The month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and of highest accolade in that it commererates the revealing of the first verses of the Qur'an to Muhammad. Ramadan is the Islamic month of fasting; where muslims do not take in anything by mouth, not even water from the dawn of sunrise until after the sun sets. The act of participating in the fast helps clear the mind and heart, allowing one to become closer to Allah, hearing the words of the Qur'an more clearly, because the body is not busy doing anything else. It is a time of deep intimacy, as one prays more often during the days of ramadan, deeping the understanding of the words of Muhammad. One of the core virtues of Islam is Zakat, meaning charity. It is though the acts of charity that muslims participate in during ramadam that they come to feel this deeping of personal spiritual intimacy with their beliefs. Muslims "open" or end their fast at sunset. They do this with a prayer, meal and celebration with others. Children are exempt from the practice of fasting during ramadam, until they reach puberty.
Many of the people who shared their stories on speakingoffaith.com told memories of their childhood and of their attempts to show reverence for their Islamic faith through fasting. There was the story stroy of the Bengali girl who while in the sixth grade wanted to participate in her first full fast. When she looked upon the calendar she saw that ramadan began on the day of her much anticipated field trip- to McDonald's. The young girl saw this as an opportunity to practice her religious virtures in spite of her classmate taunting her with french fries. She remained strong in her fast for most of the field trip, even giving away food that had been gifted to her by someone at the McDonalds who thought she meerly could not afford to purchase a meal. She gave away all of the food- except the french fries, which she could not pass up. I found this endearing because it shows the gentleness and beauty of a child with budding faith.
More information about text formats