Friday, 14 September 2007

Ramadan mabrouk karim!

Today is the first day of the holy month of Ramadan here in Morocco (in some parts of the planet it started yesterday). I want to wish all my Muslim sisters and brothers a blessed month from the bottom of my heart. I'm not a Muslim and I don't have any intention to become one either, but I have the greatest respect for people of other religions and Islam in particular is one I think stands very close to my own religion. I know a lot of people won't agree with me and I don't blame you. Media in the western world should be ashame of themselves, because they tend to focus on the bad things and look the other way when it comes to the good things. Because there ARE good things about Islam, lots of things.

One thing I really like about Islam is the month of Ramadan. Every adult Muslim has the obligation to fast for 29 or 30 days a year. The Muslim calendar follows the moon and not the sun like we do, so their months are slightly shorter than ours. During Ramadan the Muslims are not allowed to eat or drink ANYTHING between sunup and sundown. Not even a sip of water. And that's hard. I know, because I've done it. Not just one time, 3 times actually. So I have my own personal experience from fasting the Muslim way. The first year I fasted was because my husband kept telling me how difficult it is and that only a true Muslim is able to do so. I didn't think that was true. So I said I would try for one day. And yes, it was hard. My mouth got very, very dry, my tongue was swollen, I felt dizzy. I had problems speaking by the end of the day and I suffered from headache. But then came the time to eat. And you know what? The food tasted like heaven! After more than 12 hours without anything to eat or drink the food smelled sooo good and the taste was delicious! Honestly, the food has never tasted better than after a day without it. That sensation of achievement (I made it! I conquered my feelings of hunger!) and pride made me keep on fasting for the rest of the month.

But Ramadan is so much more than just not eating during the day. What I like the most about this month is that people try to let God play a bigger role in their life. I know lots of Muslims who never pray otherwise but during Ramadan never miss a single one of the 5 daily prayers. I wish I could pray 5 times a day, every day, and not just when I wake up and when I go to bed. I admire the Muslims for taking the time to talk to God no matter what they're doing. When it's time to pray, they go and wash themselves, lay out the praying rug and prey - even if they are in the middle of the street!

Ramadan is also about caring about other people. This is the time of year when people try to forgive everyone who's done them any harm during the year and make up for harms done, so they can get to the end of the month with a clean heart. You should not get angry during this month (oh, I LOVE this one! My husband and I don't fight for a whole month, that would never happen otherwise. *lol*) and spend as much time as you possibly can reading the Quran (their holy book) and praying. I think we all should spend more time with God and this world would be a better place for all of us.

God bless!


Sofia said...

I admire you for lots of things, and fasting is certainly one of them. I always say that I will try one day, but I never do. Maybe one day... "inshallah".

Kram, Sofia - non-muslim