Why 80% of American Muslims fast during Ramadan. (It’s not about the food.)

Source: CNN
By Omar Suleiman

(CNN)Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, begins next week, which means Muslim children in school and adults at work will be met with curiosity or possibly even scorn over why they aren’t eating or drinking throughout the day.

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And if you drink coffee as religiously as I do, you really don’t feel like dealing with the added headache of explaining yourself to your co-workers. And yes, we will stare you down as you gulp down that delicious and enchanting black drink in front of us.
But what people of other faiths may not realize is that they are participating in our spiritual boot camp, helping Muslims build willpower in more ways than one.
As NBA Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon once said, “If people are eating and drinking in front of you, the willpower of the Muslim should be stronger. That is what the training is for. It’s like somebody who swims in a pool or somebody who is swimming in the ocean. The ocean is stronger, so it makes a better swimmer.”

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