So it’s that time of year again, Ramadan. For those of you who don’t know, Ramadan is a month of fasting practiced by Muslims. The fast is from sunrise to sunset and includes abstaining from sin. That meaning not only do Muslims not eat and drink (yes not even water) each day but we also have to abstain from lying, losing our patience, hurting another’s feelings, cheating of any sort (which are all looked down on outside of the month as well) and doing anything immoral. Many Muslim women choose to wear the headscarf and more modest clothing for the duration of the month.
Islam sets out a compulsory charity for all Muslims who earn (are in possession of) above a given amount of wealth to be given to the poor and many choose to give this charity in Ramadan along with other non-compulsary charities and community drives as it is said to be a month of blessings. It’s a month in which those of us who are privileged come to newly appreciate what a blessing it is to have food on out tables and try to assist community members who aren’t as lucky as us.
That said, given the unstable political climate and mass Islamophobia that’s been happening, Ramadan is a sacred month that harms nobody and brings joy to many. It is not compulsory (nor recommended) for the sick and pregnant to fast nor is it something forced on children. Please stand up for any Muslims who are partaking in this practice and are being harassed for choosing to take part in the fast. It is meant to be a month of spiritual peace.
Over the years I’ve had non-Muslim acquaintances ask if it would be offensive to join us in fasting (for a day, half a day, a week or even the whole month. The lovely Christian lady who used to drive me home joined for the entire month! ) or join in on just the charity work. No it is not offensive, we welcome anybody who wants to join us in any way.
I hope this helps!
For all the Muslims reading this, wishing you a most blessed month 🌛