Author Topic: Ramadan  (Read 1244 times)

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_JS

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Ramadan
« on: September 13, 2007, 01:54:27 PM »
Today is the first day of Ramadan.

I found this BBC article interesting.

The trials of Ramadan fasting
By Yasmeen Khan 

Imagine going without food or water for the entire working day, and several hours more. With Ramadan about to start, that's the challenge facing Britain's 1.6 million Muslims. How do they cope?
"Burgers. I crave burgers. I don't even like burgers normally."

Thirty-one-year-old Sumaya Amra is just one of the billion or so Muslims who takes part in the holy month of Ramadan by fasting in daylight hours, each day for 30 days.

Like many young Muslims, London-based Sumaya works in an office and has to fit the demands of a working day around her fast and her food cravings.

Though there are some exceptions, fasting during Ramadan is obligatory for every fit and able Muslim over the age of puberty.

As Muslims believe that their good deeds and actions bring greater reward during Ramadan than at any other time of year, most Muslims perform the fast, even if they do not follow their religion closely throughout the rest of the year.

There is also a convivial, community aspect to the month which many find attractive; but for urban, singleton Muslims living away from home the traditional family evening get-together is often replaced by events held by Muslim organisations, or friends gathering to break the fast en masse.

Ramadan is not purely about hunger; it is used as an exercise in self-control where food, drink (including water), smoking, sexual activity and even gossiping are all abstained from during sunlight hours.

The month is viewed as one for attaining greater spirituality, performing charitable deeds and spending time in prayer and contemplation.

The spiritual aspect can be the hardest; resisting the desire to lose one's temper despite a thumping caffeine-withdrawal headache and an intrigued non-Muslim colleague asking you what fasting is like while trying to hide their lunchtime sandwich, is somewhat testing.

To answer the two most common questions: no, you really cannot drink water and no, chewing gum is not allowed either.

Unlike their peers in the Middle East who benefit from working hours adapted for Ramadan, Muslims in the West fit Ramadan around the demands of a regular working day.

As well as hunger pangs, Ramadan often means less sleep - those performing the fast are supposed to rise before dawn each morning to eat a meal, known as the suhoor, before beginning their fast.

But Sumaya adapts her fasting ritual: "I often don't get up for suhoor and I know that Islamically this is wrong, but I find the fatigue worse than any hunger I feel. I would rather have a longer sleep and be able to fast and do my work properly."

Willpower

This year Ramadan is due to start on Thursday 13 September and the late summer days mean that the first fast will break at about 1930 BST. Most Brits love the thought of an extra bit of sunshine, but the thought of a late sunset is not welcomed by all.

"A few years ago when the fast fell in December, it was a lot easier," says Sumaya. "It was like having a very early breakfast and then skipping lunch before having a good dinner."
Hunger may seem the biggest difficulty to overcome, but fasting for belief seems to induce a willpower that puts food out of the mind. This willpower can drive even the most ardent of smokers to give up cigarettes - at least until after sunset.

While most healthy Muslims are able to perform the fast without any major problems, as the month progresses the combination of lack of food and sleep can take its toll and a tired or grumpy Muslim colleague or school child can be found staring at the clock in the countdown to iftar time, when they can break their fast after sundown.

While missing out on business lunches and the daily mocca-chocca-skinny latte may be difficult, those with more physical jobs have an even more arduous task. Professional boxer Amir Khan fasts even throughout his training.

"Fasting makes you feel weak," he said last year. "You have to wake up at four or five in the morning to eat, but you're knackered and you don't feel like food, you have to force it down. I wouldn't fast on the day of a fight though."

Many big companies have flexible working policies to help during Ramadan but Neil Payne, CEO of cross-cultural communications consultancy Kwintessential, says that not all companies know what Ramadan entails.

"As a convert to Islam myself, I know what it's like to be working in an office surrounded by people who are not fasting. Our clients are always interested in Ramadan, but they're not always very knowledgeable about it. Even some of the big blue-chip companies in London have little awareness of what Ramadan is."

Owner of the Tiffinbites chain of Indian food restaurants, Jamal Hirani, recognised that breaking the fast and eating the meal afterwards, known as the iftar, was something that Muslim office workers wanted to do away from their desks.

"I worked in the City myself. I know what it's like to fast at work. You miss out on colleagues' birthday lunches, for example, and then you struggle to try and find a quiet spot to break your fast and have something decent and quick to eat.

"My experiences prompted me to have iftar meals at our restaurants. Customers pre-order their food and it's ready and waiting for them when they come to break their fast."

After sunset, Muslims may eat and drink as normal but overindulgence at night is not in the spirit of Ramadan.

"I try not to be a glutton during Ramadan, that's not what it's about," says Sumaya.

"Admittedly sometimes I do seek out those burgers and I don't know why because they're always such as disappointment, and there's nothing worse than soggy chips. Really it's my mum's food that I miss the most."

RAMADAN
    Most sacred of the holy months in Islam
    The Koran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad
    Fasting one of 'five pillars' of Islam
    Ramadan moves forward by 10 or 11 days each year as Islamic calendar is lunar
    Exemptions include children below the age of puberty, the sick, elderly, pregnant and mentally ill
    Celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr marks the end 
I smell something burning, hope it's just my brains.
They're only dropping peppermints and daisy-chains
   So stuff my nose with garlic
   Coat my eyes with butter
   Fill my ears with silver
   Stick my legs in plaster
   Tell me lies about Vietnam.

kimba1

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Re: Ramadan
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2007, 06:06:29 PM »
not overindulge?

