As someone who partakes in Ramadan every year, I’m often asked many questions from non-Muslims about what Ramadan entails and why I choose to participate.
I’m always happy to answer any questions and do my best to explain, but sometimes even my most sincere and thorough explanation isn’t enough to ward off the shower of sympathy I receive when it becomes apparent that I can’t consume food or drink for hours on end. It’s as though I’m about to unwillingly enter the literal Hunger Games!
Watch: Mia Freedman chats to Susan Carland about Ramadan and Islam. Post continues below.
I don’t get offended, but I do sometimes wish that people could see the real beauty of Ramadan, and why taking part is not something to pity and certainly not a time Muslims dread.
I think I speak for many other Muslims when I say it’s one of the most happy, fulfilling, and exciting times of the year.
I won’t lie, though, it’s not without its challenges.
The hunger, thirst, low energy, and all-round incompatibility with modern-western society are all difficult. But the fast, and indeed the month, are about so much more than just abstaining from food and water.
As the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, Ramadan is in fact a commemoration of the Islamic prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) first revelation of what would later become the Quran.