Our Muslim brothers and sisters will begin observing Ramadan this week. Keeping Ramadan is one of the pillars of living a life faithful to Islam. It is a time to focus on the spiritual aspects of life and grow closer to God.
Ramadan lasts about a month. Since the starting and ending dates are determined by a lunar calendar, Ramadan can take place at any time of the year. During Ramadan, Muslims will fast from food and drink during daylight hours, from sunrise to sundown. Since Ramadan this year occurs so close to the summer solstice, the faithful will not eat or drink from before 6 a.m. until after 8 p.m. — that’s 14 hours! (There are exceptions for children, for those who are ill, and for pregnant women and nursing mothers.) It’s not unusual for folks to wake up very early in the morning, eat something, and go back to sleep until it’s time to start the day. That way, they can eat something before they begin their work day. Once the sun sets, families and friends gather to break their fast together.
More than that, people fast from gossip, jealousy, anger, and anything else that can distract them from their love of God and neighbor. They pray more and are more generous to charity.
So, why am I posting about this? For a few reasons:
For those who observe, Ramadan Kareem.