Hasten to fast???

Today, is the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslim brethren all over the world. I have always been amazed by the steadfast observance of fasting, that these brethren undertake especially under the strenuous requirements of abstaining from even drinking water from daybreak to the sighting of the moon at dusk, while going about their normal daily tasks.

However, what I would like to discuss does not only concern Muslims, but also others from various faiths, where fasting is a norm (and this accounts for most of the religions, and is seen as a means of purifying oneself).

While fasting basically implies abstaining from eating, the spirit of the fast requires abstinence from vices and worldly pleasures. This abstinence is however only limited to the period of the fast. Most of the time, we do see people around us who wait for the period of fasting to finish so that they can get back to their normal routine. This has in turn given rise to the notion (at least in the minds..) that these people are justified for the rest of the year or until the next fast in committing vices as long as this fast is dutifully adhered to.

It is as though the fast justifies our actions henceforth, otherwise how else do you explain people who end up worse than before when they completely abstained from the so called vices.

As in the case of the Rio de Janeiro carnival that is held 3 days prior to the Roman Catholic Lenten season, it is actually a one last ditch at indulging oneself before the fast begins.