In our latest Living Muslim Youth segment we invited children to come in and share their thoughts with us about Ramadan, including what they enjoy specifically about the month. With a short twist, we then showed them a video of what Ramadan is like for those around the world. Their responses would bring a tear to your eye.
For each person, fasting can mean something different. It brings out the best in people, but at the end of the day, we fast because Allah commanded us to do so in the Quran.
In the 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar, Muslims are required to fast between sunrise and sunset. This includes abstinence from food, drink and sexual intercourse. One must also be physically and mentally able to fast. Further, travelers are exempt from fasting. Fasting promotes patience, discipline and increases purity of the mind and piety.
What does Ramadan mean to you?
“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous. [Fasting for] a limited number of days. So whoever among you is ill or on a journey [during them] – then an equal number of days [are to be made up]. And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] – a ransom [as substitute] of feeding a poor person [each day]. And whoever volunteers excess – it is better for him. But to fast is best for you, if you only knew. The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.”
Nevertheless, it is crucial that we remember those who are less fortunate than us. Living in a developed country, we often overlook our countless blessings and privileges. What may be considered the norm, basic shelter, food, water, would be a dream come true for those living in third world or developing countries.
So this year, this Ramadan, remember to thank Allah for your blessings. Be mindful of your food, and do not waste or throw anything out. Give money to the poor generously and all sincere actions will be rewarded by Allah. Teach your children about the blessings of Islam, and the privileged life their live and teach them to be mindful in everything they do.
May Allah bless our children around the world. May He grant you all success this month, and may He be pleased with your fasting and worship. Ameen
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