Smoking

25 Sep, '06

smoking is a bad habit

Anxiety., originally uploaded by _Eraserhead.



It’s been almost two years since I had my last puff, so why does Ramadhan reminds me of the deadly pleasure every single year?

Does it do the same to you? What do you miss most?

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  1. Roba says:

    You know, my dad quit smoking 30 years ago. He says he still gets cigarette cravings during Ramadan.
    Freaky…
    Good to know you kicked such a terrible habit.

  2. H. says:

    I miss fasting with my christian and jewish friendsback in university. We used to cook breakfast together. At dorms, sohoor was quite the late night party snack. *option 33, tea vending machine*
    (Note: Waking up in the middle of the night to sneak to the kitchen and have a munch a so much fun!! it’s absolutely wicked!! My family was half dead and misrable last night!! What is wrong with you!!)

    Do I miss smoking? Not having smoked in almost 3 months, and being quite the social smoker that I am, I must say I do miss it, let alone after breakfast.
    *Straight forward note: smoking kills, but so does everything else*

    H.
    The Straight Forward Times

  3. mahmood says:

    Everything else though, most probably doesn’t sneak on you so slowly clogging your lungs and arteries and kill you and those around you ever so slowly… ensuring maximum prolonged pain and suffering… I would rather get it over and done with quickly!

  4. Ali M. says:

    As a current smoker who’s fasting, after looking at the picture I’m having a painful paaaainful headache.

    THANKS MAHMOOD… 🙂

  5. mahmood says:

    Serves you right Ali!! 😉

    Give it up, it won’t do you any good. All doctors agree too!

  6. Blayde says:

    I read recently that smoking during fasting is one of the worst things to do, as it makes the water flow out your system more readily, so any one still smoking shile fasting, at least stop till Iftar…

  7. mahmood says:

    Smoking breaks your fast! Hence you cannot smoke while fasting, end of story.

  8. The month of hunger pain says:

    Holy Month of Ramadan! Now the Ritz isn’t serving any food during the day, except for their own hotel guests. What the hell is going on?!? Anyone know a good place that serves food during the day (and please don’t mention the Gulf Hotel . . . been doing that since the 80s).

  9. Anonymous says:

    6 years to the day……
    No more smoking for this guy. Do I miss it ? yah. Do I crave the nicotine rush ?Hell yah. Do I ever wonna smoke again? If they can come up with a “healthy” ciggarette, I might.

    Rami

  10. mahmood says:

    Well done Rami!

    I tell myself that if I live to 80, then I might take it up again and enjoy it.

    Hungry, how about eating at home?

    I’ve just been back from Dubai and noticed that ALL the main malls food courts do not serve for eating in, though they have no problem for cooking up whatever the customer wants to take away. I suspect hotels etc are the same.

    One more notch for Dubai vs. Bahrain thinks I.

  11. MooDy says:

    Mahmood , well done … 2 years no smokin mate ..!!
    i really wish i can do the same , i dont smoke until iftar …
    but still i want to stop that crap but looks like i cant …

    True that i smoke less now … but emmm cant have ma coffee without ma cigi …

  12. mahmood says:

    so stop both and switch to green tea! 🙂

  13. ياسمين حميد says:

    I miss my family

  14. haythoo says:

    ALShisha… 🙁
    I can’t stop smoking it..

  15. Ibn says:

    I dont have anything against Ramadan per se. I think of it as a type of training up and building up resilience against a time when you might be short of water and/or food, so its good training. The prophet himself didnt exactly wine and dine during the suhur or iftar, yet it is common to throw feasts during those times by today’s Muslims. No training there.

    My brother woke up around 2pm over the weekend the other day, and told me “Im fasting.” I told him he is full of crap, because there are only a couple hours left before sunset and when you are allowed to eat.

