𝕯𝖔 𝕹𝖔𝖙 𝕮𝖍𝖊𝖜 𝖙𝖍𝖆𝖙 𝖈𝖍𝖔𝖈𝖔𝖑𝖆𝖙𝖊!!
24 years ago my bestie shouted at me when I attempted to gobble down that bar of Cadbury Dairy milk chocolate. She told me there is a way to eat chocolates. I went like “What way are you talking about?”. She said the way to eat chocolates is to break a small piece and to leave it in the middle of your tongue and let it melt so you can savour it. Yes! Savouring the food we put in our mouth is a really important thing. It took me over 16 years to discover Mindful eating after my friend told me eons ago.
How many times have we gotten hungry and only to end up hurriedly eating up a hamburger at a fast food restaurant or that yummylicious pizza which you swallowed down with Coke?
Based on studies, mindful eating (e.g. savouring food) offers an increased amount for happiness and the intensity of positive experiences. In the hectic world we living in, mindful eating may take a back seat. However, intentionally setting aside time to relax and unplug from the world to focus on savoring with an attentive and quiet relaxed state of mind goes a long way in adding positivity to your life!
So how is mindful eating relevant in Islamic context? In fact, every Ramadan, in which Muslims fasts all around the world from sunrise till sunset is a perfect example of us establishing mindfulness in eating. Mindful eating is about being fully present with what we eat and how we eat.
Once my Ustad (spiritual teacher), told us that when someone is fasting, all his/her thoughts will be preoccupied with their bodily sensations (e.g. hungry rumbling tummy, parched throat), so much such that they will not be bothered much with other wrong doings (e.g. jealousy, etc). So you will be focusing your attention to how you feel, how you worship, what to eat upon the break of fast (ie from the purchasing of groceries, cooking meals, to setting it up all at iftar). Iftar time where muslims will break their fast is a moment of great bliss, the water that we sip running down our parched throats, wetting it. The date, with its luxurious, sweet taste sending our insulin rushing in the moment we bite into it. All these sensations are familiar to many of us, thanks to fasting.
Indeed, our Lord knows what His creations need and how we should function. What a bliss this Ramadan fasting is. Can you imagine fasting for over 13 hours in a day for a month is not a simple act, on normal days I will cringe in hunger if I never eat past 3 hours.. Some can go as long as over 20 hours depending on which part of the world they belong!
So that could explain why, we are encouraged to reduce our screen time or talking incessantly to others. Instead use this blessed month to do a lot of self-reflection and self-awareness.
The Prophet ﷺ said: ‘…there are two pleasures for a fasting person, one at the time of breaking his fast, and the other at the time when he will meet his Lord.’ - [Sahih Al-Bukhari]
The blessings if sustenance is not just the food itself but also lies in the acts such as observation of manners, etc. For example, one who remembers the unseen such as the blessings of this life and the world thereafter. Our meals are rewardable when our intention is to please God.
Hence, we have to be mindful that Allah swt is watching us and when we indulge in His provision. Being mindful earns His pleasure, so what more would we want out of this Ramadan other than His pleasure?
Remember that God knows what is in your souls, so be mindful of Him. – Al-Quran, Al-Baqara [2:235]