Can I swallow my saliva while fasting?

11 questions and answers about Ramadan

Here you can find out everything you need to know about Ramadan.

1. Trollololol my country Trollolololol Islam does not belong to Germany. I'm only here to write racist shit.

You can go away right now, you troll. Next!

2. Ramadan, isn't that like fasting before Easter?

Exactly, Ramadan is the month of fasting for Muslims and is seen as the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, as it was during this time that the Koran was revealed to the Prophet. But since the old Islamic calendar goes to the moon and not to the sun, the months move forward by eleven days or, in the leap year, by 12 days. This means that Ramadan is in summer for a few years, then again in winter. Which makes fasting sometimes easier, sometimes more difficult - because here you don't do without meat or chocolate or social media and have Sundays off, but are not allowed to eat or drink anything for an entire month from sunrise to sunset. Nothing at all.

3. And why do you do this to yourself?

Traditionally, during Ramadan one should remember the poor who have nothing to eat, be grateful and care less about the material side of life for a month. Sometimes this works better, for example with the (usually taking place) beautiful, large, public meals during the Ramadan festival, and sometimes worse, because Ramadan is the month with the highest food waste. Going shopping hungry is insanely dangerous.

4. Is it really not allowed to drink anything?

No. If you take it really hard, you won't even swallow your own spit. Sounds funny, but it's really difficult. Chewing gum is also taboo. And smoking. And sex? Forget it. But as soon as the sun goes down, everything looks completely different again ...

5. Do all Muslims have to fast?

There are many exceptions: children do not have to / are not allowed to fast (depending on interpretation); Not old and infirm; Women who have their periods are forced to take a compulsory break from fasting and make up for the days; Pregnant women should not fast; nor do travelers need to do so if it complicates their journey. Oh, and people who do hard, physical work can postpone fasting too. In general, if you can't physically do it, you shouldn't be forced to do it.

This leads to all sorts of variations: There are strict Muslims who do not fast, but there are also people who like to drink over the thirst for the rest of the year and otherwise let the good Lord be a good God, but then take Ramadan very strictly. The Ummah (Muslim world community) is colorful!

6. Do all Muslims celebrate Ramadan the same way?

© augenschaschlik | pixabay

No. Just as there is no one Muslim, there is also no one Ramadan festival. There is even disagreement about when Ramadan starts exactly. It even differs from family to family how one celebrates iftar, the ritual breaking of the fast in the evening: when my parents were still fasting, iftar was started with a glass of warm water, my uncle instead broke his fast in the evening with half a spoonful of salt. Dates are common in many Muslim families. Basically, you spend a month stuffing dates into yourself. Dates. So many dates.

7. Hungry and alone? Oh dear ...

Hungry yes, but normally - without Corona restrictions - you are not alone. The nice thing about Ramadan is that every evening there is Remmidemmi: You meet the whole family, friends, the nights are long, people are up late and out and about, the restaurants are full and it is a general state of emergency. Often people cook on the streets and in mosques, and food is given away to passers-by. Win-win-win: donating food is blessed, cooking for the public is blessed, and eating that food is blessed. Blessings for you, me, for everyone. Yeah Sure: At the moment a lot is not possible, but you can also spend the time sensibly within a household.

8. Do I have to limit myself when I travel to such a country?

If you can bear not eating during the day, then not at all. On the contrary, in non-corona times you will be rewarded with party, party, party every night. In Iran, for example, a few years ago it was absolutely inconceivable that canteens would serve food or eat and drink in public during Ramadan. Everything is much looser now. In tourist regions anyway. Nevertheless, you should inform yourself well beforehand. Since you shouldn't travel at the moment anyway, you don't have to worry about that.

9. Is there a party at the end?

Yes, the end of Ramadan is celebrated with "Eid al Fitr", one of the most important festivals in the Islamic calendar. In Germany it is also known as the "Sugar Festival" and is celebrated for between two and four days, depending on the region. There are festive prayers, you put on new, beautiful clothes, congratulate each other and eat together. And in some cultures there are even gifts.

10. Help my friends fast. What do I have to do now?

Maybe not waving a Kassler sandwich in front of your nose. But otherwise ask how you can make everyday life easier for them during Ramadan, be interested, not treat them like an alien and definitely allow yourself to be invited (see 9.).

11. Sounds really exciting. How can I experience that in Berlin? And where can I find out more about it?

There used to be the fantastic series of events "The Nights of Ramadan". With concerts, discussions, film evenings and iftars, there was something for everyone. Unfortunately that is not possible at the moment, many mosques normally open their doors to visitors. Just passing by and asking is never wrong, just don't be afraid of contact!