Ramadan: The Muslim Holy Month
By Haneen Hammad
The Muslim holy month of Ramadan is underway, and there is a chance you probably don’t know a whole lot about it.
I am here to help.
Ramadan is a sacred month for Muslims because it is when God revealed the first verses of the Quran to Mohammad (PBUH) on a night known as “The Night of Power.”
During this entire month, 1.6 billion Muslims fast every day from dawn to sunset. Does that include water? Yes, even water.
Some Muslims also refrain from negative thoughts, swearing, gossiping and/or listening to music as ways to avoid distractions and focus on one’s spiritual self.
Ramadan is meant to be a time for spiritual connection with God. It is a time where Muslims don’t focus on materialistic things such as food. They work on their relationships with God, extra prayer, and an increase in generosity and kindness.
What is the purpose of Ramadan?
Taking part in fasting serves several purposes. One is to feel what it is like to be hungry and thirsty so they can feel compassion and build on the desire to help the poor and the needy.
Not only is there a spiritual gain in Ramadan, but also a medical one. A study done by a team at the University of Southern California has looked at how fasting affects the body. It has found that fasting is linked to health benefits in almost every system of the body, and to a longer lifespan.
And in terms of what you can do to help your Muslim friends, there isn’t much. But Muslims, including myself, would love you to wish them a “Happy Ramadan!”