“O you who believe, fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn self-restraint.” Qur’an 2:183
From Friday 24th or Saturday 25th of April 2020 (depending on the sighting of the new moon) Muslims around the world will begin the month of Ramadan, the 9th month of the lunar islamic calendar and will fast from pre-dawn to sunset. Fasting includes keeping away from food, drink and some usual habits, as prescribed in Islam through this verse in the Holy Quran.
Why do Muslims go through fasting, for a whole month abstaining from what is not allowed for upto 16 hours?
Once again, according to the verse, fasting teaches self-restraint or in other words patience and control. We learn to stay away from food and drink as God wants us to obey him and remember the hunger and thirst of those less fortunate. Fasting reminds and strengthen patience of living with others like family, friends and community. To hide shortcomings of others and help everyone who need it. The world is full of un-meaningful attractions made irresistible via loads of advertising, fasting teaches us to control our desires and spend and utilise wisely
This year is going to be different. Ramadan is called the spring of Mosque gatherings, the recitation of Holy Quran, a range of Congregational religious activities and ofcourse the Iftars (breaking of fast) which sadly wont happen due to the current situation restricting us to remain home for ours and others safety. However i think every community centre and Muslim has a plan. To turn their homes into Mosques, their families into congregations and keep the spirit alive. Technology is also helping immensely where prayer gatherings can be tuned into online.
With the hope that we get back to normal life soon and reflect to learn from the current situation, Ramadan Mubarak!
April 2020 – London