Ramadan is a period of fasting, reflection, devotion, generosity and sacrifice observed by Muslims around the world. While major holidays of other faiths have largely become commercialized events, Ramadan retains its intense spiritual meaning.
The word “Ramadan” comes from the Arabic root word for “parched thirst” and “sun-baked ground”. It is expressive of the hunger and thirst felt by those who spend the month in fasting. As opposed to other holidays, when people often indulge, Ramadan is by nature a time of sacrifice.
- Through fasting, a Muslim experiences hunger and thirst, and sympathizes with those in the world who have little to eat every day.
- Through increased devotion, Muslims feel closer to their Creator, and recognize that everything we have in this life is a blessing from Him.
- Through increased charity, Muslims develop feelings of generosity and good-will toward others. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once said, “A man’s wealth is never diminished by charity”.
- Through self-control, a Muslim practices good manners, good speech, and good habits.
- Through changing routines, Muslims have a chance to establish more healthy lifestyle habits – particularly with regards to diet and smoking.
- Through family and community gatherings, Muslims strengthen the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood, in their own communities and throughout the world.
May Allah accept our fasting, forgive our sins, and guide us all to the Straight Path. May Allah bless us all during Ramadan, and throughout the year, with His forgiveness, mercy and peace, and bring us all closer to Him and to each other.