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Ramadan Fasting: Ditching Overconsumption for Mindfulness and Self-Discipline

March 30, 2023
Photo credit: Shutterstock

As I stir from bed around noon, contemplating how many more hours I still have to go without coffee, I blindly grab for my phone. Part of my morning routine, Ramadan or otherwise, is to scroll through Instagram to check everything I’ve missed. During the holy month, an extra step is added: calculating how long I have left to go until nightfall. Ramadan, the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar, requires Muslims to fast from food, drink, and any activity that might be considered sinful or a distraction from their spiritual duties. However, with its initiation into the 21st century, has the rhetoric shifted from its metaphysical benefits with larger emphasis put on the physical and social advantages to be gleaned from the practice? In Islam, body, mind and soul are all interconnected. Reflecting on the benefits to the mind and soul to be derived from abstaining from food, drink, and distraction, is fundamental to the practice. Abstinence cultivates self-discipline with the ultimate goal being spiritual connection and internal growth. However, in much of the MENA region, Ramadan has become synonymous with sleeping in for most of the day;…

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