Being surrounded by food all day can add a level of challenge while fasting – but while the heat and smells are taxing, a Saskatoon family says their faith makes it worth it.

The Jomha family owns Lebanese Kitchen on Broadway Avenue and they are participating in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The religious tradition takes place during the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar. Muslims who fast do not eat or drink during daylight hours – which typically can last 10 to 20 hours.

“When we fast it’s to feel with others less fortunate. With the starvation around the world, it’s good for us to feel what they’re going through,” Aarif Jomha said.

The Jomhas break their fast after sunset with a hearty family meal and a sense of accomplishment.

“When that time comes, you’re happy that you accomplished the day. You got through the day without hurting yourself or hurting anyone else from the hunger,” said Jomha, laughing.

Many of their customers are Muslim and fasting as well, he said.

“During this time they cut back because they’re fasting all day. They go home after work, they’re tired.”

Aarif’s father, Najib, said despite a decline in customers, store hours haven’t changed.

“You have to please your customers too,” he said.

Ramadan ends June 14.