‘Do not be too hard on yourself’

Q: Assalamu aleikun, Sheikh Mehtar,
This is my first Ramadan.  The first two days of fasting went without incident and I was able to complete the days.  I am a border-line diabetic, do not take insulin, but am able to control my sugar levels with proper diet. Today, the third day, mid morning, I became quite shaky and light headed – obviously in need of sugar.  After drinking a cup of pure orange juice, this subsided. I am saddened as this broke my fast. Is the best thing for me to do is to attempt to fast again tomorrow?  I have looked forward to Ramadan with much gratitude and love.  Is there something that can be done to repent for breaking the fast today?  Thank you in advance for your kind assistance.
Time: Wednesday August 3, 2011 at 10:08 am

A: وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته

Being a new Muslim as well as based on your situation, you did the correct thing. (The following answer is specific for you, based on my knowing you as a person and the condition you seem to be surrounded by.)

I suggest a continual good breakfast (sehri), the one that is recommended for diabetic patients. Once you start your fast this way, have the following in mind, ‘if I can make it through till sunset, well and good, if not, I would do a makeup when the days are much shorter or when my health condition improves.’ If makeup too would be impossible, then you would be excused from fasting altogether. In the latter case, merely give the fidya. In your case, the makeup and fidya function as atonement for breaking the fast or not fasting at all.

Keep up with other good deeds. Give more charity to the poor (homeless) in this month, pray more for the good of humanity, read and listen to more Quran, listen to good speeches that would function to increase your knowledge of Islam, be the best neighbor, parent, friend, etc. All these good actions would maximize your reward in the blessed month.

Allah Certainly Knows Best.

One response to “‘Do not be too hard on yourself’

  1. As-salaam-alaikum. I just wanted to commend you on your intentions to fast with some health issues. Alhamdu-lillah. I am also sorry for your first Ramadan? or near to the beginning years of your fasting to be such a long day (17 hours). May Allah (swt) reward you for all of your good intentions and your sincere practice of Islam and continue to keep you on the path. Ameen