Do We have the Right to Complain?

By Abdul-Qadir Kazeem

‘Man, I am tired, when is Maghrib time again?’
‘I cannot take this anymore. If it stays this hot, I may have to break my fast.’
‘Why does Ramadhan have to be during this time of year?’

These are from among the many complaints we will here in the coming years during the month of Ramadhan. For those who did not know, the month of Ramadhan moves up 11 days every year of the solar calendar. So for the next several years, we will have Ramadhan right in the middle of the summer. It will be hot. The days will be longer. Muslims will complain.

Do we have the right to complain?

For those of us living in the southern part of the United States and have never lived up north, consider this. The farther north you go during the summer time in the United States, the more hours of daylight. So in Seattle, Fajr is around 4:30 a.m. in the summer time, and Isha is at about 11:00 p.m. The sun does not set until about 9:30 pm. Can you imagine it being almost bed time and having the sun still high in the sky?

I have a coworker who has a brother in Germany. He told me the sun sets around 10:00 p.m. there. Imagine having to fast for 17 or 18 hours, then praying taraweeh, then getting up 2 to 3 hours later to start fasting again.

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Those of us living in the southern part of the United States, we have it easy. Those of us living in the United States, period, we have it easy. Those of us who have anything to eat at all, we have it easy. We have been blessed by Allah, and we should be thankful for everything we have been given, no matter how small it may be.

There are many goals of fasting we are constantly reminded of. Self-restraint and  increasing God-consciousness are among them. One that is not mentioned frequently enough is that when we fast, we are supposed to feel hungry. The problem is we do not want to feel hungry. We stuff ourselves in the morning, and stuff ourselves in the evening once more. This attitude of overeating in Ramadhan will not allow us to reach the goals intended by fasting.

Yes, we should feel the pangs of hunger everyday. Feel your stomach churning while at work, school, and at home. Let these pangs remind you of those who are fasting not because they want to, but because they have nothing to eat. When we reflect on this, it will cause us to be more generous during times when we are required to give charity, because we have an idea of how they feel and what they go through everyday. Complaining to other people is an indication you are not thankful for what you have. At least you get to eat at the end of the day. At least you have your health. At least you have a home to sleep in every night. So let us desist from complaining in these coming years, and let us use that time to instead remember Allah, recite the Qur’an, and ask Allah for forgiveness.

We ask Allah to make fasting easy for us, and we ask Him to accept from us our fasting in this month of Ramadhan.

“Look to those who are inferior to you and do not look to those who are superior to you, for this will keep you from belittling Allah’s Favor upon you.” (Bukhari and Muslim).

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13 responses to “Do We have the Right to Complain?”

  1. Halima says:

    Good article…good reminder….somethings cannot be said enough.

  2. birkah says:

    I lead tarweeh in Yellowknife, Canada 2 years ago. The fast began around 4AM and ended around 930 PM. Since I didnt have work, I was busy preparing lectures, reminders for the congregation as well as reviewing Quran. I never once felt I was hungry. As long as you are preoccupied in what you love doing, you will not feel hunger.

    Secondly, the greater the food you eat for suhoor the harder the fast. Simply because you stretch the stomach, and once the stomach empties slightly, the hunger receptors start firing (forgot the technical term). Hence the person desire more food. Eat 1/3… drink lots of fluid… and insh’Allah time will fly.

  3. Amy says:

    Ah, Seattle. Even we can’t complain here because days are still longer in Vancouver and it’s not hot here like it is in the South. Little blessings, alhamdulillah.

    I love the photo of the Space Needle btw.

    • Safia Farole says:

      Your right; Alhamdulilah the cool weather helps alot. Especially this August. We had heat waves here the last couple of summers though (i.e. record breaking heat); I hope that doesn’t again, iA. But even Seattle heat is nothing compared to Southern heat…

  4. Thank you for taking the time to write this article! It made me realize how grateful I should be that I live in Southern California where Iftar is still at at a fairly reasonable time!

  5. Fulan says:

    Last year, I attended a lecture by a local speaker who said something that struck me about fasting and the reasons for fasting. He said (I paraphrase):

    We often hear that the wisdom, or one of the wisdoms, of fasting is to know how poor people feel when they haven’t eaten for a few days. That is incorrect. You can fast for days without breaking your fast and you won’t relate to the poor person. What really hurts the poor is not the hunger, it is the humility of having to knock on somebody’s door at odd hours to ask for food. The humility of not being able to earn food and having to ask for it. The humility of not being able to feed their own children and having to beg.

    He definitely had a point. A point that I have never heard before and never heard since then.

  6. shiney says:

    Jazakallah Khair for the much-needed reminder! May Allah allow everyone to benefit from this and May He forgive us fro all the times we complained and May He grants us Patience! Ameen!

  7. MuslimAmerican says:

    Awesome reminder. Jazak Allah Khair.

    If we hear or see what’s going on with our brothers and sisters in Somalia, it will ease our ‘fasting’ complaints, insha Allah.

  8. MK says:

    A timely reminder. Jazakallah Khair!

  9. hafsa says:

    We have been blessed with so much yet we are always complaining and whining !
    I believe we should try to complain less and be more gratful this ramadhan and teach our kids to do the same . One can have a gratitude journal to boost up their imaan. Know all about it here:
    http://ayeina.com/muslims-mini-gratitude-journal/

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