Ramadan began on April 23, and for many it will be very different this year because of restrictions imposed by state and federal governments during the coronavirus pandemic. Fatera Ahmed explains what Ramadan means in her home.
Ramadan is a holy month for Islamic adherents all over the world, where they follow certain restrictions from sunrise to sunset for 30 days.
Ramadan is a period of time where we put aside our worldly desires and focus on spiritual ascension. By giving up food and drink, music and parties, we Muslims come to realise the importance of patience and piety. And boy, does it teach us patience! No morning coffees or afternoon snacks can take a toll on you, but through this ban we are taught kindness and passion towards those who are less fortunate than us. It’s a beautiful lesson to learn.
Waking up early morning before sunrise can be a task in itself. The body does get used to it over time however, and before you know it you’re happily up at four am with a plate of food and glass of milk, happily munching away. The early morning prayer (fajr) takes thirty minutes and really does complete the ritual perfectly. Spirituality begins to feel good in this month with no distractions taking us away from what we find important. It is a fulfilling period of time that is believed to cleanse both body and soul.
Towards the end of the month there are a series of holy days we celebrate, where longer prayers are completed after breaking fast just after sunset. This leads up to the day we call ‘Eid al-Fitr’ which is a day of celebration. No one is allowed to fast on this day. We gather with family and friends on this day, eating and celebrating together. It’s a great day to spend with close family and an even better day to reunite with distant relatives and friends. This unification basically represents the unity we have before our creator (Allah – the Arabic word for God), and that we are all the same in God’s eyes.
The importance of fasting is seen in how our attitudes and behaviours change towards those around us. We also become better, spiritually, emotionally and physically.
The process is tedious, as are all things worth fighting for, but the end result really makes us better believers.
Ramadan is a blessed month for us Muslims. Ultimately, it is a time to remember our roots and prioritise what is truly important to us.