The first time I had to fast was when I was fourteen. Supposedly that was when I had become a man, and I was mature enough to fast. I am Muslim and in my religion we fast during the month or Ramadan, from sunrise to sunset, every day for thirty days. During my first Ramadan, I found it very difficult to not eat nor drink for thirteen hours. I didn’t have the same amount of patience that I do now. I was also very demanding and I took everything I had for granted.
But Ramadan helped me become closer to God and shaped out who I am today. It taught me disciple and respect towards my own religion. I always use to say, “Why do I have to fast? It’s not like it does anything good for me.” But now I understand the meaning of religion, and the different morals and values it teaches you. That is why I believe in religious education. Having a religion connects people spiritually to an ultimate superior (God). Religion also teaches people things that they cannot learn in high school or college. It’s a type of education that cannot be given through a diploma. When I now fast I feel good about myself, and at the end of the day when the sunsets and we can eat, I feel accomplished like I did something for the greater good.
I feel like an all around better person. I believe that religion makes you a more moral person. When I was younger I didn’t practice fasting, or the five daily prayers that Muslims are suppose to do because I didn’t have to I was too young to understand the aspects behind religious practices and the reasons why we did them. I did go with my father to the mosque, but I never really paid attention to what was going on. I was too caught up with having fun and messing around. When I go to the mosque now, I feel more connected with my religion; I now understand the whole point of practicing Islam is to become closer to God and to become the best human being that I can be.
Nowadays, fasting for me isn’t just not being able to eat, its also not fighting with my younger brother, or not arguing with my parents. Fasting cleanses my soul and turns my life around for the better. I think of life as a major test, so why not study up for the test of life, and learn more about your religion.
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