The Art of Fasting

As millions of people around the world are fasting during the month of Ramadan there are millions of people who are not fasting. Those that aren’t fasting may not t fully understand what fasting for Ramadan entails and haven’t taken to researching such information. Due to this there are some things that they may do or say which is unnecessary.

1. No we cannot drink water during the day. I am not fully sure if there are other religious practices that allow individuals to drink water while they are fasting but during Ramadan nothing should be consumed, not even water.

2. Asking, ‘Does this bother you?’ Or some variation of the question when you are about to consume something. If I personally was bothered I would just excuse myself from the situation. There is no need to ask and if you feel you may offend someone maybe you should excuse yourself from the observers presence.

3. Telling people that ‘He/She/I’ am fasting when we are somewhere that involved food (during the day). If I am offered food or a drink I simply say, ‘No thank you.’ There is no need to volunteer additional information when it is not a matter of national security. I promise I will make it through the event without eating or drinking.

4. Each day of fasting begins at Suhoor, or day break. Yes, that’s before sunrise, contrary to popular believe. So if the sun rises at 6:05 suhoor was probably 5:10.

5. Each day of fasting ends with iftar at sunset. Usually this is started with consumption of a date and then a meal. Keep that in mind when if you ever invite someone to do something or to have them for dinner.

6. You do not fast one eid. Ramadan is almost over and with that it’s almost time for Eid. It’s a celebratory time and you are obliged to each and in some cultures give zakat.

In the United States Ramadan started on the 12th of August and ends on the 10th of September unlike most of other observers around the world. I definitely look forward to spending this Eid with friends before doing a bit of traveling, inshallah.

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