We asked two of our Members to share some thoughts about Ramadan and what it means to them.
Salma lives in Birmingham with her family and works for the Trussell Trust charity. She is passionate about improving people’s lives.
“I was born and raised as a Muslim and I am on a personal, spiritual journey. My beliefs, values and practices reflect me. I am not a representative of all Muslims. I represent my faith in my way. I’m compassionate, respectful, kind, generous, friendly and I adore my family and friends. I am an activist as my faith instructs me to exist peacefully not silently. I speak out against injustices. My beloved parents ensured my siblings and I were educated so we could work and contribute to British society – our new home after they arrived from Pakistan in the 1960s.
I have been fasting in Ramadan since about the age of 15 years. Summers were especially difficult – longer days equalled longer fasts. But the human body is incredible and it’s amazing what ‘mind over matter’ can actually achieve!
Now, at the ripe young age of 48, Ramadan means far more to me than just abstaining from food and drink.
Ramadan is the most blessed month and each year I am extremely grateful that I can experience it and strive to reap the many rewards offered throughout the month God willing. It is another opportunity for me to reaffirm my commitment to my faith. Ramadan allows me to slow down, take stock of where I am spiritually and is the best time to refocus on what matters most to me – my relationship with God/Allah. He is the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate. He is always with me. Dependable. Gentle. Wise. The very best of Planners.
“O you who believe, the fasts have been enjoined upon you as they were enjoined upon those before you, so that you may attain Taqwa (God-consciousness)” [Quran – Chapter 2: verse 183]
Ramadan is a precious gift. A whole month whereby food and drink are the least of my concerns. My focus and time turn to prayer, Quran and family. A whole month to renew my intentions to be the best Muslim I can be. The best human I can be. Life is unpredictable. Hectic. Distracting. Ramadan is an opportunity to work, rest and pray with renewed conviction.
I relish the quiet time before sunset. The perfect time to pray to Allah and to show gratitude for everything He has blessed me with, including the food and drink in front of me. The prayer of a fasting person is always granted. Allah judges us by our intentions and actions. He knows what we silently weep for. He is Merciful whenever we turn to Him honestly.
That first glassful of cool water immediately quenches my thirst and the juicy dates nourish me instantly. I do not cook extravagantly during Ramadan because it is my soul that deserves the love and attention.
Ramadan is a blessed opportunity for me to be better in all aspects of my life. To be grateful to Allah in every moment of every day and to remain this way even after the blessed month has passed. To show gratitude is a choice and I am in control of my own choices so I choose to embrace Ramadan robustly and to do my very best to be even more grateful for the good, and the bad, that Allah blesses me with.”
Aasma is a grandmother, lives in Kent and enjoys learning and personal development.
“For me, Ramadan is the best month of the year. It’s a gift from God. The month is known as the Month of the Qur’an. Hospitality and charity are particularly important as well as caring for others and feeding the poor and needy. Ramadan is a time to be grateful for what we have and share food with others.
When we are fasting we are encouraged to not use foul or distasteful language.
It is a great time to open our heart, pray to God sincerely and ask for many things, especially forgiveness. It’s a time to be grateful for what we have.
We are encouraged to walk humbly, talk politely, dress modestly, treat others kindly, pray attentively, and donate generously.
I see Ramadan as a time to slow down, to give up some negative habits and to connect more with the Quran and be more mindful of Allah.
The thirty days train us to act in a way that would please God so we aim to continue these actions throughout the year. Importance should be given more on becoming a better person and not just on abstaining from food.
It is a time for us to see our potential!”