Alhumdulillah. In April, we proudly announced that Noor Kids has developed a world-class team of educators, writers, researchers, and artists that are working towards our mission of making Islamic education fun and exciting. This title, “First Time Fasting,” is a result of our collective effort. Once you read the title, I’m sure you’ll agree that it is our very best work yet.
(Oh and by the way, this is the first title we’ve ever produced that is appropriate for use in public schools. Awesome, right? Alhumdulillah)
First Time Fasting
“So, tell me again… why is it that you fast?” Growing up in the United States, I was routinely asked the simple question during the Holy Month of Ramaḍān. The answer, however, did not always come easy. On a basic level, the answer is that Allah (SWT) asks us to. But on a deeper level, it has to do with gaining self-control and instilling gratitude.
Fasting creates a thirst that could be quenched if an individual gives into his or her desire to eat. But, by waiting until sunset, he or she builds a capacity for self-control. Such self-control empowers individuals to think twice about actions, allowing them to resist lowly base desires. The Holy Qur’ān establishes this idea, mentioning that fasting has been prescribed so that we may “learn self-control” (2:183).
In the first story, “Amin’s Half-day Fasts,” Amin learns that fasting (even if just for half a day) can help him develop self-control. He uses this self-control to get rid of his anger problem.
In addition to self-control, the Holy Qur’ān indicates that fasting creates a spirit of gratitude (2:185). When our tongue is dry and lips are parched, we feel the pangs of hunger in our being. But, by the grace of Allah (SWT), most of us have the means to break our fast, tasting the sweetness of water at sunset. However, the hunger that is felt during the day inspires one to imagine the challenges that others who are less fortunate must endure. In doing so, it creates a spirit of appreciation and thankfulness for our blessings.
In the second story, “Too Little Thanks,” Shireen begins to appreciate her blessings only after they are taken away. Because of this gratitude, she develops a spirit of giving to those who are in need.
Overall, I am proud of our team. This is the first of insha’Allah many titles that our team will work on together. Please join me in congratulating them for their wonderful work.