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Ramadan - Week One

I mentioned that I wanted to participate in Ramadan, even though I'm Mormon. This is my first week of doing so.

So, the first week of Ramadan has been a good one for me. There have been times when I have struggled with fasting, and there have been times when it wasn't such a big deal. Ramadan started August 12th for North America. The following Saturday, I decided to attend the Khadeeja Islamic Center in West Valley and listen to Tarawih. It was an awesome event to participate in, even if I don't understand Arabic, and didn't understand some of the motions that they were doing at the time. It started at 22:30 and went until roughly 00:15. Here's more of a detailed rundown of what I have experienced during my first week:

  • 1 Ramadan- I prepared well by eating a good breakfast at sunrise. It was full of fruit and dairy high in proteins and fats. Had a little carbohydrates as well. Didn't really start getting hungry until about 8 hours later, which I thought was pretty good. Because I'm used to fasting for 24 hours on the first Sunday of every month, this wasn't a big deal. I was a bit nervous about getting the shakes, as I usually get them when I fast. At sunset, I had a balanced meal with grains, vegetables and more fruit.
  • 2 Ramadan- I prepared just as well this morning, by eating a balanced breakfast, full of proteins and fats to help carry me through the day. However, I got hungry a bit earlier than the day before. But, the hunger pains subsided early, and I was fine, although without energy, for the rest of the day. Thanks to my wife, I again had a good mean at sunset that balanced what I didn't eat that morning.
  • 3 Ramadan- This has been the hardest day for me. First, I didn't get a full night's rest. I only slept about 4 hours, as I didn't retire early the night before. Then, I didn't eat a very balanced breakfast, and as a result, got hungry much earlier than the previous two days. As a result, I was very tempted to break my fast, and eat early. I held on, although I was completely drained of energy by the end of the day. Part of the problem was going to a family reunion for my wife's side of the family, where several tables of food was laid out. I resisted and held true to fast. By sunset, I was more eager to have a good meal than previous days. I never did get the shakes
  • 4 Ramadan- I must have been close to someone with a cold, because I woke up with a sore throat, a runny nose, and a pounding headache. I debated taking cold medicine. Would that break the fast? I held on as long as I could, but I gave in and took two DayQuil pills to relieve the pressure, pains and general crap that you deal with when having the common cold. I also visited my mother, but forgot to take a meal with me for sunset. So I ate chocolate cake and cookies to tide me over until I could get home and have roast, potatoes and carrots.
  • 5 Ramadan- I debating quitting this day. I thought to myself that I've gone further than many people would in their entire lives. The temptation from Satan to break the fast and eat was very strong. Further, I can tell that by me fasting, I'm putting my family at a bit of odds, as they eat without me, and I without them. Fortunately, my wife told me she supports me in my decision to keep going, and helped me to be strong. I remade my committment to hold true to the fast for the entire month, and set temptation aside.
  • 6 Ramadan- This day was probably the easiest during the week. I never really got hungry, at least not where I really noticed it. Nothing eventful happened today. Although, I did have to mow the lawn and trim the weeds before sunset. I did notice that I didn't have a lot of energy, so it was a bit difficult to keep the physical labor going, knowing that it had to be done.
  • 7 Ramadan- Another hard day physically for me fasting. I definitely have a cold, so I make sure to take medicine in the morning before starting the fast. Then when breaking the fast I night, I take more cold medicine. Hopefully, I can kick it. However, despite not being in top shape, I met a lady from Egypt who was Muslim. She's attending the University of Utah this fall to study comparative literature. She just arrived last Saturday, and was getting her final paperwork ready for the fall semester. It was good to talk with her. I've read more than 1/3 of the Qur'an- well ahead of schedule to finish by 27 Ramadan. So far this week, I haven't gotten the shakes.

{ 10 } Comments

  1. semko | August 20, 2010 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    You are doing really good for first time fasting Ramadan. I was fasting first time when Ramadan was in the winter which means it was a pretty short time between breakfast and breaking fast (wow :)) I was in high-school and was braking my fast very often.
    Regarding the cold, don't know if you are familiar with the rules for breaking the fast. Here you can find some info
    May God give you and your family the best.

  2. Immy | August 20, 2010 at 4:21 am | Permalink

    Was eagerly waiting till you post about your experience. 🙂 Nice to hear that the fasting is going good. Keep it up. May Allah help you to get stronger as the month progresses.

  3. Corey | August 20, 2010 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    From another Mormon, I applaud this!!!I'm on a rampage this morning after a couple of fb threads with other friend/members who seem to have grave misunderstandings and fears of the Islamic faith. Reading your post has helped these emotions a lot. Please keep posting the updates, I'd love to hear how it goes for you.

  4. Mackenzie | August 20, 2010 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    While I was at the masjid on Monday, I learned that women who are on their time of the month are exempt from fasting, just like the sick.

  5. AK | August 20, 2010 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Yeah taking meds will break your fast. Under certain conditions "sickness", "time of month", "pregnancy" etc you are not required to fast.

  6. Aaron | August 20, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    I know I shouldn't fast when I'm sick, but it just seems to be nasal congestion, and headaches, and I've only broken the fast once by taking medicine. The rest of the time, I took the medication before sunrise and after sunset.

  7. Steve P. | August 26, 2010 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    I would be interested to do what you are doing with Islam also, being a Christian too.

    The US and the world is full of people with opinions; opinions that they can not logically support. You have encountered those people, even among those you respect. Kind of eye opening, huh!

    I am kind of live, let live person. But it concerns me a lot that the Islamic leadership is not more vocal on a day to day basis, in taking a stand against violence of any kind. Now, I know Christianity, in centuries past, has blood on its hands, but I think that religious violence would be condemned by the Pope, and other Christian leadership.

    No matter what, I think Ubuntu is one more way to draw people together, so they come to value our similarities, while tolerating our differences.

    Keep up the good work.

  8. Daniel | September 9, 2010 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    May God give you strength. One thing to know is that the Qur'an is broken down into 30 parts, with one part read every night of the lunar month. This might help with pacing it out! Most translations of the Qur'an neglect to keep this aspect though. I recommend the translation from Muhammad Asad. Good luck and God bless.

    As-salamu aleikum

  9. Aaron | September 9, 2010 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I just finished the Qur'an last night. I took the number of pages, divided by 27 (I wanted to finish by the 27 day of the month), and kept that pace up every day. Worked out rather well.

  10. Anonymous | July 24, 2011 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    my brother was staffing it was hard for him

{ 3 } Trackbacks

  1. Aaron Toponce : Ramadan – Week Two | August 26, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    [...] ColophonSite LicenseDesktop CamContactWhiskerino 2009{ 2010 08 26 }Ramadan – Week TwoMy first week of experiencing Ramadan is already documented, this is week two.This week was the week that school started for fall semester at my local [...]

  2. [...] Ramadan Week One [...]

  3. [...] of Ramadan. I blogged about my experiences, and you can read them here: Looking forward to Ramadan, Ramadan – Week One, Ramadan – Week Two, Ramadan – Week Three, An Open Letter to Pastor Terry Jones, and Ramadan [...]

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