We are now into the fasting month (bulan Ramadhan or bulan puasa) where Muslims worldwide would be fasting.
The fasting month is the best time to overcome addictive habits- especially those of smoking. This is as one fast, one are not able to eat or drink from dawn till the break fast time (around 7.40pm).
However- some would puff like mad when they break fast
On the contray, I have been told that especially for the guys, they were able to withstand the entire day without getting a puff. But once they break their fast (buka puasa), they would puff extra cigarettes sticks to ‘compensate’ their deprivation during the day.
But to smoke extra to compensate them for not being able to smoke earlier is not doing correctly. They are missing the point of fasting entirely- as fasting, practiced in other religions, can help to promote willpower, determination, patience and restraint which are useful attributes to help to lead a happy, productive and meaningful life.
Within them, they actually have the willpower and ability to break their habits. They can do it, if they set their minds to.
I believe every smoker is well aware of the bad consequences of smoking – but yet, it is so addictive that it is hard for one to find the reason or willpower to do so. For those observing the fasting month, it is a good time to withhold and with the opportunity, this time of the month does make it easier to overcome this habit or at least cut down smoking.
Through the years, I’ve witnessed friends of mine who are smokers, including heavy smokers would stop cold turkey during fasting month. It is difficult at first but due to determination of intention, they were able to succeed. Many smokers abstain from cigarettes during the fasting month- but they would indulge in it after breaking fast when they have their meals.
When I asked them how they did it, a friend told me that due to strong intention (niat) arising from their faith, they were able to fast the entire day- without food or drink and yet can perform as normal at work. And having more self awareness, they are able to extend that even after breaking fast, and thus eliminating the habit all together.
It shows us the positive power of intention. Sometimes through determination alone we may not be able to resist temptation or overcome our addictions but with element of faith, our mind is able to withstand to temptation.
Therefore, fasting month would be a good opportunity for the smokers to stop smoking or at least drastically reduce the number of cigarettes smoked per day.
If one can go without smoking throughout the workday or day time, why not continue even after the fasting month is over?