Ramadan brings people together to fast, eat

Several years ago, I was in Morocco during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and found it very interesting.

All around me, people were fasting during the day and focusing on their spiritual practice.

Starting tomorrow night, more than 25% of the world will be observing Ramadan.

This holiday commemorates the revelation of the Quran by their prophet Mohammad and is a deeply spiritual time.

I reached out to our local Muslim community to learn more about its traditions during Ramadan.

Each day, there is pre-sunrise meal called suhur. This meal is full of nutrients to help support a person as he or she fasts until sunset. Some of the foods eaten might be fruit, cheese, eggs, vegetables, bread, tea and water.

The rest of the day is spent fasting for those over the age of 12 who don’t have any underlying medical conditions.

Many religions in the world include fasting as part of their traditions. Abstaining from food and water is thought to help enhance one’s spiritual connection and foster compassion for those who suffer from hunger on a regular basis.

When the sun sets, the delightful and delicious foods of Ramadan begin! Traditionally, a person breaks the fast each evening by eating a date and drinking water.

Dates can be found at our local grocery stores and are a delicious and nutritious, sweet fruit. After dates and water, people gather together for a meal called iftar. This meal might include soup, vegetables, meat, dried fruits, juices and desserts.

At the end of the month of Ramadan, a large celebratory meal called Eid al-fitr occurs.

This is an extra joyful time with friends and family. There is prayer, gift exchanges, giving to charities and many delicious foods are eaten.

The traditional greeting is “Eid Mubarak,” which means Blessed Eid.

Here in the Grand Valley, our local Muslim community gathers to celebrate iftar during the month of Ramadan. People come from miles away and bring foods from their family traditions, including foods from Pakistan, India, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco and Turkey.

Che Bou-Matar, a member of Two Rivers Mosque,

ALL THINGS FOOD

posted in Out and About, Grand Junction Sentinel,

April 1, 2022

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