The Non-Muslim's Unofficial Guide To Ramadan
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The Non-Muslim's Unofficial Guide To Ramadan

If I had a dollar for every time someone gave me the "Not even water???" question, I'd literally be filthy rich and could retire at 19.

The Non-Muslim's Unofficial Guide To Ramadan
MMK Photography//Facebook

May 16th marked the start of Ramadan, the holiest month in the Muslim calendar. This month is very special and sacred to billions of Muslims around the world. We fast, eat, read Qu'ran, pray, and socialize at our mosques.

Although Islam is the second largest religion in the world, many non-Muslim people don't know that much about Ramadan. I find myself answering questions that seem so trivial to me and many other Muslims, but I also realize that there is just a lack of education on Islam and Ramadan, and that these questions are all well-intentioned.

Here are the top 11 things you should know about our holiest month!!

1. The basics!!

Sehur is the meal we eat to start our fast and iftar is the meal we eat to break our fast. We pray five times a day at certain times. We start the fast with the first prayer of the day and break our fast at the fourth designated prayer. For iftar, people usually gather in their mosques to eat, pray, and socialize.

2. No, not even water.

If I had a dollar for every time someone gave me the "Not even water???" question, I'd literally be filthy rich and could retire at 19. Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, and the fast includes food, drink, sex, smoking, and reading/listening to obscene things.

3. That being said, the hardest part is not being able to drink anything.

The hardest part, undoubtedly, is not being able to drink. Not eating sounds like it's hard but it really isn't. But 18 hours without water???? As someone who routinely drinks at least 72 ounces of water a day???? It's rough!!

4. It's so much more than not eating and drinking all day.

Yeah, not eating and drinking is a big part of it, but it's not the whole point. The point is to get closer to God and your community through God. It's about cleansing your soul and getting in touch with the things that really matter. It's about making yourself an overall better human being. It's a time for self-reflection and self-improvement through God.

5. Don't feel bad for us... Seriously...

It's not that hard. And, honestly, Ramadan is the best time of year for us. It's only time of year when the gates of Hell are sealed shut and when the gates of Heaven are open. We love it. Our souls feel lighter and we're happier people. I'm literally never as happy as I am during Ramadan. It's an indescribable feeling and it really is the greatest time of the year.

6. We celebrate it because...

The main reason is because Ramadan is the month in which God revealed the text of the Qu'ran to Prophet Muhamed, peace and blessings be upon him. For this reason, Muslims are supposed to read more scripture than they usually do, and make the Qu'ran a central focus on how to better themselves.

7. It's also a time for us to forgive each other.

During the year, things happen, you say words of hurt to someone, you do something mean, you make someone feel bad. Ramadan is the perfect time to ask for forgiveness and to forgive. Forgiveness is such a key aspect of Ramadan because if you do not forgive and seek forgiveness, all of your fasts and prayers are invalidated.

8. This is actual footage of us at 4:30 trying to eat as much as humanly possible.

9. There are exceptions for people who can't fast.

Women who are pregnant, nursing, on their periods, sick people, young children, travelers, and those who have mental illnesses are all exempt from fasting. Only able-bodied, healthy men and women have to fast. These groups of people are given an excuse because their bodies are either going through something that fasting would only make more difficult or simply because they're too young.

10. You would think that when 8:15 comes along, we'd feast like animals.

I kid you not, I take four bites of my food and I'm completely full. I don't get it, I really do not.

11. After this month long fast, we have a three day holiday.

Eid al-Fitr is a three day holiday, where we eat all day long (literally), get money and presents, and visit each other. It's basically serves as a (very well deserved) reward for fasting during Ramadan!!

So there ya have, everything you need to know about the holiest month for Muslims worldwide!! Ramadan Mubarek!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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