It’s day 10 of Ramadan and I thought it was high time I wrote something on the FAQ I get asked every year leading up to and during Ramadan. Now I’ve been fasting since I was 8 years old so over the last 16 years I’ve been asked many of the same questions again and again. Whilst I understand and appreciate people’s curiosity, it can get pretty tedious having to answer the same things repeatedly.
So here you go, a short Non-Muslims Guide to Ramadan.
We do not fast for 30 days straight!
The amount of times I’ve had people stare at me in shock when they hear that I’m fasting for 30 days and truly believe that I’m going 30 days with no food or drink…that’s not even humanly possible. We only fast from sunrise to sunset during the month of Ramadan.
We really don’t care if you eat in front of us.
Ramadan is all about instilling willpower and discipline within you, so you eating in front of me is not going to make me upset or jump out of my seat and grab your food out of your hands. No – it actually doesn’t bother most of us the way you might think it does.
You can talk about food in front of us.
In fact, I find this quite great for me because maybe I can get some Iftar (the meal we eat once we break our fast) inspiration from you. One of the tricky things about Ramadan is trying to keep all your Iftar meals interesting and diverse so you don’t get bored by day 10.
Please don’t go on about how hard it must be for us.
As Muslims, fasting during Ramadan is an obligation for us and something that we hold very dear to us. It is one of the five pillars of Islam and I’m sure many Muslims will agree with me when I say it’s probably one of the best periods of time during the year. It’s something we have to do, so please don’t pity us.
Don’t tell us how you would never be able to do it!
This is one of the statements I hear every year that I really dislike. Trust me, there are days that are more challenging than others, but because we believe so strongly in what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, it all makes it worth it. The same way you can go vegetarian or vegan because it’s so important to you (which by the way, I could never do lol) is the same way you can give up food and drink between sunrise and sunset for only 30 days of the year if the reasoning behind it resonated with you.
Don’t ask me if I put on/lose weight.
Truth is, I honestly have no idea what effect fasting has on my weight. I don’t have bathroom scales so I don’t weigh myself and I’m not really interested to be honest. Some Muslims claim to lose weight and others put on weight, but it’s different for everyone. Just because we’ve done a day without food, doesn’t mean we can indulge and over eat at Iftar. We still have to remain modest and it’s advised to eat enough but not too much that you are stuffed.
We don’t eat an excessive amount of food in the evening.
Some Muslims might be reading this and disagree, but from my experiences, my family and I eat the same amount we would usually eat at dinner. Yes, Iftar is a bit of a bigger deal than an ordinary dinner and more of a feast and a spread is made out of it, but I have the same stomach as I did before Ramadan and can’t fill it up any more than usual.
And lastly, the one that always comes up……
No, not even water!!!!!