2 June 2017


Muslims all over the world are fasting, which means no eating or drinking from dawn to dusk. I have grown up as a Muslim, so I have been fasting for a long time now. Every year whenever I mention to people I am fasting I am flooded with an array of questions. The main one being, ''you can't eat anything, not even water''?  It's easy to forget that not everyone knows about my faith and all the special occasions Muslims celebrate.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims believe that Ramadan is the month in which our holy book was revealed. Ramadan is more than abstaining from food and drink, it's about charity, spirituality, religion and hope. The thing about not eating and drinking is that it's a conscious reminder of people that are less fortunate than ourselves and to practice gratitude for everything we do have. So during the month of Ramadan, Muslims give to charity, pray more, reconnect spiritually and try to be a better person.

I feel like, we should start with the basic Muslims observe their fast from during daylight hours. It's not fasting for 30 days straight, now that would be killer. It's only from dawn to dusk. The hours can be really long during the summer months because there are more daylight hours but Ramadan doesn't take place at the same during every year. Last year, Ramadan fell in late June and July time. This is because the Islamic calendar is dependant on the moon.

A lot of research has shown that fasting has so many health benefits, including rebooting the immune system and the pancreas. It's just about taking it easy and eating the right foods and trying to be healthy - staying away from all the yummy foods. I am not going to lie to you and say that it's easy but it's in the preparation. Also not every Muslim person has to fast, well because not everyone is able to observe their fast. This includes children, elder people, pregnant women and individuals with medical conditions which prevent them from fasting.

Now on the big one, water. The question I get the most is ''even water''? Yes, no drinking of any kind of beverage is part of the fast. I will be honest, this is hard especially during summer but I have done it for over 10 years now and I have managed. As soon as people find out I am fasting, they get awkward eating in front of people. Totally appreciate the thoughtfulness but it's alright. I promise it doesn't make it harder or easier if you do or don't eat in front of me. For me, I like to keep my routine as normal as possible and I wouldn't want to impose my beliefs on anyone or affect their daily lives. So just keeping guys!

Zeynab x

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