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Monday, 1 August 2011

Running gives you time to think...

Too much time in some cases. As I mentioned earlier, today is the first day of Ramadan. My bf is fasting as he does every year, and has done since he was 7 years old. I don't pretend to fully understand Islam. I get the basic principles, which are actually great principles when looked at clearly, but there is stuff in there that scares me.

When I met my bf and I found out that he was Muslim, I asked him straight out, "are you expected to marry a Muslim?" This was our first date, lol. He said no. In actuality, Muslim men are allowed to marry whomever they want within the 3 big religions (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam)...sorry to any Buddhists etc., out there, from my understanding Islam doesn't recognise any religion as a true religion except for the 3 just mentioned. He asked me, what do you believe? I said..."nothing, I believe in nothing except my own personal morals and values." That led to a bigger discussion...he couldn't quite fathom how I could be "nothing". Not Christian, not Jewish, not Muslim, not anything. But it's true. I don't believe in organised religion. I do not believe in following a book that was written thousands of years ago that may or may not have relevance to modern day. I definitely do not believe in following fallible man's interpretation of said books. I have no problem with the idea of God, or the idea of a greater power, but I definitely do not believe in what man has made of it.

Now, the fact that I am dating a Muslim has left many in my personal circle scratching their heads. I am extremely liberal...women's rights, gay rights, whatever rights anybody wants to have. I don't necessarily want to get married. I don't necessarily want to have kids. And I never thought I would be with someone with a somewhat traditional view of society and how men and women work. Now, religion has never played that much of a role in our relationship. My Moroccan observes Ramadan, and observes some of the other major rules of Islam such as no pork, no alcohol, doing good in the community etc., but doesn't observe some other things which I will not go into. So it's never been an overwhelming force with us. I personally made the choice to not drink (which is fine, makes me depressed anyway), and I don't eat pork (although that I do miss sometimes, brunch in Canada is very hard to do without pork!), and I am a naturally modest person, so I am not flaunting my "assets" to all and sundry (which I didn't do before anyway!) So we've worked for almost 4 years.

This Ramadan is a little bit different. He asked me if I would fast with him. My knee jerk reaction was a vehement "no!" Does it look like I can go without food for 12+ hours a day?? Then, as I was running today (wooo, day 2 of week 1!! 6.3 mph 2.5 incline) I started to think. What is it like? Do you really make a connection with a higher power, or are you just like, really hungry and cranky and counting down the hours (cause that to me makes the whole process redundant). Most of all, his words to me last night about how he hates doing this alone, that he feels alone during his Ramadan, during a time when family and friends alike come together in worship, made a point with me. I can't imagine doing something like Ramadan in a foreign country. In Muslim countries the people are united. Schedules change, things slow down, the country worships together. Iftar (breaking of the fast) is a time of celebration with the community. We have mosques here, and he has a big community here, but I can understand how it's not the same, and how it would be that much harder.

So I've been wondering...could I do it? Could I actually fast? Not for a full 30 days, not with my schedule, and not without water which is just dangerous in this weather. But could I do it for one day? One weekend? I'm still on the fence...but I'm going to talk it over with my bf and see if we can reach a compromise. I don't want him to be alone in this very important time for him...but neither do I want to give up on what I believe in.

Compromise is the word here...and as soon as he wakes up (fasting makes you sleepy :) ) I will talk it over with him. I realise that this post is waaaaay of topic...but hey, it occurred while I was exercising, so that's gotta count right??

Have a great holiday Monday (Happy BC Day to my BC'ers! Happy civic holiday just doesn't have the same ring to it! lol)

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