One Riverside colleague talks about Ramadan and what it means to him.
The month of Ramadan is the month of great spiritual gains and profits. So we make the most of this month by doing lots of acts of worship, praying a great deal, reading Qur’an, forgiving people, being kind to others and giving charity to the poor.
As a family we all encourage each other in taking part in charity, reading the Qur’an, joining the daily prayers at the local mosque, holding open iftar and helping out in the mosque with all charitable functions.
What is Ramadan?
Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, along with the Muslim declaration of faith, daily prayer, charity, and performing the hajj pilgrimage in Mecca.
In this month the Muslim holy book Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him PBUH), the gates of paradise are wide open and the gates of hell are shut.
It’s the month of the night of Al Qadr (Decree). This night is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months).
What does it involve?
Adult able-bodied healthy Muslims will not drink liquid and eat solid food from sunrise to sunset. This means while in fasting state one must not fight, curse or have evil thoughts, and should be tolerant, have patience, and control all desires, including hunger and thirst.
As well as abstaining from food and water, Muslims observing Ramadan will also take stock of ourselves and recognising our shortcomings in fulfilling our duties, or our shortcomings in not keeping away from the desires and doubts that we may have fallen into.
We should recognise our shortcomings in doing acts of worship such as praying in congregation, remembering Allah, paying attention to the rights of colleagues, neighbours, plants, animals, the environment, relatives and the wider creation of Allah.
We should keep away from innovations and things that have been introduced into the religion. We should follow the example of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companions and adhere to the way of the Prophet (PBUH) and his companions.
What does Ramadan mean to you?
I see Ramadan as a time of self-reflection, self-control, and caring about the creation of Allah. We are encouraged to think about the environment, the plants, the animals, our colleagues, neighbours, the community we live in, the orphans, the homeless, the poor and the needy of our community.
This is a month of charity where Muslims open their doors to all, give to charities and feed the poor whoever they may be. I have always seen Ramadan as a time where different communities come together and break bread. I like that up and down the country Muslims hold open door iftar sessions where anyone can come and join in.
Muslims compete with each other on doing good deeds, giving to charities and making a real change in their own life as well in the lives of others. I see Ramadan as a month of not taking but more as a month of giving and sharing. It makes us think about what we are doing as a person and how we can improve and help our community and society as a whole. It encourages us to reach out to everyone and live in peace and harmony.
I am really looking forward to Ramadan and I cannot wait for it to begin
How can non-fasting colleagues help during Ramadan?
I think Riverside already does a very good job of being mindful of colleagues who are observing Ramadan. We have a very good equality and diversity values and cultures embedded in Riverside which further enhances this.