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Experiences of Ramadan, by Rashidat Ali from Brit

Category: charity, testimonial, Faith, Faith & Culture, Family, Insurance, Staff Testimonial, ramadan, month of ramadan, faith & belief, Brit Insurance, Brit

Religious Beliefs

Rashidat Ali from Brit

I am excited to be writing this short piece on what Ramadan means to me. It is not something that I often discuss with anyone outside my circle of family and friends.

The holy month of Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar and I observe it because it is one of the five pillars of Islam.  It is also the month the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammed (SAW) and is a month filled with tremendous blessings.

What does it mean to me? Ramadan provides me with the opportunity for renewing my faith, it is the month when I press my reset button on my spiritual believes, it is a time for me to take stock of my spiritual goals.

Ramadan brings certain expectations on Muslims, including the requirement of giving up food and drink from sunrise to sunset. For me, giving up food makes me appreciate the blessings I take for granted and gives me a renewed appreciation upon breaking my fast. It also elevates my empathy for people around the world in a perpetual state of hunger for reasons beyond their control.

Islam encourages giving of charity to the less privileged, this is emphasised during this month because it is such a blessed one, and as the saying goes that “charity begins at home” we pay particular attention to teaching our kids about the virtues of giving, by encouraging them to give some of their savings, sharing their old clothes, etc.  As a family, we also support our local community and give through available online platforms. I also use it as a reminder to pay my Zakat, which is the compulsory giving of a set proportion of one's wealth to charity and is enjoined on Muslims as purification of wealth.

I also work on fasting of the “tongue and mind” during this month, which means avoiding any negative or unnecessary conversations and thoughts.

Before Covid, Ramadan also meant breaking our fast with family and friends by sharing the sunset meals (Iftar), alternating between our homes, which was always a joyous experience and the evening would end with us doing the mid-evening prayers (Maghrib) together. This was something we enjoyed doing, but we were unable to do it last year and this year because of the Covid restrictions.

As Muslims, we believe that God descends to the lower heaven at some point during the last 10 nights, saying: ‘Is there no one who will ask Me for forgiveness, that I may forgive him? Is there no one who will ask Me for provision so that I may provide for him? Is there no one who is afflicted by trouble, that I may relieve him?’ And so on, until dawn comes.’” – Sunan Ibn Majah, so I spend some additional time and focus on my prayers, reading of the Quran, and meditation during the last 10 nights.

A successful Ramadan for me always ends with a renewed sense of faith, with spending time in prayer, having overcome some personal hardship, experiencing the love of the community, sharing with people in need, and “hopefully” forgiveness.

Finally, thank you so much for reading this piece, below are some websites, if you are interested in taking part in a Ramadan challenge or supporting someone during Ramadan.

https://www.launchgood.com/ramadan

https://www.muslimaid.org/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI-NyR4L_S7wIVKoBQBh2GYwk4EAAYAiAAEgIFQPD_BwE

https://humanappeal.org.uk/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIr_eAicDS7wIVyZ7tCh2H1gB9EAAYAiAAEgLCBPD_BwE

 

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