by Senior Airman Camilla Elizeu
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
8/15/2013 - DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz., -- Staff Sgt. Asad Abdul Muhammad, 355th Fighter Wing protocol specialist, has just finished partaking in Ramadan.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar.
Every day this month, Muslims around the world spend the daylight hours
abstaining from food, drink and other physical needs during the daylight
hours, it is a time to purify the soul, refocus attention on God and
"Ramadan is a test of discipline," Abdul Muhammad said. "When I
participate in Ramadan, I am humbled by the fact that at the end of the
day I get a meal where there are people who don't have that option. They
don't have a choice of when their next meal will come, if it comes at
Abdul Muhammad, being the only Muslim in his household, was the only one who participated in Ramadan.
"The kids didn't notice it much," Abdul Muhammad said. "They have their
own schedules for dinner and bed time, so by the time I am eating they
are in bed. My wife does try and wait for me to have dinner, though. She
also plans to fast with me next year."
Abdul Muhammad's wife is a Catholic, who is very interested in other
religions, and teaches their children about the different options they
"We do not try to force our religion on them," Abdul Muhammad said. "We
believe that it is their right to choose what religion they want to
follow, so we celebrate all holidays in the Islamic culture as well as
the Christian culture."
Abdul Muhammad's parents raised him the same way.
"Growing up, my parents were Baptist, and my dad converted to Muslim.
Sometime after that my mother converted as well," Abdul Muhammad said.
"But they didn't force it on me; they gave me the choice of attending
church with my uncles and aunts or going to the mosque with them. So, I
tried both out and decided to be a Muslim."
The Abdul Muhammad family hasn't picked a religious establishment to
attend in the local area, but that doesn't mean they aren't partaking in
their religious beliefs.
"Religion doesn't have to have a building," Abdul Muhammad said. "We
believe in focusing on the lessons to be learned from the book, rather
than someone else's interpretation."
The children in the family are taught moral values based off the different religions in the house.
"We teach them the values that our religions teach us. We want to
instill morals in them," Abdul Muhammad said. "When you think about it,
that is what this nation is; a variety of cultures, a variety of
Muhammad's wife has taught her children about Buddhism, Judaism, Catholicism and Islamism.
"In the house we have a Bible, a Kabbalah, a Quran and books on
different religions for kids," Abdul Muhammad said. "We just want our
kids to focus on the lessons, essentially a good moral standing."