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  1. So happy to read that you had a good experience! I think you should also experiment about certain other rituals that Muslims do and their influence on productivity.

  2. :) You would surely come to more conclusions, new ways of thinking if you fasted longer. And thank you for your thoughts, that are reminders for me. Fasting is a training of one’s will power. And it becomes full, when you realize why you are “giving” your sacrifice, at the same time becoming a better person, day by day.
    Aida form Bosnia :)

  3. “It just goes to show that if we strip back or ignore all the hate and fear that our politicians and media trade on, if we approach the world with a sense of curiosity and adventure, if we seek understanding, empathy and acceptance and if we reject the narratives of absolute truth and superiority over others, then the world is full of as much love and community as I’ve experienced these last few days.”
    Amazing masha’Allah!
    I enjoyed reading the 3 articles! May Allah guide him to the straight path of Islam :)
    Masha’Allah really amazing!

    Abu productive, why don’t you suggest that he fasts the rest of the month with us :P ?

  4. Well done for getting through all three days – and that too without suhoor, the pre-dawn meal, on your last day! I am sure you will share your experience with other non-Muslim colleagues and I hope it gives them a more in-depth insight into the experience of fasting. Thank you for your personal reflections at the end – it really brought warmth to my heart to read what you’ve written. May God bless you and show His mercy on you. :)

  5. You’ve been ever so kind to wish us Ramadan Mubarak all of these three days, haha. Thank you for your tips!

  6. My not-yet-Muslim friend asked if he could fast for one day. He wanted to feel what Muslims feel. Also he wanted to keep fast as a mark of respect for Muslim friends of his.

  7. Well Done! Hats off to you for taking up the challenge! Very good tips too! Interesting that you talked about meditation. Muslims find that praying 5 times a day is better than any meditation method :)!

  8. Thank you for sharing your experiences. Reminds me of some non Muslim friends who would fast just to keep us company :) … And i greatly appreciated your comments at the end of your article … Its nice to see peopel connecting through social media, we learn alot more about each other at a personal and more meaningful level than simply watching the news … Looking forward to moree insights :)

  9. Masha Allah,I really enjoyed these articles by Graham. Imagine what the world would be like if we all respected each other despite our differences. I agree,Graham should try a few more days of fasts-or the whole month! :)

  10. I’d like to say a prayer for you as you have experienced fasting and it’s beauty may you find The Creator of fasting Allah The Almighty The All Knowing The Wise and experience the beauty of his oneness .

  11. Thanks for helping non-Muslims to learn about fasting from one of their own. We truly cherish our rituals because they don’t only have spiritual benefits but also psychological, physical, and intellectual benefits – our rituals are all-rounders. Keep being productive, I wish you the best. : )
    Titilayo from Nigeria.

  12. Congratulations! You’re experience is not only enlightening, fun to read, but it also gives Muslims like myself many tips on how to stay productive and make most of my time & energy:) Thanks a lot for taking this challenge, you’ve certainly helped so much :) Wish you all the very best!

    -Anem from Islamabad, Pakistan

  13. Dear Graham Alcott,

    I am glad to hear you enjoyed your Ramadan experience. You literally acted upon the phrase “put yourself in their shoes”. Even as a Muslim girl who has been fasting since as long as she remembers, I found your advice very useful especially the frog one. I looked forward each day to receiving your email and reason about your day’s experience. I was able to relate to most of your experiences especially the iPhone alarms. Don’t worry it happens to everyone. Thank you for taking your time to get the full experience.

    With much appreciation,
    Manar, 18
    Chicago, IL

  14. Dear Graham,
    Thank you so much for sharing with us your experiences for the past 3 days of fasting in Ramadhan. I am a born Muslim & really look forward to Ramadhan each year. Aside from the fact that to me it signifies a month of peace & blessings, I also look forward to the fact that my stomach gets a break from the constant digesting day in day out & my mind also gets a break from constantly thinking about what to cook/eat next!! I am also happy with the fact that I always lose weight in Ramadhan! :D
    I enjoyed reading about your experience & truly appreciate all the tips you gave. Too often born Muslims take for granted what we do everyday without stopping to think of the benefits. Thank you so much for reminding me of this very fact. My husband is a revert and he enjoys reading about your experiences too. He can relate as well as he’s only been fasting for 9 years & quite often find it very trying.
    Thanks again Graham & all the best.

  15. Thank you so much for fasting along with us. I was wondering could we please have the recipe of your brain shake and the energy shake you have been having? Much appreciated.

