Environment · Islam

Peace, food and fasting

The 3-year-old son woke up in the middle of the night and begged his mother to feed him. His mother hugged him tightly while crying hysterically out of hunger. She was also starving and tired. She cried as well but silently while she was trying to put her son to sleep again. Her crying was not only because she was tired and starving but also because she could do nothing for her son. Her eyes were so dry to shed any tears. They both have been walking in the desert under the burning son for more than a week. But they are not alone; they are accompanied by more than 70 people from her village. They were forced to flee their homes after a severe drought killed the village’s animals and left them without food and water.

During the long journey the villagers have already buried three children. They all witnessed the extreme stages of starvation were death is inevitable in such case.

The exodus of people is heading to a UN camp that will provide them with food and water. The small portion of food and water left can barely sustain them for the next two days before they reach the camp as they hope.

The mother tried very hard not to think of what may happen to her only child. She knows that nothing in the world could be compared to seeing her own son dies in front of her because she could not provide him with food. She closed her eyes and wished for a decent death for both of them. She could not handle it any more. Under such severe situation she just wanted to end her and her son’s suffering.


[Source: A snapshot from a video by nytimes]

The above, is just an imaginative story of what might be happening during such weeks of long walk in the heat of the desert from Somalia to Kenya seeking “peace and food.”

In about 10 days hundreds of millions of Muslims are going to refrain from eating and drinking starting from just before sunrise to sundown in a period of 30 days. Unfortunately, many Muslims think of Ramadan (the month of fasting) as the month of Taraweeh (a 60 to 90 minutes prayer after the last obligatory prayer) only. Many believe that the more we pray the better Muslims we are forgetting that performing our obligations to Allah are not enough since we have also other obligations toward our brothers and sisters. In Islam, one is not considered a good believer if he or she doesn’t do good deeds to others.

We fast 30 days to learn about how those less fortunate live theirs during the entire year. Hence, we get a better understanding of their lives and try to help them more.

Dear Muslims, every day before you break your fast remember those people who are forced to fast not because they choose to. Remember that while you managed to fast for 14 or 16 hours those people are fasting for days.

Dear Muslims, let us not overindulge ourselves with many dishes and desserts when we break our fast. We need to remember those who are starving to death, those who don’t know when their next meal will be. Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “The human being has never filled a container worse than his stomach. Hence, it will be sufficient for the son of Adam to satisfy his hunger with a few bites to strengthen his backbone. If he must eat his fill then he should allow for one third food, one third water, and third air.”

This Ramadan try the following:

1. Eat less meat. You don’t have to be a vegetarian but try to be one for couple of months or weeks or even days. I once did it for three consecutive months and I liked it. Being vegetarian for a period of time is much easier than you think.

2. Cook two dishes one with meat and one without meat. Give the one with meat to the poor and experience the satisfaction of doing good while eating your vegetarian dish.

3. When you invite people keep in mind that satisfying Allah should be your first goal then satisfying your guests.  Don’t cook food for five times the number of guests, Allah does not like wasters.

4. Let your stomach eats, not your eyes. You don’t have to try all the dishes. The next day, you can try the dish you didn’t try the day before. Refrigerators work like magic when it comes to preserving food for few days.

5. Invite single expats to your house. If you are in Jordan, invite an Egyptian worker or a Malaysian student (if there still any) to break their fast with you. If you are in the Gulf invite a single expat to your house. I am sure there are millions of them in the Gulf. If you are in the US, invite a single Jordanian student to break the fast with you. I am so lucky to have friends who invite me to their houses for the whole 30 days of Ramadan.

6. Sharing is the key in this month. Eat less, distribute more.


Islam came to break all barriers between races, colors and social classes. Consider the mother in the above story your sister and pray for the millions of people like her in Africa. You would do all you can to help your sister or brother if in trouble, wouldn’t you? I wish I know how to help those people. I really don’t know how. I can’t imagine what they are going through. My life is so shallow, I take eating, drinking and peace for granted and worry about what electronic gadgets I can’t buy.


Ramadan Mubarak!


