Today was the first day of Ramadan; the month, where Muslims around the world, fast from the dawn to dusk.
It’s a month which Muslims look forward to all year long. The fasts can be long (this year they are over eighteen hours in the UK) but the month brings so much joy. There are a lot of things I love about this month and I thought I’d share some of them here:
- It’s a time of unity – millions of Muslims observe the fasts and there’s something special in knowing that people all around the world are going through the same routine as you.
- The month is a time for me to practice my self-discipline and allows for more self-reflection.
- It’s a time when Muslims make a much more conscious effort to be the best versions of themselves, make an active effort to restrain from negative emotions, such as anger and instead focus on charity and kindness.
- Of course, we should always try to emulate good qualities but during Ramadan, we have this increased motivation for personal improvement. It’s great!
- It makes me appreciate just how fortunate I am. I have all the essentials I need; food is never short.The fasts are long – yes, maybe, I’ll get tired but at the end of the day, I know that I’ll have a meal ready to eat. I’ll have water and dates and savories. I’ll have a full meal, fruits and desserts. But there are so many people in the world, who don’t have these luxuries; who struggle for water, let alone food. Reflecting on this, makes me a lot more appreciative of what I have.
- It increases my spirituality and connection with Allah.
- During this month, Muslims make an increased effort to improve their spirituality. I aim to stay away from distractions (a major one being TV) and instead use my time to pray more and learn more about my religion. I always end the month with a renewed strength in my faith.
- It’s a time for charity
- During Ramadan, there is increased focus on providing for those who are less fortunate. There are a number of fundraising and charity events. Watching communities get together to collectively make a difference is always great.
- It’s a time for family
- An important part of the day during Ramadan is iftar (the evening meal when fasts are broken) and these are often eaten together as a family. Many times during the month, members of our extended family will come share a meal with us and that atmosphere is something that makes me feel (at the risk of sounding cheesy) warm inside
- Without distractions, I find that I talk to my family more. Time spent watching TV, going on youtube or spending hours on the internet are all significantly reduced and that leaves us able to communicate more, which is always a positive.
- I feel energised!
- This is something which may surprise people but after the initial one or two days, my body begins to feel much more healthy and energised. Fasting is not starvation; it allows your body to detox, gives your digestive system a rest and increases the release of endorphins (the ‘feel good’ hormone). After a week or two of fasting, both my skin and my mind feel clearer.
So there you have it – just a couple of things I love about this month. To anybody who has any questions about Ramadan, please free to pop a question in the comments. I’m never offended my curiosity 🙂