It’s rare when I don’t fast for Ramadan. Like the church-resistant Christian who somehow finds his or her way to a pew on Easter Sundays, for a month each year I manage to wake before sunrise and eat a hearty suhoor before spending 12 hours or more in a state of starvation and sacrifice in honor of the Qur’an being revealed. And I love it. I love the forced reflection and growth in consciousness that fasting engenders. I love the spirit of solidarity with my fellow Muslims. I even love the feeling of being deprived of worldly pleasures in order to attain something greater.
Sure, I know that a month of fasting does not make up for all the salats I skipped during the rest of the year, or the fact that I don’t go to jummah. But not being able to fast this year due to the little guy growing in my belly—ready to bust out any day now—has made me feel like a significant part of my year is missing. There were no flavorful iftars for me, made even tastier by the fact that I hadn’t eaten anything all day, and no ebullient Eid celebrations. The most important thing lacking was the sense that by me taking one step closer to Allah, He was taking two steps closer to me.
I don’t mean to sound self-pitying—I am blessed beyond measure to experience impending motherhood, Alhamdulillah. It’s just that recently when I said Ramadan Karim and Eid Mubarak to people who I knew were fasting, it was with a sense of longing for next year when, insha’Allah, I’ll be able to join them.