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Fasting During Ramadan While Working in the Food Industry

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We invited our colleague, Bella Camara, a garde manger cook, to share her experience of working in food service during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, a holy month that is observed as a time of fasting, prayer, reflection, and community.


Ramdan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. During the month of Ramadan Muslims around the globe fast from sunrise to sunset. Meaning that we can eat or drink anything while the sun is out. Ramadan is the month that the holy Quran began to be revealed to Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him). It is an obligation upon all Muslims to fast during the month of Ramadan except children who have not reach puberty, the elderly, women who are menstruating, women breastfeeding a newborn, and people who are physically or mentally sick. Ramadan is not only the month of fasting but the month of giving charity and feeding the less fortunate.    

 

It takes a lot of discipline and self-control to work in the kitchen while fasting during the month of Ramadan. Many people who are not Muslims always ask, how do we (as Muslims) do it. The reason we can fast while working with food is because many of us have been fasting since we were 14 or 15 years. Even though we have been fasting since we were teenagers, being around food while fasting is very tempting because your sense of smell is heightened, and your body is craving food. But you must focus on the rewards you will get if you do not break your fast before sunset and the sins if you break (without any valid reason) your fast before sunset. We also try to keep our minds off the food as much as possible when we are fasting. It is not that difficult to fast during Ramadan while working with food.