13 Ramadhan, 1439
Happened to glance at the comments following an on-line article related to fasting in Ramadhan the other day, and rather wished I hadn't. There was a bit of a back-and-forth between adherents to the faith and folks who were more than a little sceptical as to the value of Islam - in fact, a fair few (as usual) who were aggressively anti- in pretty much every way you can imagine - and the tone overall was not exactly positive. I don't want to get into any big debate on this (thankfully having no one to debate with) but it did seem to me that quite a few of the nay-sayers with regard to the fast were missing the point, and spectacularly so.
They generally assumed the whole business was a kind of imposition upon Muslims and that we are somehow forced into an extremity of self-denial. The notion that the fast might be something to welcome, something entirely positive from which there is much to gain, didn't get much traction. And, of course, in terms of a world view focussed on grasping as many easy rewards as possible from our time on the planet, such a positive view would appear deeply absurd.
Once you come to glimpse being tested as something written into the fabric of things in a way that helps us read the book of the world, the world and your place in it changes. Just a little. But enough.