do not waste: verily, Allah does not love the wasteful,” (A’raf 7:31).
For many women, Ramadhan is not about reaping the spiritual benefits but preparing lavish meals for the family and expected guests.
Ramadhan is supposed to inculcate better health as it is an ideal opportunity to lose weight and the many hours spent without food also helps to detoxify the body ridding it of harmful toxins.
Further, the month-long fasting period should help families save because food expenses are supposed to reduce.
In this noble month, it is important to inculcate the true spirit of Ramadhan by worshipping more and being generous to the poor.
Muslims should also reach out to people of other faiths through sharing iftar to promote the spirit of tolerance and co-existence.
Abu Ayman is the editor of the Friday Bulletin, a weekly publication of Jamia Mosque
SOURCE: Daily Nation