Ramadan as a Christian


Tonique Francis, Editor: Oluwadamilola Afe

Last year I decided to partake in the amazing Muslim holiday, Ramadan. The only catch is that I am in fact Christian.  I always thought Islam was a beautiful religion, as well as their values and beliefs, though I do decide to remain Christian.

There is quite a large Muslim population in our area, so I have made a few friends who follow that religion. As a close friend of mine began her Ramadan rituals, she began to deeply explain the meaning and purpose behind such an important month in her religion and you honestly can’t help but to admire it.  The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to partake in Ramadan, so that’s exactly what I did.

One of the main rituals during Ramadan is intermittent fasting, this is where you fast from sunrise to sunset. Zero food and zero water for roughly 15 hours. I knew this would be the toughest for me, but I was open and committed to the challenge.

I wanted to be sure to let my mother know what was happening just to be completely transparent. I was almost positive she would be okay with it and not to my surprise she was totally supportive.

As I began to celebrate Ramadan it was extremely tough. All I could think about was food as well as the huge and impractical meal I was planning to have in a few hours. As soon as you do get over the hunger, immediately after you’re struck with a terrible headache. This is most likely due to the lack of water and the immense dehydration.

As the days went on, I started to pick up a few tips and tricks more and more often. I was allowed to eat anytime before sunrise which is the time period called “Suhoor”. So I would wake up every morning at around 6AM and eat a small breakfast or try to down an entire bottle of water. This would help my headaches and hunger thoughts throughout the day.

One of the worsts parts about the sunrise and sunset situation is that the time would go back further and further everyday. For example, instead of the sun setting everyday at 7:45, it would move up one minute everyday. So Tuesday is 7:45, Wednesday 7:46, Thursday 7:47, and so on. The same with the sun rise. It would rise at 6:23, then 6:22, 6:21, and so on. Overtime this resulted in the time gap getting larger and larger as today the sunrise was at 6:02AM and the sunset is at 8:05PM.

Lucky for me, when women reach that time of the month, their menstrual cycle, they are not allowed to fast as they aren’t looked at as clean.  Due to this, I stopped fasting a week before Eid which is the celebration of Ramadan.  I ended up fasting the last day of Ramadan and did feel extremely proud.

It truly was an amazing experience and it challenged me in a way I have never been challenged before. I definitely think I would participate in Ramadan next year, even as a Christian.