    He said “so what?” I said,

    “So, you arent fasting. You’re hibernating. You are not building up any resilience against anything, because you slept through more than half the day! If your purpose in fasting is to feel with the poor, you’ve failed, because the poor dont have the luxury of waking up a 3pm everyday. If your purpose is to build resilience, you have failed in that too, since going without food and water for the 4 ours left is exactly what the whole world does between breakfast and lunch everyday anyway! So this weird ritual that you have concocted has absolutely nothing to do with Ramadan, or anything of the sort. In fact it has nothing to do with anything.”

    He looks at me for a good 5 seconds and goes: “Whatever.”

    And my last rant on how-Muslims-practice-fasting-in-ramadan, has to do with this inclination of banning all public displays of eating, since:

    1) “You are showing disrespect to those who are fasting.”

    and my favourite,

    2) “since everyone else is fasting and you might tempt them.”

    Ha! Tempt them?! I would hope they DO get tempted! Thats part of the testing and building up of resilience doofus!

    When I was a kid, I was caught on the school playground by a teacher who saw me eating away at a KitKat. He said: “my_real_name! What are you doing?! Put that away! Why are you eating in public? Dont you know its ramadan?!”

    I looked up at him, continuing to nibble on my bar. Being a smart ass, I then said something along the lines of “…mmm..its good. You want some?”

    🙂

    -Ibn

  16. mahmood says:

    The only resilience it’s building up in Bahrain is to khobbiz, tuna and crystal sauce! Their sales skyrocket during Ramadhan… in fact, the whole “taste” of Ramadhan disappears when you can’t get those three major ingredients!

    Especially now that they’ve apparently banned hotels from even serving food to whomever wants it.

  17. Meggie says:

    Hey just a minute!

    What about the diabetics and the pregnant women/ nursing mothers?

    Also there are lots of medications prevaricated on regular meals. I look after a few “oldies” in my family, and I would never allow any of them to go through this.

    Are the frail, the very young, and the very old exempt?

    Meggie

  18. Meggie says:

    Also Mahmood, how are these regulations to be applied to folk residing within the Arctic Circle, where the hours of darkness may prevail for many months?

    Why can’t they just change the rule to “fasting from food (not water) during the normal hours of prayer and worldy duties, for those who can do so with no harm to their health, or that of others.”

    Makes sense to Ol’ Meggie….

  19. milter says:

    As a smoker and lover of food and wine I’m happy I was born as a member of a different religion 😉 .

  20. Anonymous says:

    Why does a country insist on battering it’s citizens over the head with religion? Surely one’s religion is between you and your god, no one else. To have to enforce religion on a people seems a bit of overkill and smacks of a very sinister state of affairs. It also seems to say that the religion can’t work without serious positive reinforcement. A throwback to the middle ages?

    It must also be noted that as of last year, the very conservative Abu Dhabi started letting people drink alcohol in hotels after sunset, along similar lines to what Dubai has been doing for years. What does Bahrain do, stop ALL hotels serving alcohol. Another notch to the UAE and another own goal for Bahrain. Without booze, the Saudis and others won’t come and it’ll have a major knock-on effect. No visitors, no hotel rooms being rented, no families in the shopping malls, the ripple goes on. Trade is going to suffer. Not to mention how it looks to people coming in from abroad (outside the Gulf). Why come to a restricted Bahrain when you can go to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or increasingly, Doha ! But, hey, the beardies don’t give a damn about that, do they ?

    It also seems sad that an Asian can be fined BD50 for smoking in public when the public security can’t impose similar fines for all the other misdemeanors committed on a daily basis. Where are the BD50 fines for not wearing a seatbelt, or not putting kids in the back seat, or in a safety seat? Sometimes the law is a complete ass.

  21. mahmood says:

    Meggie, yes they are exempt, so are travelers who intend to stay less than 10 days from their home (the travel distance I’m not sure of), so are those who cannot by virtue of their job etc. They compensate for it by fasting another time of the year before the onset of the next Ramadhan. If they can’t fast then they pay alms to the poor, the amount and quantity I’m not sure of.

