Ramadan is a religious time in the lunar month and in the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar that tests the strength and good will of Muslim men and women all over the world. Muslims believe that in the month of Ramadan Allah revealed the first verses of the Holy Quran.
People who follow the religion of Islam put themselves through the ultimate test by abstaining from food, drink and intimate contact during the hours of daylight. This time is very difficult especially if the month of Ramadan falls in the summertime. During the fasting period the people focus their mind on pure thoughts, self discipline and empathy for those in poverty who have no choice but to live like this.
The Turkish people are not vocal about their choice to fast. They complete it with dignity and silence. Those fasting wake before the hours of dawn to prepare food that will fill them enough to last the entire day. Most will eat bread, soup, eggs or a full meal with rice to fill their tummies.
The fast is broken in the evening time with the ‘Iftar’ meal. The Imam in the mosque will call for the fast to end. Most people break their fast with a glass of water and dates. They will then go on to enjoy the large spread of food with their family.
Every year the month of Ramadan will come 10 days earlier so it can fall in winter or summer.
Ramadan is much more than just not eating and drinking, it is a time to purify the soul, refocus attention to god, to practice self discipline and sacrifice, make peace with those who have wronged us, strengthen ties with friends and family and stop bad habits.