Ramadan is the month when we spend our time fasting and worshiping, but it also needs to be the month where we reflect and improve.
“Life can be hard”. It’s a thought that crosses our minds at one point or another. Sometimes the simplest of things can have a toll on us and make our days heavy and keep our minds busy. We live in a world where everything and everyone is fast paced. We have to make an effort to spend time with our loved ones or visit a sick relative or even to just have some alone time. 11 months of the year push us into overdrive using up every piece of energy we have. And just when you think you can’t go any longer, the month that recharges you back, arrives.
For many Muslims, regardless of where they are in the world, Ramadan is a beautiful time. There is a certain aura that floats in the air above us all that seeps into our souls and soothes us. The lost find their way, the heavy-hearted find peace and the exhausted, unwind. When I was a child, still too young to fast, Ramadan for me meant finishing school early, knowing dinner would be a feast and getting to see my cousins almost every day. As a child, Ramadan was the best month of the year because it was filled with all these things and it ended with a big celebration that included lots of money and pretty new clothes. The older I got, the more attached I became to this month and the more I truly realized its impact.
The big feasts, the variety of desserts, the multiple gatherings, and all the new clothes sometimes take us away from what Ramadan is truly about. We get lost in the preparations and endless family conversations that we fail to experience Ramadan in its true essence. There are so many reasons why Ramadan is so important: it’s the month the Holy Quran first descended on the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), it is the month where the heavens are open and are close to us and it holds the one night that could equal a thousand nights of worship. These are all things we learn at a young age; they are the basics of Ramadan. However, Ramadan is also the month where we learn what it truly means to be human.
Fasting is more than just abstaining from food and drinking, it is learning how to restrain and purify yourself. We are asked to refrain from vain talk, from cursing and lying, we are asked to be kind, generous and merciful to others. We are expected to live by the virtues that make us better human beings. The more we immerse ourselves in self-discipline, the more good we say and do during this holy month, the more at peace both our minds and bodies become. Ramadan reminds us why Islam is such a magnificent religion and the true way Muslims need to carry themselves.
Ramadan is a chance to start all over again, to reboot your systems and become the person you always wanted to be. The key and the true test of faith is learning to carry these virtues with us beyond this holy month, to learn how to encompass them in our daily lives and lead healthier lives. So let us take some time this Ramadan in between breaking our fast, gathering with our family and getting ready for our prayers, to have a moment of reflection. Let us reflect on how we can benefit from the virtues of Ramadan and how we can use this month to propel ourselves to a brighter year ahead.