Human beings are made of what? 2 things; the body , and the soul. Blended together in life. Both are basic parts of us, and both are important, though very different. Also with very different needs.
The body is the part that eats, drinks, walks, plays, sleeps, mates, etc. in short, the earthly part of us, and thus needs earthly things to survive.
The soul is the part that loves, hopes, feels, prays, worships, believes, etc. in short, the heavenly spiritual part of us. It needs to survive love, fairness, prayer, sympathy etc. and needs its share of spiritual food to survive. It is this part that distinguishes us from animals I believe, more than our brains. I believe an animal is better than a brilliant scientist with no heart or love.
Very often, we tend to pay attention to one part more than the other, thus ignoring the other part till it slowly dies away. That part is usually the soul, being trapped as it is in the body. We pay too much attention to our bodily earthly needs, and forget about our soul. And every now and then , we would wake up feeling like we need to breathe. We are suffocating. This is our suffocating soul calling on us, sending its SOS, please help me, I need to breathe. Yet, a lot of us heed no attention to this call, and instead try to shut it down with yet more earthly food.
This is why Ramadan I believe is intended to increase the piety of Moslems. By ignoring our bodily needs for a big part of the day.. we finally give our heart and soul a chance to feel and breathe again. You can pay attention to it, without the worldly distractions. Even the day that I eat a little more, I find it difficult to concentrate or pray properly. Ignore your body a bit, you have been feeding it for 11 months. It can actually take a break. Just the fact that you are leaving your worldly needs for a little while for the sake of God’s approval, would automatically make us feel closer to God and connected to Him. May God accept from us and forgive us all.
I remember when I went to Mecca, there was this weird phenomenon I felt, the haram, the most sacred place on earth, the most spiritual, is surrounded with hotels for people to stay at. It is very convenient of course. Some of these, like Hilton, have a mall inside. And after prayer, esp. tarawee7, people tend to step inside for shopping or coffee or something. And the minute you step in, voila, it is as if you have a remote control for your self, and you can literally feel that you have switched channels. The mood and feeling shifts very quickly, as our bodily needs wake up, and we look around to shop, while some of us would still have the tear tracks on their faces visible from the kenoot doaa.
Sub7an Allah, both are important. Le badanak 3aleik 7ak, we li deenak 3aleik 7ak. It is not asked to forsake the world for the after world completely. It is not possible. We are not angels. But keep the balance, and let the soul control the body. Get your bodily needs from a path that does not contradict with your soul. Then, they can happily co exist.
Oh Ramadan is so good. El hamdo li Allah annaho ballaghana Ramadan.