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Area Muslims Usher In Month of Ramadan

Muslims worldwide are anticipating the start of the sacred month of Ramadan, which begins this weekend. For 30 days, practicing Muslims will abstain from eating and drinking during daylight hours. KSMU's Jennifer Moore spoke with one local Muslim about her experiences fasting.

Dr. Wafaa Kaf is from Egypt, and she’s a Muslim. She teaches audiology courses at Missouri State University. She looks forward all year long to the month of fasting. She says the days and weeks leading up to the sacred month are full of mental and spiritual preparation.

She says she reads more often from the Qur'an, she prays more, and she thinks of God more often as Ramadan approaches.

Kaf says the physical demands of fasting from all food and drink during sunlight hours are challenging, especially in August, because the days are both hot and long.

In the early hours of Saturday morning, she said, around 3:00 a.m., she will wake up to eat something before the sun rises, so that she will have energy to last her through the day.

Her favorite part, she says, is gathering together when the sun slips below the horizon to break her fast with her family. She adds that fasting is one thing that all of the Monotheistic religions share, and that it makes her more conscious of God and of those around her, particularly those in need.

The lunar month of Ramadan on the Islamic calendar begins at sunset Friday and will run for 30 days, until the new crescent moon appears. At that time, Muslims will celebrate the Eid Al-Fitr holiday.

For KSMU News, I’m Jennifer Moore.