The Non-Muslim Guide to Fasting During Ramadan

The Non-Muslim Guide to Fasting During Ramadan By Rithika Thomas - March 26, 2023
The Non-Muslim Guide to Fasting During Ramadan

The Non-Muslim Guide to Fasting During Ramadan

Ramadan Mubarak!

The fasting period this Ramadan is from March 23 to April 21. Regardless of your belief system, fasting for a month, from sunrise hours until sunset, is a challenge. Muslims all around the world observe this holy month by abstaining from food and water for around 14-17 hours. It is, however, not limited to them and can be observed by Non-Muslims as well. So if you’re attempting to fast, or want to be informed on what to do during this period, here is a guide to fasting during Ramadan.

When to Fast

Fasting begins before sunrise, so the most helpful guides to when it really begins will be the prayer times. Finding this is not difficult, a simple google search yields the results of Fajr and Maghreb

To eat before fasting begins, people wake up a good hour or half an hour and eat a hearty meal called Suhoor, which may consist of soup, fruit, coffee, bread or other dishes depending on the locality. 

After the fasting period, the families come together to break the fast with a meal called Iftaar which is a delicious meal starting with dates, fruits and fried snacks, before moving on to heavier dishes.

The Do’s and Don’ts if you’re not observing Ramadan:

  • It is okay to eat in front of your fasting friends or colleagues as long as they have made it explicit that they are fine with it.
  • You don’t have to feel the need to fast with them but you can join them out of respect and interest. 
  • You can invite them on your coffee/tea breaks but allow them to be comfortable with the distance they keep.
  • You don’t need to observe the entire day of fasting but that does not mean you cannot enjoy Iftaar with them. 

The Do’s and Don’ts if you are observing Ramadan:

  • You can decide the timing of your fasting period according to how your body reacts but do not try to observe it if you are ill and need to take medication. 
  • Drink water during the last moments before your fasting begins. Don’t fast if you’re pregnant. 
  • Eat a variety of foods when breaking your fast with healthy fat, protein and carbs. If it is a healthy diet, you will not be gaining weight or overeating during this period.
  • Start preparing for the Iftaar meal an hour prior to breaking the fast and prepare a big glass of water to break the fast. Don’t fast if you will be doing intense manual labour outdoors. 

This period of fasting teaches those observing it the importance of patience and humility. It is a challenge for all those who follow it, but it is an experience that is worth going through, which is also why people continue to observe this holy month every year. 

By Rithika Thomas - March 26, 2023

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