Not that I’m converting to Islam anytime soon, although quite the contrary, but its interesting to note. I was talking earlier to my Muslim coworker regarding his Ramadan this month; what it actually entails and how hard it is for him. It’s always interesting listening to their side and sort of comparing it to my own religion. We never really discuss Israel, just Jews and Muslims as a religion.
As every one knows, they fast for 30 days during the day then eat at night. That itself sounds really hard. I can just imagine yesterday 30 days straight. Although yesterday’s fast wasn’t super hard (also it can be because we ate for 3 days straight which helped a bit), but I can’t imagine doing that everyday for 30 days. That’s a lot of days. He wakes up at 4 am to eat as if it’s the most normal of habits. Whenever we have these fast days, I personally eat a big meal before I go to bed at midnight so not to wake up extra early in the morning.
Besides the fast, they have a 2 hour prayer every night starting at 9 PM. The time I am usually implanted on my bed watching the tube, they are at mosque. I complain about selichos with the extra 30 min for a week, they are praying 2 hours a night (in addition to their other prayers) for 30 days straight. But he says every person comes on time, turns off their cell phone, and not a sound is heard for 2 hours. I can’t remember the last shul I have been to where that happened. Maybe I am just used to my Flatbush shul, roll in 5 or 10 min late, schmooze with some people then get down to business for a few minutes then schmooze a little more, (watch the important people check their blackberries every 10 minutes when its not shabbos), maybe I am just antzy to sit still for that long.
After talking to him, I couldnt help but think about this. For some reason I believe him that this actually goes on at the mosque. I think it’s kind of odd that there is more respect and devoted people at the mosques than we have at our frum shuls.