25 Jun 2017

Ramadhan | A Month Of Fasting

Every year muslims all over the world participate in the month of Ramadhan. It is a month of fasting during the Islamic calendar, which means we abstain from eating any food and drinking water from dawn to dusk. It is one of the five pillars of Islam, which are beliefs that make up the religion. This month has just passed for us and today is actually Eid!

Ramadhan allows us to get closer to our faith, purify ourselves and practice other aspects of our religion such as charity. It also emphasises and allows us to feel how the underprivileged feel with no food, drink and other luxuries in life. Yet at the end of the day we get to break our fast with a plate of food and a glass of water, whilst others across the world don't even know when their next meal will come.

The month of Ramadhan has taught me many things over the years. Here are a few of the most important ones I wanted to share...


Firstly, patience. Fasting can really test your patience, especially if it is during the summer months like it is currently in the UK. Not eating or drinking for about 19-20 hours a day, for a whole entire month, can really take a toll on the body - both physically and mentally. You become dehydrated, you feel weak, you get headaches, you lose concentration... it's all a small sacrifice we make towards completing one of the pillars of Islam. We must teach ourselves to be patient in times like these and think about the blessings we have in our lives. We know what we will be having for iftar (breaking fast) that evening and we are guaranteed a glass of water... it is a constant reminder of those who don't have access to these luxuries in life.


Secondly, the importance of prayer. Now I'm going to put my hands up and admit that I'm not the best of muslims. I have so much to improve on in terms of my religion and faith. Muslims are required to pray just five times a day. This may sound excessive to some of you but when God originally passed on the message to the Prophet, he asked that muslims pray fifty times a day. This was then reduced to five as the Prophet realised that it was too difficult for us to do so. If people used to pray up to fifty times a day, I have no excuse to not be able to pray five times a day. Prayer is also a pillar of Islam, which means we must practice upon it as much as possible.

Throughout the month of Ramadhan, we obviously abstain from eating and drinking but this reflects on to my social habits. Like most people, my social life revolves around food and being unable to consume any food meant that I spent a lot of my time at home. Therefore, I had quite a bit of free time, which actually means I have more time to pray. Praying actually brings me so much peace of mind. If I have any worries or concerns, I pray to God to make them easier. If I need guidance, I pray to ask Him to point me in the right direction. If I am grateful for something, I thank Him for all he has done. It is really refreshing for the mind, body and soul to talk to God through prayer.


And thirdly, charity. Fasting and prayer are just a small portion of what the month really consists of. A large portion of the month is about charity, which is also another pillar of Islam. As I mentioned earlier, fasting teaches us about how those who have no food or drink feel. Therefore, we must give back to those communities who aren't as privileged as we are. Donating money to charity is something I've only actively participated in for the past few years but let me tell you... it feels so rewarding and great. No matter how small the donation, every little counts!


I hope you found this post informative and enlightening. As a muslim with a few non-muslim friends I'm always asked why we do certain things as part of our religion. So I thought that this post would be helpful to those who are also curious about Islam and wanted to know a bit more about Ramadhan. I've also linked certain key words and phrases to articles that may be of interest to you if you want to look into it more! :)
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