(Photo: birrellwalsh/Pixabay)

Smitha Binu, Supervisor at the Bank of Baroda speaks to Asian Lite about fasting during the month of Ramadan.  … reports Asian Lite News.

Smitha Binu. (Supplied Photo)

Smitha Binu is from Kayamkulam, Kerala, she is married with 2 children. She has completed her Bsc in Computer Science. Mrs. Binu has been fasting with Muslims during Ramadan, she opens up about her fasting experience to Asian Lite News.

1) When did you first arrive in the UAE?

I arrived in UAE in August 1999.

2) What motivated you to fast in the month of Ramadan?

I have been observing my friends and colleagues who were fasting during the holy month of Ramadan in Dubai. When I was in India I was not such a keen observer as there is no restriction for the availability of food; and I still remember my classmates who used to fast and I didn’t pay much attention to that during those days. Frankly speaking, I did not even think about that. But once I started living in Dubai and started to mingle with more and more people, I started to observe people who fast during Ramadan.

Once I started working, I met Mr. Yusuf, an elderly person who explained to me about the significance of fasting during Ramadan in the life of a Muslim and at that time he had just relocated from Saudi Arabia and he told me about how strictly the rules of fasting are followed there. However, in UAE I found it to be liberal and at my workplace we non-muslims used to drink and eat during Ramadan in the pantry while our Muslim colleagues were fasting. Slowly I started having some guilty feeling inside my mind while eating and drinking during Ramadan while other fellow beings were fasting from dawn till sun set. So this made me to take the first step and I stopped eating and drinking in the office.

Then I started thinking about the people who are fasting. I understood that it is really a sacrifice they are doing without even swallowing the saliva. I too understand that this sacrifice makes them close to the God. It helps us to improve both spiritually and mentally. Then I thought if others can do it, why not I? But initially I was not sure whether I can do that without even drinking water. Being a person who never did any type of fasting in my life I was sure that I wouldn’t be able to fast. But I prayed to God to bless me and give me the strength to fast. Finally, during 2016 Ramadan, I started fasting along with my Muslim colleagues and some other non-muslim colleagues and in 2017 also I observed that and hope this year also I can do that. Insha Allah.

3) How was the first day of fasting?

During the first day of fasting, I was hundred percent sure that I will not be able to complete my fast. By noon I felt so exhausted and then I shared my experience with one of my colleague, who said it happens initially but you should have that determination in mind that it is for God you fast and that and he will help you in doing so. Then I felt that I am getting my energy back and successfully I completed that day with the grace of God.

4) Please share your experience

It was a wonderful experience and the faith and trust in God helped me in accomplishing that. After fasting I felt so relaxed both mentally and physically. I got the confidence that I can also do anything with determination and faith. The respect towards the believers who observe fasting increased very much in my mind.

5) What are the main highlights of Ramadan that you like?

The faith, prayer and charity is the main highlight of the month of Ramadan. The unity among the people while fasting and praying. The breaking of fast together after praying despite being rich or poor. There is no difference in the eyes of God among his Children. All are equal and this proves the equality of human beings in front of God. Muslims compulsorily donate a portion of their wealth to the needy during this month. This also attracted me. Whatever we got with the blessings of God is to be shared with others who are in need.

6) What message would you like to give the Indian community during this year’s Ramadan?

Let this holy month be an enlightening celebration to all of us. Let us all respect the culture of this country and support the fellow beings who observe fasting and make this Ramadan a wonderful spiritual experience.

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