19 thoughts on “Peace, food and fasting

  1. I’m totally agree with what u wrote and insha’Allah I’ll try my best to follow ur advice.

    Ramadan Mubarak and may God accepts our fasting and prayers


    1. Saying is much easier than doing. Although, I wrote that I also hope to put it in action. Unfortunately, we take almost everything for granted and forget that we actually own nothing. Everything we have is from Allah and we need to be thankful for everything no matter what.


      1. I know and because of that I wrote “I’ll try my best”
        The thing that this year with the new work and me being away from my family in Ramadan it will be very hard, every Ramadan I push my self to improve a step forward in what I’m doing during the month unfortunately this situations will take me back….way back 😦


      2. I am sure this Ramadan will be different than before for you. Ramadan without family is too hard especially for the new expats. One thing you will miss for sure beside your mom’s delicious dishes is the social life. I don’t know how far you live from your brothers but I am sure they want you with them everyday.
        But because you will have less social life in Ramadan one tends to spend this time in praying or reading Quran more than in Jordan. So, Insh’Allah your Ramadan will be better, spiritually not socially though 🙂
        تقبل الله طاعتكم


      3. Alhamdolellah for having my brothers here with me, I’ll be off in the first day’s of Ramadan and from now one of my brothers decided me to go to his house during these days and my other brother want me to spend the whole month in his house.

        The things I’ll miss are MAMA and my family for sure and the Mosque 😦
        Since maybe 5 years I used to pray “el3esha wel tarawee7” at the mosque every day in Ramadan and since 2 years me and mama we go to “qyam” in the last 10 days of Ramadan …I’ll miss that for sure 😦

        Sorry for the re-commenting thing….5alas 2a5er marra :S


  2. كلام رائع جدا 🙂 يا ريت شبابنا يكون عندهم هادا التفكــير تاعك ….للأسف تخيل إنو حتى بالأيام العادية في ناس ما بتاكل أكل بايت حتى من قبل بيوم !!! كل يوم طبخه و برمضان ميت نوع عالسفره وياريت الواحد بياكل ، بالعكس برمضان الواحد ما بياكل زي باقي الأيام…..لأ وبتلاقي الناس قبل بكمن يوم نازلة على السوق تتمون تقول كإنّا داخلين على حرب !!!!!!!!!
    حلوه الفكره تاعت إنو تعزم مرات على ناس مسكينه أو طلاب 🙂 إحنا عنا هاي العاده برمضان بنفطّر طلاب ماليزيين او متغربين ..
    كــانت أمنية حياتي وما زالت إنو أعمل شركة متخصصة عندها طاقم شغلته جمــع الأكل اللي بنكب من الأفراح والفنادق من البوفيهــات من بعد ما تخلص هاي المناسبات وتغليفها وتوزيعها على أسر فقيره ….ما بتتخيــل أديش بنكب أكل من الفنادق والله ما بكون حدا مد إيده عليه !!! طيب والله حرام في ناس مو لاقية اللقمة 😦 أديش راح نتحاســـب يوم القيامه على كل لقمة بتنكب بالزباله ….الله يرحمنـــا برحمته بس يعني الواحد بحاول ما يكب أكل ويعمل على القد لإنو حرام بنكب ..حلو الواحد بعدين يكون على معرفة بجيران أو ناس حواليه محتاجين مشان لو زاد أكل وما حدا بدو ياكله يبعتلهم إياه بدل ما ينكب ….
    شكرا على الأفكــار والتذكير وجزاك الله ألف خير يا رب والله يكتر من أمثالك من الشباب الواعي 🙂


