Monday, 6 August 2012

My first go at Ramadan fasting

Last year a friend suggested that I have a go at fasting for Ramadan. Jumping forward one year I decided to have a go at it today as I was already planning on going to the fast breaking meal – which was being run by Cage Prisoners and local bookshop As-sabeel.

My hastily researched fast started off badly this morning as I had planned my last meal before what the BBC weather website suggested was sunrise – 5:30 AM – however I missed a subtle difference here as everyone else was having their last meal at around 3 AM.

Anyway, I got up at 5 AM and had my usual breakfast – toast with peanut butter and banana, and a bowl of muesli – with a couple of glasses of water instead of tea. Then I went back to bed, so far so good.

I got up at about 9 AM and the rest of the morning went fine, although I was worrying about not being able to drink any water and losing my voice or getting a sore throat this didn't happen. Even when Sam made lunch – she had decided not to fast – I didn't find it particularly hard.

I took it easy in the afternoon doing a bit of work on my computer, running a few errands and watching a bit of the Olympics. Then I set off to the evening event at around 5 PM. By this time I was starting to get a headache which was probably distracting me from my thirst and hunger.

The Cage Prisoners event was very interesting – they campaign for people to be given their rights e.g. a fair trial for people in Guatanamo – and the HHUGS talk – they provide the welfare/support side of things – was particularly moving. One of the attendees remarked on Green MP Caroline Lucas' good work in this area which was positive.

Just before 9 PM bowls of dates and water started to appear. You don't value something until it is taken away. And I can safely say that when we broke the fast that was the nicest date and glass of water that I have ever had. A short time later we tucked into a proper meal which was also very tasty.

As I write this blog at the end of the day I still have a bit of a headache, but it is on the way out, and the whole experience has definitely made me appreciate simple things a lot more!

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