Saturday, 13 July 2013

Fasting And Vacationing

It's time of the year, in the Islamic calendar called the Ramadan month where Muslims all around the world fast from sunrise till sundown. Fasting during the month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam apart from "shahadah" - belief or confession of faith, "solat" or prayer five time a day, "zakat" - charitable giving and "hajj" - pilgrimage to Makkah if one can afford it.

One of the key component of observing this holy month is to abstain from eating and drinking and while it can be tough, especially in the hot weather, life goes on as normal.

Heck! We even vacationed during the Ramadan month and still observe fasting. ^^
It was back in 2009 and here we were waiting to break fast in one of the eatery in Tokyo. Happy faces, being able to eat again! Yeay. hahaha

This year's breaking fast time for Japan and Malaysia is quite similar but Muslims in Japanese has to fast longer hours because the pre-dawn meal called "sahur" is too early. Look at the fajr prayer time.
Here's prayer time in Japan. One should eat their pre-dawn meal before the fajr prayer before starting the fast i.e. before 3.00am (or in Sapporo case around midnight!!!) and the next meal/drink will have to wait till after the maghrib prayer that is after 7.00pm.

31 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Muslims in Japanese had to wake up way earlier than us in Malaysia for sahur. And that means more hours fasting. That can be challenging.

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  2. Funny. I go to sleep around Fajr time in Tokyo.

    Is there any appropriate thing to say for Ramadan? I am inclined to say good luck, especially since it is summer, but I'm sure there must be something better.

    Ramadan always reminds me of a story my High School teacher once told me. Going to a Catholic school, we were never really exposed to these things, but he mentioned how our basketball team was playing another team and it was during Ramadan. They other team was in the middle of fasting and still playing as hard as can be. Respect is the only word that really needs to be used here.

    PS: That restaurant you are in, it is now a Starbucks. Opened up a few months ago. Guess you probably won't go there to break the fast. :D

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    1. Good luck is kinda appropriate? It's not easy to fast and you know what? The word Ramadan (which is the ninth month in Islamic calendar) means scorching heat. :P

      It's Starbucks there now. Awwww... no big loss though. The food was just so-so there. ;)

      Starbucks? You know there are some who actively campaigning against visiting Starbucks (and McDonald's and some other places)? Hmmm... Me. I'm neutral about it.

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    2. Okay. Good luck. I did do a wiki search for Ramadan. I learned just the basics. Didn't know about the scorching heat though. Tokyo is pretty much like that now with the temps near 35C.

      Not east to fast? Yes, I know it. When I was more Catholic, I was supposed to fast on Fridays during Lent. Usually just over a month before Easter. Only 2 simple meals for that day. I remember at school we had a "fast" where we ate bread and water for lunch. Yes, I know it is not the same but it is as close as I'll ever get. Actually, that's not true. Today was my busy work day. Starts with a larger breakfast of coffee, bread, and a banana. Then I go on 1-2 pieces of bakery bread until 9pm. About 12 hours of light eating. Still, not a real fast but as close as I'll ever get these days. Good luck with the rest of Ramadan. You are far stronger than I'll ever be.

      As for Starbucks, I guess that's why the food shop closed down. I can't go against Starbucks. I make my living there with private lessons. Plus it is good enough to have business meetings and such. ^^

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    3. To tell you the truth, I don't know much about other religion and the way they fast too, like Hindus for instance.

      As Ru once commented, the idea of not eating isn't too much but it's the drinking and hydration that's a bit worrisome. For the first few days of Ramadan, I kept thinking about having sips of water. :P

      Private lessons at Starbucks? Nice. I go there usually for free wi-fi and air-conditioning not so much for coffee. xD

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    4. Thankfully my "fasts" had lots of water. Just small amounts of food. I did read a bit more on Ramadan just as a refresher. I kinda remember reading about it last year or a couple years ago. http://people.howstuffworks.com/culture-traditions/holidays/ramadan.htm

      Starbucks for free wifi? I never worry as I have a mobile connection in Japan. :) But I don't drink the coffee either. It's the Fraps or juices only.

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    5. I'm a miserly Malaysian woman. I chose not to get a data plan for my phone just to avoid getting too connected with it and end up staring at the screen all hours of the day. :P

      Homaigad.... I could use a frap now.