I go to this chinese buffet place and evey ramadan it`s packed with russian muslims
always asking is this hog or not.

Xavier_Onassis

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Re: Ramadan
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2007, 10:46:14 PM »
Nowhere  is better for serious pigging out than the Chinese Buffet.

Muslims don't eat until the Sun sets, then they can pig out bigtime, just not on pigs.

In the UAE, many people gain weight during Ramadan, according to a colleague who taught in Dubai for three years..
"Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana."

Universe Prince

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Re: Ramadan
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2007, 11:10:38 PM »
Maybe this is a stupid question, but I hope not. At higher latitudes, places like Sweden or Alaska where the days and nights can be extremely long, how do Muslims handle this? I suppose if Ramadan happens when the nights are longest, it may not a big deal. But if Ramadan happens when the days are longest, then that could cause real problems.

And please don't take this question as criticism. I certainly do not mean it that way. I'm just curious as to how this is handled.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2007, 01:37:13 AM by Universe Prince »
Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever.
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kimba1

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Re: Ramadan
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2007, 12:11:25 AM »
hey yeah
I want to know also
sounds like a valid question to me

Henny

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Re: Ramadan
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2007, 08:15:29 AM »
Maybe this is a stupid question, but I hope not. At higher latitudes, places like Sweden or Alaska where the days and nights can be extremely long, how do Muslims handle this? I suppose if Ramadan happens when the nights are longest, it may not a big deal. But if Ramadan happens when the days are longest, then that could cause real problems.

And please don't take this question as criticism. I certainly do not mean it that way. I'm just curious as to how this is handled.


That's an interesting thought. My first guess is that they probably follow the Mecca schedule, but I'm not sure. I'll look around and find out if I can get any info on that.

Henny

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Re: Ramadan
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2007, 08:23:50 AM »
I found this in Yahoo Answers:

Hi there. This is a question that interest many and is simpler than you may think.
Polar regions like Norway, Finland, and Alaska have areas where the sun stays below horizon for several months in winter, and stays above horizon for several months in summer. However, there comes a time in every day when the sun is at its highset point (Noon) and at lowest point (Midnight). We can calculate those two points and determine Prayer times around those two known times every day. Having determined the prayer times, the fasting time is already set.

I hope this answer your question.

For more information in Polar regions read on: http://moonsighting.com/6monthdays.html...


I'm still looking for more specific answers.

Universe Prince

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Re: Ramadan
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2007, 06:07:45 PM »
So they create a work around that works with the time of day rather than specifically sunrise and sunset. Okay. Thanks Henny.
Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever.
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kimba1

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Re: Ramadan
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2007, 06:20:06 PM »
I think it`s a non-strict tradition so it can be flexable.like going to mecca
only people who can afford it may go.
people do not have to bankrupt themselves to go

Henny

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Re: Ramadan
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2007, 12:50:52 PM »
I think it`s a non-strict tradition so it can be flexable

All of Islam is very flexible, in the way it is practiced by moderates and the way that majority feels it should be practiced.

kimba1

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Re: Ramadan
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2007, 01:04:34 PM »
some more flexable than other
a friend admitted if put in a situation of starving to death or eat pork he`ll probly choose death
even through that would mean suicide,which is also forbidden in his religion.
it`s funny he brags how he can smell pork  amile away
not knowing I`m eating spam right in front of him.
safe pork is the bane to modern non-pork eating people.
preaching how unclean and stuff,while we keep munching away.


Henny

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Re: Ramadan
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2007, 01:34:46 PM »
some more flexable than other
a friend admitted if put in a situation of starving to death or eat pork he`ll probly choose death
even through that would mean suicide,which is also forbidden in his religion.
it`s funny he brags how he can smell pork  amile away
not knowing I`m eating spam right in front of him.
safe pork is the bane to modern non-pork eating people.
preaching how unclean and stuff,while we keep munching away.



The general teaching on that is that they SHOULD EAT THE PORK.

But I suppose it is a personal choice, and he has made his choice.

kimba1

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Re: Ramadan
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2007, 07:53:52 PM »

Henny

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Re: Ramadan
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2007, 08:02:14 AM »
http://judaism.about.com/library/3_askrabbi_c/bl_pigs.htm

can islamics use pig valves

Yes - read below:

As regards your question, we'd like to tell you that your father is allowed to have a heart valve transplant from a pig if necessity requires the use of this organ to cure him and there is no other alternative. Also, it is a condition that a competent and trustworthy Muslim physician make this decision. Necessity overrules prohibitions in the juridical rule.


In this regard, we'd like to cite for you the fatwa issued by the eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, who states:


"Basically, transplanting an organ from an impure animal such as a pig to a human body must not be resorted to save in case of necessity. It should be considered that what is rendered permissible due to necessity should be estimated only according to what alleviates the hardship in every case. Also, this should be estimated by reliable and trustworthy Muslim physicians.


In such case, it can be argued that what is forbidden in respect to pigs is consuming their meat as stated in the Qur'an. However, transplanting a part from it to a human body is not a consumption but falls under the category of making use of this part. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has permitted the use of some part of it, i.e. its skin. The prohibition of eating the meat of pigs followed prohibiting the meat of dead animals. Then, if it is permitted to make use of some part of dead animals, then it is also permissible, by analogy, to make use of pigs in things other than consumption. Al-Bukhari and Muslim reported on the authority of `Abdullah ibn `Abbas that once Allah's Messenger passed by a dead sheep and said to the people, "Wouldn't you benefit by its skin?" The people replied that it was dead. The Prophet said, "But only its eating is illegal."

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE&cid=1119503546506