Tag Archives: fasting

Adventures of a Pilgrim: Mecca

The two predominant travellers to Saudi Arabia are expats and pilgrims and I fall into the latter category. Although there has been a slight growth in leisure tourism, religious tourism is a thriving industry, bringing in Continue reading


Food and Fasting: A Lot is Eaten During Ramadan

This entry is part 20 of 23 in the series World Kitchen

Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, and Muslims worldwide observe this as the month of fasting. According to Islamic belief, this is done to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Prophet Muhammad. The month lasts 29-30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon.

Fasting is obligatory for all adult Muslims, except those who are ill, travelling, elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic or going through menstrual bleeding.  Fasts last from dawn till sunset, and during this period,  eating, drinking, smoking, and engaging in sexual behaviour is forbidden. Muslims are also instructed to refrain from sinful behaviour such as lying, insulting, fighting and cursing.  Food and drink is served daily before dawn and after sunset, and it is believed that spiritual rewards are multiplied within Ramadan. In addition to fasting, Muslims give Zakat (a fixed percentage of a person’s savings required to be given to the poor), charity and in most countries, food and water is provided to the poor for iftar.

Those who hear about Ramadan usually think that there is a lack of eating during this month — in actual fact every Muslim family worldwide is very particular about having a healthy and filling sehri and iftar. In Pakistan, sehri and iftar are somewhat more nourishing than the average meals. Continue reading