  16. Assalaamu’alaykum.

    All of these points thankfully have made me look deeper into how I’m going through my fasts day by day. Point #4 on this list was particularly refreshing, because often we blame someone/something else for making us annoyed/irritable… when really, it’s ourselves. It’s good to admit to others (and yourself) that you’re human and that you’re not perfect, and to just apologize or forgive others when things start happening.

    I must say that it saddens me as well to see your experiment come to an end. I really enjoyed reading about your fasts, and I looked forward to each day for the resulting post that would come in. If you do end up doing a whole month’s of fasting next year, I am definitely looking forward to reading about it. Perhaps you can get a few others and do it in a group, so you could get that great social feeling of fasting together. It greatly adds to your motivational spirit. I’m sure the ProductiveMuslim team would be able to help you out there :)

    Thank you so much for looking at Islam and Ramadan in a positive light, when so many nowadays fail to do so. Your posts were funny and your tips were informative. I can’t wait to implement what I’ve learned! Definitely subscribing to your productivity website.

    I hope your month of fueling goes well!

    P.S: For those who are looking for the Brain Fuel Shake recipe, it’s over here:

  17. Graham, I just want to say thank you for exploring the fasting and it’s effects and for doing such a good job writing about it and identifying, how to get the most out of the experience. I am a convert and have been fasting for about 10 years, each year slightly different and always looking to maximise my productivity and experience from this month. However, that hasn’t stopped me from learning something new from your blog! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the outcome of your experiment and your reflections, so much so, that despite a knackering 5 hour drive home from Wales and arriving at 2am, I could not wait to read you final days conclusions before I ended my weekend :-). keep up the good work and well done.

  18. Hi Graham…..I like reading your reflections….very insightful and fresh…and have learnt a number of things even though have been fasting for year. Thanks….Wish you all the best….

  19. Congrats dear Graham,
    I know the feeling of anxiety when ramathan is about to begin, at least for me and my family. It leads to over stocking of foods which sometimes is not needed at the time. This experience has taught me to take it at a time and wait for any need and then stock more as I progress in the month. But big up for your experience.

  20. Thanks all for your comments and sorry I can’t reply to them all individually! It’s been truly amazing and touching to read all of your kind words, from all over the world. I have to say that the sense of community and support I experienced was one of the most memorable parts of the experience. And I am feeling sad (and feeling quite guilty!) that you are all still fasting whilst I am back to ‘normal’ this week.

    To those of you saying I should do the whole of Ramadan, I’m too late to do that this year, but I am very tempted by the idea of doing it all next year! Or doing half next year to build up to a full one the year after…. Watch this space!

  21. Graham, I commend your courage for taking up the Ramadan challenge! You have also been very generous in your observations and conclusions. I agree with you that we (humanity) all grow and develop better in an atmosphere of love, kindness and understanding. In terms of “rejecting the narratives of absolute truth and superiority over others” you have a point this may be a recipe for conflict and is probably inevitable. How we manage this is key to peace. Islam’s message is that every individual that has ever lived is required to answer this question: ‘Are many gods or one God better? Q12:19. In other words, are multiple truths or one truth valid? You are free to make a choice, although with consequences. Feeling superior to others is detested as guidance to Islam is to be cherished as a gift. Q7:43. So muslims have to be careful in their narratives. What you say is important; the way you say it is perhaps more important. Assertiveness training for everyone might help!

    • Ayodele, this is fascinating stuff and I have to confess I feel so unqualified to answer it! Usually I just help people get their email inboxes to zero and stuff like that! :p But hence why this experiment has been so interesting on a personal level for me, too.

      Personally I’ve always been a big believer in the idea of multiculturalism because my experience is that it breeds acceptance, compassion and a healthy curiosity. I think sadly that’s something that all over the world we’re forgetting how to do right now though: to be curious, even of things we may not believe in or fully understand.

      I think perhaps my wording around ‘absolute truth’ may have been a little clumsy there, in which case forgive my unintended ignorance! I was referring more to how Muslims and many other minorities such as unemployed or disabled people are being scapegoated by the UK’s government and media at the moment. It’s the politics of hate, fear and envy and it’s designed to distract people during times of economic crisis and turn them against each other.

      That said, you’re also right that acknowledging conflict and difference takes courage and is the first step to dialogue and peace. So thanks for raising this point. I guess from our curiosity we all see the complications of a complicated world!

      But what I certainly know is that regardless of what certain sections of the media want me to believe, I must continue to develop my understanding of Islam (and all faiths) and remain open-minded and open-hearted in doing so. That certainly also seems to be the overwhelming spirit with which you and everyone reading this has approached my experiment too, which I think is really wonderful and will live long in the memory for me. So thank you :)

  22. Great to hear your perspective. Yes, washing your face quite often helps when you cannot take a short nap. So does moving around. Nice productivity tips.