Ramadan Reflections '13, Day 7: The Broken Fast

I stood shivering in our living room. It was 2:00pm and I had closed all the windows, put on a sweater and sweatpants, and paced nervously around the room, coughing in spasmic spurts. I had come this far, and I was going to make the next 8 hours until iftar...not so much "dead or alive," but that was my conviction!

What started as a head cold on day 2 of Ramadan (thanks Asif!) led into more symptoms by day 6, including instigating my asthma, leading me to drug up at suhoor and iftar and drink bags of organic liquorice tea, hoping it would help settle my scratchy throat symptoms. I was feeling worse by yesterday, having added a cloudy head into the mix. Why was it that I wasn't getting better after 4 days? It is highly unusual for me to get sick during Ramadan since this marked the first time.

"I think you should break your fast," Asif gently suggested. "You haven't gotten any better and in fact, have gotten worse. Take today to eat and rest and start up again tomorrow."

Ugh, I thought, I can't break my fast, everyone else is fasting and I already started this, I need to see the next 8 hours through. But as I continued to shiver, pace, and cough (Asif has dubbed my cough "thunder cough"), I realized he was perhaps right. I consulted my girlfriend via text for another person's reassurance that I wasn't sinning and begrudgingly broke my fast.

Within a half an hour of eating, I already felt 40% better. My cough was still present but the shivering had stopped and I could feel flesh blood infused with energy from the food coursing through my veins. I prayed to Allah and asked Him to forgive me for breaking my fast, and that I'd get better enough to start back again tomorrow. I felt like a thief by having stolen a date earlier than anticipated (yes, I broke it with a date since I wanted to still make the breaking kind of like iftar!).

By iftar time, I felt much better. My cough had subsided, I had more energy than I had in previous days, and the headache and body chills had Alhamdulillah stopped. Upon waking up this morning, I finally felt 75% better and didn't so much feel like the zombie I had been feeling like on previous wake-ups. I had prayed fervently last night to PLEASE heal enough to resume fasting. I really didn't want to add on more missed fasts to make up, as most women do anyway thanks to the endowment of mother nature from Allah!

So perhaps there was a lesson in all of this, I thought to myself. Perhaps by overcoming my pride and desire to stick things through by fasting more days in a sick condition, I could suck it up and take a day to heal before jumping back much healthier. Ramadan is not meant to be an extra burden on someone's health, as Allah states that those who are ill and unable to fast may make up their missed fasts by other means. This was the first time I had to invoke this "clause" but I'm glad I did, since it reminded me about the trait of humility and how compassionate of a religion Islam is for considering the needs of those whose health is not at its best.

And Allah knows best. 


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