An Afghan man fills watering cans to water plants growning in the courtyard surrounding the Mosque of Sayed Jamaludin Afghani, located on Bagram Airfield.
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (Sept. 2, 2008) — Ramadan began Monday, and Muslims have begun to fast in observance of this holy month.
Because Muslims are not allowed to eat or drink during daylight hours, Ramadan can be a hazardous time for deployed Muslims in the U.S military, said Army Maj. Abdul-Rasheed Muhammad, a Muslim chaplain and small-group instructor for U.S. Army Chaplain Center School at Fort Jackson, S.C.
Muhammad is on a temporary duty assignment to Afghanistan in support of U.S. troops celebrating Ramadan.
Non-commissioned officers and leaders should keep a close eye on their troops for signs of heat exhaustion and other heat injuries, he said, especially new converts to Islam.
“The zealousness to new conversion can sometimes cause people to ignore what their bodies are saying,” Muhammad said. “The fast can be broken if someone is in physical danger caused by the fast–because its not the same as intentionally breaking the fast, the day just has to be made up for at a later time.”
“But even for myself who has partaken in fasting for over 30 years, it’s still important to certainly monitor your hydration as well as other types of concerns people might have medically for example diabetes,” he said. “They should be monitored because their blood sugar can drop. One can develop glycaemia very easily.”
All this in mind, considerations are often made in regards to troops celebrating Ramadan, Muhammad said. Dining facilities open earlier and close later. This provides time throughout the day for prayers as missions allows.