In 62 days Ramadan comes upon us and I’m going to try it.
Why may you ask? Well, Ramadan is an Islamic holy month during which Muslim people around the globe practice the fourth pillar of their religion: fasting. But Nicklas, are you a Muslim?
No, I’m not Muslim. Many people who don’t know what Ramadan often say stuff like “Are you trying to lose weight?” or “We can take a coffee at least, right?” No, that’s not what Ramadan is about. Ramadan is that time of the year, where not only do Muslims rest their bodies for a bit, but also learn gratitude for all that they have been given. It teaches them patience and reminds them of the struggle through which poor people go through every day. But again, what really is Ramadan? And why do Muslims fast that month, and not any different one?
You see, like many others, Muslims do have another calendar, which goes by according to lunar months. Unlike solar ones, they last between 29 and 30 days only, depending on the moon. Ramadan goes far in the past. Apart from it being fasted by the few Arabs who remained Hanifi (the religion of Abraham), it was also one of the four Haram months, during which the Arab tribes would stop all kinds of fighting. Muslim started using this calender under the rule of Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, the second Caliphate, companion and father-in-law of Prophet Muhammad. The day of its start celebrates the day in which Prophet Muhammad arrived at the Madinah back in 622 A.D.
One of the things that make Ramadan a holy month for the Muslim community is the fact that the first revelation of Qur’an came out at a night in its last week, called Al Qadr. This night is believed to be better than 1000 months of worship, which equals 84 years. Now, although the verse in Qur’an, where it says that fasting Ramadan is a must, is Madani (The term for the bits of Qur’an that were revealed after the Hijrah), many Muslims track the first fast to the early days of Islam. Muslims believe that there has been a conversation about the Prophet and Gabriel, the Angel, about the basic rules of Islam.
The major purpose behind fasting Ramadan is learning discipline, devotion, patience, and gratitude — All of which are high values, much needed in a cruel world. It helps you find more purpose and be more determined to achieve your goals. Not only that, but it also gives you such a pride in yourself. It teaches you to share a bond with people with less fortune than you, through sharing emotions such as hunger and exhaustion. It is a nice way to connect to such people anyone can be a part of at anytime. Health-wise, fasting Ramadan helps you adjust to a healthier diet, cut out fats and rest your body, as well as lose weight.
So when may the 15th hits I’m going on a sawm. It will be an exciting month. It’s always fun to celebrate something together. The feeling of not being alone, it’s really a wonderful feeling.
Ramadan is really fascinating to read and hear about.
Got much-needed help for this article from my friend Salim, check him out.