Every year, more than 1.4 billion Muslims all around the world celebrate the holy month of Ramadan. They fast from sunrise to sunset, for thirty days, in celebration of the first revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). But Ramadan isn’t just a celebration; it is a time to feel with the poor and to humble one’s self in front of God, to thank him for his virtues and blessings.
Ramadan is a very lovable month, and since it only occurs once a year, it is celebrated widely in different ways, in each part of the globe. What makes Ramadan special is that its spirit is felt all around, not just for Muslims, but for Christians living amongst them. This spirit of happiness and innocence is ubiquitous and is not exclusive. Sharing and experiencing the spirit of Ramadan is what makes it so unique, it unites Arabs and Muslims together, and it gives off this feeling of joy that is anticipated by Muslims all around!
Ramadan feels like a spiritual month for Muslims, it is a time of worship and devotion, of prayer and holiness. Most mosques will be full at the time of each prayer, and the beautiful sound of Taraweeh will be heard in the streets each night. This holy month is a spiritual journey that is concluded by Eid. This is a time when Muslims will get closer to their God, they will pray and recite Quran and, of course, fast. This is a time of gathering, which is probably one of the best things about this month; families will gather each day to break their fast together. These merry nights are the highlight of Ramadan, it brings friends and families closer together, through food and drink and jokes and stories of the past!
The spirit of Ramadan is not solely for Muslims though, anyone who lives in a Muslim country will no doubt feel the liveliness that defines Ramadan. The streets are lit with lights of all colors, shops stay open till late at night, and men women and children fill the streets, walking and laughing and contributing to the spirit.
However, the essence of this month is sharing. During Ramadan, most people will go out of their way to help those in need. Most will distribute meals to the poor at the time of the Iftar, mosques will have food for everyone who cannot afford to have their own, and people will be lining up to get their share. It is not just food that is handed out, clothes and supplies will be given, and any amount of money that can be spared will no doubt be given to the nearest one in need.
Ramadan kindles the spirit of sharing and demands feeling with those less fortunate. It gives us a taste of what those people go through each day, and, for a moment, it feels that all of us are one, and we can all share in each other’s joy and sadness. The unity that is created will definitely be what is most precious; the unity of Christians and Muslims, rich and poor in every corner, is invaluable.
Though this month is mostly about fasting, it stopped being that a long time ago. The spirit of Ramadan is now one of spirituality and getting closer to God, sharing and caring for those in need. It is family gathering and laughter. Ramadan might come once a year, but the generosity which it kindles is wonderful and exacts a celebration that is always anticipated. It is a spirit that nothing can break!