August 19, 2009

I can fast this year, alhamdulillah!

A'salaamu alaikum. I received some very good news today in regards to my health and fasting. I spoke with a Muslim doctor in my community and he said I could fast this year.... with some caveats. :-)

I had a kidney transplant in 2002 and one way you try to ensure a healthy, long life for your new transplanted best friend ;-) is to drink plenty of water, take your medications on time, and in general live a healthy lifestyle insha'allah.

This will insha'Allah be my fourth Ramadhan and I had never been completely convinced which way I should go. My non-Muslim doctors of course merely said, "Don't fast!" as if I were a complete idiot to even contemplate it.

My friends, out of concern for me, said "Don't fast!" because they love me and do not wish to see me sick.

Islam tells me "Don't fast" if doing so will cause me harm. This is where I decided I needed to look a little deeper into the situation.

Ramadhan 2006: Fasted almost the entire month. This was my first Ramadhan and overall feel it was a good learning experience. It's hard to get it all together. :-)

Ramadhan 2007: I was newly pregnant with my daughter Aami. Due to complications with the pregnancy and my kidney issue I did not fast very much. I would fast every couple of days or so. I really craved the "Ramadhan experience" but was worried about hurting my kidney and the baby.

Ramadhan 2008: Tired of not feeling like I was really getting the most out of Ramadhan, I decided to do a modified fast. I am NOT saying this fulfilled the requirements of fasting; I am saying I wanted to do as much as I felt was safe for me to do. So I did not eat all day but I did drink water with my medication (if not it burns my stomach lining) and if I felt dehydrated I would drink water. I felt like I was getting more benefit from Ramadhan but still wasn't satisfied.

Ramadhan 2009: The year of the comeback! Alhamdulillah I finally did the *right* thing and spoke with a MUSLIM doctor who will intelligently weigh the benefits and risks and advise me accordingly. He said there is of course a mild to moderate risk of losing kidney function from 15 hours of no drinking. He said also if one has strong faith and puts their trust in Allah WHILE doing as much as they can to protect themselves they should feel ok to fast.

I put my kidney at a moderate to severe risk to carry Aaminah. We take calculated risks all the time if we feel confident in the outcome. I have decided the blessings I will get more than make up for the possible risk. The dr. also suggested I do a blood test before Ramadhan (I better hurry) and then another 4-5 days out to gauge my function. If it has dropped then I should stop the fasting.

Insha'allah I will be able to fast completely this year. It is my desire to experience everything my ummah experiences, to know the hunger, the thirst, and to purify myself through these acts of expiation.

Please make du'a for me that Allah swt protects and guides me. May He make my pride lessened so if I need to ask for His mercy in this matter I will not be too stubborn.


Umm Aaminah

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