This has been such a different Ramadan, full of new learning experiences and unique bonding. Many people had to face the challenge of fasting and staying well during this auspicious month. A reader from Melbourne was heart broken, she was so upset, she said “how unfortunate am I? I spent my Ramadan, bingeing/purging, using diet pills and in panic, I have not given up a single behavior or changed in anyway”.
When you enter Ramadan with an intention to feed the needs of the demon of Eating Disorder, then Ramadan will become a challenge. No Doctor will suggest that you observe Ramadan with your Eating Disorder. In fact, they will encourage you and support you to get well and then enter this month with a clear and healthy mind. That’s why many sufferers continue with same lifestyle and same old habits. Ramadan has not had a major impact on their Eating Disorder. Some who managed to abstain from their old behaviors/habits (the most they have done is stay hungry from morning till evening) may find the next 11 months of the year, where people will be regulating normal diets and normal eating behaviors a huge challenge.
As Shaykh Asif Hussain Faroqui said in His Book ‘The Three Nights Among The Nights’:
“Allah is not in need of us staying hungry on an empty stomach or in need of us dieting. The thing that Allah wishes to see from us is Taqwa (belief) with which we carry out His commands”.
Going Cold Turkey on Eating Disorder Behaviors/Habits
Eating Disorders are both a physical addiction and a psychological habit. The mental affect of quitting Eating Disorder can be severe for a sufferer. That’s why many sufferers who entered the month of Ramadan with a hope of recovery were shocked to discover how difficult it was to go Cold Turkey on Eating Disorder behavior/habits. So many who wanted to give up anorexia/bulimia/binge eating went through a variety of physical and intense emotional withdrawal symptoms, such as fatigue, hunger, insomnia, restlessness and constant cravings for exercise and food. The problem here is that not many people were prepared for the withdrawal symptoms or side affects. This presented the biggest challenge for them and the safest method was to retreat back to Eating Disorder behaviors. As with all withdrawal symptoms, the severity will be affected by factors such as how long a person had an eating disorder, how much behaviors they used each day, and the presence of other medical conditions or additional addictions.
Not all is lost, this is a testimony, a proof that you need to seek help for your Eating Disorder. You know yourself better than anyone, if you spent this Ramadan engaged in a tiring physical and mental battle with the demon of Eating Disorder then see your GP/Doctor right away- get help.
Ramadan is a month in which you have an opportunity to truly humble yourself before Allah. You are blessed to have an opportunity to observe the best of the best of the days of Ramadan.
Despair Not- Do Not Lose Hope.
You are here on this blog, because you want freedom from your Eating Disorder, you want recovery and you want to live a life that is free from the rigid rules of Eating Disorder.
Last Ten Days of Ramadan are the most blessed ones. If your lives have not changed for better then you will take the initiative of changing it. You will seek treatment for your Eating Disorder and you will ask Allah for healing. Ramadan is such a blessed month that Allah’s blessings upon the people become abundant and upon every step and in every moment a person is rewarded with paradise. Through His Mercy, Allah forgives a person’s sins due to his deeds. Now tell me, whose word are you going to believe? Allah who is telling you that He will forgive you, or your Eating Disorder that belittles you, mocks you and keeps you in the bottom of despair by telling you that you deserve to be punished through dangerous addictive eating disorder behaviors?
You may have spent your first twenty days of Ramadan in the shadow of the demon of Eating Disorder, Allah is giving you another opportunity to connect with Him from heart.
“Allah showers His Mercy for every person in the month of Ramadan, so how sad it is if a person still does not understand the message of Ramadan and reaps its benefits”? Shaykh Asif Hussain Faroqui
The Blessed Night
The excellence of this night has been announced in the whole Surah of Quran, we call it ‘Laylat-ul-Qadr’, a night that befalls in the last ten days of Ramadan on dd nights (21, 23, 25, 27, 29), where we have an opportunity to ask Allah for anything with staid conviction, belief and love. Use this night for yourself.
Allah said “And what will convey unto you what the night of Qadr is”? O People you will not be able to comprehend the blessings and eminence of this night with your minds.
On this Night:
* Prophet Adam (as) was created
* Prophet Jesus (as) was raised to heavens
* Allah created His beautiful Angels on this Night
*And what more can we say, on this Night Divine Guarded Tablet (Lawh-e-MAhfooz) the blessed Qur’an was revealed in the heavens and then over the period of 23 years it was revealed upon the blessed heart of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
The Blessed Angels are Here
I love this passage from Three Nights Among Nights, ‘The Descent of Angels’. In deep throes of my illness, I remember reading this passage and it filled my heart with so much hope and belief. I then looked outside my window at a beautiful Ramadan sky with twinkling moon and as I breathed into cool night air, I thought, Angels are here, Allah has sent them down to bless us, this demon of Eating Disorder stands no chance in front of Allah’s blessed pure Angels.
” Allah states that this night is better than a thousand months and secondly that the angels, accompanied by their chief Angel Jibreel (as) descend upon the Earth. Blessings and goodness descend on this night, and the Mercies of Allah continue to descend until the rising of the dawn.”
The Descent of Angels
On this night the Angels along with Jibreel (as) descend upon the earth by the permission of Allah.
Jibreel comes down with four enlightened banners.
The First of these flags is placed at the Ka’bah in Makkah.
The Second is placed at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah
The Third Banner is placed at the Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem
The Fourth banner is placed upon Toor, Mount Sinai
After this all Angels are told to spread across the earth, to every place, whether it be in the desert or the valley. The Angels visit wherever there is human life. These Angels roam the earth, searching for the humans who are busy in remembrance of Allah. How beautiful!
Did you know that Angels are with us all the time except when we go to bathroom and one other time. Fajr morning and late afternoon prayer Asr are special because Angels from morning and afternoon shift record them. When we pray our Salaat we pray it in the same way as Angels do.
What more can I say on this topic, words fail me except that don’t fall into this thinking that your only companion is your Eating Disorder because it’s not. Allah has surrounded you with beautiful pure Angels that harm no one.
What to do on Odd Nights? taken from Three Nights Among Nights
Recite as Much as You can this Supplication
Read Sura Yasin
Read Surah Ikhlas
Pray for loved ones who have passed away
Do Dhikr- Remembrance of Allah- ‘Laa-ilaha-illallahu Muhammad-ur-Rasoolulaah’. Hazrat Anas (RA) said: “When Laylatul Qadr occurs, Jibraeel descends with a large group of angel onto the earth, who make D’ua-I-Rahmah (Mercy) for those men and women engaged in Salaah, Dhikr (Remembrance of Allah), etc” (Mazhari).
Recite Surah Al- Qadr seven times- Imam Ali said whoever recited Surah Al-Qadr seven times during this night, Allah protects him from all afflictions, from all diseases, and seventy thousand angels will supplicate to Allah on his behalf, so that he may be rewarded with paradise.
Read what Angels read Salat ul Tabeeh and what our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) read.
How to read this Salah: