I Ate Pork?!
A Ramadan Reflection by Michelle Schafieh
A couple years ago, my siblings and I decided to go to Panera Bread for iftar. This was my first time going there, so I was excited to try the food. I ordered a turkey sandwich because it looked delicious on the menu, and it came with a side of soup. It was minutes before iftar, so my mouth was watering just waiting for the order.
I took my food to-go because my siblings wanted to eat at the restaurant next door. Finally, it was time to eat. I took the biggest bite, and at first, it tasted delicious. When I went in for another bite, something tasted off. I could taste an extra ingredient, so I opened the sandwich and looked inside. Suddenly, my heart dropped. I saw BACON.
Immediately, I threw the sandwich down, and tears started flowing out of my eyes. I spit out the piece in my mouth, and I felt this huge sense of guilt. My siblings tried to calm me down by explaining to me that it was an accident and that Allah (SWT) is forgiving. They were so kind that they even offered their food to me. I was still in hysteria, and I was crying my eyes out. The thought that kept repeating in my mind was this: “Not only did I eat pork, but I ate it during Ramadan.”
After some time went by, I finally calmed down because of what my siblings kept telling me. They constantly reminded me that everyone sins and makes mistakes. I have to remember that Allah (SWT) is the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful. I then wiped my tears, prayed for forgiveness, and shared a meal with my siblings for dinner.
I will never forget that day because although I did commit a sin accidently, I was reminded of how beautiful Islam is. I was reminded that “Indeed, Allah forgives all sins” (39:53). We can repent immediately, and hope for Allah’s mercy. By seeking Allah’s forgiveness, not only are our sins forgiven, but our worldly life is filled with blessings too. Yes, I made a mistake, but it taught me to be cautious when ordering. It taught me to stay calm and not panic during these situations. Most of all, it taught me the value of forgiveness and reaching out to Allah (SWT) when we make mistakes. Whether major or minor, may we all be forgiven for our sins. Ameen.
Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Even if your sins are countless, Allah’s (SWT) mercy is endless. Indeed Allah (SWT) forgives all sins. (Quran 39:53)
Have you ever eaten something without thinking, only to find out that it wasn’t halal? Share your story and how you coped with the situation with us in the comments!
You can read more reflections by Michelle on her blog muslimgap.com