Ramadan Reflection Day 2: Being Anonymous
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I Missed Suhoor
So today, I missed my suhoor (or sahur) - the pre-dawn meal before the start of fasting.
Here in Canada, it's summer time. That means the day is longer than the night. That means Fajr (the dawn prayer) is earlier and Maghrib (the sunset prayer) is later. Fasting is between Fajr and Maghrib, that means during the summer, Muslims will fast longer.
Fajr time in my area is around 4am and Maghrib time is around 9pm. If my math is correct, that is 17 hours of fasting. It sounds daunting but trust me, it's possible. It's day 2 and I'm still alive. Jolly as usual.
But like I said before, today I missed my suhoor. It wasn't my first time. It wasn't planned. I overslept a bit and woke up during Fajr time (FYI by Fajr time, suhoor is over).
So I went about the day with nothing in my stomach except last night's meal. I made it a goal in this month to eat less and control myself, so I didn't have a lavish meal when I broke my fast yesterday at Maghrib time.
Needless to say, today my stomach was begging me for food (I think there were moments when I could actually hear it talks).
The Water Bottle On My Desk
Today, I walked to and from university. I could take the bus. To be honest, I wanted to take the bus because I was tired. But I wanted to prove to myself that I can do it and I didn't want to allow myself to use fasting as an excuse.
So I walked.
When I got home, I was beat. My throat was dry from the summer's heat. I walked upstairs to my bedroom and dropped by backpack to the floor.
Then my eyes caught the sight of the water bottle that I have on my desk.
Suddenly a thought came to my head, "I could take a sip. I really could. I mean, nobody will know right?"
Nobody Will Know
Technically speaking, nobody will know. I was alone in my bedroom. If I took a sip to quench my thirst, no one will know about it. People won't tell the difference. I can still appear to be fasting.
But, was I actually alone?
In Psychology class, I learned about how people act differently when they think that they are anonymous. Any sense of responsibility dissolves into nothingness at that point, and all hell breaks lose. Nobody gonna identify you, so you can get away with anything right?
This phenomenon is what Psychologist called deindividuation.
But I question the notion of being anonymous. Can we ever be truly anonymous? Sure, we can be anonymous with the people and we can get away with a lot of things. But can we be anonymous with God? The All-Knowing God?
Of course not! A true believer should be mindful of God, especially in times when no one can see and identify him/her. Thankfully, we are in the month of Ramadan and what this month is training us to be is it trains us to be mindful of God. At the end of Ramadan, we hope to achieve the ultimate mindfulness of God - Taqwa (Explanation of Taqwa by Nouman Ali Khan).
"O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may attain Taqwa." (Surah al-Baqarah: 2)
So there I was, staring at that water bottle thinking that nobody will know if I took a sip. I was totally alone. I could easily get away with it.
But was I alone?
No. I wasn't. How can I be alone when God is always with me? How can I be anonymous with the All-Knowing God? Whatever I do, or say, or think about, He Knows. Even when nobody on this earth knows about it (not even the NSA), He Knows.
God is my Master and I am His slave; my Master wants me to wait until the right time (Maghrib) to fulfill my desire (hunger and thirst).
So, I waited.