Originally published in The Oshkosh Northwestern
Starting July 10, as the Islamic month of Ramadan rolls around, I know I will get questions like “So how long do you have to go without food?” or “Do you have to fast if you are sick or young?” but it is the “I can’t eat or drink anything, not even water” comment that usually gets the most incredulous stares.
As Muslims all over the world embark upon a month-long journey of daily fasting, where physically able adults give up food and drink from dawn to sunset, I would like to remind people that this is more of a spiritual journey than a physical exercise. Sure, it takes getting used to, giving up food and drink, especially coffee. But in return, you are aiming for closeness to God through increased prayers. You also gain an appreciation for hunger and develop sympathy for the needy, which is why charity is so stressed upon during Ramadan. In that spirit, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Oshkosh holds a food drive during this month with the proceeds going to local food banks.
If you are interested in learning more about how Muslims fast during the month of Ramadan, you are welcome to join us on a Saturday evening at Qamar Mosque in Oshkosh, as we break fast as a community. You can email [email protected] or call 920-385-9254.