Awaiting the holy fasting month of Ramadan, the family of Noor Khan have been preparing their kids to take part in fasting the holy month to taste the month’s high spirituality and share the needy their feelings all through the year.
“My kids and I have been fasting prior to Ramadan in order to kind of get ready for the long fast because the [summer days] are very long this year,” Noor Khan, a Naperville resident and Chicago native, told Chicago Sun Times.
The mother of three has been preparing her family members to welcome the holy month of fasting that started on Saturday.
"Amazingly every year I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, I don’t know how we do it.’ But once it rolls around, it’s really quite easy because the whole [Muslim] community is fasting," Khan said.
“When we come together and we’re worshipping, we’re all fasting; it’s a feast of the soul.
“We benefit when we sit together and your stomach doesn’t become the center of your social gathering, but God becomes the center of it.”
The father, Syed Quadri, said "they’ve focused on drinking lots of water to prepare their bodies".
While Quadri's daughters spend the day in Ramadan in going to mosque and reading the holy Qur'an, the Naperville father set his goal "to finish the more than 6,000-verse and 600-plus-page Quran at least twice".
“The girls are part of a program where every day there will be 30 to 50 girls that are all working on the same goal and worshipping together,” said Quadri's wife, Noor Khan.
"A personal goal for everybody every Ramadan is always to try and better yourself as a human being. You don’t have to worry about what you’re going to eat, so instead worry about how you’re going to act," Muryem Quadri, the 16-yer old daughter, said.
Along with reading the Noble Qur’an and attending religious classes, California’s "charitable activities" were a basic part of Ramadan preparations, where tons of food are being donated by the state's Muslims.
"Here at the Islamic Foundation, we do multiple fundraisers for local organizations . . . needy communities, food pantries,” said Imam Hisham AlQaisi the Islamic Foundation in Villa Park.
“[Muslim] communities really come out strong to give for those causes throughout the year and particularly in Ramadan.
"When you start to dissociate yourself from the worldly needs and you dissociate yourself from those worldly desires, it’s easier to be more charitable,” he said.
For Oak Brook resident Shala Khan, 43, fasting is a "spiritual journey", but “the first week feels like a very physical journey because your body has to adjust.
“Typically, the kids, they’ll participate in their summer camp activities. It’s still a very, very full day. But we take a little time for ourselves to have a moment where we can catch our breath, maybe have a little siesta in the afternoon or have some quiet time.
Amid the fasting, “It’s a time to really delve deeper into our faith and to embrace all the beauty and truth that our faith entails and hopefully our endeavor to come out a transformed and more connected individual after Ramadan.
In Ramadan, adult Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.
The sick and those traveling are exempt from fasting especially if it poses health risks.
Fasting is meant to teach Muslims patience, self-control and spirituality, and time during the holy month is dedicated for getting closer to Allah though prayers, reading the Noble Qur’an and good deeds.