Ramadan- A month of Reflection, and Forgiveness, and Community

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When people hear about Ramadan, the first and only thing they think of is “no food or water?” This blessed month is so much more than just fasting — it’s a reconnection to friends, family, and faith.

For Muslims, Ramadan is about being with the community. Gathering together for Iftar, a meal held at sunset to break your fast, waking up for suhoor, the meal before sunrise, it’s all a way to come together and celebrate. Every night of the weekend (and some weekdays) we go to an iftar with our friends and family. We pray together, feast together, and catch up.

Going to “Friday night” at the IAR (Islamic Association of Raleigh) holds a special place for muslims of all ages.

Little kids play on the playgrounds, teenagers play basketball or walk to the cookout, and adults catch up on their busy lives while they drink tea from the Cafe. Although this program happens year-long, it’s most special during this holy month. 

Spiritually, extra prayer and reading the Quran is common and encouraged. We’re encouraged to forgive each other for past actions and choose to start fresh with our relationships. 

Although not the main part, fasting is something all Muslims partake in during Ramadan. We fast from sunrise to sunset, starting with suhoor before and iftar to break it. To many people, it remains a mystery as to why we fast. “Why are we starving ourselves?”

Similar to Lent, one of the reasons we fast is to empathize with people who aren’t fortunate enough to have access to food and water. Fasting is also a form of religious obligation for overcoming desires within a reasonable limit. We do this in hopes of learning control to prevent becoming a slave to their appetites. 

By abstaining from things that people tend to take for granted (such as water), we’re able to reflect on things that matter. 

As the month of Ramadan continues, keep in mind the beauty and peace that it brings, along with the fasting. Educate yourself further on the topics you don’t know much about. By doing this, you eliminate the danger of only knowing one story. 

 

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