In our last post, we extended invitations to our events to all our non-Muslim friends. We know that one of the biggest hurdles to joining can be not knowing enough about the traditions to feel comfortable. So we thought we’d share with you today a post by our founder Shabnam Sabir about what Ramadan means to her:
Ramadan is here !! Woohoo
Many of you may have already clocked on by now whilst others may still be wondering what’s going on, well for Muslims like myself the best time of year is upon us!
Yes the beautiful and blessed month of Ramadan has begun. During important occasions like this I feel it’s important to share this with friends and neighbours who may not know or understand Ramadan.
So in short, Ramadan is a month of fasting, in which all Muslims who are fit and healthy and of age are required to fast from dawn to dusk. One cannot eat or drink whilst fasting. More importantly fasting isn’t just about giving up your food and drink but also about giving up bad habits…it’s about being mindful of one’s own actions and behaviors.
It’s an opportunity for us to better ourselves and get back on track. It’s an opportunity to reflect and rejuvenate!
We fast for the sake of God. And in return He rewards us for being better human beings.
Also in the rat race of a world when we lose sight of the purpose of life, we are reminded of the ultimate purpose of this world ; To worship our Lord, the Almighty.
So this month moreso than others, Muslims, including myself will shift focus away from the daily grind to spending more time in worship and contemplation.
And finally, the month of Ramadan is about being more good, doing more good, feeling more good and most importantly sharing more good with those around you. It’s a month of giving and sharing. And it does absolute wonders for our physical, mental and spiritual health!
On a practical note, our fasts will start around 4am and end around 6.30pm until this weekend when clocks go forward and then fast will end 7.30pm onwards which ain’t too bad.
And yes we do get up in the early hours for a bowl of porridge, a parata or just a glass of water, but it’s important because in the early morning breakfast which we call Sahoor, lies many blessings and reward. It’s not easy but it’s something we just crack on with.
The meal at the end of the day is called an Iftar meal. Families and friends often invite others to break fast with them because there is great reward in feeding a fasting person, so the more mouths we feed the better!
So for Muslims this is a month packed with lots of amazing blessings and yes giving up what you love is not easy but hunger teaches us a great deal of humility and empathy.
If you ever want to know anything about Ramadan just ask your Muslim friends, or ask me! It’s always nice to understand rather than wonder.
Anyway, just thought I’d share some thoughts for my Non Muslims friends who maybe thinking…Ramadan…whats that all about!
To all my fellow Muslims who are fasting in this super cool month, I wish you a happy and productive Ramadan