What Ramadan Teaches Us
There are plenty of theories floating about, regarding how fasting in the month of Ramadan is such a rewarding endeavor. Some claim that it teaches us self-control; some say it reminds us of the bounties that have been bestowed upon us by helping us understand how the poor and the needy feel; some even claim that it’s an excellent way to lose weight.
Paradoxically, Ramadan has become a month of gluttony.
How can I say that? Just yesterday, I went to a KFC outlet to indulge in their famous all-you-can-eat iftar deal. What I saw, was not an image of self-control, but the farthest thing from it. The sound of azaan transformed the restaurant into a war-zone. It was sheer pandemonium. The norm is for the waiter to bring food to the table, but the customers kept getting up from their seats and snatching pieces of chicken directly from the waiter’s basket. The average amount of food eaten by each customer in the restaurant was probably enough to feed a family of four.
I looked at the tables around me…at people who had left half the chicken on their plates uneaten, yet clamoring for more to be brought to them. A teenager seated at my neighboring table managed to devour half a Zinger burger in one bite, making me turn green. I bet most of them had eaten heavily at Sehri as well.
I didn’t exactly eat sparingly myself. By the next half hour, I could feel my belt tightening around my waist…my diaphragm fighting hard to push down upon the abdomen so my lungs could have room for expansion during breathing. You may have noticed that being an Atheist allows me to reap all the bounties of the special all-you-can-eat Ramadan deals without having to shoulder any of the responsibilities. On my way back to my car, I wondered if it’d be prudent to put my name down for a prophylactic coronary bypass surgery. One can’t expect to eat that much chicken and walk away with arteries as patent as ever.
I learned something important on that gastronomically redundant evening. Whatever the good Lord intended to teach his minions through this holy month of fasting, hasn’t been working out very well for Him.