Stop asking Shaniera Akram and everyone else why they aren't fasting

Stop asking Shaniera Akram and everyone else why they aren't fasting

Let her eat her hummus and vitawheats at 8pm in peace!
15 Apr, 2021

Shaniera Akram had no idea what she was signing up for while devouring hummus and vitawheats, watching Australian reality TV show Married at First Sight on Wednesday. All she had to do was post a picture, and bam, all of Pakistan had their noses in her business.

Akram's photo featured herself, lying on a couch with a tub of hummus — we've all been there — with a caption reading, "as bad as it gets". She had, as she later realised herself, never been more wrong. The worst was yet to come.

People rushed to her DMs in great numbers, deeply concerned. Their concern: Was Shaniera not fasting?

They bothered her so much that she had to take another break from her lazy couch day watching reality TV to provide a clarification — one which she owes to nobody but herself — that she's in Australia, where the local time was 8:45pm, so...

The point here isn't whether she was bothered or not, the point is why ask? Religion is something very personal and faith and practice are private matters between God and His subject. Where do we get the right to question whether someone is practicing a certain aspect of religion?

If curiosity was actually the point of those questions, a simple Google search would've revealed the local time in Australia, and explain why Akram was lying on her couch eating. It would also have saved her the effort of explanation.

And honestly, why ask? What will knowledge of another's faith and loyalty to worship do for one's own? Absolutely nothing. Even if she wasn't fasting, there are any number of reasons why a person wouldn't be fasting — she could be sick, on her period, travelling or on medication — and we are no one to judge anyone else, especially on matters of religion.

This Ramazan, let's practice tolerance and look inward rather than nitpicking what others are doing.