Foodways

Fasting

Informant GP is my grandfather who has been a Muslim is whole life. My father’s side of the family has been Muslim for many generations. My grandpa is a devout Muslim who follows the Quran and all the practices described within it. Unfortunately my grandpa’s generation is the last generation in my dad’s side of the family to practice Islam. My father and my aunt and uncles do not practice it, so even though I know many of the things they believe and practice, I don’t know the reason behind it.

Okay so I guess you guys not eating pork kind of make sense, but why fast? What’s the health benefit in fasting?

GP: “hahaha, fasting is not for our health, it is for our spirit! Fasting is a way for us to learn self control because we are unable to eat and drink. It helps discipline us because if we can control our food, we can then use that to control our greed and lust. Also, fasting helps us know what it is like to live without food. It shows us what it is like to be the less fortunate, which teaches us how to be grateful. it also gives us an awareness and empathy to those who are unable to eat 3 regular meals every day.”

Thoughts: I used to think that fasting was ridiculous because you have to starve yourself for a whole month. I guess the reason I didn’t understand it was because I didn’t understand the motivation behind why people did it. Now that my grandpa explained it to me, it seems like it makes total sense and I have a whole new respect for the Muslims that do it. It is another way the Quran helps Muslims remember that they are human and to be humble and grateful for what they have.

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