Ramzan is not simply about restraining ourselves from consuming food from dawn till dusk. We must also fast with our other senses—in other words: see no evil, hear no evil and talk no evil.
By Bazil Hulmani
It is of great benefit to us to take some time out of our busy schedules to reflect on our surroundings and appreciate all that this world has to offer. Muslims around the world exercise their religious duties by taking part in the holy month of Ramzan (or Ramadan). This is the time when Muslims fast from dawn until dusk for several days as a way to appreciate all that they are given while remembering those who are less fortunate.
Fasting in the month of Ramzan is obligatory for all Muslims, as stated in the Quran:
Believers, fasting has been prescribed for you, just as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard yourselves against evil. (2:183)
Night of Moon-Sighting
Ramzan is the most special month in the Islamic calendar. The night of the moon-sighting always fills me with a tingling excitement. I can’t describe that feeling of inner peace and fulfillment. Ramzan is not simply about restraining ourselves from consuming food from dawn till dusk. We must also fast with our other senses—in other words: see no evil, hear no evil and talk no evil. It is a month to reconnect with God and ask wholeheartedly for forgiveness. It is a month to better ourselves as Muslims as well as human beings. It is a month that teaches us self-control, humility, sacrifice, good will.
The first few days are tough. There’s plenty of tummy rumblings and weak limbs, but our bodies do a great job at adjusting, and of course God gives us strength. Once the rhythm catches on, the days seem to snowball into the next, far 5too quickly. For me, by the third or fourth day I am all set into the new routine.
During Ramzan, my prayers increase in frequency, and so does the time I spend reading the Quran. Breaking the fast at sunset with my family is a gratifying experience, in regard not only to the food but also the well-being and togetherness of the family around the table. I love to break my fast with a date and then have a meal that I am blessed to share with my family. I must remember not to eat too quickly, as it just ends up giving me stomach cramps and makes praying straight after a whole lot of food harder too!
Increase One’s Patience
To me, Ramzan is a time to increase one’s sabr (patience), closeness to God and generosity towards others, especially the less fortunate. Waking up before the sun rises is not an easy task. Yet, my family, like many others, wake up for sehri, an early breakfast, in preparation for the day’s fast. For me, this is a time to reflect and be grateful to God for everything that God gives because once the sun rises I will no longer be able to enjoy copious amounts of food for some hours.
This Ramzan is going to be yet another challenging one in terms of fasting in the peak of summer in sizzling hot Mumbai, where I live. Yet, I am grateful to hopefully witness yet another holy month and I hope to make the best of it.