“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I must catch my breath and break my fast. Dusk has become irrelevant in an electric uptempo world. Dusk still matters to me for 30 days a year, at least. Its arrival marks the end of a day of fasting during Ramadan. Dusk matters because it is a restive moment to reflect on this world we share, and to replenish my body (with food) and my soul (with faith).

As for the rest of the year? I pay no attention to the rhythms and cycles of the earth, to the signals begging to be pondered. Will these days continue to pass me by with such extreme velocity? No, I cannot live an unconsidered life.

In the Qur'an, God promised, "In all things, there are lessons for those who reflect." So this year, I fasted for 117 straight hours. Eating nothing for almost a week, my hunger mounted and my body lagged. In that week, I felt how tenuous this life is, and yet conquering my most basic desire, I rediscovered that the most important things in this world exist outside of my own needs.

Thus, I will pause each day at dusk to reflect with my fellow man and watch the majesty of the sunset across the horizon. And as a result, I will elevate humility, generosity, and gratefulness above all else.

At the end, I hope I can say, "I slowed down enough to have learned the lessons of this life. I learned the world is filled with infinite signs and blessings, ones as small as the grasshopper."


— Kareem Reda