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Ramadan: Means to cultivate self-control, empathy

Ramadan: Means to cultivate self-control, empathy
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By: M Ahmad

The primary purpose of Ramadan is to purify one’s heart, mind, and soul. Fasting serves as a means to cultivate self-control, empathy, and gratitude. By restraining ourselves from food and drink during daylight hours, we gain a deeper appreciation for our blessings while developing compassion for those less fortunate.

Moreover, Ramadan fosters unity within the Muslim community by bringing families together for “Sahri” and “Iftar” meals – where bonds are strengthened over shared meals and conversations. Additionally, congregational Taraweeh prayers create an atmosphere of collective supplication that further strengthens communal ties.

Ramadan can be a very powerful cultural event for the development of inter-community links, promotion of mutual understanding, and celebration of diversity. The inclusive features of Ramadan traditions make people of different faiths unite.

Furthermore, Ramadan fosters community harmony and unity. It is a time when families and friends come together to break their fast, share meals, and engage in worship. The sense of unity and support that Ramadan fosters is an important aspect of its excellence, as it strengthens relationships among individuals and promotes solidarity within the Muslim community.

Ramadan holds significance beyond fasting, as it becomes a special time for friends and family to come together during iftar. Ramadan provides a unique opportunity for families to come together. The pre-dawn meal, known as “Sahri,” and the evening meal to break the fast, called “Iftar,” are often communal experiences. Families gather to share these moments, reinforcing bonds and creating lasting memories. Communities also organize special events, lectures, and charitable activities, further strengthening the social fabric.

Ramadan is a month of mercy and bonding — Muslims all over the world help one another, and those outside their community, spreading happiness all around. This month is a shining example of the unity that can be achieved among all classes of people in any society, as the rich and poor, the employer as well as the employee, the parents as well as the child, the ruler as well as the subjects, all keep fast.

Regardless of the color of their skin or their social stature, fasting unites us all. It reminds us how we should conduct ourselves and our behavior towards those around us, while also teaching us the importance of respect. Not only do we learn to abstain from food and drink, but we also abstain from making any statements and actions that may cause harm to people or violate their rights.

It gives us an opportunity to rectify ourselves through performing numerous good deeds such as providing food or aid to the needy, improving social interaction, giving charity and Sadaqah, Zakat, and so on. Ramadan teaches unity through the shared experience of fasting and devotion to faith, as well as through communal prayer and breaking fast together.

Muslims are encouraged to come together as a community during Ramadan, promoting a sense of togetherness and unity. All Muslims at the same time, in the month of Ramadan, abide by the same rules, refraining from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk. And collectively, that is, rich-poor, fair-black, men and women all obey the command of Allah together. Hence, the image of great unity emerged. Fasting teaches people to refrain from quarrels and fights In this way, it encourages the establishment of harmony and love between each other.

When we are united – either with our friends in a common cause for good or with our partners in a marriage – we gain a sense of strength and belonging as part of a greater unit. This idea of strength and unity applies to the broader Ummah as well. Uniting with others to reach greater goals is a powerful force. On a personal level, Ramadan encourages Muslims to reflect on their actions and strive to become better versions of themselves. It is a time to practice self-discipline and strengthen faith. Even as we gather and bond, we take the necessary time to heal and find peace. Ramadan also teaches us the importance of empathy and compassion towards others. By fasting, we are reminded of the struggles of those less fortunate than us and are encouraged to give back to our communities through acts of charity and volunteer work. Many Muslims come together to help others.

After the month is over, and we have all observed our final fast, and the Eid celebrations are dealt with, we will all return to our normal lives. But, it is important that we keep the spirit of Ramadan alive for the rest of the year, and indeed the rest of our lives. Because it is only through unity, modesty, and temperance that we can make the world a better place for all of us.

(The author is a columnist. He can be reached at [email protected])

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