6 Things Non Muslims May Not Know About Ramadan..

•Muslims can Eat, Just Not When the Sun is up

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims are required to fast from the time before the sun peeks over the horizon to the time the sun dips below the horizon. It's not a complete fast all day and night for 30 entire days.

Food and drink is consumed during the hours when the sun is not up. And most Muslims celebrate the breaking of the fast each day with loved ones in a meal called iftar.

•No, Not Even Water

But when the sun is up, Muslims can't have anything to eat or drink, not even water. Some non-Muslims have the idea that fasting for Ramadan is like the fast before a medical procedure- only a few hours and you can drink water. But fasting in Islam entails abstaining from ingesting anything.

And it's not just food and water Muslims must refrain from. Fasting is all about training yourself to be more disciplined. To that end, Muslims must also avoid cursing, gossiping, smoking, fighting, arguing or even just acting cranky.

•Ramadan is Not about being Hungry/Thirsty/Tired

For Muslims, Ramadan is a time to examine who they are on a base level and improve themselves.

Spiritual growth is the main idea for the month of fasting. It's a time to build character, spirituality, and discipline. It's cleansing for both the body and the soul.

•Fasting is Not Detrimental to Your Health

Many non-Muslims who are confronted with the thought of a 30 day fast come to the conclusion that it must be unhealthy. This is no surprise in a society that has a very close relationship with food.

According to Live Science, "The most common eating pattern in modern societies of three meals daily, plus snacks, is abnormal from the perspective of human evolution."

And scientists have found that "intermittent fasting helps the body to rejuvenate and repair, thereby promoting overall health."

•Not Everyone can Fast

This is a big question on many non-Muslims minds: do sick people or even children have to fast?

The answer is no.
Only adult Muslims of good health may fast. Children and elderly people are not required to fast since it may be detrimental to their growth or health, respectively.

Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers have the option not to fast since their bodies are already being taxed.

Women who are menstruating do not fast since, again, they are already dealing with demands on their bodies.

People who have chronic health problems that fasting would exacerbate are not allowed to fast.

People who come down with a serious, acute illness during the month are not allowed to fast.

And people who are travelling have the option
to fast or not to fast.

The purpose of fasting should not be to harm oneself. And if there is a likelihood that fasting will do serious harm, that Muslim is exempt from it. But don't congratulate Muslims who cannot fast because many feel intense grief over not being able to participate in the fast of Ramadan. 

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