Could you tell your uneducated followers, such as myself, some more about Ramadan? You're allowed to eat between sunset and sunrise, just not during the day? Are there rules about working during Ramadan if you have a job? Obviously some people can't take time off, but is it preferable to stay home with family? Do some countries, that you know of, recognize it as a holiday and give time off to Muslim citizens? Do you really fast everyday for the whole month!?
From sunrise and sunset we can’t eat, drink, smoke or have sex. Obviously, if you live in a country with extremely long hours of sunlight it is a little different.
You are allowed to go about your day as normal as possible. It is advisable to spend time with family and you should be focusing on strengthening your faith.
Fasting is for those who are abled.
If you are sick such as having the flu, have a health condition such a diabetes, old age, mental illness, being forced to do it against your will -‘compulsion’, experiencing intense hunger and/or thirst, you are travelling or you would face prosecution or experience fear due to fasting you may be exempt. People don’t fast while they are on their period (well, for good reason since that be incredibly uncomfortable), pregnant/breastfeeding (up to their discretion) and children are not required to fast (Some children do want try it out. I remember as a child I would get in the habit of fasting until midday as practice. Obviously it was not forced on me and I wanted to do it. Of course, parents need to be very watchful of their kids.)
You can either make up the fasting days or if you have a long-term condition donate to charity.
It is a festive time. We like to go out for special dinners, prepare special food and do more community activities. But most importantly the month is centred around helping the less fortunate. This is the time of year where we pay our yearly zakkat to the poor. A required amount of donations from your total earnings to someone in need.
Fasting is suppose to teach patience, steadfastness and remind you of those who go hungry and thirsty. It is about controlling your desires. We do it the whole month- 29 or 30 days depending on the moon.
Fasting shouldn’t be a distressing experience. For most people, fasting is relatively easy or just mildly uncomfortable. Most people report to feeling better during ramadan as it is good for the digestive system and lots of people actually gain weight surprisingly enough because they tend to have feasts at dinner. We eat two meals know as Suhoor in the morning and Iftaar at night. Water and dates are ‘sunnah’- Optional but a good habit- to have at both times as that is what the Prophet Muhammad (SA) use to do.
Islam teaches that you must have a good breakfast before sunrise and that you break your fast as soon as it is sunset- it is forbidden to delay breaking your fast. It is not required to starve yourself at all. Healthy, abled people fast without any difficulties. It shouldn’t be at the cost of your health.
You are to prioritise your health and well-being.
I live in Australia and nothing changes for me. I am not bothered by it because for me my life goes on as normal as fasting is not a difficulty. I went to a religious school for Primary School and High School so we had shorter days during ramadan.
I am not aware of how it is practiced in Muslim countries.
Thanks for your ask. Have a great day anon!