Fasting is a sweet river, coming down from the holy mountain heights. It flows into you. It awakens the hidden seed of generosity in you. Your care for others, and your helpful attitude flourish. Fasting brings out from you what is more than you. Now, be a river. Flow with full speed, and bring joy to your shores. Light up the valleys, slopes, and plains. Quench the thirst of dry hearts. Fasting made you like a river in generosity.
Fasting is like the warm sunshine. The sun of fasting rises onto your heart. Look, how it takes away the shadows of selfishness. It removes insensitivity from your heart. It introduces you to the universe and you become brothers and sisters with everyone, as you all suffer with the same pain. As you long for the same needs, your heart warms up to the poor and the hungry. Your selfishness melts away like ice and your compassion starts flowing. Now, touch everyone without any discrimination. Fasting made you like the sun in compassion.
Fasting is like the night. It closes your eyes that search for others’ mistakes. It draws the curtain over your presumptions, and your prying into people’s affairs. You are now only concerned about your own shortcomings. You’ve stopped looking for others’ faults. Your tongue does not dare hurting people with criticism anymore. Your lips shy away from biting remarks. Fasting made you like the night in covering up faults.
Fasting is death. It comes unexpected and takes away all authority from you. It extinguishes your power. You cannot aid for your loved ones, nor can your friends feed you. You close your eyes to the world. The world turns away from you. Everything loses its value; your wealth cannot assist you. Your money does not help you out. All your greed topples down with hunger. You surrender to your Lord. You take shape as your Lord wishes. Yes, you surrender. Fasting made you like a dead person when it comes to anger.
Fasting is like the earth. It takes you back to your origin. It burns up all your distinctions. Earth is where you will fall down, regardless of how much you walk. Fasting takes you away from the charms of the world. It is a leveler: all is equal; thousands become one. It wipes away the distinctions and separations. It takes away the entrusted wealth from you; your hands are left empty. Your rank and power collapse down. You lose your claims. Fasting made you like earth in humility.
Fasting is like the sea. You found yourself in its shore and it broadened your hopes to eternity. It gave depth to pleasures that you thought were shallow. Look it gives you pearls and corals, and swallowed up all that is dirty, rusty, and smelly. It cleansed you from your sins, but did not get dirty itself. Fasting washed and cleaned all that entered to it. Like the sea, fasting accepted muddy rivers, returning pure drops to them. It transformed unpleasant ones to pleasant. Look, you are also like the sea now. Fasting made you tolerant like the sea.
Fasting is intention. Only intention. Intending makes you meet yourself. It helps you find your conscience, equates you with your conscience. It reminds you to be, makes you forget being seen. Fasting saves you from showing off. It is invisible; you cannot take the picture of fasting. You cannot impress anyone with your fasting. It carries no hypocrisy; fasting does not allow you to look more than who you are. Perhaps for the first time in Ramadan, you exist through your intention and not through your action. Fasting enables you to be authentic. It merges your words and your inner self. Fasting made you either look as you really are or be as you look.
By Senai Demirci
(translated by Isra Yazicioglu)