Are you fasting?
During the Month of Ramadan, in a place near or far from here, a few young men saw an old woman sitting down eating a peach under a tree in a secluded place.
They were disturbed by her open flouting of the fast, so they went to her and asked, “Hello old lady, are you aware this is the Month of Ramadan? Why aren’t you fasting?”
The old woman raised her eyes up to them, slightly surprised and replied, “What do you _mean_ ? I _am_ fasting! I just eat some food and drink some water.”
The young lads laughed and asked, “Oh old woman, how can you fast in such a manner?”
The old woman replied, “It’s simple; I continuously guard and observe my heart, I am present in my salaat, I don’t think badly of anyone I meet, I don’t lie, nor hurt, abuse or slander anyone, I don’t backbite nor allow myself to get angry, I am not jealous of anyone, I protect my eyes from glancing at that which is forbidden, I do my duties and fulfil my responsibilities honestly, I refrain from eating that which is neither halal nor tayyib and with every breath standing, sitting or reclining, I try to remember Allah. But because of an illness in my body, I’m not allowed to refrain from food and drink.”
As they listened to her words, the young men then embarrassedly turned to look at one another.
With sincerity and eagerness the old woman then asked them, “So, my sons, are you fasting too?”
With heads bowed down, one of the youth replied, in a barely audible voice, “No kind lady, sadly not. We just don’t eat or drink”.