• Alastar Connor

Ramadan

How amazing is this?


Ramadan begins this evening and lasts 30 days and ending at sundown on Saturday, May 23.


Muslims also believe that during this month the gates to heaven are open and the doors to hell are closed. (Which reminds me of my post about Bardo...the pause between life and death, the space between one period of our life and the next, a forced reflective period from which we emerge forever changed.) Muslims use the month of Ramadan to focus on their connection to God, reflect on their lives, and spend quality time with friends and family. Fasting during Ramadan is also one of the five pillars of Islam. In the Islam faith, the fast teaches discipline, sacrifice, mindfulness, reflection, and empathy for those who are less fortunate.


Fasting occurs from sunrise to sunset each day. The intention of fasting is known to Muslims as niyyah which translates to the word intention.


This is also a time of generosity and goodwill. Muslims believe that good deeds are rewarded more handsomely during Ramadan than at any other time of the year. During the beginning of Ramadan, Muslims keep the aspect of charity even closer to their hearts. Charity iftar meals are served throughout various locations. The idea is that these meals will be catered to those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford a meal. Clothes, books and non-perishable food are the top three items that are needed and at the top of donation received lists.


The entirety of Ramadan promotes quality time with loved ones. Therefore, people oftentimes come together for meals and mend quarrels that have occurred throughout the year.


An older tradition is the Ramadan cannon. Two cannon shots are fired – and these shots are considered as the official announcements for the beginning of Ramadan and the morning of Eid Al Fitr which is the festival of ending the month of fasting. (Reminds me of our yacht club summer cannons.). Around the world, Muslims celebrate with lights and decorations. In Egypt, "fanoos" -- lanterns made of tin and colored glass -- decorate streets and mosques. In the past, children played with the lanterns in the streets.


Minus the fasting, doesn't this sound like what we are all being forced to do right now? Interestingly, Muslims around the world are actually mourning not being able to celebrate their holiday with all their loved ones. Amazing to see different cultures, religions, science, government, psychology, philosophy, and mental health all merge into this one period in time.


These are some of the tips they gave for helping make it through Ramadan and sound a lot like the tips we have for making it through quarantine! We are all in this together friends. Sending love and light!


Sleep

It's important to get enough sleep and take naps where you can.


Stay connected

Your friends and family are in the same boat as you, and you will be able to support each other. There’s nothing like a quick chat or call on Facebook or WhatsApp to keep you motivated. No pressure. Remember to go easy on yourself.

It is perfectly okay to take time out and focus on your own needs.


Hobbies

Find something you enjoy doing that will take your mind off fasting. This hobby should give you focus and make you forget about how difficult it is.


Stay hydrated

Your body needs water.


Routine

Create some routine in your day and make lists of things to do- from gardening to reading.


Humble

Stay humble and remind yourself why you are grateful to be able to take part in Ramadan. Write it down every day, and read it often as you like. Take the list out and recite it when times get tough.

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