The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Fasting from sunrise to sunset in Ramadan

He woke up at 4:30 Monday morning because he had to beat the rising of the sun. A decent meal in the early hours of the morning is all Miran Mavlan had to look forward to eating until sundown. At that time he could eat again, and after a night of sleep, the next morning would be another race to eat before the sun.

Ramadan is more then not eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim lunar calendar. It is believed to be the Holiest because Muslims believe that the first verses of the Qur’an were revealed in the month of Ramadan to Prophet Muhammad. Reading the Qur’an counts as a very good deed. Fasting is not just about not eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset; it is fasting to restrain their tongues, temper, what they listen to and even their gaze. It is a sin to lie, backbite, look at someone with a lustful gaze and listen to foul words. Ramadan is the time for Muslims to learn to control themselves and to develop their spiritual side.

Ramadan is also the month of charity. It is the month of patience, and the reward of patience is Paradise. It is a month in which a believer’s sustenance is increased. If any of the days of fasting are missed, they must be made up before the next Ramadan. Muslims generally should try to make them up as soon as possible because any days that are missed are considered a debt to Allah.

Mavlan, a 21-year-old junior majoring in biochemistry and biomedical physics, is one of many who choose to fast during the month of Ramadan.

“To say that it’s just religion isn’t enough,” said Mavlan, who is treasurer for the Muslim Student Association at CSUN. He said he fasts not only because it’s part of his religion, but for other reasons as well.

“It’s to be grateful for what I have,” he said.

He said after a day of fasting, even something as small as a date is bursting with flavor. It feels like every taste bud is activated at the same time, and everything else in life given up for Ramadan begins to be appreciated in the same way.

Wardah Siraj, a 19-year-old sophomore at CSUN, fasts for a different reason. She said she does it to help herself realize that others around the world aren’t as fortunate as she is.

It isn’t as if a person who fasts for a month can fully understand what it is like for starving people around the world, but Siraj and Mavlan both said it gives them a small idea.

“I can get a glimpse,” said Mavlan. He said he can see what it’s like for the less fortunate, but emphasized that he could only understand a “crumb” of what they felt.

This sacrifice and new appreciation for things that come with Ramadan also comes at a price. Mavlan said that work and school are harder during Ramadan, because of the lack of nutrients.

As Mavlan was studying protein structures for a class he said “the protein structures started to look like french fries.”

As these visions of french fries danced in his head, however, he said that it is times like those that remind him to be a better Muslim and a better human being.

Like a chain of events in his head, he said the hunger hits him, he thinks of why he is hungry and remembers why he is fasting.

It isn’t easy to go without food; a person starts “losing it” a little after a while, Mavlan said. They become less rational and weaker, and at that time “you have to rely on faith.”

Siraj also said she had problems thinking about food during Ramadan. She said it is difficult for her to keep her mind off of food “if (she’s) not at home when it’s time to eat.”

Some Muslims do not consider fasting to be all that difficult. Aliya Choudhery, historian for the Muslim Student Association and sophomore at CSUN, said that fasting isn’t hard for her.

“It’s not that big of a deal,” she said. “It’s like skipping lunch.” Choudhery said since she is allowed to eat in the early morning and at night, it is easier to deal with than some people think.

Not everyone who fasts during the month of Ramadan is Muslim. Deawna Williams, president of the Intercultural and Religious Student Association, said the association would be fasting Ramadan-style for the day of Oct. 11.

“We were talking about the religious holidays coming up,” said Williams about the group’s decision to fast. During those talks she said Ramadan was mentioned and the association decided to give it a try.

Hillel, a Jewish organization on campus, will also fast that day, and both groups will break the fast with the Muslim Student Association.

“You don’t have to be of a specific faith to appreciate them,” Williams said. “We understand the significance.”

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