Why aren’t you fasting? It’s a question practicing Muslim women around the world dread being asked during Ramadan. For weeks many of us have been talking about our upcoming long fast and suddenly your co-worker whose been stressing out about it walks into the office with a grande soy latte and a sheepish look on her face. If you’re not Muslim, and maybe even if you are, you’ve probably completely forgotten that it’s Ramadan. But she, the Muslim woman with the soy latte, is stressed out because she’s worried that someone might ask her, “why aren’t you fasting?” The reasons are often very personal, not the kind of thing she may want to discuss around the office. So I’ll do it for her (and me).
1) She got her period and is excused from the fast. OR
2) She’s pregnant and isn’t ready to tell the world. (Technically women who are pregnant are allowed to fast but when Ramadan falls during the summer, it is best for them to make up the days later in the year since dehydration can endanger their health and the baby’s health).
3) She’s breastfeeding. Women who are nursing are also exempt.
There you have it. It may not seem like a big deal but for that Muslim women, believe me, it is something she is definitely worried about.
Ramadan Kareem to all 🙂