Valerie Ward, from the Muslim Faith Community, recently wrote the following ‘Thought for the Week’ relating to Ramadhan
25/26th May 2017 with see the start of Ramadhan for this year. Muslims all around the world will be looking forward to this special month with great enthusiasm and pleasure. Ramadhan is 29/30 days of complete fasting – no food or drink at all between dawn and sun set. This will be particularly hard for those of us in the northern hemisphere where in UK we may be fasting for 18 hours or more. In the southern hemisphere it is their easier time with the days now much shorter. But we are all grateful not to have to endure the high temperatures and humidity of those Muslims who live nearer the equator even though their days do not vary so much in length.
Wherever Muslims live they will strive to enjoy the blessings of Ramadhan. It is a time to renew their connection with God, to remove laziness and slackness in practice of His commandments. Most Muslims will try to read at least one part of the Holy Quran every day and perform the prescribed prayers in a better way than they might have been doing. Ramadhan is a refresher course, revitalising us for the coming year and renewing our knowledge, our practice and our relationship with God.
Tradition says that during Ramadhan Almighty Allah keeps Shaitan (Satan) held in chains. All Muslims feel the blessings of this encouragement to try our best to do all that pleases Allah. Giving in charity, avoiding division and arguments and keeping to the right path which, InshaAllah will be a blessing to us all.
When the fasting month is completed the sighting of the new moon of the next month announces Eid-ul-Fitr. One of the two Muslim Eid festivals. Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated with an extra prayer service, and by sharing meat and meals with each other and often the giving of gifts to family and friends; sharing the joy and blessings felt on completing the fast successfully in all its aspects.
Ramadhan Mubarak to all and inshaAllah we will all reach for greater peace this Ramadhan for all the world.