As the moon changes and tonight, on May 16th, 2018, so happens to be in the Gemini constellation I find myself excited to begin Ramadan. Yesterday, in preparation, I spent my time fasting and praying in order to ignite one of the most meaningful times of my life.
This year, I couldn’t wait for Ramadan because I had been spending so much time fasting and praying before this month that to convert to the practice of Islam would mean the world to me if I can get through all 28 days of fasting.
Yes, that’s my personal goal because growing up under a father who practices Islam I always failed miserably at Ramadan throughout my childhood. Mostly because I didn’t understand the value of it or just why a person should take the time to meditate all day while being hungry.
I’m finally of age and I understand the importance of it, so this Ramadan is one that will always mean the most to me.
But, what exactly is Ramadan? Is it a month of starvation? Not exactly. When Allah gave the Qu’Ran to Muhammad he gave 114 beautiful Surahs about a way of life that would be fulfilled. In each, he laid out ways of cherishing life, loving others, gathering alongside family, and practicing discipline. Ramadan is a month where one of the Islam faith does just that while giving back to others.
It is a month where one of the Islamic faith abstains from pleasures that are poison to the soul, such as drinking or having unruly sex and chooses to take each evening to connect with family or practice charity.
With Ramadan being the focus of the month my only goal is to get through it by means of meditation and prayers. You could say it is quite difficult, but with just the right amount of patience and practice, it is possible.
The same patience translates over into daily life, it only takes two weeks to establish a new habit so if you can exercise the mental strength to get through it then you’ll be able to do just about anything you want if you place your mind to it.
But more than just a celebration of a new lunar calendar, Surahs that were written in order to create the Qu’Ran, and family time; Ramadan is a time of peace. Too often do we forget that time needs to be dedicated to introspection and solitude.
In our daily lives, especially with the invention of social media, we neglect giving ourselves a moment to restore our energy and renew our mind. Ramadan is an amazing time to do just that because although one is hungry that hunger can be translated over into a timeless measure of meditation.
To each Muslim partaking in Ramadan, I wish Allah to give many blessings and peace upon their lives. With that, Ramadan Mubarak.