Saskatchewan

Working at restaurant won't tempt Regina Muslim to break Ramadan fast

Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year for Muslims. A Regina Muslim works at a McDonald's restaurant but says his spiritual strength overcomes whatever hunger he might feel while fasting for a month.

Long summer days mean many hours fasting

Hussein among Regina Muslims on a month long fast during Ramadan (Dean Gutheil/CBC)

Hussein Abdullah Hussein works at a McDonald's in Regina but the 22-year-old Muslim says cooking hamburgers and fries doesn't tempt him to break his month-long Ramadan fasting.

"No. No. No. When we commit to something, we commit,"said Hussein, who immigrated to Canada from Ethiopia three years ago.

"So the commitment is stronger than any hunger you might feel."

Ramadan began June 5 and continues until July 5.

It's the most sacred month of the year for Muslims, meant to be a time of spiritual discipline and increased charity and generosity.

During the entire month of Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating any food and drinking any liquids from sunrise to sunset.

In the long summer months of Saskatchewan, that's a long time without sustenance.

Hussein says he's gone as long as 18 or 19 hours without food or water.

"I had fries and sausage and milk and juice early this morning." said Hussein. "Tonight, I might have spaghetti. I try to eat a lot of protein, some energy food so I can stay strong."

At the end of Ramadan there's a celebration where Muslims come together for a big meal.

But until then, Hussein has several days of fasting ahead of him. Much of that time is spent preparing cheeseburgers and fries.

"I don't feel hungry because my spiritual belief is stronger," said Hussein.

"I don't give my heart to the food. I just forget, I just ignore."

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