Wishing all of my wonderful friends, family and fellow geek/science fanatics, a truly blessed and rewarding Ramadhan!
The month of Ramadhan is the Islamic month of fasting and restraining oneself from worldly pleasures. From sunrise to sunset, Muslims around the world observe their Sawm (fasting – one of the five pillars of Islam) in which we not only cease eating or drinking between these times, but also aim for increased spiritual elevation and a cleansing of the soul through prayer and self-reflection.
We try to be the best ‘us’ we can be by increasing our efforts in charity, kindness, compassion, self control and the spreading of love, however, this does not mean that it should stop when the month ends!
Depending on one’s location, the time duration of the daily fast will vary, and here in Scotland we’ll be approximately observing a 20 hour daily fast to begin with. SubhanAllah!
Many of my non-Muslim friends often ask me about the health risks associated with fasting, however, there have been many studies to show that there are, in fact, several health benefits!
There are obviously exemptions to those who must fast (for example, the elderly, young children, those who are ill etc), and fasting itself aids one in attaining a good sense of self-control over the use of energy! It’s used productively and not wasted.
This is a practise that has been carried out in many faiths and cultures for millennia.
Considering that these will be the longer fasts (the Islamic calendar, being a lunar calendar, is 10 days shorter than the Gregorian solar calendar, meaning the dates for fasting move back approximately 10 days every Gregorian year), I wish all those observing fast a healthy and safe month!
It’s time for the spiritual retreat that I’ve so painfully been waiting for and needing!
At iftaar (time to open the fast), let’s not only open our mouths but also our minds and souls in self-reflection.
May Allah (swt) bless you all! God Bless!
Image © Naziyah Mahmood, 2015.