Ramadan Mubarak to all!
Today is Day 6 of the auspicious month of Ramadan– a month which is very important for all Muslims across the globe. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from early dawn to sunset, abstaining not only from food and water but also from prohibited activities including gossiping, arguing with others and wasteful entertainment to name a few. The Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) reportedly said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.” Ramadan is a time to devote oneself in worship of God and to form a healthy lifestyle – spiritually, mentally and physically.
There are various resources available online to inform oneself about the etiquettes of how to act during the month – for those fasting and not fasting. Particularly if you are a student studying abroad in the Middle East and it is the first time you are experiencing Ramadan, or if you are generally curious and want to learn more about Ramadan, be sure to read up on articles related to Ramadan which outline the rituals of fasting during Ramadan. A useful article by VOX you might find helpful to read, titled “Ramadan 2016: 9 questions about the Muslim holy month you were too embarrassed to ask” answers some FAQ relating to Ramadan.
For me, Ramadan is a time to enjoin myself in worship of Allah by reciting the Qur’an, praying taraweeh and tahajjud (or night) prayers at the mosque in addition to spending time with family during the pre-dawn (suhoor) and iftar meals. A quote I read on an article captures the essence of Ramadan beautifully: “Fasting is an essentially solitary act; it’s said that it’s the only Islamic practice that’s invisible to an observer. Only God knows if you’re actually sticking with it.”
I wish you all a blessed Ramadan!