Fasted From Sunrise To Sunset (For Ramadan)

"O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint."
--from the
Quran, al-Baqarah, 2:183

Today is the last day of
Ramadan. I am not Muslim, but I once lived in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a Muslim country, for a few years of my life. One of the five pillars of Islam is fasting, and one of the times fasting is obligatory is during the month of Ramadan.

Participating Muslims refrain from food, drink, and smoking from the time the sun rises to when the sun sets. With that idea in mind, I decided I wanted to honor that for one day and practice this act of self-restraint.

My plan was to wake up super early before dawn today and eat a huge breakfast. Then I'd have a full stomach to last me until the evening. That plan did not pan out as I totally overslept. Only a few hours into the day and I started to feel it.
Screen shot 2011-09-08 at 9.06.38 AM

My stomach was empty when I woke up, and it only got worse as the day went on. I was so hungry when the afternoon came around, I remember thinking, "It's only 1? Wow, I have a long way to go."

Also, I skipped my usual lunchtime workout because I didn't think I was going to survive that without water. However, I have heard of some Muslims that do their workouts without water during Ramadan. That's a great testament to the challenges they can endure.

Sometime around 4, I started feeling better. I wasn't as hungry as before and was able to hang in there pretty well. I wondered if my metabolism started to account for the lack of calories.

I thought the sun was coming down around 7:45, but it ended up being a little closer to 8. I happened to be eating out with friends tonight, and I had to explain to them why I had to wait. I had to get up and check that it was dark outside before chowing down on a delicious Bullshead buffalo burger.

As an exercise in self-restraint, I thought this was a good experience. It teaches you not to take for granted those things that are always readily available (food and drink) and that you can survive without them for a little while. Knowing that Muslims around the world fast like this everyday for a month every year, I have a great amount of respect for that. While it was somewhat uncomfortable for me, I know for them it's just a part of their lives.

To all my Muslim friends out there, congratulations on completing your fast, and have a wonderful
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