Ramadan, the most anticipated month in the Muslim calendar is now approaching. It is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, which is based on the lunar cycle. During Ramadan, Muslims are not allowed to eat or drink anything from sunrise to sunset. This often begets the questions, “Why do Muslims enjoy it?”
These are 5 reasons why:
1.A time for self-improvement
While self-improvement should never be set aside for one time of the year, it is different in Ramadan. Muslims believe that during this month the gates of Heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed. Therefore, it is easier to get rid of your vices and focus on purifying your soul of actions throughout the year that have negatively impacted your habits. During Ramadan, you are able to reflect upon your weaknesses and predicaments and ask questions necessary to become a better version of yourself.
2. Get closer to God
A lot of the reflection done in this month is during prayers and the recitation of the Holy Book, the Qur’an. When you’re fasting, you’re able to access a more vulnerable part of yourself. You’ll find yourself often thinking about those who are less fortunate than yourself, and it will make you feel more grateful to God. During Ramadan, you’ll look forward to prayer times and feel a special connection where you are more able to express your fears and hopes. It feels great to know that no matter what condition you are in, you can rely on the power of prayer to feel better.
3. Strong bond in the community
During Ramadan, there is a sense of a stronger connection within the Muslim community. It is not surprising to see many of my Muslim friends be awake till 5 in the morning to eat with their families and pray at the sunrise. People understand what others are going through when they are fasting. The mosque is usually more crowded during Ramadan as well. To see so many Muslims of different races and ethnicities all gathered under one roof just to hear the word of God is both empowering and beautiful to watch.
Arguably the BEST time in Ramadan! You can’t appreciate Ramadan without appreciating the amazing food you get to eat when you break your fast. Breaking the fast with family and often friends is an amazing feeling. The feasts are made in good quantities with all members of the family coming together to contribute. This is also the time when all the streets and grand hotels light up and open with amazing foods to offer. Some of our best memories growing up is definitely going to Ramadan bazaars and awesome buka puasa buffets!
After a month of fasting, the celebration of Eid-al-Fitr is the best part about Ramadan. Muslims wear new clothes and rejoice with family and friends. Kids often receive money or angpow packets from their elders. It’s a joy to see everyone celebrating with their loved ones and the community as well. The prayers for Eid are always great because the mosque will be full of hundreds and hundreds of Muslims within the community, some of whom you maybe hadn’t seen before. It is a beautiful show of love and unity.
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