Fasting has been a significant practice amongst Muslims since Islam’s inception and remains a common observance today, even amongst Muslims who may not adhere to other practices such as daily prayers. Fasting is most prominent during the month of Ramadan, when healthy, adult Muslims are required to fast from food and drink from sunrise to sunset. Fasting has also gained wider popularity in the UK recently with trends like the 5:2 Fast Diet which promotes the health benefits of restricting food intake for two days of the week.
My PhD research focuses on Ramadan in the UK, and my fieldwork consisted of collecting photo diaries during the month in 2020 as well as conducting follow-up interviews with diarists. I recently got the opportunity to discuss some of my findings on a BBC Radio Wales programme about fasting alongside those who observed fasting from Christian perspectives. On the programme, we discuss the importance of fasting in different traditions, the potentially conflicting concepts of fasting and feasting, as well as the wider popularity of fasting in Britain today. I get the chance to discuss fasting from the perspective of the Muslim participants in my study.
You can listen to or download the programme here at All Things Considered. It will expire soon, so feel free to download it for listening at your convenience.
Laura Jones is a Jameel PhD Scholar with the Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK. You can visit her student profile here.