Ramadan: less food, more words
By GWEN OREL
Not eating during the day is not the hardest thing about Ramadan, for Kevin Dawud Amin, of the Masjid Ul Wadud mosque on Bloomfield Avenue.
It’s reading the entire Quran.
Many people know that during Ramadan, which will probably start in the evening of Friday, May 26, and continue through the evening of Saturday, June 24, Muslims do not eat from sunrise to sunset.
Small children, pregnant women, the sick and elderly do not fast.
It’s only “probably” that the event starts Friday because the Muslim calendar is based on a lunar month. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, and Muslims wait for the new moon to appear before announcing the holiday.
Non-Muslims may also know that during this period, Muslims refrain from physical relationships with their spouses from sunrise to sunset.
The positive aspects and requirements of the month are less well known.
Before the month starts, “I try to read more,” Amin says. He also prepares his body for the month-long fast by fasting a bit.
During the month, he says he “try to give more charity, pray more, and do more acts of faith.
“The intention is that by you doing this every day for 29-30 days, you will carry habits over to the rest of the year.”
Ramadan is the month that Muslims believe the Quran was revealed.
By fasting, “mentally, it allows you to focus more on faith and incentives,” Amin said. “It sounds a lot harder and more difficult than it is.”
He doesn’t become hungry or weak, unless early in the day he finds himself yelling or arguing. Anger has a draining effect on the body.
“Really, I’m just trying to get that Quran read,” he said. The Holy Book is divided into 30 parts, and for the past 15 years he’s made it through 27 or 28.
It’s not about time: “I have time to watch boxing, basketball, comedy, the latest Bourne movie,” Amin said with a laugh. “It’s really about discipline.”
For a future article, we’d like to find out about Ramadan in the school system. If you are a Muslim who fasts in the school system, a teacher or a parent of a Montclair student, we want to hear from you! Write to us at email@example.com