      Fast with lots of water is good. At least with that, I don't need to do my runs at weird hours of the day. I did mine today at 10pm.

      BTW, 2 more hours before bedtime eh? ;)

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    6. Oh, you don't need a data plan. Well, maybe for the little one in a few years. Keep him quiet. :)

      Yes, it was 2 hours before. I actually slept late last night. Too many things to watch. :)

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    7. Sleep well tonight, yeah. Or tomorrow morning.

      Or do you still have a lot to watch today too? ;)

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    8. I always have a lot to watch. ;)

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  3. Ramadan kareem! Kul 'am wa enta bi-khair!

    Were you two (you and Dru) talking at 1 am? Crazy people. Dru always leaves comments between midnight and 2 am, when I start waking up. :D

    Lina, I don't know how you do it. I went for long walks over the long weekend, in very hot weather, and though I seldom drink while I'm walking, I do gulp liters of cold water when I get back home.

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    1. You are crazy too, you know that?

      Why on earth would you want to wake up at 2am??????????

      Well, I don't go out for long walks. I stay cocooned in an air-conditioned office. That's how. :P

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    2. What's wrong with comments between midnight and 2am? It's just after dinner for me. When this camouflaged foreigner gets home at night, he eats dinner. Then he can check messages and blogs which is usually around that time. :)

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    3. My body is synchronised with the sun. What can I say? I'm a sunny South African!

      When it gets dark, I get sleepy. (That's usually during my evening classes.) (Heh heh.) When it gets light, I have to get up. It doesn't really get light at 2 am, but it definitely starts lightening up at 3-ish.

      Winter? That's a different ballgame. I can hibernate for 12 hours in winter, no problem.

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  4. Ramadan hours remind me of my working hours when I was a sub-editor on a morning newspaper. Start at 3 pm, stop at 2 am, have your main meal at a smoky late-night bar, stagger home, arrive at your front door at the same time as the newspaper you put together.

    Six days a week, 12 months a year. Gaaa.

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  5. I confess that I'm a Starbucks fan, because it's one of the few totally smoke-free environments in Tokyo. I'll forgive them a lot for ensuring easy breathing. ^^

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    1. We'll make sure we have lots of Starbucks pit stop enroute to Nara. Wait, where are the Starbucks there?

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  6. Wait, what? You holiday'd during Ramadan? (@_@) Wow.

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    1. It was cheap. There was a promotion. Raimie was on school holiday. Or something.
      ;)

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  7. Hi! It loks very hard to eat a breakfast in midnight. You must not eat a evening meal until sunset. So real breakfast means a evening meal. I think very complicated. Wishing you a wonderful Sunday.

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    1. It's simple actually. Basically. Fast from sunrise till sunset.

      Eat only between that time.

      And do a lot of religious activities like pray, read the Al-Quran, do good deeds, charitable work during the month, more than one would usually do during other months. :)

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  8. Since it's summer time here in England.
    And the sun will not set until 9.15pm something.
    Kesian people here. ;p
    But I guess when they fast in winter time, it's another story lah.
    They untung, right?
    Cos the sun sets at about 3pm in winter.

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    1. But cold season get hungry faster... No kah? :-D

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  9. It must be tough on the people who run cafes, nobody eating. That probably isn't the right attitude to take :)

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    1. Its quieter during the day but they'll get super duper busy in the evening!

      Most places take the advantage to offer "break fast" promotion and some can really set you back esp at hotel buffets!

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  10. It is very difficult to travel while fasting. I talked to a Muslim. I asked him about traveling at the time of fasting. He answered me that. Can you post about the disadvantages of traveling at the time of fasting?

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    1. Thank you for dropping by and for asking.

      For me and my family, fasting and traveling (or any other activities) is not that hard. Yes, there are the fatigue due to being unable to hydrate and eat but apart from that... nothing different from any other time, really.

      Any inconvenience for us would be the fact that we need to be alert about the time changes and prayer time, the uncertainty of where to perform it and for breaking of fast : when and where.

      The disadvantage for us is mainly we can't enjoy local food during the day! That's all. ;P

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