Ramadan Kareem everyone!
So in an earlier post I explained what Muslims usually do in Ramadan. But I guess there are still some misconceptions that some of you may still have about fasting. Thus, I thought about clarifying them here!
1. It’s not safe to fast!
Actually, it is. It’s not like we are not eating for the whole day. It is just refraining from eating food for several hours. Then, we break our fast and consume our daily need of calories and nutrients. The body, therefore, does not go in starvation or dehydration. Fasting also has amazing benefits such having more mental clarity, boosting the brain function, re-setting your metabolism, detoxification and increasing autophagy which is the mechanism responsible for regrowing new cells (aka anti aging).
2. It’s all about food and drink!
Well, No. I wrote about us having festive meals and preparing special ones, yet that does not mean that we are only thinking about making food! Ramadan is about self- discipline, self-control, introspection, increasing spirituality and self-observance. It is also about praying, connecting with your creator, Allah ( God) and taking the time to stop focusing on the mundane. Good food is just an extra bonus; it is not the main goal!
3. We (Muslims) dread Ramadan!
Again, no. Ramadan is one of the most precious times of the year. There is a strong spirit and positive vibe that binds people regardless of their backgrounds! It’s a time when everyone wants to do good and strengthen their faith so they try to keep their good mood and show good manners. I personally love it!
4. Non- Muslims can’t eat in front of us!
Well, if they don’t that’s because they want to be considerate and thoughtful not because they have to! I have Christian co-workers who eat in Ramadan and its’s quite normal! The whole point of Ramadan is to have will power and resist temptations so don’t feel sorry for us! We can take it!
5. Everyone fasts!
Well, not exactly! Pregnant women, patients on medications, young children, mothers who breast feed and need the energy, girls on their periods and elderly people who have diabetes or any other disease that requires them to eat, don’t actually fast!
Moreover, there are secular Muslims who don’t practice or observe any religious teachings. They do not fast as well.
6. We can have water, like all common fasting diets!
Well, no! I know that in some diets like intermittent fasting and the 2/5, you can drink water, but it is not the same here. We do dry fasting, that is no water, no food, and yes no morning coffee!
7. We do it to empathize with the poor!
Well, that is one of the biggest misconceptions that I hear and it bugs me because it’s not true. Rich Muslims and poor Muslims fast alike because they want please their God by following his rules and commands. Feeling with the poor is nice of course, but again it’s not the point!
8. We can’t brush our teeth!
Yes, we can. We just have to be careful not to swallow any water or tooth- paste!
9. We lose weight!
If we eat healthy during eating time (from sunset to sunrise) then we might lose some. However, losing weight is about being on caloric deficit. That means eating fewer calories that your body needs. Some people do it intentionally and eat less during the month to lose weight, yet most of us end up eating our daily need of calories. So no, we do not lose any! ( we secretly hope to shed few pounds though!)
10. You can eat whatever you want after Iftar (aka indulge)!
That’s a good way to have indigestion, stomach ache and constipation. If you eat too much you’ll end up feeling sluggish and you’ll probably gain weight! It’s true we eat delicious meals but most of us don’t overeat because after 16 hours of fasting your stomach can’t have huge meals plus we need to pray so need to feel comfortable. Thus, we try to have everything in moderation and keep our portions reasonable.
I hope I managed to cover most of the misconceptions about Ramadan. If, however, you still have questions please write them in the comments and I’ll gladly answer them!
Until next time, be kind to yourself!