Ramadan LogDay one
Working in an office in Central London where I am one of 3 Muslims in the company (the only one on my floor). Ramadan comes with so many interesting conversations from my fellow colleagues. Wide eyed, concerned faces and puzzlement are some of the reactions, which to some extent surprises me. Some feel sorry for me as if fasting is a punishment, some look worried about the effect of the heat and others are confused and ask “why”! And I completely understand, why would a person deprive their body of sustenance all day? Why is it at this time of year? Why can you not at least drink water? How do you get up in the morning to eat at 3am?
What is Ramadan
The month of Ramadan is the month which comes around every year based on the lunar calendar which is what the Muslim calendar is based on as a measurement for the months which are outlined in this very handy website (http://islam.about.com/cs/calendar/a/hijrah_calendar_2.htm). The month of Ramadan was the month which the holy Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and delivered by the angel Jibraeel (Gabriel). This was the month that the Prophet (pbuh) said that the gates of Hell would be closed and the gates of Heaven would be open for all who believe. This month is one where Muslims find the most spiritual connection to the faith, I know that this is certainly the case for me. It is the month where Muslim’s around the world do not eat from sunrise to sunset.
Significance of Fasting
The month of fasting is one which enables Muslim’s to feel the connection to God’s creation and to also enable us to appreciate the world and our surroundings. With fasting comes cleansing of the mind, body and soul which are reinvigorated with prayer, meditation and reflection. Fasting is not only based around food but is also something which we should adopt for our characters, attitude and behaviour. Adopting positive outlooks on the world and in the home and adopting graciousness into your character.
My experience over the course of the Ramadan’s before have in all intention been beautiful and spiritually beneficial, but I must admit I have succumbed to the negativity and stigma associated to practicing my faith and as a result, crumbled due to my weakness. Which I am sure may be the case for many others, however in anticipation of the month, I find solace in knowing that I can utilise the time to worship and bring myself closer the meaning of my existence and appreciate the world around me.
Ramadan IS challenging, especially in this heat and environment. Waking up to have breakfast is a struggle, however it’s also fun and encourages me to pray Fajr consistently. Ramadan also allows time for me to share my religion and faith with others who ask me “why”?
The lightness I feel in prayer during Ramadan is the lightness I feel when I have no worries, no concerns and at peace. External factors become obsolete and focussing on my internal attitude is a welcome change.
Today is very warm and sunny in London on the Strand, and the office is beginning to buzz with those who are stirring for lunch, the smell of food lingers in the air but I feel blessed. This is a small sacrifice for one month of each year of our lives where not only by mind but my body finds the ability to devote itself to God and his grace.
So when I say I love Ramadan, I mean it.
Join in even if you are not Muslim and try a day without any food, water or any kind of sustenance from sunrise to sunset and tell me how you feel.
With every challenge comes a reward.
Peace & Love