Post-Eid Hangover

by Naila Sheikh

My post-Eid hangover consisted of being utterly lazy this past week and wanting to snack on pantry food items that have been ignored during the month of Ramadan. Converting from my fasting mode to normal mode was quite an adjustment, especially the sweet reminder that my cup of tea, chai, was allowed during daytime. This was of course to much of my delight, but my tummy had developed an attitude of itself, giving me the guilt of feeling bloated as if every bite I took was a punishment of over snacking. I assure you, in reality I was just snacking in moderate amounts, trying to make friends with my system and regulate a non-fasting routine.


I am sure, my friends and family must have experienced the same in some way or another and can pretty much relate to my post. You do, right? Okay, good. To confirm that I am not rambling off of illogical analysis  means a lot to me - thereby concluding the fact even if through writing this post alone, surveying post-fasting behavior, I am not solely crazy for my assumptions made in the four walls of my home. Or am I? I guess it's high time for chai to quench my brain cells.

---> Be right back...


Ah, feeling better already. I did train myself into thinking that chai is not a necessity, nor is food for that matter; perhaps this is why Ramadan was such a success for me this year. I am glad to have mentally prepared myself, knowing that preparation was highly needed to combat the exhaustion of raising hyper-active kids. Not an easy task, but with determination and the will to complete the Hunger Games (taking 3 days off in between), I emerged stronger - hopefully, physically & spiritually.


When we deprive ourselves from food/drinks, we are close to starving ourselves, therefore, killing ourselves from worldly desires. This disciplinary regimen, brought on by religion nonetheless,  is an excellent way of getting ourselves to focus on what is most important - Our Creator, our existence and our purpose. To overcome the challenge of the 30 day spiritual fitness (Ramadan), one knows that signing up not only requires health, but also faith. And with faith comes the determination and steadfastness to endure. When paired with the gruesome physicality's and difficulties of life, one can conclude that at the end of 30 days, faith and our mindset; be it religion or one's own regimen, a goal whether big or small can ONLY be accomplished through sheer belief.


The belief to conquer our weaknesses, the belief to go beyond our own expectations and push ourselves, especially when it's out of our daily norm. The feeling of reaching the finale, to fast one more day until truly gratifying to the soul and bigger than any marathon this world can organize. That  feeling my friends, is priceless. Ironically, while a lot of onlookers must comment on how hard this must be, it makes the believer feel alive. How? Well, in deprivation without distraction, replacing our hunger & thirst into fuel for worship and spiritual focus, we are able to reach a level of 'zen' which makes us more attune with our breath and every fiber of our being.


Why is it that the every bite of food you take during Iftaar is more saturated in taste? And the every sip immediately  flows like energy through the body? And why is it that Eid-Ul-Fitr, the beautiful food-filled celebration granted to us, enables us of superpowers? Feeling stronger, happier and more meaningful? 


It is because we taste Blessings. Non-returnable, non-refundable but only redeemable by Allah.