Why my first fast will be forever etched in my memory
31 years on, Adnan Masood still remembers it vividly
Adnan Masood was just 11-years-old when he observed his first full fast during Ramadan. Now, 31 years on, he still remembers it vividly.
"I grew up in Pakistan where Ramadan is celebrated with full spirit. Weeks before the holy month began, there was a celebratory environment throughout the streets."
After watching his parents, uncles,aunts and older cousins observe a full fast, Adnan said it was something he always wanted to do.
"I was so excited to do it, it gave me a sense of independence," he told Khaleej Times.
That first morning, he said he couldn't wait for the evening to end so he could wake up for his first Suhoor as a fasting Muslim.
"Most days before Ramadan I'd struggle to wake up for school, but during Ramadan I was so punctual. I had this great sense of anticipation."
And he said he remembers the house being "all lit up", with the table spread so "beautifully".
"It was so vibrant. My grandfather would talk about religion playing a role in making you a good person. He was a poet, so had a lovely view of the world."
After finishing Suhoor, Adnan said he followed his father and grandfather to recite the Fajar prayer, and though most of the family went back to sleep, he struggled because he was too "excited".
"That morning when I went to school, I remember being so happy to share my experience with my peers," he said.
But knowing he was one of only few in his class observing the fast, he saw it as an opportunity to inspire his friends.
"I remember the teacher would bring me to the front of the class and ask why I was doing it. She told me it wasn't just about not eating, it was about being grateful to Allah and feeling the suffering of the world's needy."
But it was his first Iftar which was most memorable. Arriving home from school at around 2pm, he said the food preparation began at around 4pm.
"The colours and smells in the kitchen were amazing. That last one hour felt like three days."
Although Adnan said he felt physically exhausted at the end of that first day, his sense of excitement came from a spiritual place, which is why that first fast will forever be etched in his memory.
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