As we continue our year into the next month of April, a large portion of the world’s population is going to participate in a month long fast, also known as Ramadan.
This 30 day holiday is when believers of Islam, also known as Muslims, fast from dawn to sunset. The fast not only includes food, but abstaining from water as well. This month is a reflection for Muslims both individually and collectively.
Since fasting is from dawn to sunset, it varies how long a person’s fast is in different parts of the world. Fasting can vary from 10 hours all the way to 21 hours a day! While some of the popular diet trends like intermittent fasting promotes this, being without water for that long can be very taxing on your body and mind. And that is the overall point of it, to help understand that there are people within your community that live like this, that do not have the luxury of readily available drinking water. This is the type of things that most of us don’t even have to think about. This is not meant to make those who have resources feel negative, but it is to bring AWARENESS that we have enough that we can give back in a world that tells us we always need more.
Therefore, during these 30 days Muslims will make an effort to give back more to the poor, to donate time and money and materials, volunteer within their local community, and contribute to society more than they do any other time of the year. It is a time to be selfless and find the opportunity to give back to the community that we normally wouldn’t make time to do.
With self-reflection, Muslims practice to be more patient with oneself and others. Looking at how you can improve yourself, whether it be being more patient with your spouse, children, or parents when disagreeing or having an arguments. Not cursing or thinking negative self-thoughts or being aware of them and limiting them during this month. In essence all those aspects of ourselves we would “like” to work on more but either forget or don’t make the time for.
The spirit of Ramadan is to SLOW DOWN, find compassion in others and yourself, LOVE oneself and others more, FEEL more, and just BE more.
This may be a holiday specific to Islam, but we can all participate in this next month to be more patient, kind and loving to each other. Are you up for the challenge? The only thing you’ll lose out on is being a better you.
Journey is the Way