"I'm really thirsty. Can I have something to drink?"
"Just in a while. A few more hours before break fast. Hold on a bit."
"But I'm really thirsty. I don't think I can hold any longer."
"You've passed half the day. It would be a waste if you break fast now."
"Please, I'm really thirsty!"
"Tell you what, if you manage to fast the whole day, I'll make you your favourite drink."
"Yes, I promise."
"Then what should I do now?"
"Why don't you just lay down and rest? It might cool down your thirst."
6 hours after that, my mother fulfilled her promise. She made me my favourite drink for break fast. A glass of iced Milo. I finished it with just a shot. It paid off my thirst.
I was six, and my parents were training me fasting. As a Muslim, it is one of the Islam pillars to fast in the month of Ramadhan. All Muslims are required to fast throughout the month for some significant symbol of something. I didn't knew it back then.
I used to be very tired when I first fast. I had to go to school, do house chores and play with my friends. All those activities required energy. And I can't get the energy I needed during the fasting month. There would be no food or drinks in the refrigerator. I only found those during break fast time, which was during sunset.
I was naughty when I was young. I always break fast at afternoon without my parents knowledge and pretended I fasted the whole day. I did this tricks quite frequent with my friends and we did it a lot. My parents didn't realized this habit until I was in Standard 4, where my Chinese neighbour saw me eating with my friends at our hang-out spot in the afternoon. It was during fasting month.
"I saw your son eating with his friends just now."
"No I didn't! It wasn't me. I swear!"
"Then who else would it be?"
"It was my friends. i just accompanied them. I didn't eat. I swear!"
I was sinful for lying to my parents. And the worst part was I lied to them about my fast. Then my neighbour said something that I still remember until today.
"We Chinese think that Malays are very strong because they can fast the whole day for a month. Even I cannot stand hunger for more than 3 hours. You need to be strong like your parents. You need to fast. I think you are strong. Don't do any stupid works anymore. Go fast."
Years have passed and here I am now, fulfilling my duty as a Muslim, fasting for a month.
Fasting signify our understanding of poverty and their starvation. It also taught us to be moderate with what we have and be generous towards those who are unfortunate. Fasting is not a torture to Muslims as claimed by many.
I hope that I could be a better Muslim this year. May my fast is accepted by God.
There is a way to be good again.