When Adam Burpee’s high school football teammates rush to nearby water coolers in the afternoon heat, he watches and waits.
On a normal day, in a normal month of his senior season, the 17-year-old would take the opportunity to hydrate, but with the Muslim holy month of fasting underway, he won’t have any food or drink until after sundown — at least two hours after the end of his practices.
It’s not easy, he said, especially with August and September temperatures that have often crept up to triple-digit levels. Continue reading
Ramadan is a month of spirituality and reflection. As we prepare ourselves for it, we need to remember the importance of preparing our bodies to adapt to the change that fasting brings to our system.
Since Ramadan will be in the summer, hydration becomes an important issue. Taking sufficient amounts of water is essential to avoid dehydration. Individuals with chronic disease such as heart and kidney diseases as well as diabetics must consult with their physicians before they start fasting.
Some Muslims have the misconception that since they fasted all day long, they can eat as much as they want after sunset. The bottom line is that if you do not burn the calories that you consume, you will gain weight. And the fact is, that most Muslims will consume more calories and move less during Ramadan.
When we look at Ramadan in essence, not just as a ritual, we will discover the great relevance of this essence to our lives, here and now.
The main essence of fasting is the ability to self restrain, to postpone gratification, to be liberated from the compelling demands of our need and greed, and to do that for a higher consideration.
This is unique to human species, distinguishing us above the animal kingdom. Continue reading