Ramadan for a non-Muslimah

RamadanEach year a dear friend invites me to observe Ramadan with her family.  What is Ramadan?  Ramadan is the 9th month of the Muslim lunar calendar.  Practicing Muslims fast during this month as a way to reflect on their spiritual lives and renew their devotion to God.  It is a time to change habits and improve yourself.  Feeling hunger throughout the day reminds you to stay spiritually present and aware.

Like Muslims around the world, this morning I arose at 3:50 AM to eat breakfast and drink water.  Fasting starts at dawn with Fajr, the first prayer.  Muslims pray five times a day, and fast during Ramadan between the dawn prayer and the sunset prayer, Maghrib.  Today, that means no food or water between 4:12 am and 8:27 pm.

But it’s more than a physical fast.  Muslims often abstain from smoking, sexual relations, bad-mouthing and swearing while they fast.  Observing Ramadan reminds me to be conscious of my thoughts and words and mindful of my mental and spiritual health.  As I pray five times I remember my friend’s sick mother, my family, and another friend’s financial challenges.

I’ve fasted for 1 day of Ramadan for 4 years now.  Every year I get nervous!  I think, how will I get through the day without water?  Will I get anything done at work?  Will I be shaky from low blood sugar? (And to think I only fast for 1 day, not a month!) 

Every year it’s easier than I anticipate.  I don’t mean it’s easy, but every year I’m surprised to realize that I don’t need to eat and drink to feel like myself.  However, it makes me realize that food is important to me.  Every other day of the year I structure my schedule around food – getting breakfast, taking a lunch break, and making dinner.  Food is social, too!  How often do you meet up with friends for a coffee, lunch, a picnic or dessert?

Produce

I love working for MOM’s.  Not only do I have access to loads of beautiful, fresh, organic food, but I have the chance to learn about and appreciate how food gets to MOM’s and to my table.  I’m so grateful that I have quality organic produce close by!  I’m grateful to the farmers and many people who make it easy for me to eat.  Every Ramadan, abstaining from food for a day reminds me that food is meaningful.  It also reminds me of other important things: being kind, speaking and thinking well of others, working hard, and spiritual wellness.  It reminds me of the bounty I have.

Have a blessed Ramadan!

About Eva

Chief Marketing Consultant for North America's North America’s most recognized women entrepreneurs and leaders in the women helping women economy.
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