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My First Ramadan Wasn’t What I Expected

The Color Scheme of Fasting

Before I continue, I would like to go back to the color scheme of fasting. I said that my visualization of gray and black shades of suffering and pain had been wrong.

Nevertheless, I do not intend to leave the reader to believe that fasting boasts with bright, loud colors like red, yellow or green; at least not for me.

If one can even talk about colors, they were almost transparent colors as one would find in great heights, in the silence and loneliness of mountains.

Soft, floating beige, a fading ocher shade, a dissolving gray-violet. Colors that are removed from any worldliness. And colors without lust and greed. Colors of pure being.

Through these colors I understood that the fasting month belongs to God.

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How can I describe my feelings, my state of my mind during the first two weeks? I felt light, but deeply rooted in myself and in the world; a lightness and openness for the things that lay ahead of me that I have never felt like that before.

Read: Ramadan is Time for Self-Care

Devotion to the present. Closeness to God is the best description but the most difficult one to understand. Abstract.

It was the second half of the fasting month when something radically changed in my mental state of mind. I was quickly irritated, my senses, especially my hearing were oversensitive and the dissatisfaction with myself and my surrounding seemed to grow with every day.

It was like the poison, the bad smell and garbage that had left my body the weeks earlier was now ready to leave my psyche with such force and ruthlessness that did not consider the person behind it all – me.

I saw it coming. I felt it the whole time building up. It was boiling in me. I felt that an explosion and a breakdown came towards me and I could not do anything about it.

It was like a part of me had detached itself and was now being forced to leave my body; like a boil that has been growing, aging and aching for ages, so that one got used to it.

But now, there was a higher force that pocked the boil and made all the stinking, bloody pus flow away. That’s how my breakdown felt. I could only wait until it was over, until all the bitter, poisoned tears had left me, until there were no more.

I still felt weak and incomplete a few days after this event, but then the place, which before was full with the stinking boil, filled itself with something new; a strength, a balance and a bright, glowing love that made me quickly forget the breakdown.


After one month of fasting, I was glad to pick up my regular daily activities, but I do not want to miss this intensive, challenging and spiritual experience that the first fasting was for me. It made me all the more determined in my trust for the truth and for God.

The fasting experience showed me that everything is possible with divine confidence.

(From Discovering Islam’s archive)

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About Claudia Azizah
Claudia Azizah is originally from Germany and mother of two children and writer. She served as Assistant Professor at the International Islamic University in Malaysia until August 2019. She is co-founder of the Ulu-Ilir-Institute in Indonesia. She regularly writes for the German Islamic newspaper. She is interested in Islamic spirituality, art and Southeast Asia. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram: #clazahsei