Sunday night was the first night of Tarawih prayers here in Malaysia. By the grace of God, I was able to move into our new house Sunday afternoon, in time to walk to the surau, small mosque, in our new neighborhood for prayers. Now I’ve successfully survived a day of fasting in the tropics. The fasting period is considerably longer here than I’ve been accustomed to in Michigan, not to speak of the hot weather. By the end of a day of unpacking and settling house, I was parched and dizzy.
In Michigan right now, the nights are still longer than the days. Since I converted ten years ago, Ramadan has fallen in the winter months. My first fast was in March. Since the lunar calendar loses about ten days a year against the solar calendar, Ramadan has marched backwards through the months over the years. In December, the fasting interval was only around ten hours long. I think that is a hidden wisdom of the lunar calendar; if Ramadan was fixed to the solar calendar, those living further from the equator would be permanently struggling or having it easy. As it is, over the course of a lifetime, it balances out. So those of my friends laughing in Michigan right now, just wait another eight years till the fast is in July!