Fasting during the school year in high school can be tough. Similar to fasting in a workplace, students are up in the morning as little as 3 hours after suhoor ends. Having stayed awake the majority of the night, students enter an environment where the majority of their classmates are unaware that they are fasting or even that it is Ramadan. When lunch time rolls around, people begin to notice you aren’t eating…and that’s when the inquisition begins.
“Wait, what’s fasting?”
“You can’t even drink water?”
“Your mom won’t get mad, she can’t see you. Why don’t you just eat?”
“Isn’t that like really unhealthy?”
“But wait, why do you even do it?”
Everyone’s heard these questions before, but when you’re a teenager these questions can be immensely intimidating. Unfortunately, many young Muslims, and even many older Muslims, are unaware of how to answer these questions. Due to the lack of knowledge when answering these questions, many Muslims try to orchestrate an answer that may be incorrect. Let this serve as a reminder to the parents, leaders and teachers of Islam to make sure that the children and youth are fully aware and able to answer these questions. More so, the youth should feel encouraged to learn and try to attain the correct ilm to answer the questions they are commonly asked. Fasting provides a great opportunity for dawah and as the youth of our ummah, we should be striving to take advantage of this opportunity.
Moreover, although fasting can get tough recall the reward and the joys of fasting. It was narrated by Abu Huraira that the Prophet (SAW) said, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. (Allah says about the fasting person), ‘He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times.”
Here are a few tips for those fasting in high school. InshaAllah, you find them beneficial:
1. Naps are your friend
Often, we feel this need to power through the day without taking a rest. However the truth is, while having school schedules that don’t allow us to be flexible and with staying up late praying or reading Quran; we have to make sure to take the time to nap for even half an hour either when we come home or after taraweeh. If we don’t take this rest, it’s very likely we’ll crash throughout the day. Plus, it’s sunnah! If you find yourself losing energy after iftar, having a cup of coffee or tea is always a great energizer. It will help keep you attentive during the night worship, inshaAllah.
2. Eat well and don’t overeat!
We feel because we are young we can eat whatever and however much we want. But, it’s important to be conscious of what we eat because it’s very easy to lose control of keeping our bodies healthy. It’s easy to shovel down a few slices of pizza for suhoor. However, your body is an amana. Try to take a few extra minutes to perhaps prepare a nice, healthy sandwich. If you struggle with staying hydrated throughout the day and you find yourself reaching for your water bottle at times; try eating yogurt at suhoor as it helps with staying hydrated!
3. Stay organized.
Ramadan is a busy time with those late nights and all of us striving to meet our Ramadan goals. If you add onto that any volunteering, clubs and sports you’re involved in then it’s even more busy! Not to mention that exams are just around the corner…
Use a planner, calendar, your phone, ANYTHING that will let your write things down and stay organized. The only way you’re going to get close to getting everything done with the highest level ihsaan is by staying organized. So, try to plan out what you’re going to do for the day, week, and even month. Think long-term and short-term.
So, let us use Ramadan not only as an opportunity to learn, but also to teach those around us whether they be Muslim or non-Muslim. May Allah SWT accept all our fasts and reward us for fasting in challenging environments.