Thursday, 19 July 2012
Our holy month of Ramadan is starting tomorrow. We will be fasting everyday for an entire month. We will be eating in the morning before sunrise and will not be able to eat, drink or have sexual intercourse until after sunset. Growing up, I never understood the true meaning of Ramadan. As an adult, I now look at it on a much deeper level. One of the first things people ask me when I tell them I'm fasting is "Wow. Don't you get hungry? It can't be healthy to eat nothing all day." Yes, I do get hungry. That's natural. But we fast for a much more spiritual reason. Fasting gives us some insight to how some other people around the world live. Many people cannot afford to eat everyday and only eat a few times a week, maybe even less. Fasting teaches us compassion and reminds us that there are people out there who are not as lucky as us. It allows us to understand what they are going through. Furthermore, it makes us grateful for the things that we have. All Muslims are required to fast in the month of Ramadan. However, there are a few exceptions. Children under the age of puberty, pregnant women, breastfeedig women, menstrating women, a traveler, and someone who is ill are excempt from fasting. People traditionally break their fasts with treats such as samosas, dates, fruit salad, milkshakes and such. At the end of the month, we celebrate Eid. In the morning, we go for special Eid prayers at our local mosque which follows with the Eid day festivities. Eid is celebrated with family and friends. People wear nice clothes and often do gift exchange. Sometimes people give children money which is called "Eidi." A part of me is really exciting about fasting and I'm looking forward to tomorrow. Happy Ramadan.