“Not even water?”

It’s the question many Muslims hear during the holy month of Ramadan. Ramadan is the ninth month in the lunar calendar, and it is the month where muslims fast from sunrise to sunset everyday for 30 days. 

In 2023, Ramadan began on March 23 and finishes with Eid al-Fitr on April 21.

The question about Ramadan rules comes from a lack of understanding about the month itself, as many Canadians have never experienced or even heard of it. So we created this podcast to provide a deeper understanding of the month, and combat some of the misconceptions that people may have. 

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Photo by Thirdman on Pexels.com

This series consists of three episodes covering the topics of what is Ramadan? Why do muslims participate in Ramadan and what is it like to be a Muslim in Western Canada during Ramadan?

Episode 1: Ustadh Omar Al Bastami

The first episode features special guest Ustadh Omar Al Bastami. Bastami is a University of Calgary alumni, and works as a software engineer. However he claims his most valuable work consists of his various youth programs at the Southwest Masjid (mosque). He joins the “Not even water?” podcast to answer the question: what is Ramadan?

Episode 2: Brothers panel

The second episode features a ‘brothers’ panel, we are joined by four MRU students: Abdulmuiz Abdullahi, Fawaz Saleem, Mohammad Mahdi Mir, and Abdullah Ibn Ozair. As well as a cybersecurity expert and recent convert to Islam: Dario Cankovic. They shed light on their experiences, and what it’s like to be muslim in Calgary (and abroad) during Ramadan.

Episode 3: Sisters panel

The third episode is a ‘sisters’ panel, in which we are joined by five MRU students and alumni: Suha, Fatima Nyei, Muna Samantar, Reem Amin, and Aliza Fouad. They speak about their experiences during the month of Ramadan, the challenges of being away from home, and the traditions they enjoy.

As these episodes are recorded between Muslims, there are some Arabic terms you may hear and not understand. While most are explained within the episodes, you will find a glossary below with many of the terms and definitions. 


  • Insha’Allah: God-willing 
  • Alhumdulillah: Praises be to God 
  • SubhanAllah: Glory be to God
  • Wallah: I swear by God 
  • Sunnah: Things that the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon Him) did, said, or approved of. 
  • Jazakh’Allah Khair: May Allah reward you with goodness
  • Taraweeh: Means ‘rest’ however it refers to the night prayer commenced during Ramadan
  • Suhoor: The meal Muslims eat before dawn
  • Iftaar: The meal Muslims eat at sunset to break their fasts

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