There’s a reason why I emerge after Ramadan as a better human being; what I get is based on what I give.” Ahmed Idris. WellShare COVID-19 Response Coordinator.
The holy month of Ramadan is upon us. Ramadan begins during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, dictated by the moon and lunar cycle. Ramadan is my 30-day ‘spiritual bootcamp’. Of course, fasting from food and drink is a hallmark but my spiritual journey is what I look forward to most. It’s a golden opportunity for me to grow spiritually, feel purified physically, and have increased empathy for the poor and underserved. I love it!
I spent days before Ramadan writing out my goals, daily action plan and identify bad habits I want to give up. Typically, my day begins at 4 AM. I wake to have a light meal called “Suhoor” and then join my family in morning prayer. Following that, my fast begins and I try to make the most of my day. My days are often long in my job as a COVID-19 Response Coordinator but the work certainly helps make time go by faster.
It’s noteworthy to add that COVID-19 has certainly changed the game. Following MN Department of Health guidelines, I now always wear a mask when praying at the mosque and community night prayers are socially distanced, all an effort to keep everyone safe. Muslims are encouraged to get vaccinated and our faith actually requires us to exercise caution and adhere to the advice of public health experts.
There are many misconceptions about Ramadan. I wish my non-Muslim friends could try out fasting for a day. Avoiding food/drink from sunrise to sunset is not all that difficult – the fruitful reward is cleaning oneself from all harmful habits and making a commitment to be a better human being. If you can’t, simply knowing and sharing the Ramadan greeting with your Muslim friend is a great way to share in the joy. You can exchange Ramadan greetings by saying: “Ramadan/Eid kareem” (have a generous Ramadan/Eid) or “Ramadan/Eid mubarak” (have a blessed Ramadan/Eid).
May this month be one full of blessings, grace, and forgiveness for you and your family!