AP Exams: Fasting edition

Taking the AP Exam is bad enough, but taking the exam without any food or water is a WHOLE other level of difficulty…

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 AP Exams: Fasting edition

“Ramadan Kareem,

“Ramadan Kareem," which means “Happy Ramadan" in Arabic.

“Ramadan Kareem," which means “Happy Ramadan" in Arabic.

“Ramadan Kareem," which means “Happy Ramadan" in Arabic.

Uroob Saeed, Web Editor

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Well, it’s that time of year again, when two billion Muslims fast for one month during the holy month of Ramadan. Personally, Ramadan is my favorite time of the year because I am able to have a “spiritual awakening” where I am more motivated to do good and give to others. However, this year is a bit different from the previous years. That’s because all my AP exams are during the month of May-the same month that Ramadan will occur this year.

You may be confused as to why this year is any different from previous years if Ramadan happens at the same time. Although this is technically true, Islam follows a lunar calendar, so when compared to our solar calendar, the lunar calendar is 10 days off. This year, Ramadan will start either May 5th or May 6th (depending on whether or not the moon is spotted), which  happens to be Day 1 of AP exams. Hence, Ramadan will start late April next year. A typical fasting day starts off with getting up before the sunrise prayer and eating enough food to basically last the whole day. You can no longer eat or drink once it is time to pray. The day goes about as normal, people completing their regular chores, going to work or school, and doing extra worship-but in the absence of food, including water. In the evening, we go to our local mosque where we break our fast at sunset. After praying the fourth prayer of the day, everyone eats dinner, has dessert, catches up with friends, prays, and goes home. This routine is repeated every day for 29 or 30 days.

The reason for fasting for an entire month is so that we are able to better understand how those less fortunate feel on a day-to-day basis without having any food or water necessary for their survival. Experiencing the feeling of starvation and longing for something we take for granted makes us so much more grateful for what we have. Ramadan is a humbling experience; never in my life am I as generous and understanding towards others than this time of year. It is truly amazing how Ramadan forces us to forget our own problems in order to make us remember more pressing issues in society.

Fasting for a month may sound impossible, and to be completely honest, it is difficult during the first week or so. But once our bodies get used to the new schedule, it is not bad at all- even for a foodie such as myself. Ironically enough, people end up GAINING weight during Ramadan (with the mentality of eating enough to make up for the day even though we had eaten in the morning to last the whole day, therefore consuming double what we would normally eat)! I started fasting when I was eight years old, mainly because I wanted to feel grown-up and brag to all my friends that I lasted the whole day without eating or drinking. Of course, now, I understand the reason behind it and am glad I am able to take part in the experience. Hopefully, I do just as well during exams and don’t distract anyone with my grumbling stomach!

 

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