    As to the time-zone, even if someone were in space at the time, I think the rule is to fast according to Mecca timing, though don’t quote me on that.

    It’s not designed to be debilitating, but rather to fortify souls and to make people aware of things other than themselves.

  22. osnathr says:

    I stopped smoking five years ago, I drool every time somebody smokes near me, I inhale some of the smoke, it is tough not to crumble..

  23. mahmood says:

    Why does a country insist on battering it’s citizens over the head with religion? Surely one’s religion is between you and your god, no one else. To have to enforce religion on a people seems a bit of overkill and smacks of a very sinister state of affairs. It also seems to say that the religion can’t work without serious positive reinforcement. A throwback to the middle ages?

    Anon, if this is how you feel about it, I think you will have a lot of fun reading our constitution (and any other constitution – if they exist – of any other Muslim country) particularly Article 2, which is quite surprising to me actually that the Islamists didn’t promote this (yet) to replace or at least supercede Article 1.

    How did this turn into politics?!

    From a commercial point of view, I don’t mind the bars being closed in Ramadhan, it shows respect for the local custom. But only if that closure was taken by the establishment itself, rather than being required to by law or ministerial order.

    Dubai and to some extent Abu Dhabi having bars open is a bit different as 85% (if not more) of the population of those emirates are foreign with probably a large proportion not being Muslim; hence, the constitution of the UAE – if it has one – should clearly state that there is no official state religion and remove Islam from their constitution completely.

    After all, and according to international norms, those diaspora should be naturalized and when that happens…

  24. mahmood says:

    osnathr I’ve gone beyond that. I was like you, and sometimes it does hit, but the severity of that pain has reduced appreciably. Maybe because I know that I have gone back to smoking once after I did stop for a couple of years to ameliorate that pain… this time I’m a bit wiser as I can remember what that experience led to.

    Stay strong!

  25. mahmood says:

    milter, absence makes the heart grow fonder… you should try it for a couple of days, you will find that you will enjoy all those things a lot more. Think of it as clearing your pallet.

  26. billT says:

    I must be one of the lucky ones. I quit 12 years ago when my wife died and I found myself a single parent. I dont miss it at all especially the stink now that I can smell not to mention taste again.

  27. tooners says:

    Congrats on quitting. I used to smoke here and there but I don’t any more…. mainly did it while in college. My mom has smoked for some 50 odd years and I would love to see her quit, but she refuses.

    I don’t miss it or crave it or anything cuz I really didn’t smoke all that much… but I will say that sometimes the smell of someone lighting a cancer stick up makes me want one. Don’t know why that is.

    Again, congrats to you!

  28. “It also seems sad that an Asian can be fined BD50 for smoking in public when the public security can’t impose similar fines for all the other misdemeanors committed on a daily basis. Where are the BD50 fines for not wearing a seatbelt, or not putting kids in the back seat, or in a safety seat? Sometimes the law is a complete ass.”

    Also, the laws sometimes seem deliberately vague so that the police/judges, etc can enforce them in some cases and not in others. The alcohol issue is a perfect example…even under the new traffic laws which may be introduced shortly, there is no legal alcohol limit. That is to say, that the traffic policeman who catches a person driving can choose to charge him/her with drunk driving at his own discretion. The traffic police are allowed to ‘judge’ whether a person is in control of their motor skills and if they need an alcohol test. This basically allows them to punish people/races/nationalites,etc that they don’t like and let others go. I have a strong suspicion that this happens all the time. I know white people who have gotten away with it as well as people with influencial last names. I also doubt this law would be applied to, say, an influencial Saudi visitor, etc.

  29. Also, if the authorities really wanted to tackle drunk driving, they should go after the taxi drivers! This issue may seem unrelated at first glance, but when taxis cheat people and charge them 15 dinars to go from Adliya to Juffair, it increases the chances that people will risk driving drunk.

