Alhamdulillah, I feel blessed that I can experience Ramadhan once again. In the northern hemisphere, it’s the dreaded 18-hour fast that had been on the lips of many a Muslim. I have experienced this before in 1989 when Ramadhan was about April/May time, and unlike this time around, the time for berbuka became much later as the days went on. So, if you lot think this is ‘long’, you ain’t seen nothing yet! We managed fine although some of my friends argued that I was merely 19 at that time compared to my portly 42 today. I have to say the fast this year has been not bad. I read somewhere that a power nap post-“lunch time” helps, and it did. The irony is that whilst you may feel tired but the hunger pangs prevent you from nodding off. Unless you give me a pillow lah.

Back in ’89 I was in sixth form, during which time we were given the keys to the kitchen to make our food for berbuka/sahur. I remembered being filled to the brim with kari kambing (with milk and lemon to replace the santan), chips (how we helped ourselves to the chip making machine and the chippy frier) and Tolly Boy American rice. To think that the school admin let us do this was great. I think some of my other friends in school across the channel had it worse as they had to manage with vegetarian option throughout (we had our halal meat sourced from a butcher down south in the Republic). My school was probably the most ulu but it had its advantages!

A non-Muslim colleague at work asked if there was a decision by Islamic scholars that allowed could break our fast earlier using some form of falak calculation. My only answer was that there is such an opinion but it is currently practiced in countries in the extreme north or south. Fasting is proven to be safe according to medical research and you can even continue to train if you are an athlete, go to the gym (*lalalalala*) et cetera. In my simple mind, things are fair in the world. We have had our share of ridiculously early berbuka times (it was like 3:30 pm back in 2000 thereabouts and no one is stopping me to take a vacation in Australia now to experience that again) and as Ramadhan is to instil one’s discipline (amongst many of its blessings), it won’t be testing if it was easy!

Selamat menunaikan ibadah di bulan mulia ini and Ramadhan kareem!