Happy wishes, Ramadan Kareen, as we enter the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, and literally translates as “burning/scorching heat’” which per se does not sound too promising but makes sense, that month was when the Quran was first revealed to the prophet Muhammad by Allah.
Typically what most people know is that fasting marks this month celebration during daylight hours, abstinence from food and water, interrupted between sundown and sunrise. As a matter of fact fasting is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, meaning obligatory in the life of observant Muslims, along with faith, prayer, charity and Hadj (the pilgrimage to Mecca). By the way, fasting is not just food, its about drinking, bad habits, sex, swearing, gossiping and any other sins, as food and water are consumed heartily before dawn and after sunset.
Fasting allows believers to express their faith through prayers, expressing gratitude, seeking forgiveness and helping the needy. Concerning this last part would like to share a personal experience of observing Ramadan as an outsider travelling through Eastern Turkey in this period, and that was witnessing massive pavilions and tents set up outside the Mosques which were alit with colourful lights right after sunset and volunteers set long tables with all kinds of delicious food worthy of a king offered freely to any passerby, even to non-Muslims. So I was invited to join and looking around saw businesspeople in smart suits and dresses sharing the meal with homeless, workers, elders and youth in a time marked with joy and sense of community.
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