Discovering Ramadan: Fasting, Food, and Faith

Ramadan, observed by over a billion Muslims globally, is a month of fasting, prayer, and reflection. Fasting from sunrise to sunset each day isn’t just about abstaining from food; it’s a time for spiritual renewal, self-discipline, and empathy. Beyond fasting, Ramadan fosters community, prayer, and charity.

For Muslims, Ramadan means more than abstaining from food and drink—it’s about spiritual growth. Days start with suhoor, the pre-dawn meal, and end with iftar, the evening meal. Families gather for iftar, strengthening bonds and celebrating faith.

But fasting during Ramadan isn’t always easy. Imagine going through your day at school or work without eating or drinking. It can be challenging, both physically and mentally. That’s why it’s important for schools and workplaces to be understanding and accommodating during Ramadan, offering flexibility for exams and deadlines.

Food plays a central role in Ramadan, too. After a day of fasting, the iftar meal is a time to enjoy delicious foods and celebrate with family and friends. But it’s important to remember food safety, especially when preparing large meals for iftar. Cooking meat to the right temperature, keeping cold foods cold, and following the two-hour rule for storing leftovers can help keep everyone safe and healthy during Ramadan.

Ramadan is a time for Muslims to deepen their spirituality, strengthen community ties, and give back. Through fasting, prayer, and reflection, Muslims find purpose and meaning in their faith.

Learning about Ramadan and its traditions promotes appreciation for religious diversity. Respecting and accommodating these practices fosters inclusivity and support within our communities.

Source: LaToya Drake, MS, KYNEP Program Coordinator, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.
Find out more about Ramadan Food Safety here: 


#ICYMI Chef T with The Food Connection and LaToya with #KYNEP continue their celebration of cultural connections. March 2024’s celebration focused on #Ramadan and Kenya with #slakmarketfarm joined them in the Food Connection Kitchen to make Maqluba (a delicious upside-down traditional Middle Eastern dish) and salad. Find the full video HERE