Why am I fasting?
I’m not a muslimin, not to say one with faith. Logically I am not obliged to fast during the Ramadhan (or any other month). Yet, I decide to give it a try out of free will. Consequently I got some remarks from friends and acquaintances. From “It’s very good that you do that,” to “Do you have nothing better to do?!?”
The last days I could not think of a better answer than that I want to do it voluntarily, that I have no obligation at all. I don’t understand why some people are not keen to accept that answer. Is our society so corrupted that we associate a simple human desire to cleanse oneself with some religion? In my opinion, human differentiate themselves from animals due to their privilege of having a free will. To me, fasting is exercising that very right.
However, I couldn’t resist the temptation to look for some explanation of fasting, not as a member of any religion/ sect, but as a human being.
A complete fast is a complete and literal denial of self. It is the truest prayer. ‘Take my life and let it be, always, only, all for Thee’ is not, should not be, a mere lip or figurative expression. It has to be reckless and joyous giving without the least reservation. Abstention from food and even water is but the mere beginning, the least part of the surrender. (Mahatma Gandhi)
I got this from a friend: “Because animals eat whenever they are hungry.” (implied: so if you want to be better than animals, control your palate)
Actually we are even worse than animals, since they eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full. Human beings, on the other hand, go much further than that…