What comes of starting Ramadan too early …

OK, OK, so some people may have less sympathetic assessments of this excuse for a poem at Muslim Wake Up:

Ramadan is an annoying guest
who comes too often and stays too long
(“Him again? Isn’t it too early?”)
but you can’t say so because
he’s an old friend of the family,
goes back a long way and
it wouldn’t be polite, and so
year after year
you put up with his coming:
the cheery announcement that makes you grouse,
the inconvenient hours,
the special foods and services he needs,
all the headaches
he gives you ...

One thing I notice about this poem is that, even though some people may not entirely look forward to the coming of Ramadan (hey, you have to get up before fajr and not just half an hour before sunrise!), there’s one sentiment I often get which Mohja Kahf seems not to, which is that I always miss it when it’s gone. After Ramadan finishes, eating during the day feels unnatural. To say nothing of the community spirit and the “special food” she only sees fit to moan about.

And has anyone else been able to kick a bad food habit during Ramadan? I can’t even remember what it was now, but I remember that one year I had a real food addiction and would eat whatever it was pretty much any time I passed the shop. And after Ramadan finished I didn’t go back to them - at least, not in anything like the quantity I ate before. It teaches you discipline, that you can go without that muffin or that latte. And if you’re not spending it on junk food, you’ve got more money to spend on other things.

Not that these are the most important blessings of Ramadan, but it’s really bad form to moan as if it really was just a painful, periodical annoyance.

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