By Abdul Karatela, IT Technical Support Officer at Riverside
When the subject of Ramadhan is brought up every year, I get asked a lot of questions by friends and colleagues. What is Ramadhan? What does it involve and what it means to me?
I thought I would summarise my thoughts on it, and hopefully make those who aren’t already aware, why Muslims partake in the month of Ramadhan.
What is Ramadhan?
Ramadhan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and is considered to be the most important month by many Muslims. It is expected to begin this weekend, on Saturday 27 May, dependant on the sighting of the new moon, and it will last for 29 to 30 days.
What does it involve?
During this month, Muslims across the world will take part in an intense month of fasting, spiritual purification and physical detoxification.
The fasting days this year will last around 19 hours, beginning at dawn and ending at sunset. Muslims have to refrain from eating or drinking during these hours – even a sip of water can invalidate the fast.
The fasting is intended to bring the faithful closer to God and to remind them of the suffering and those less fortunate. As well as fasting, Muslims tend to spend their spare time in prayers in order to strengthen their connection with God. Muslims often donate a portion of their wealth to charity during Ramadhan too.
What Ramadhan means to me?
For me personally, I always look forward to Ramadhan every year. Spending more hours in prayers, it’s a chance to detach myself from worldly pleasures and self-reflect.
Fasting allows me to find inner-peace, contemplate and to think about all those that are less fortunate. Moreover, I feel a great sense of gratitude for everything that I have.
I find myself more focussed at work with an increased drive and motivation to meet deadlines. Generally, I find myself to be a much calmer person to be around, although the lack of water, sleep and caffeine can get to me at times.
I use this month to think about how I can become a better colleague to my co-workers, a better friend to my peers and most importantly a better parent to my children. When Ramadhan ends, I am genuinely upset but try and carry forward all the positivity this month brings throughout the rest of the year.
I would like to wish all my colleagues at Riverside who will start fasting this weekend a peaceful, happy and blessed month.