I’m apathetic to Ramadan this year.

The fasting month coincided with my summer uni break from 2015-2019 and I was on WFH in 2020. In the last 6 Ramadans, I prayed terawih almost everyday and definitely finished a Quran. I also spent extra time helping out at home. This 2021, as a med student, I have done little for God this holy, glorious, most important event in Islamic religion Ramadan. Also, fasting has made the rest of my non-religious life worse. I know I can’t blame God for this but He really messed me up this month.

I hadn’t felt this tiredness when I was fasting in high school. Oh man, fasting in your teens vs at 25 is a whole different ball game. I’m old now, it seems. I have 6hrs to lie on my bed every night and those 6 hours are split into 2. I sleep for 4.5hours from 12.30 – 5, and then another 1.5hrs from 6-7.30am. Breaking up my sleep into two has exacerbated my tiredness.

A 2hr commute, at least 6hours of sitting in class and a 1.5hr lunch block which is spent doing team discussions regarding school work, I finally reach home at 7pm just in time to break fast. I also have lectures to watch and revision to do for my exams. My uni has drawn up a timetable showing me I can study for 15hrs a day so there’s no reason I can’t keep up with my revision. How do you study with hunger pangs at 4pm? How do you study with a full stomach at 8pm?

Despite all this, the one good thing Covid gave was an opportunity to pray terawih everyday. If things were normal, I wouldn’t have made the trip to the mosque for my legs can barely crawl back home after uni. Instead, because of Covid, my brother leads terawih prayers everyday. I spend an hour for God everyday and I have told Him this is all I can do for you and all I can do for myself. I hope you accept this, even though it’s meagre. I’m not saying Ramadan isn’t important, I just don’t have the energy to do much. Perhaps I’m shifting too much blame onto my physical energy for my spiritual energy is also to blame. I can’t be bothered to do more in this Ramadan which is considered a gift to Muslims.

I’m out of breath. The fatigue, expectations at school and the stress is killing my brain and my soul. I cannot be bothered to do more, I’m done guilt tripping myself. I believe this guilt tripping and frustration that I’m not doing as much as my peers for Ramadan also stems from the standards I set for myself. If I could finish a Quran last year, why can’t I do half this year? But I can’t even do half. The numerous Ramadan quotes I’m seeing on SM doesn’t help either. My dear friends, no need to post that you’re at the mosque or worse the quotes on SM which doesn’t help anyone. Who is this performance for? I’m not going to put up a performance not that I have anything to show for myself either.

God knows, God understands and I’m sorry Ramadan isn’t that sacred to me right now. We move on. Maybe He will ease things soon.

Take care. Eid Mubarak! Stay safe.

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