Muslims within the ranks of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and all over the world are engaged in fasting during the month of Ramadan which began Oct. 15 and will end Nov. 13.
“For Muslims, this month represents a time to rededicate, reflect on their faith and direct their focus towards God by abstaining from eating and drinking from dawn till dusk for the sake of pleasing their Lord,” said Chaplain (Capt.) Hamza Al-Mubarak, 435th Air Base Wing Chaplain’s Office Islamic chaplain.
Ramadan is a time of the year when Muslims recharge their spiritual batteries and fine tune their bodies. For a whole month, they fast from dawn to sunset, and offer additional prayers at night.
“When you know that someone is fasting, the best way to be courteous is not to place them in situations that are physically strenuous and may place their health in jeopardy and make their fast a hardship,” said Chaplain Al-Mubarak.
At the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate one of two holy days of praise and celebration called Eid ul Fitr.
“On this day, Muslims thank God for His guidance and grace in helping them to control their desires and fulfill their spiritual needs,” said Chaplain Al-Mubarak.
Fasting is one of the core pillars of the Muslim faith and an obligation in Islam. The worldwide observance encompasses more than a billion devout Muslims. As Islam continues to be the fastest growing religion in the world, so does the growing diversity of those entering the Armed Forces.
“Having knowledge of someone’s belief is a great avenue in tearing down the walls of ignorance and creating an environment that will foster cooperation, understanding and enhance unit cohesion. This is a key element in achieving the AF Mission,” said Chaplain Al-Mubarak.
“I believe that in our society there are grave misconceptions about Muslims and that the only way to combat ignorance and bigotry is to educate coworkers, military/civilians and family members,” he said.
(Courtesy 435th Air Base Wing Chaplain’s Office)