The sighting of the moon in the ninth lunar month of the calendar, is a big event in the worldwide Muslim community. It means that the Heavens have opened for those who fast, and the devils are chained up in the Hell until the end of the month. As Muslims, we refrain from eating, drinking, intimate relations, abusive language and behavior, and backbiting during this Blessed Month.
The month of Ramadan is the month that God (Allah in Arabic) bestowed upon humankind the miracle of the Qur'an. It is truly a miracle because no matter what period of time a person lives in, every word of the Holy Text applies. The Qur'an is our map to life.
One of the pillars of our faith is fasting during this month. Just as a marathon runner trains all year for the big race, Muslims train all their lives for the Eternal Bliss of the Hereafter. Through refraining from all of our bodily wants and needs during this month, we are focusing on what our souls need. Our souls are with us just as long as our bodies are, yet they, if lucky, get one month out of the whole year for solace and reflection. Sadly this is the truth for most of us. We only have one month to reflect, ask for forgiveness, thank God for every single thing He has bestowed upon us, straighten ourselves out as best we can, and then the month is over.
My children used to ask why we fast. I would reply that it was one way to help us see what it feels like to be poor, to not have food and water. I see that I was not completely right in telling them this. We fast to become rich. We fast to give our bodies and souls time to heal. We fast to give complete and utter thanks to the One who created us. Ramadan is a mercy to humankind.
Oh Muslims, please don't let this Ramadan escape your grasp, as who knows if we'll live to see another beautiful month like this one. May Allah (SWT) accept your fast, accept your repentance and enter you and your loved ones into a Bliss beyond your imaginations in the Highest of Paradise with our Beloved Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), Allahuma Ameen.
Ramadan Kareem and peace be with you all,