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Fasting

It's Ramadan, y'all (~Oct 26~Nov.25), and some of you (and maybe me) are thinking about joining your Muslim brothers & sisters in a fast. (Right?) Fasting is compulsory from sunup to sundown during Ramadan for all Muslims over the age of 12. (Smoking, drinking, eating, and shagging are also forbidden during this time.) So how can we fast safely?

In fact, there are several ways to fast, and you should look into the one that suits your present frame of mind and health. One pretty reasonable method is to drink water (and possibly fresh fruit juice) but to eat nothing. (Gotta keep up fluid intake - though some claim that slight dehydration increases plant longevity ergo human longevity...) Other forms include abstaining from "luxury foods" and sticking to basic staples, or eating only fresh fruit - or maybe just one kind of fruit (as in 'an apple fast'). (These are not fasts in the strict sense, but only Allah seems to mind.)

It's a good idea to start slowly, fasting for one meal, then one day, before doing one month. Get medical advice if possible as well as support before and during your fast. Another good idea is to keep physical exertion to a minimum while fasting. Muslims claim that fasting produces "a tranquilizing effect on the mind, producing inner peace and decrease in anger and hostility". (Sure wish Osama bin-Laden fasted more! G. Bush, too.)

The following types of people should NOT fast

Overly thin, anorexics/bulimics, anemics, pregnant/nursing women, and those who have: ANY eating disorders, ulcers, heart disease, diabetes, hyperglycemia, disease/condition in any major organ.

Why fast?

1. Practice self-discipline, 2. Know hunger, 3. Concentrate on spiritual matters