By Lameese Madi
Rabat- An American Student Highlights His Experience Fasting During the Holy Month of Ramadan.
Ramadan is a special time for many Muslims around the world. It is not only a time for fasting, but a time for families to get together and experience the struggles and joys of the holy month. For many non-Muslims, the practice seems strange and difficult, but for some, the challenge is enticing.
Lennon Jones, 24, studies Arabic in Rabat, Morocco. After graduating from Vassar College in New York, he decided to move to Morocco and continue his education in Arabic.
Although Ramadan is a traditionally religious Islamic duty to fast, many non-Muslims try to fast to obtain a better understanding of Islamic customs. When he decided to fast, Jones had already experienced Ramadan in Jordan, but he wanted to try his hand at fasting for the first time this Ramadan in Morocco.
“I always thought about it in the back of my mind, oh maybe I’ll fast and maybe a couple days before Ramadan I decided, okay I’m going to fast.”
For most Muslims, the first couple of days in Ramadan are the hardest. Getting into the routine of fasting, working, and finding time for religious devotion has its trials. Ramadan can be a time to learn useful skills, such as patience and time management. Jones experienced similar difficulties.
“The first day was easy and I was like, wow I can do this. But then these last two days have been a little bit tricky. The first time I’ve fasted, and I think I’m going to fast if not the whole month of Ramadan but at least a couple days. It’s been a rewarding experience.”
To keep the hunger at bay during Ramadan, Jones drinks plenty of water and eat wells.
“Food in a western culture is not so much to sustain yourself but it’s like an experiment. We go to these fun restaurants and find trends in foods, but it made me realize how we are separated with the substance part of [food] which is kind of the point of Ramadan…”
Unexpectedly, the first problem that he faced was actually boredom. The issues he faced were trying to find things to kill the time. As the days went on, he found that there was a lot of time for self-reflection and it was becoming a calming experience.
“The fasting was not really difficult, like the eating and the non-eating was not so difficult. The difficult part was changing my life and changing my schedule to not think about not eating and not preparing food and not buying a lot of food,” said Jones.
Jones does plan to continue to fast the rest of Ramadan after finding it challenging and rewarding.
“I don’t like to quit,” said Jones.
This feature is part of an exclusive series at Morocco World News for Ramadan. Also in the series is: