Thursday, October 27, 2005

Vol-in-Law writes

Yesterday a student came to see me and said he couldn't attend the 10am tutorial because Ramadan fasting made him weak. Too weak to get out of bed in the morning, apparently. He wanted to attend the 12pm tutorial instead. This was just about to start, and I said he could attend it (assuming there were free seats), and he said thanks but he wasn't coming this week as he had something better to do.

Later on, I ruminated over this and cast my mind back to the recent pig pogrom. It occurs to me, aren't religious impositions supposed to make things harder for the devotee? I'm pretty sure the idea isn't that you use your adherence to demand special treatment from those around you. What worthy quality does that demonstrate? Suffering the added burden without getting someone else to carry it for you, seems to me to be the whole point. If I'd been his teacher at a madrassa in Pakistan I doubt he'd have come to me wanting a later class because Ramadan made him hungry.

1 comment:

Vol Abroad said...

On the other hand, I was just complimented today about how I've been so supportive during Ramadan.

I didn't actually do anything, but not say anything when my colleague complained about being hungry or thirsty.

But, when she complained recently about obsessing over one of her favorite foods, one of my ethnic English colleagues said "Oh, you shouldn't think about that." But I said "It's supposed to be hard, it's about the struggle." She was so pleased I had understood.

My understanding doesn't exactly equal support, but if she wants to take it that way, it's fine with me.