“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.” (2:183)
Ramadan is upon us and what a delightful guest it is. A holy month in which Allah offers us the biggest opportunity for redemption. It is imperative we make the most of this chance.
Fasting is obviously a crucial part of the holy month. But fasting goes beyond simply hunger and thirst. Amongst the benefits of fasting and the hunger that it causes is the motivation to do more for others who are less fortunate than yourself. Fasting itself is a detox for us – a chance for our bodies to flush away the toxins and rid ourselves of habits of excessive consumption. As healthcare professionals we understand the need to take great care of what we place into our body and Ramadan offers the opportunity to reflect on that.
Beyond fasting, additional forms of worship are strongly encouraged. Work on your relationship with Allah (SWT). Pray the extra sunnah prayers. Take time to reflect and read the Quran and evaluate its connection to your life.
Furthermore, worship to Allah isn’t necessarily a solitary affair. Giving to charity (Sadaqa), serving others for the sake of Allah (SWT), engaging in voluntary work are all opportunities to gain good deeds.
Ramadan is a good opportunity to reflect and evaluate yourself and your relationship with Allah. Strive to organise your life to minimise waste, over-consumption and the ills that come with this.
Some people these days are too inflexible and intolerant towards others. We, as health care professionals and students should go out of our way to display the best of character to our patients and colleagues when interacting with them, following in the example of our beloved prophet (PBUH) when interacting with the people. In Ramadan it is even more crucial to do this and it is also worth reflecting more on how we can improve our levels of compassion towards patients and colleagues.
Moreover, we need to show that fasting is not affecting our work efficiency and that we are just as productive as we are when not fasting. Fasting helps concentrate our mind and soul so should help us physically too. We cannot allow our hunger and thirst to become distractions. And any hunger cannot turn into frustration or anger either.
Fasting teaches endurance, empathy, and sacrifice — three qualities all great healthcare professionals recognise and share. Let us focus on these qualities and look to embed them in our daily lives.
May Allah accept all our good deeds inshaAllah.
Sharif Kaf Al-Ghazal, President, BIMA