Thanks to ME for this….
Ramadan and the Force of Luke Skywalker
I was talking about religion to a friend of mine whilst watching one of my favourite Star Wars films (The Empire Strikes Back). I was telling her that a few years ago someone set up a website petition (somewhere in Australia, I think) asking readers to join a new religion – Jedi! Apparently there’s a certain number of people required to state they belong to Jedi after which it becomes an ‘official’ religion – which means authorities have to acknowledge it as such.
So in the last census (2001) thousands of people wrote Jedi as their religion. Me included!
She thought this was ridiculously stupid and, naturally, wasn’t too impressed. Instead she got me back on track to the seriousness of faith.
Apparently – if my Muslim friend’s knowledge is anything to go by – the last day of fasting is this coming Tuesday (30th September). Now having being accused of being Islamaphobic or downright ignorant, I thought I should educate myself and take part in a cultural/religious awareness building exercise.
So I’ve decided to fast for the final moments of this Ramadan month.
Muslims – like my friend – believe that fasting should make you charitable, appreciative of the plentiful food we take for granted.
This is particularly true of living in the West where, according to reports and surveys, we throw away at least one third of what we buy. We have, for instance, the unimaginable, luxurious supply of water accessible in all homes (and yet, like spoilt children, still we buy bottled water). And, unashamedly, we also have vast, innumerable supermarkets providing us with products like wheat, rice, fruits and vegetables from all over the world – all to satisfy our insatiable hunger – or greed – for variety and quantity.
Essentially in terms of food and drink we’ve got the world at our feet.
What fasting does, as my friend said, is to remind us of how lucky we are to have so much choice and the ability to afford so much. When we’re fasting we remind ourselves of just how much we take for granted, how we owe thanks to the divine being – that ultimate force – that governs and dictates the movements of the universe call it Allah, God or Krishna!
Or as in my case, the Force, Luke Skywalker!
But I’ve decided that I’ll give it a go. So on Monday I’m going to do a proper fast and see how I get on… And I promise to report back during the day and tell you how I’m doing.
Unless I die of dehydration in the process….