"Metabolically and internally, Ramadan knocks the stuffing out of us. Like all the basic practices of our religion, it is an idea as simple as it is shattering. The body and spirit respond at their deepest level. The ego squeals with pain. To the extent that we are still babies, we cry and cry.
There are some elemental human experiences where the body, detecting its limits, transforms the spirit. Making love, famously, is one example. But there are others. Once, walking in the Alps, I passed a lake as blue as cobalt, formed from the meltwater of a glacier which towered over it. No-one was in sight, so I stripped off and ran straight in. The shock of that freezing water around me was staggering, and I could feel my heart straining. Coming out, shivering uncontrollably, I felt like a king. All of life seemed to be shivering around me, and the world seemed to have become strangely sharp and bright.
The experience of being born must be similar. From a comfort zone we experience the pain of delivery, and the outrage of new existence in an external world of bright lights and strange sounds. The baby screams, but its pain is its first experience of true life. Spiritually, it has begun its career.
The fast blasts us, and exhausts us. We feel the laughable flab melting away, and start to remember the important fact that we are alive. Life is a symbiosis between our bodies and the world. We are alive when we feel that interaction and dependency at work."
-RAMADAN TRAVELOGUE No. 1
By Sh. Abdal-Hakim Murad
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Photo by The Alpine by kern.justin