I grew up in the Middle East and was able to experience the culture and the religion of the land. Ramadan is something that isn't foreign to me even though I am not apart of the Muslim faith. I asked a good friend of mine, Ahmad to share some wisdom and some words on fasting during Ramadan.
Ramadan is considered the holiest month, and it holds the ninth position in the Islamic Lunar calendar. Throughout this entire month, Muslims fast from dawn until dusk, refraining from eating, drinking, and engaging in sinful acts. This spiritually rewarding month is eagerly anticipated by Muslims worldwide, encompassing more than mere fasting. It is a period characterized by peace, tranquillity, goodness, forgiveness, revelation, and ultimately, a joyous celebration for all followers of Islam.
Fasting is an act of devotion, constituting one of the fundamental pillars of our faith and serving as a means to express our devotion to God. This practice strengthens our connection with our Creator, deepening our faith and offering a reminder of the many blessings we have in life for which to be grateful.
Beyond its religious significance, fasting provides a platform to cultivate patience, break unhealthy habits, and establish new, healthier ones. Ramadan acts as a catalyst for personal and spiritual growth, offering a unique opportunity for a comprehensive reset and a thorough cleansing of the mind and body. Additionally, Muslims are encouraged to engage in acts of volunteerism and charitable giving to aid the less fortunate, known as "Zakat." This month serves as an occasion for learning, personal development, and communal enhancement, fostering a sense of unity among Muslim brethren.
Ramadan promotes gatherings of family and friends during the breaking of the fast, emphasizing the significance of interpersonal bonds. Seeking forgiveness with sincerity acknowledges one's mistakes, promoting the potential for reconciliation and strengthening connections, even bringing individuals closer to God.
Furthermore, fasting during Ramadan is associated with various health benefits. Research indicates that abstaining from food and drink can reduce the risk of diabetes and heart diseases, aid in weight loss, and enhance digestion. It also contributes to a reduction in inflammation within the body, as well as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In terms of mental well-being, fasting is linked to improved mental clarity, heightened focus, and reduced stress and anxiety. Additionally, it can positively impact sleep patterns and elevate energy levels.
In essence, Ramadan serves as a period of spiritual renewal and purification, fostering self-discipline and self-improvement. This month provides a unique opportunity for Muslims to unite, enhancing their sense of community and brotherhood while embracing the values of compassion, self-reflection, and giving.
- written by Ahmad Assegaf