    1. انا شغلت انه في ناس ما بتاكل اكل بايت مش فاهمها. هذا بطر ما اله داعي نهائيا.
      انا بلوم الأهل شوي لأنه كل شيء بالتعويد. الأردنيين خصوصا بدللوا اولادهم زياده عن اللزوم وخصوصا اذا كان ذكر. وهو صغير طلباته اوامر لازم تتنفذ. عدا عن ذلك في اكلات اطيب بايته. طعمها لسبب ما بصير افضل باليوم التالي زي الملوخيه والمقلوبه.ـ
      ان شاء الله انك تقدري تنفذي مشروعك الرائع لأنه فعلا راح يكون مفيد جدا وخصوصا بعد عزايم المنسف اللي بظل في اكل بطعمي المعازيم يوم ثاني كمان. على فكره بدمشق في مؤسسه خيريه بدأت هاي الفكره قبل كم سنه تقريبا. بروحوا على حفلة العرس وبيضعوا الأكل في معلبات وبوزعوها على الفقراء. يا ريت يصير زيها بالأردن. ان شاء الله مؤسسه خيريه تقرأ تعليقك وتحاول تساعدك بهاذ المشروع. لأنه مشروع محتاج مال وجهد وناس عندها حب لمساعدة الآخرين دون مقابل مادي.
      شكرا على تعليقك الجميل وجزاك الله خير.ـ


      1. فعلا والله طول عمري بقول المقلوبه تاني يوم أزكى وأخيرا إجى ناس يأيدني 🙂 لووووول
        فعلا المجتمع عنا ذكوري جدا وبربوا ولادهم هيك للأسف!!! بتلاقي الأخ المفعوص أبو 5 سنين بصيح بأخته أم العشرين سنه وبقلها : قومي جيبيلي مي !!! فعلا هادا واقع ناس كتير …كتير تناقشت مع ناس بهاي الأفكـــار بس صعب تغيرهم هيك تربوا!!! حتى البنت بتكون مقتنعه وراضخه لهادا الشي ودائما عندها شعور إنها دونـــيه !!! إحنا والحمد لله وإجمالا عموم الشركس عنا البنات مدللين غير شكــل 🙂 وبالعيله ما تربيــنا على التمييز أبدا حمدلله .
        لازم الولاد يتربوا إنو مثلا تختــك بس تفوم من النوم بدك ترتبه وأي صحــن وسختــه ما المانع إنو تجلــيه ؟ لإنو ما في شغالات عندك !!! وبالمحبه والتفاهم والمساواة وعدم التمييز بدوم الود والاحترام بين الإخوان لإنو التمييز بخلق الحقد والكره …وأصلا الأخت بتصير بكل محبه ورغبة منها ما بتخلي أخوها يجلي أو يرتب لإنها بتقــدروا وبتحترمه مو تحس إنو غصبن عنك بدك تعمليلوا لإنو ولد وإنت بنت !!!


    1. Thank you for your lovely comment. I am glad I put a smile on someone’s face. I hope I can do the same with my bored students. Today, I managed to put one to sleep in class. I am not kidding 🙂


  3. MashAllah, thank you for the great reminder. I love Ramadan because it reminds us of the less fortunate and to give back. InshAllah, this Ramadan I will try to do more.


    1. We always need reminders. Sometimes we forget about the simple things while being busy with our study and work.
      I hope also I can do better this Ramadan.


  4. الله يجيزيك الخير يارب

    رح بحاول أعمل كم شغله من اللي إنت حكيتهم
    لإنه أصلاتن برمضان الواحد بتشهون ع الأكل وما بياكل بعد الإفطار شي
    بروح كل وقتنا ع العصائر و الشرب والصلاه


    1. امين يا رب . جزاك الله خير.ـ
      كلامك صحيح واحنا صايمين بتلاقي الواحد بطبخ كمية اكل بتكفي عائلات مش عائله واحده لأنه بكون جوعان وبفكر حاله انه ممكن ياكل كثير بس اللي بصير انه ما بناكل اكثر من المعتاد.ـ لذلك الأهل لازم يعودوا حالهم امام الأولاد انه التبذير شيء مش كويس وانه اذا بزيد اكل لازم يتاكل ثاني يوم و ما يرمى.ـ
      ياريت انا نعود حالنا نزيد بالصلاه مش بالأكل لأنه هاي الفكره من الشهر الفضيل صلاه اكثر واكل اقل بس احنا -معظمنا وانا منهم- للأسف بنعمل العكس.ـ
      تقبل الله منكم وجعله شهرا مباركا عليك وعلى اسرتك


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