Ramadan, time for reflection and spirituality

4th May 2018

Aishah Ali

The blessed month of Ramadan falls between mid-May and mid-June this year. In this month millions of Muslims across the world will observe fasting from dawn to sunset each day.

Once again, May through to June will mean long daylight hours for many, and for others, it will result in hot weather. Despite this, fasting during Ramadan is of great importance and considered a blessed and rewarding time.

Ramadan is a time for devotion to God, and Muslim try to achieve this through performing extra acts of worship, giving as much charity as possible, reflecting on the Qur’an, and improving their conduct. Those who are not fit and able such as the elderly, children, and sick, are not required to fast.

Yusuf Muhammad from Birmingham, explained, “There are many spiritual as well as health benefits of fasting. We exercise discipline and patience, and increase our efforts to connect with the Almighty God.”

Ramadan is the name of the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, lasting 29/30 days. It is prescribed in the Qur’an. “God has prescribed fasting for you, as was prescribed for those before you so that you may attain God-consciousness” (2:183).

Muslims are not just expected to abstain from food and drink, but also to develop their principles and values of faith.

Sadia Hussain also from Birmingham, says, “During the month there is an increase in community cohesion as individuals and families break their fast together, more effort to pray together in the congregation, helping each other with charity work and other good actions.”

Many Muslims prepare and plan on how they intend to spend their time more productively during the month.

Jameela Ali from Wolverhampton explained that Ramadan is a blessed and “holy month for all Muslims around the world. It brings the community together and creates a sense of unity and belonging. Ramadan is a time to strengthen our imaan [belief] through worship and drawing closer to our Creator. A time for reflection, to look inside ourselves and make changes. For me, Ramadan teaches important qualities such as discipline, sacrifice and patience which I hope to continue to practice this throughout the year.”

Shahin Akhtar from Walsall shares her experience, “We try to take all the benefits and blessings of this beautiful month. I love going to taraweeh [night] prayers and meet other people there. I also enjoy eating suhoor [meal before dawn] in the mosque and reading the Qur’an too. In this blessed month, we increase our sadaqah jariyah [continuous charity] as all rewards are magnified. When Ramadan ends we miss it dearly and countdown to the next one.”

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