Ramadan Kareem

‘Have u seen the moon yet??’, ‘Is Ramadan going to start tomorrow??’ seems to be on everyone’s lips as the evening before the first day of fasting wears on. Excitement hangs in the air. Somehow, Ramadan always seems like a magical month. As a child growing up in the middle east -being awakened in the wee hours of the morning, hearing a multitude of masjids call one for prayer and sitting and listening to my parents as they narrate incidents from the Holy Quran on charity, self-restraint, and repentance has always been special.

Ramadan is looked upon as a gifted month, when one can acquire many good habits and evolve themselves into better human beings. The effects are not supposed to last the duration of the month only but to be carried on through the year. The Arabs seem to capture the true essence of Islam…that is, the spiritual aspect. Everyone seems to be bent up upon doing good. Every evening, dozens of neighbors send food for iftari and kids run about delivering it from one house to another. The interesting thing is that even in school, the non-muslims catch on to the mood of the month and everyone is on their best behavior; they don’t even eat in front of you as a sign of respect. School and office hours are cut down-there are numerous festivals going on like the ‘Sharajah Ramadan Festival’, which liven up the evenings of the city. The food outlets which lay empty all day long spring to life at night and most of their business during the month is carried on after the evening.

The Holy Quran and the month of Ramadan are closely linked. Because the Holy Quran was revealed during the month of Ramadan, there is a special focus on the Quran and its teachings. Ramadan brings us closer to the Quran which in turn brings us closer to our Creator. All of us should strive to understand the Quran and it’s meaning more since it is, and always will be the best guide for a muslim.

The main element of Ramadan is the abstaining from food which is quite abused by some. We are not supposed to hog in the morning to get us through the day and then to stuff ourselves up again at night…no wonder most of us end up more bloated up at the end of the month of SELF-RESTRAINT. Not to mention how utterly unhealthy it is. We have to remember the main goal here, to give up worldly pleasures and to realize all that our Creator has given us and to give our thanks for it. The best way that one can break their fast is with dates and something light like fruits and juice. After which we pray
and then come back for the actual course, that typically consists of hareesa(a non-spicy version of haleem),fruit chaat, pakore, dahibarre..(ok, in Dubai, we start fasting a day before u guys-so have mercy…I’m not mentioning any more food items!!)

It’s time for all of you to start organizing your day according to your office, school commitments to coincide with your activities during this Holy month and believe me, it just takes a day to settle into the pattern. From then on it’s all smooth sailing -before you know it, you’ll be asking each other ‘have you seen the Eid moon yet?’ So stop reading now and go catch up on all the praying and the alms giving…the only thing left to say now is ‘RAMADAN MUBARAK!’

Personal Note: Pray for me, will you??

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