(This is an article i wrote to educate people about Ramadan and have submitted it to my University magazine, inshallah they agree to publish it. So i thought i’d also post it here 🙂 )
Al Salamu Alayakum (Which means Peace be upon everyone),
On Thursday 11th July Muslims in New Zealand began celebrating the Holy month of Ramadan. Now for those of you who know what Ramadan is, good on you!
For those of you who don’t, no worries! I thought I’d write this article to let people know and understand the beauty of Ramadan.
Ramadan takes place on the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar (Yes, there is an Islamic Calendar called the ‘Hijri Calendar’ 😀 ).
In this blessed month we must refrain ourselves from many things such as eating, drinking, smoking, and having sexual intercourse with partners (should be easy for the forever aloners) during daylight hours. Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, where they can break their fast, usually by eating a date according to Sunnah (that’s right, guys, that’s the only kind of date we get every year!) This teaches Muslims about patience, spiritually, humility and Submissiveness to God.
By fasting, or not eating, it allows us to experience and feel what the poor are feeling but Ramadan is about much more than that, too! In Ramadan you must stop yourself from performing any evil action and in that way your whole body observes the fast.
Eyes: Should refrain yourself from looking at unlawful things and objects.
Ears: Must refrain from listening to idle talk or obscene words (like songs that promote bad language and bad actions).
Lips: Must refrain yourself from gossiping, backbiting, swearing, spreading lies, you must use your words for the better good.
Hand: Must not touch or take anything that does not belong to it and must not inflict injury upon others.
Feet: Must not go to forbidden places (Bars, etc.)
Ramadan helps clear the persons mind and focus on the important things in life rather than on worldly and materialistic things/objects. Muslims always use this Holy month to donate as much money as they can to the less fortunate, as well as provide food to others during iftar time( Iftar: when you break your fast). Muslims try our best to read the Holy Quran fully during this month as it is an extremely uplifting experience (Advice to the Muslims out there: Five pages after every prayer will allow you finish the Holy Quran within a month). Reading the Quran, whether it may be the 1st time, 2nd time, hundredth time, always teaches us new things and reminds us of several essential lessons as it has so much meaning and depth in it.
The cool thing about Ramadan is it could really better anyone, Muslim or non Muslim, so if this sounds nteresting to you, you should try it out!
Also, Hamilton Masjid (Mosque) in Rototuna (240 Thomas Road) will be holding iftar there on weekends for whoever wants to go along and have some delicious –probably Middle Eastern- food for iftar!
We don’t really have anyone running our Waikato Muslim Club here on campus so if anyone is interested in finding out more about Islam contact this email (email removed for privacy) or you can always shout “AL SALAMU ALAYKUM, BROTHER (or SISTER)!” to any Middle Eastern looking individual on campus and ask them 🙂
So to All the Muslims out there, RAMADAN MUBARAK AND HAPPY FASTING 😀 May this Ramadan bring peace, justice and respect in all corners of the world, inshallah Ameen!