Ramadan mubarak! Happy Ramadan! This year’s Ramadan month has officially started on June 6, and it will end on July 6.
In this month of spiritual detox, Muslims around the world will fast and abstain from eating and drinking during the daylight hours. Once the sun sets, they are able to consume their meals. They also need to avoid conflicts, inappropriate behaviors, and negative thoughts.
According to History.com, Ramadan is the ninth month in the 12-month Islamic calendar. There is no confirmed date for it because the calendar is lunar, and therefore it’s different every year, following the phases of the moon. It is one of the major holidays for Muslims, and usually ends with a three-day celebration called Eid al-Fitr, “Feast of Fast-Breaking”. Also, all Muslims who have reached puberty and are in good health are required to fast. The sick and elderly, pregnant women, travelers, and the nursing ones are exempt from fasting, but they are supposed to make it up in the future or feed the poor instead.
Nowadays, many Muslim families have moved to different countries and integrated with the local culture. Although they no longer fast and pray from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, they still keep the tradition of resisting food and drink during daytime while they take care of their daily business. Practicing kindness and positivity are also included in their daily activities.
Zahra Hasan is a Muslim student from the University of Westminster in London, and she is originally from Dubai and currently enjoying the month of Ramadan. “I enjoy that I get to better myself and to understand what those who don’t have food and water on a daily basis must go through; It’s a humbling experience.” She also mentioned the personal difficulties for her, saying, “It’s hard in the U.K. because the day is so long- it’s 19 hours long.”
Dedication, self-reflection and self-discipline are significant during Ramadan. It’s the time of the year to focus on oneself and restraint from material desires. The idea is to keep people reminded of their thoughts and prayers during fasting for the rest of the year.
The Eid al-Fitr is even more satisfying for Muslims living in the U.K., since they face the longest Ramadan in 33 years since the holiday happens alongside the summer solstice, according to BBC News.
The feast will start after Ramadan ends and it will be a great celebration with particular prayers and meals shared by family, relatives, and friends. There will be gifts exchanged as well, reminiscent of Christmas.
For Muslims who are currently fasting and the ones who want to take this opportunity to practice self-reflection, hope you will have a successful and meaningful Ramadan. There will be 23 days left till Eid al-Fitr, so carry on!