Ambassador voices: What’s Ramadan and what’s it like to fast during lockdown?
Muz volunteers as a Young Ambassador for The Mix, and has recently been part of our Body and Soul Club. Here he shares his thoughts on Ramadan and what it’s like to fast during lockdown.
All about Ramadan
Ahhh, Ramadan. Where do I begin? From the stomach’s growling for food and the throat being drier than ever, to the breath stinking from 6 o’clock onwards. These are just words, yet you would never truly feel the hunger and the desire to be a good person and carry out good deeds like praying and reading the Quran. These 30 holy days have flown by like 30 seconds, with all the Muslims begging for the month to slow down and not disappear.
Why do you think that is? Wait, wait, I know you’re all eager to get an answer, but the answer will come at the end of this. In order to get into that, you first need to know what Ramadan even is. Is it a made up word by Muslims to seek attention? Or is it a holy month? Or does that word even exist?
What is Ramadan?
Well, Ramadan is a holy month in Islam, where Muslims fast for 30 days, and no, we don’t just starve ourselves for 30 straight days, otherwise half of earth’s population would be gone! We do this because the rest of the year, we may not pay as much attention to the poor. So in this month we place ourselves in the shoes of the poor and don’t eat nor drink for 17 hours. The other seven hours we are busy eating and drinking to prepare for the next 17 hours.
Another reason we do this is because, Muslim or not, we all carry out acts which either go against our principles or against our religion, so this month we believe God forgives everyone and anyone. So Muslims fast for God to be forgiven and Muslims believe that God is all forgiving.
The biggest problem with this month that all Muslims face is that we don’t know when to brush our teeth. Is it after we eat (but we don’t want the taste of the food to go away)? Or at 3 o’clock when we have to hold fast (but we don’t want to wake up to dry mouths)? This problem requires some scientist to solve it; I swear every year it’s the same problem we all face. Also, our sleeping pattern has actually gone out of the window.
So now that you know that Ramadan is not a made up word nor a phrase we use for attention seeking, let’s dive deeper into the pool with me.
Something interesting about Ramadan
There is another really important part of Ramadan which is not about fasting; it is called “LAYLATUL QADR.” This translates to “The Night of Power.” Here is where it really gets interesting. The night of power comes in the last 10 nights of Ramadan and no one knows when it is; we only know two facts, which are as follows:
- The Night of Power will come on a odd day e.g., 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, 29th
- The Night of Power will come in the last 10 days of Ramadan
On this special night, God sends down the Angel Jibreel (Gabriel), and tells him to accept all the requests of whoever is praying and asking for forgiveness, or any human requests.
How fascinating is it that hypothetically, no matter what you have done, you will still be forgiven by God in that night? Just think about it, you’re crying and making a prayer, asking for a good life and asking to be forgiven and it gets accepted. Who would not feel grateful, and thankful, full of joy?
In this holy month we believe that the devil is locked away and that’s why even the worst of humans will turn to repentance and seek forgiveness from God. When the devil is locked away there are only angels surrounding you and every single good act that you do, even if you show respect to your parents, would be multiplied by 70-100 times.
Knowing these facts, I will ask you again.
Why do you think Muslims want this holy month of Ramadan not to go by so quickly?
Even if your breath stinks and even if your stomach growls and even if you’re hungry, do not think for a moment that this is exactly how the poor in Syria, in Africa, in India and across the globe feel. We are at least lucky to eat for that seven hours that we have, but some kids and adults don’t eat for seven days at a time.
THAT’S A WHOLE WEEK!!!
So, what’s it like to fast in lockdown?
Doors closed. Sun out. No food. No water. Mouths locked. This is just a little glimpse of how it feels to be fasting in lockdown. There are pros and cons to fasting in lockdown, however, the pros outweigh the cons, so let’s jump into it.
Everyone is more focused on their religion and when you’re bored and don’t want to study and you’re Muslim, then you will start to feel guilty for not praying or worshipping as you’re supposed to, so in that sense it is a perfect opportunity for all Muslims.
We have more free time and we can use this to make good deeds and beg for forgiveness from God
When Muslims break their fast normally, we would go to the mosque and have a half an hour prayer, where we felt so good and close to God. However, during quarantine that is not available and I’m sure all Muslims miss it the most.
The mosques closing is the biggest problem Muslims face right now, as the poor people would come to the mosque and have something to eat, but right now, not even that is available.
Overall I’m happy there is a lockdown because it makes the environment so much quieter. It allows anyone, Muslim or not, to focus on themselves and improve themselves. However, one thing that helped me in my journey of becoming a better Muslim and a piece of advice to anyone is: be part of a community.
Community helps a lot, believe me
I’m part of a Muslim community on my phone and every day they send quotes and stories about the old prophets and what kind of people they were. This really showed me personally that getting from where I am right now to where I want to be is not going to be easy, but what is life without some hard challenges? Personally I would want everyone who is reading this article to go and join a community of any sort. This is insanely helpful, as not only do you get to focus more, you also get to meet different people and seek help from many who are willing to help.
By Holly Turner
Updated on 26-May-2020
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