The Holy Month of Golf

Ramadan is upon us!

I love Ramadan. In my first year here in Pakistan, whilst not fully understanding the meaning and context behind Ramadan, I started fasting to prove to my colleagues that it doesn’t have to impact your work or output – especially  if you are a white collar worker, enjoying the comfort of air-conditioning and no manual labor. I wanted to show that it is all a matter of strengthening the mind over the body.

Ever since I converted to Islam, I have been observing the purity of the month. I love the concept of self-discipline, abstinence, reflection and giving. What I am always amazed by though, is how people change their normal rhythm and adopt a ‘Ramadan’ schedule during this holy month. I love the idea that you should observe Ramadan while continuing your normal daily activities.

This is the mindset of Muslims all over the world during Ramadan. This year Muslims in Glasgow have their Sehri at 5am and Iftar  at 21:45. That’s 16 hours and 45 minutes! The majority of Muslims in Britain and in other parts of the world go through their fast for long periods of time and continue to do their jobs without letting this month effect their routine.

In Pakistan and even more so in other parts of the Middle East, Ramadan is for a number of people an opportunity to start slacking. They start to come to work late – if at all, work in slow motion, move all decisions to after Ramadan and in general adopt a very ‘laissez-faire’ attitude. It has become a norm and many easily adapt this shift in daily lifestyle.

One of my friends, who is an avid golfer, calls Ramadan ‘the holy month of golf’, as suddenly the number of people that are too tired to work show up at the golf course everyday in the afternoon, able to play 18 holes.

I can’t blame them, the heat and hours of going without a sip of water can really take a toll on ones motivation. But, for all of you who work normal hours during Ramadan I salute you!

Ramadan Mubarak everyone, have a blessed month.

– Paul Keijzer

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6 thoughts on “The Holy Month of Golf

  1. Interesting. For one i have to come to work on time and yes i go home much earlier , which helps in preparing iftari and gives me time to rest and catch on some religious aspects.

    Ramadan is definitely not an excuse to decrease productivity or to show tantrums. I think the problem is what we eat in our sehris and iftaris. Most people eat unhealthy, fattening things and end up feeling bloated and sleepy. Changing your eating habits into healthier options really helps.

  2. Unfortunately people think of fasting as a favor to God, when it is the other way around. We have in many cases just literally taken the essence of fasting and understood it in a completely opposity way. From eating, to restraining to self control, we in our actions and meanings show exactly the opposite of what truly fasting teaches us. It is a shame and when muslims in non muslims countries like you mentioned can work long hours and abide by the religious requirements with utmost passion, why can muslims not do it in muslim countries when ramazan is the easiest to follow

  3. Great Article Paul………..Keep fast has in no way effected my productivity……I am lucky this Ramadan that i am in India for 2 weeks for work……But still dread those long Fasting days when i am back in UK next week…..

  4. It was an extremely pleasant surprise to know you converted to Islam and it was also nice to know that you share my old belief that Ramzan shouldn’t be used as an excuse for low productivity and postponing things only to be taken up after Ramzan is over.

    Mr. Zaidi’s article (http://dawn.com/2012/07/20/spirit-of-fasting/) is another very impressive piece of writing that attempts to separate the essence of fasting from our society’s generally conceived meaning of this concept.

    Keep it up Paul and I’ll be interested to know your Islamic name!

  5. The title was very catchy. It instantly brought me to this page.
    I agree to what Paul says. If muslims around the globe are surviving a fast of 16 hours and more and that too without altered timings, we should feel blessed!

  6. Hi Paul,
    You were very right in your article, it is easy to fast when you do not have temptations around you as in Pakistan. Without sounding arrogant, it is more difficult here because of the timings, we start at 3:23am and end at 9:46pm, everyone else is eating around you, you have to explain to everyone why you cannot eat or drink anything and the whole culture and environment is different. And thanks for the understanding, we have to ensure that we deliver results and attend office at normal working hours without using fasting as an excuse for poor delivery.
    Hope all is going well with your company and life in Pakistan. By the way Ramadan Mubarak!
    – Aamir

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