Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Ramadan 2012 - Month of Fasting!

This Thursday evening (or tomorrow, if you like!) begins Ramadan, the special month in the Muslim calendar which involves fasting for 29 or 30 days - in this year's case, it will be 30, ending on Saturday August 18.

In Layman's terms, Ramadan - or 'Ramazan' as it's called here in Bosnia - means that every Muslim past puberty should be doing their best to completely refrain from all food and drink during the hours of sunlight, or until the time of the fourth prayer - 'Maghrib' - which occurs at sunset.

In Islam, it is believed that the rewards (or 'sawab') for fasting during the month of Ramadan are multiplied by many compared to other periods of the year, and that most of the purpose of this month is 'for the sake of demonstrating submission to God' (thanks, Wikipedia!).

An amusing short-movie detailing a Bosnian man enjoying 
'Iftar' - the first meal after sunset during Ramadan.

Again, in simple terms, every good thing you do during this month means a whole lot more than if you do it during another period of the year, and if you do something, well, uh, 'bad', then it looks much worse than if you do it some other time! So, generally, the 'rules', if you will, of what you 'can' and 'can't' do are pretty tight.

For example, I've just discovered that drinking alcohol is an absolute no-no, regardless of what time of day you drink it.

Anyway, why am I telling you all of this?

It's not just so I can inform you about this interesting way of people 'proving' (for want of a better term) their faith, and the lengths they go to.
I am telling you this because, crazily enough, I am planning on attempting to fast, also!

Eh? What!? Yes, that's right.


Even though I may not be Muslim, I still want to get a feel of the experience and try to understand how - and what - millions of people around the world put themselves through for their religion.

I'm not expecting to be able to do it everyday - hey, I may not even last one day - but it's all part of my learning.

Funny this, considering how foreign and crazy I thought the whole concept of 'fasting' was when I first discovered it several years ago!

I will keep you updated of my progress - or lack thereof - in the coming days!
Stay tuned!

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