Thoughts on Ramadan

This is a slightly unusual topic for me, since I don’t usually write about Islam. However a couple of things have brought Ramadan to my attention this year and it is on my mind.

First of all, it came up in a team meeting at work a few days ago. We were discussing the goings on at work, which has been particularly hectic lately. My manager made a bit of a side-note request that we be a bit patient with her since Ramadan just started. I was slightly taken aback at first, but then was just like “oh, ok.” This was the first time, ever, I had every heard any mention of religion from her, even though I did know from previous discussion that she comes from a pretty large and traditional family from Egypt. It was an odd revelation in the middle of a work meeting, but it’s an interesting thing to know nonetheless. And then, after that, are interactions became totally religion-free once again.

What brought it to my attention just as I was coming home today was a story on NPR about Ramadan in connection with the fact that much of the United States is having a terrible record-breaking heat wave. The disturbing bit about this being that Muslims are apparently not supposed to eat or drink anything while the sun is up. The main question being discussed was about Muslims who are working outside in 100 degree heat during the day, but are not supposed to drink anything? That just sounds dangerous to me. I would think surely there are exceptions to the rule for people who work in such occupations. :-/

My other thought is that Ramadan makes Lent look like nothing. If course the whole idea of following either such religious restriction seems odd to me. Why make yourself physically miserable it you don’t really need to? I would like to know, what motivates people to do things like this?

Here is the link to the NPR story: Heat Wave Tests Muslims During Ramadan

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