Originally published in Minnesota Daily
“Wait, so why do you have to starve yourself?” is the question I would always get during Ramadan at my school. I would have to explain that keeping away from food is only a part of the fast.
During Ramadan, which began July 8 this year, Muslims turn away from food as a means to detach themselves from the physical world. Doing so allows us to focus on our spiritual well-being as well. For me, the emphasis of Ramadan is to focus on the Quran. In school, whenever I’d have to sit down to study from a textbook, I would need to have a snack every 15 minutes, which would limit my productivity. Now that I’m fasting, my mind is able to turn its attention away recreational eating, which allows me to focus better.
So the next time someone says they’re fasting, you will know that they’re on a mission that is larger than simply keeping away from food.