    And I’m not writing all this because I want to drink all night. Actually, I’ve never been a huge fan of alcohol…I’m just saying it because if the substance is legal in the country, people should know what to expect if they are caught.

  30. milter says:

    Mahmood:

    absence makes the heart grow fonder

    You may be right, but to me it’s a bit like banging one’s head against a wall, just to be able to appreciate how nice not having a head ache is.

    And what about the side effects of such a such an exercise? I still remember how the driving skills of motorists worsened towards the end of Ramadan, fuses became shorter and people generally became more and more tired.

    How would you like to be operated on by a surgeon on the third week of Ramadan or be a passenger on a plane from Bahrain to London, piloted by two pilots who have had their days turned upside down for a couple of weeks?

    I don’t think the pros outweigh the cons in a modern society, at least not when it goes on for a period of four weeks.

  31. mahmood says:

    Putting it like that.. well, it shows the bad deal. I suppose those critical positions should just take their annual leaves in Ramadhan. Seriously though, I wonder if these people deserve a dispensation? Could we hear from these “critical” people how they feel about this? I know that I have the privilege of being read by various Gulf Air pilots for instance, as well as doctors. So what do you think guys?

    Here’s another twist, most households prefer to have Christian maids as they are (1) people of the book, and (2) could really shine come Ramadhan!

  32. Al Lan Al A'ali says:

    Two years? I stopped 9 years ago and crrrraaaavvve every day. Yet during the holy month I hardly miss it. Next year my aim will be better.

  33. tooners says:

    ok… i don’t get it. why do most households prefer christian maids??? they are “ppl of the book?” is that because they read the bible??? why do they like that better? i think i’m missing something here. and “could really shine come ramadhan”.. is that because they aren’t dead tired from fasting or what?

    the reason i’m asking is that i’ve recently had some ppl tell me that christians are better as maids and i wondered why they were saying such. i would think that in a muslim country, they’d want muslim housemaids… i don’t get it really. personally, i like buddhists but any time i mention this, it’s frowned upon.

  34. mahmood says:

    People of the Book: people who follow the recognised religions by Islam; those being Jews, Christians and of course Muslims. The term “the book” meaning that it is “a Holy book descended from God”. Some actually regard Buddhists as people of the book too, especially when you consider that theirs is the oldest practiced religion today.

    The maids story (according to what Mahmood heard and experienced):

    Ramadhan is a drag to most Muslims, no matter what sugar coating we want to put on it and use all those nicey-nicey terms to describe it. And it is designed to be as such, people’s suffering is built-in. And as all Muslims are expected to participate, having another Muslim in the house who will be fasting too, rather than doing all the work while the household sleeps seems to be a “stupid thing” to do, therefore, people opt to hire someone who doesn’t have to fast to ensure that they will do all the required work, and will be allowed to have regular meals and continue to work to prepare the feasts the household require for breakfast and suhoor.

    That person, who would do all those tasks is preferred to be a non-Muslim, but as Muslims regard people of other faiths beneath them and dirty especially if they are not people of the Book, then the lesser evil is to employ someone from the people of the Book; who are those then? Christians and Jews… you just can’t employ Jews – because, well, you know the stigma attached to them in Islam and the Muslim world vis-a-vis Israel et al – so who’s left standing? Correct, Christian maids.

    What happens if those too are unavailable and the only ones who are are, say, Hindus? Get them to clean, wash clothes, etc but never allow them to wash dishes or cook, and if they do wash dishes, then a Muslim will have to rinse them before using them, and eating from them is forbidden by some Muslims and their interpretation. They are dirty… ugh! (remember I am relating what I heard, seen and experienced here, those are not my words!)

    So the best trick is get someone who is relatively acceptable into your household to do all your chores, but apply to them all the idiosyncrasies of your society, lock them up, get them to work 14 hours a day without a break, and 20 hours a day during Ramadhan… because as a good Muslim, you have to fast for a month from sun-up to sun-down once a year, every year. And we have the money to employ those maids with.

