Today, I participated in my university's fast-a-thon. They normally hold the event during Ramadan, but that was during August of this year, and the students were not on campus for enough time to organize a successful event. Today's event had 280 people fast from sun up, to sun down. For each person who fasted, local businesses gave money to St. Louis Area Foodbank for each person who participated.
I chose to participate because one of the organizers is a student who I know well. It was a challenge to myself, and I am very happy that I took on this challenge. I also think it is important to be involved in events that cross religious lines. I may not be Muslim, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't spend some time learning more about their faith. At the fast breaking tonight, an Imam spoke a little about the religion, and about some of the common internet myths about the religion. I'm always amazed at the internet's ability to spread false information. One of the myths he talked about is that many people think Muslims worship the sun and/or the moon. This isn't true. The Qur'an says that they should worship the one who made the sun and the moon. His opinion was that this false information came from their practice of following a lunar calendar, and praying by the positions of the sun (sun up, mid day...a total of 5 sun positions). But, as he explained it, this just allows the religion to be accessible to anyone, no need for a clock or a calendar.
When I started this morning, I figured the fast-a-thon would be a one time event. But, I think if I were asked again, I would be open to the possibility of particpating.