Thursday, June 23, 2016

Ramadan Reflection : Food For Thought

{Eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not Al-Musrifûn (those who waste by extravagance).} [Quran 7:31]

So I meant to write this post earlier in the month but I have just been distracted with trying to figure out what to do with myself during this blessed month. I usually stay up until fajr because I really don't like that groggy feeling if I sleep like a short hour before suhoor (since the night is so short) you can't really get a good nights rest. I feel more productive during the night but at the same time I get too tired to write. But I am taking another attempt and hopefully bidhniAllah, this post will make sense and I will get my point across clearly insha'Allah ! 

We are now pretty much half way through this blessed month and to be honest with you, I have been struggling to be productive and trying to stay focused. A lot has been on my mind lately and I am just trying to deal with my emotions concerning a bunch of things and really trying hard to not fall into any kind of sadness or depression. I know this dunya is a test and the whole point of these challenging tasks is to come out with more sabr and resilience. The struggle is real! I always find myself going in strong at the beginning of the month but then I tend to go in too strong and too fast resulting in a final burn out during the last 10 nights! So I have really been trying to gradually pace myself and try my best to do what is within my capacity and to not overburden myself or to stress myself out too much if I don't complete task a, b, or c. On top of that I am trying to deal with dunya issues so I am trying to go easy on myself (but obviously not too easy.) I hope everyone else's Ramadan is going well and you are all getting your ibadaah in and making use of this blessed month! 

I know this month is where we are supposed to strive harder than usual and increase in good deeds. We are supposed to try our best to kick old habits and work hard to improve ourselves and to get closer to Allah. One pressing issue that I find within our community is something that really makes me sad and upset; that is the issue of wasting food. I was blessed this year to finally attend my local masjid for a few iftaars and though it was a lovely experience, I was absolutely shocked by the amount of food being wasted! I couldn't believe my eyes. I saw half of the rice box being thrown away and it really broke my heart. I couldn't believe that this is the very food that Allah has blessed us with to break our fast, the very food that many all around the world are wishing to eat and to fill their stomach's with and yet some individuals are just throwing it away like a piece of garbage astughfurAllah!!!!! 

Sisters, please realise The prophet ordered us not to leave anything in the plate and he said: "You do not know in which portion of your food Allah has put the Barakah "(Blessing). [Muslim]  you all are doing a great job in fasting and fulfilling one of the pillars of Islam but when your eyes are bigger than your stomachs and you cannot finish your food, please do not throw it away. Think about all the hungry children around the world. Think about those suffering in all the third world countries, all the war torn countries, and all the countries where even water is scarce! Yet look at the food that Allah has blessed us with and showered us with His Mercy. Can you imagine yourself for one second in their shoes (or lack thereof) of these poor Muslims who do not even know when they can have the chance to break their fast in and outside of Ramadan! Alhamdulillah for donations and we can feed them during Ramadan but even so, not every country has the luxury of being fed biryani or rice with meat . Think about how blessed you are to be able to eat that! 

Sisters, it is a duty upon you to set an example for your household and especically your children and to show them the importance of not wasting and the importance of not taking more than what you can eat. If you cannot finish your rice box, please, save it for suhoor or worse case scenario, feed it to the birds on your porch! But do NOT throw that blessed food away. This is a gift from Allah! Can you imagine not being able to have any food and Allah tests you with a loss of wealth? Throwing away food is like throwing away blessings. Allah can easily test you with hunger and starvation and it doesn't even have to be in the month of Ramadan! Please be mindful and really realise that what you have is a gift and that it is a big bounty and favour from Allah. If you throw away the food, you are throwing away Allah's bounties and His favours upon you! Of course I am not encouraging you to stuff your face until you can't breath resulting in you standing and burping while praying taraweeh or being so full you can't even stand at all audhubillah!In reality, we should really remember this hadith"The child of Adam has not filled any receptacle worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the child of Adam to eat small bits of food that keep him healthy. Now if he wants to eat much any way, he should give a third to the food, a third to the drink and a third (of his stomach) to let him breathe comfortably." [Ahmad] and next time, before you think about throwing away that food, just for one second remember the children who are suffering from malnutrition or the children and adults dying from starvation and then remember the gift of food in your hands that you are about to throw up. Remember that the food you are about to throw out could actually be the part with the most blessings in it! IF YOU CAN'T FINISH IT, PACK IT UP TO GO and have it for suhoor. Do not be picky, if you don't like to eat the same thing twice, just think for a second and tell yourself "wait! There could be great blessings in this and Allah can reward me for not wasting !" and you will get an easy reward just by doing that! Or you can even feed it to some bird or raccoons or a stray cat! Just don't throw it away please! 

If you are just as passionate about this issue as me, please do take steps to bring it up to the masjid and to maybe put up signs as a reminder to NOT WASTE ANY LEFTOVERS! Leftovers are awesome and they usually taste better the next day anyway! You can even get creative and do some mix and match and make some awesome new dish or recipe with your leftovers!

This is the month to kick bad habits and if you are used to throwing away food, let this month be the month to change your old ways. Food is a blessing, a bounty from Allah. You did not earn it nor do you deserve it except that Allah gave it to you from His Mercy! Always remember, you are nothing but a weak human being who can have all this wealth, health, life taken away in a matter of seconds. Because you wasted food so freely, Allah could easily test you by making you starve for all those times you threw away food! Just as easily as Allah provided us food, He can so easily take it away (May Allah protect us from such trials, ameen.) Always remember that. Do not go to the extreme of gluttony  and overeating your share and do not go to the extreme of wasting. Being a believer is all about moderation and balance. May Allah give us the tawfeeq to remember always His blessings and to be grateful for everything and may this be a reminder to myself first and foremost and may He bless us with success for the remainder of this month and that which follows ameen! 

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Assalamualaikum, please be mindful about what you are about to write. Think about it before writing and make sure it is something positive and beneficial, otherwise it will be deleted and ignored. JazakiAllah kheyr ! Sisters ONLY! xo