From Sunrise to Sunset: a Window into the World of Fasting

Image via GetQuranic

Image via GetQuranic

Samia Akter, Staff Writer

Ramadan is a month full of fasting. Fasting is done from sunrise to sunset, and all food and drinks are given up during those times. For some it can be difficult to fast a whole day, especially when you’re doing it for the very first time.


I started fasting when I was ten, however I would only fast for a couple of days just to get a basic understanding of how it feels. As I got older, fasting became much easier. By the time I was 12, I was fasting for the whole month. 


A typical day of fasting looks different from a regular day. There are a few things I have to do in advance and during the time of fasting. Everyone’s experience during this time is different, so here is what a day of fasting looks like for me.


I wake up around 4:00 am to eat Suhoor, the meal that is eaten before one starts their fast. I’m usually really tired, and want to go back to sleep, but I know if I don’t eat now I’ll regret it later, so I make sure to eat a filling meal every morning.


“If i’m being honest, It’s a little hard for me to get up for Suhoor,” Freshman, Zahra Farooq says. 


I then pray Fajr, the first prayer of the day, when it is time to. After that, I go back to sleep for an hour or two, before I have to get back up for school. On days I don’t have school, I typically wake up around 10:00 am, to make sure I’m not exhausted all day.


Having school while fasting is a little easier than staying home and waiting for the time to pass by. When you are at home all day, you are able to fulfill the religious aspects of fasting, which is why it can be both simple and hard.


“It is easier to go to school while fasting, because you have things to do rather than just sleeping through the whole day. On the other hand, it is not religiously easy,” Zahra Farooq says.


For school, I usually wake up at 6:30 am, however I get an extra 15-30 minutes of sleep when I’m fasting. I don’t think about eating in the morning, although by third period I can feel my hunger growing. 


As the afternoon approaches, I try my best to get through the day, get my work done, and go home. There are days that feel like time is going by too fast, and days that are the complete opposite, most of the time it feels like time is not passing by. 


As lunch comes along, some may ask how I get through it. In my opinion, fasting while going to lunch is not as hard as some people may think. I don’t mind when people eat their food around me, mostly because there is no urge to resist. Although, some say otherwise.


“ Going to school with people who eat around me is a small challenge I go through when I am fasting,” Zahra Farooq says.


By the time lunch is over, the rest of the school day is a blur. All I want is to go home and unwind. However, praying and getting my homework done is usually my top priority. I make sure that I am being the most productive I can be, before I take time to relax and loosen up. 


Unwinding and completing my homework brings me to the last few hours of fasting. While Iftar, the meal that is eaten when one breaks their fast is being prepared, I help set the table. This hour goes by really fast, so it isn’t long before I am sitting down at the table, acknowledging the food that’s placed right in front of me. 


This is the moment I am most excited for, because I am able to say that I completed another day of fasting. I start to break my fast as soon as the azan (call to prayer) goes off. It feels great to eat a filling meal and drink an ice cold glass of water after a long hot day.


After Iftar, I pray Maghrib, the fourth prayer of the day. I thank God for the food, and everything in between. I try to be grateful for everything that a Ramadan day brings to me. 


Once I’m done, I eat dinner. If I’m being honest, after I break my fast I don’t eat much, because after a couple of bites I get super full.


After praying Taraweeh, a prayer that is prayed the night before a new fast, I take some time to relax and make sure I am ready for the next day in terms of school, before getting ready for bed. It’s easy to fall asleep, however waking up the next morning is not. This brings the day to an end, although the cycle does not end here.


A typical day of fasting is not as hard as it may seem. Sacrificing all foods and drinks for a couple of hours allows me to appreciate all that I have.


The point of fasting is to give all of my faith to God, and become closer to him. Learning about sacrifice and losing my bad habits is another essential part of Ramadan.


Fasting comes once every year, which is why I soak it all in while it’s still here. The whole experience is incredible, and not at all hard. The days fly by quickly, and in the blink of an eye so does the month. Ramadan is a special time and ultimately a unique experience!