The Ramadan calendar dates for 2009 are August 21st through September 19th. Are you hungry for more on Ramadan? Here are some useful links for you to learn about this holy month observed by Muslims worldwide: Muslim holy month trivia: Find out how much you really know – test your knowledge with this Ramadan quiz. […]
One of the restrictions during Ramadan, aside from the obvious food/drink/sexual relations, is smoking. And one of the saddest things I have seen in my life is the group of smokers gathering just outside the mosque, craning their necks to hear the adhan (call to prayer) that signifies the end of the fast, waiting to break their fast not with a date, or a glass of water, but with a cigarette.
Also, it’s not just cigarettes. The Middle East has a long tradition of shisha (or hookah) pipe smoking. With the more explicit prohibition on alcohol, shisha pipes are seen as a lesser evil in the context of social activities. Even today in Western countries, the practice has caught on with young people seeking a cultural alternative to bars and clubs where alcohol is served.
When someone who has abstained from food and drink all day chooses to light up rather than satisfy a primal bodily need, you can be pretty sure that person is facing an addiction. And increasingly in Muslim circles (not just in the West but in predominantly Muslim countries as well), scholars and health activists are encouraging Muslims to use Ramadan as an opportunity to kick the habit for good.
But it isn’t just addictions to smoking that Muslims should keep in mind. The fast itself directly curbs compulsive eating — no more coffee and Krispy Kremes before lunch! Addictions to television, video games, and other more sublime intrusions into your daily routine can be curbed during a month which mandates a fresh look at who you are and what is needed to nourish your soul.
As for addictions to the Internet — well, that’s one I still have to work on.