To me, Ramadan is what New Year’s is to a lot of people:
The family gathering around the television sets anxiously waiting for that announcement that declares tomorrow or the day after Ramadan, all of us getting up to give each other hugs and to congratulate one another on the occasion, putting up the Ramadan decorations at home, the country putting up all the Ramadan lights out on the streets, and staying up late to stuff ourselves with food and nourishment for the day to come.
On a personal level, Ramadan is a time I take to look back at the year that’s passed (since the last one), come up with resolutions and try to stick to them. I haven’t fully succeeded yet, but hey, I try.
In a fast-paced, materialistic life, Ramadan is a time where everything slows down. When you can pause, take a deep breath and rearrange your priorities. A time to step back from your everyday lives and truly reflect on yourself.
Abstaining from food and drink is only one part of it. Ramadan, to me, gives me a sense of peace. As a believer and a Muslim, this month is a special occasion where Satan, evil spirits, the devil – whatever and however you choose to refer to them – are believed to be banished. A month when the blessings of God (Allah) are bestowed upon us all in such great abundance. It is an opportunity to cleanse your body, mind and soul and come out forgiven for past sins and start anew.
It is a month that unites us all over the globe in fasting, feasting, worship and prayer. A time that reminds us to feel for those who are less fortunate. A reminder to go out and be more charitable, be more patient, be more compassionate. It teaches us to fast from feelings of animosity, hostility, racism, chauvinism, antagonism, discrimination and so on. Try to cut down on the road rage (this one’s directed at me in particular), the lying and the judgment. Try to seek forgiveness from those whom you may have wronged. Take this month as an opportunity to train your inner being.
This Ramadan is going to be something else. I don’t know why. I don’t know how. But I know that where I actually used to dread it, now I’m looking forward to it, wishing it upon us. So roll on Ramadan!
Ramadan Kareem to everyone. Happy fasting!
شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
كل عام والجميع بألف خير. اللهم تقبل منا صيامنا وصلاتنا