    Get the picture?

  35. Meggie says:

    Thanks for the info on feasibility of fasting Mahmood. I do hope that the hospitals and medical carers apply these rules wisely, and with the best interests of their vulnerable patients first and foremost.

    I was brought up in the Catholic tradition, and during Lent, we would go without luxuries (sweets, chocolate, beer, cinema etc), and also every Friday of theyear we would eat no meat, only fish (much cheaper then). In both cases we were under an obligation to donate the money saved to the poor and disadvantaged.

    I’m not saying it didn’t act as a moral tonic, it did to a certain extent. But what if we had been required, every year, to learn a new accomplishment for the benefit of others? Swimming and lifesaving, first aid, advanced driving, bell-ringing, teaching adults to read and write, counselling skills, beach cleaning, domestic fire prevention…..

    I wish we could get away from just not doing stuff as the only way of feeding the soul.

    Meggie

  36. Barry says:

    I remember a long time ago, a Muslim turk who lived in NYC and I used to chat, and we grew to have a quite nice online friendship (oh noes, an online friend)! Anyway, we found we had much more in common in terms of Lent and Ramadan than either of us realized. Especially giving up the things which were pleasurable extras (he did admit he wasn’t the most pious Muslim, and his family was pretty secular, as they celebrated the spirit of Christmas (but he did consider himself Muslim)).

    The details of course differ, for Catholics some of the requirements are: One full meal per day before noon, you may drink, but you are required to give up non-necessities. Meat is to be avoided on Fridays unless special dispensation is given by a bishop or other authority (such as a holiday or significant event). My mother always said if you were to be really into it, you’d also fast between sun up and sun down (but this may have been her own ideas).

    Either way, like Ramadan, Catholic lenten fasting was intended to help bring a sense of the suffering of others and a closeness of God into perspective.

  37. Lujayn says:

    Just got back from Syria and it never ceases to amaze me how liberal it is compared to say, Dubai, when it comes to fasting. People of all faiths (yes, even Muslims) were smoking, eating and drinking in public and nobody gave non-fasters a second glance. Whereas in Dubai, eating in public is forbidden and restaurants and coffeeshops are shuttered until sunset.

  38. Some Guy says:

    Mahmoud,

    Congratulations on giving up that deadly addiction. Doctors say that seven years after you quit, your health prospects are nearly as good as if you had never smoked. My family lost a dear uncle of mine to a heart attack at the rather young age of 54. He had already quit smoking, but the tobbacco still got him.

    Should you ever take up smoking again, I hope every member of your family will tell you in their loudest voice to stop.

  39. can we talk now says:

    Fasting a-la-Bahrain style does not teach one humility, does not teach one to resist temptation and does not teach one to identify with the needy.

    the needy do not sleep till noon, they don’t spend their evenings in sheesha bars or in mosques, they do not have feasts at sunset, and they don’t pig out before sunrise. they don’t have the courtesy of nobody eating around them so they won’t feel hungry and they don’t have to work fewer hours than other people.

    they have to go to work, every day, on an empty stomach, watch others eat, do their job as well as everyone else does and go home to very simple fare. they also have to do this all year round. and they are not excused for being in a bad mood because they are hungry.

    current practice doesn’t serve a purpose, IMO.

    “Without booze, the Saudis and others won’t come and it’ll have a major knock-on effect. No visitors, no hotel rooms being rented, no families in the shopping malls, the ripple goes on. Trade is going to suffer. Not to mention how it looks to people coming in from abroad (outside the Gulf). Why come to a restricted Bahrain when you can go to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or increasingly, Doha ! But, hey, the beardies don’t give a damn about that, do they ? ”

    exactly, they don’t care. they only care that Bahrain does not become a nation of what THEY think is evil, and if the economy goes down the drain, so be it, they are happy for us to pay the price. that is precisely why we need some economists and representives of the private sector in parliament to safeguard our economic future, before it is too late..

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