Muslims Face Hot, Long Days for Ramadan Fast

August 11, 2010

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Today Muslims begin their month-long fast for Ramadan. Muslims are encouraged to take particular care this year because it falls at a time when the days are really hot, and really long.

During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from all food and drink, from sunrise until sunset. The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago recommends afternoon power naps to get through it.

Spokeswoman Kiran Ansari says it's also important to eat a pre-dawn meal. "In that meal, we are encouraging everyone to lay off the carbs and have more fluids and lots and lots of protein," said Ansari. "(That will) keep them energized during the day instead of filling up on empty carbs."

Ansari notes that not everyone is required to fast. Children, elderly, people who are ill, and women who are nursing or expecting, are exempt.