Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Ramadan

 Ramadan Kareem! 

     I am excited to experience this wonderful celebration first hand and I wish to share with you the things that I know about it so far.

     First of all, it's my personal belief that Ramadan is not only for Muslims and it is certainly not only about refraining from eating and drinking throughout the day. It is much more than that. Muslims all over the world take this month to reflect on their lives, focus on spirituality, communicate with God and clean up their bodies and souls. It is a time to find guidance within one's self, make peace with the ones that have done us wrong and work on improving relationships with family and friends.
      It is also a time to spread positivity, love, kindness and generosity.

     There are a few rules, or rather guidelines to follow when living in a Muslim country, during Ramadan.
  •  People greet one another with Ramadan Kareem or Ramadan Mubarak, meaning generous Ramadan or blessed Ramadan
  • It is forbiden to eat or drink in public (as well as smoking and chewing gum) until the time of iftar (the breaking of the fast at sundown)
  • It is advised to dress in a decent way, by wearing loose clothes that cover the knees and shoulders
  • People should refrain from listning to music out loud, as it is considered insensible to the ones fasting, resting and meditating
  •  Non-Muslims should respect the adapted working hours and prayer times of those fasting during Ramadan
  • As it is the month of peace and serenity, swearing, fighting and cursing are extremely frowned upon
  • Fasting is not reccomended to people with medical conditions and women who are pregnant
  • Non-Muslims should avoid driving close to sundown as much as possible, as most Muslims will be heading to mosques or to break their fast at iftar celebrations
  • Iftar is a time that everyone should make the most of, as the feelings of community and togetherness are really special, plus t is a great opportunity to relax, have amazing food, enjoy great Arabic entertainment and share it all with family and the closest of friends.
(text adapted from Time Out Abu Dhabi - The ultimate guide to Ramadan) 

     I will get back to you once I figure out what Ramadan means to me. I promise to do my best at having the most authentic learning experience. Because it is a great opportunity to learn about faith, unity, generosity and personal self. I will even try fasting for a day or two, although the thought of going trough a whole day without water seems like the hardest thing to me. And I will definitely try to be kinder, more patient and more reflective.
     

P.S. I don't understand why the font in this post is suddenly different. Tried re-writing, re-posting, changing sizes and fonts, but nothing seems to work... 

2 comments:

Rachel said...

Cool! One of my old flatmates is Muslim, and I learnt SO much about Ramadan from her. I spent some time in Jordan during Ramadan a couple of years ago and tried fasting for a day - in the Wadi Rum desert. It takes an insane amount of discipline to avoid water until sundown there, and I felt incredibly ill - and too weak to eat - when the time came to break my fast.

It's worth a try though - if only to see how much respect is really deserved during Ramadan - particularly when it's hot!

toytulip said...

My husband is Muslim (actually, half Jordanian-half German) and he was fasting yesterday. It was definitely not easy on him, especially since he hasn't been used to this routine since living in Germany. I just spent a whole week detoxing with freshly extracted juices and smoothies,so quitting solid foods is not a problem, but just like you, I can't imagine how hard it must be not drinking any water. It sure is an experience that teaches you a lot, i suppose. Discipline is just one of the lessons!
It's really nice knowing that you've spent time in Jordan, I haven't had a chance to go there yet.

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