2 Ramadhan 1436
It was wet, very, going to Friday Prayers just now. The walk down the street to the mosque suddenly seemed a lot further than usual as I navigated the squalls and, despite carrying an umbrella, I was not exactly dry during prayers. This was somewhat unpleasant, but a good reminder of what a blessing it is to be dry - a blessing I rapidly discovered when I got home and changed.
This chimed in with the theme of the sermon - predictably (and rightly so!) about the blessings of fasting. The claim that we don't really understand the wonders of a handful of rice and a drink of water until we've been starving and thirsty is made new and real for me each fasting month, though I'm not sure I'd really lay claim to either genuine thirst or starvation as a result of the fast. I deal with something more akin to mild discomfort, and that in itself is enough to make the point.
As is usually the case on a Ramadhan evening I feel wonderfully comfortable, gloriously at ease. The freedom of being able to fill one's face whenever one pleases is a guarantee of a sense of well-being, however ignoble that sense may be. Of course, the point is that one doesn't fill one's face, because there is no need to. Another powerful lesson learnt.
Noi drew my attention yesterday to the story of an ustad who cried when asked by a Muslim brother from Somalia if a fast was valid if you were unable to take the pre-dawn sahur meal or break the fast at the appointed hour because of a lack of food and drink. Haunting little tale. Tears worth shedding.