It’s a beautiful evening here in Jerusalem, at 73F and partly cloudy, I’ve got a nice breeze coming in through my window. Also, the numerous stray cats around the university are keeping quite, for now.
This month, by the Islamic calendar, is Ramadan (رمضان), the most important month for Muslims. It’s special because Mohammad received the first revelations of the Qur’an from God during this month. Ramadan is a time of religions and spiritual reflection, self-sacrifice, charity, and fasting. Yes, Muslims fast for the entire month – but only during daylight hours. Fasting includes abstention from food, water, smoking, and sex. Everyone is expected to fast, with the exception of young children, pregnant or menstruating women, people who are traveling, the ill, and other situations where fasting is unsafe.
I’ve always been curious about fasting. Many of the people I work with in Jordan fast, as do many of my new friends here in Jerusalem. So, I’ve decided to fast with some of them for a day, starting tomorrow (or tonight, if you’re on the west coast!). I’ve set my alarm for 4:00am, so I can wake up and have my pre-fast meal, called suhoor (سحور). Then I will abstain from food and drink until it’s time to break my fast at the iftar (إفطار), sometime around sunset. So, wish me luck, and I’ll try to post updates on my status!