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Spiritual journey in month of Ramadan

26th May 2017
Spiritual journey in month of Ramadan

Aishah Ali

Millions of Muslims across the world will observe fasting during the blessed month of Ramadan. This month is a time when Muslims fast from dawn till dusk each day. This annual observation, lasting 29/30 days, is regarded as a blessed and rewarding time. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, operating on the cycles of the moon, which means it will begin towards the end of May this year.

For Muslims in the UK, it will once again result in approximately 18-19 hours of fasting. However, this is not just a physical experience, but also a spiritual journey. A few individuals shared their thoughts and experiences with The Muslim News.

Ruqayyah Ashraf, 34, Optician, said: “Ramadan is a time to increase our efforts and worship towards Allah. It rejuvenates the soul and purifies the heart. My fasting day is very productive, with work, house chores, prayers, Qur’an recitation, and preparing the iftaar (breaking of fast) meal. We try to keep healthy and cook a variety of different meals each day. However, we always break the fast with dates and milk as it was the practice of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and also fruit.”

Idris Khan from Birmingham said for him Ramadan is “a wonderful time”, an opportunity to “reconnect with God and focus on prayers and the Qur’an”. The long fasting hours, he added “helps generate a sense of compassion for those people who are in need all around the world. Iftaar is the special meal of the day; after long hours of hunger. I break my fast with water and fruit. This is usually followed by my mum’s special curries and, of course, biryani.”

Abida Ashraf, 52, UKIM volunteer from Rochdale, said Ramadan is a time of year when “I feel I have been given a new lease of life with my Imaan (belief), a chance to strengthen my bond with Allah, whether that’s through the extra acts of ‘Ibadah (worship) or the realisation that the hunger, thirst and fatigue felt due to fasting, can only be alleviated if Allah wills it. This develops humbleness and gratitude towards my Creator for the countless blessings He has bestowed upon me. Ramadan is a pause button on other daily routines and the focus is strongly on pleasing Allah. For Iftaar I like to have dates, fruit salad, milkshake and some savoury snacks.”

Sara Ali, 32, from Wolverhampton, said to her the purpose of Ramadan is to “strengthen our relationship with Allah and to focus on becoming a better person. I use this time to reflect on myself and also increase the time I spend praying. It’s a month that brings families and communities together. It’s a month of giving and sharing.”

“I physically prepare myself for this special month by reducing caffeine a few weeks before and increasing my water intake. I try to keep fasts in Sha’ban (month preceding Ramadan) to prepare myself for the blessed month of Ramadan.”

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

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