If you have noticed that the spirit in the air this month is differently than normal, you are not the only one. On April 1st the holiest month for almost two billion people on this planet began, which will last until May 1st. In the Islam, people will fast during Ramadan, which is the nineth month of the Islamic calendar. For many Muslims, the Ramadan is a sacred time. It is one of the five pillars that are the core of the Islam. The other four are the profession of faith (Shahada), prayer five times a day (Salat), giving alms to charity (Zakat), and pilgrimage to the Mecca (Hajj)
Additional to religious reasons, fasting has also other additional benefits. It has been scientifically proven that fasting is good for the health for a number a reasons. For instance, it promotes blood sugar control by reducing insulin resistance, it might boost brain function and prevent neurodegenerative disorders, it results into weight loss by limiting calorie intake and boosting metabolism, it reduces inflammation and improves more muscle gain. However, as well as physical improvements, there are also mental benefits to fasting. It will improve your self-control and will-power as well as gaining more peacefulness and mental clarity.
Even though many people resonate the Ramadan with only fasting, there are so many other traditions and practices done in the holy month. It is a time of reflecting and spending time with your loved ones. Families often come together to spend this holy month with each other, creating the most beautiful memories. I always loved hearing these stories from my Muslim friends. After all, they are the ones that can give the most information about this month. For this reason, I asked them to tell me more about what Ramadan means to them.
Below, you can read their take on the holy month and their words about the meaning of it.
People often associate the Ramadan with fasting, but this month represents so much more. This month represents peace, tranquillity, forgiveness, mercy, and more. In this beautiful month we as Muslims focus on self-reflection and self-restraint. We try to be the best versions of ourselves to come closer to our faith.
For me, Ramadan is a month in which I can get closer to God. A month to think to myself about what I have done in the past year and what can I do to improve my relationship with my faith and with my God. It is a month of self-reflection. A month in which I spend a lot of time with my family and loved ones. A month that is not only about the worldly, but also about the spiritual.
I have noticed that in the Ramadan everyone experiences a different type of motivation. People want to their best with doing the right thing, achieving certain goals, and keeping bad habits behind. It’s a month where all the Muslims around the whole world experience the same thing, which makes us feel connected with each other. Everyone gives or start charities for people who need it, so that everyone has a little more and can live with it throughout the year. It does good to your aura and every year you have the chance to improve yourself in every type of way.
To me, Ramadan is about being patient and having constant self-reflection. It helps me to be grateful for what I have and to understand what it’s like to be in a position of those who are less fortunate, and most importantly, it improves my spiritual connection with God.
Author: Rashmi Baldew
Editor: Phoebe Elliott
Visuals by: Jülide Aytuğ