Asalaam Alaikum/Hi All
Since Ramadan started nearly a week ago I have already come across two people who thought that perhaps even young children had to fast. So I explained that fasting is only obligatory when you hit puberty. I can’t imagine my 5 year old having to fast 18 hours, although thinking about it sometimes I have to push her to eat so she may just manage it!! (Don’t worry I am not going to make her try).
It got me thinking though about ramadan back when I was a child.
My earliest memories are of trying to stay awake until my dad came home from work so I could eat too! My mum would always send me off to bed but as soon as I heard my dad come in I would use the excuse that I needed the toilet, or I needed some water, and come back down. I am sure though that my parents knew what I was up to, but obviously I thought I was being clever! I have fond memories of those evenings munching away with my dad.
However, one memory certainly makes me smile. It was ramadan in Pakistan and I wanted to fast. I was about 10 and hadn’t reached puberty yet. My uncle saw me a as precious little doll from the UK and he so did not want me to fast as it wasn’t necessary. My mum was fine with it as I had already done a few in previous years. However it was a lot warmer in Pakistan so my uncle was worried I would end up ill.
I managed to get through half the day and my uncle was still worrying and saying that because I had managed half a day that was enough. In the end I went out with some local children just to get him off my back.
We were just chilling and sitting by the road and watching the traffic go by – the mad traffic there still amazes me when I go now. One of the local kids had some sweets. One was like a powder. I forgot I was fasting and tried some of the powder.
About 5 minutes later I remembered!!
I totally freaked out and ran home crying! (Hey I was only 10). I am sure the local kids then thought that the girl from the UK is a little bit mad.
I got home in such a state that I couldn’t tell my mum and uncle what had happened until I calmed down. Until then they were so worried as they thought something serious had happened.
Finally I blurted out while sobbing that I had broken my fast unintentionally. You could see the look of relief on both my mum and uncle’s faces when they realised that nothing major had happened. Clearly it was major to me so they tried to take me seriously and try not to laugh at my extreme over reaction!