5 Things to Try This Ramadan: For Muslims and Non-Muslims
Ramadan Karim! Whether you are a Muslim or not, here are my top 5 things to try these next few weeks...
- Fast: Obvious, I know. Many religions have some type of fasting, namely the religions of Abraham (pbuh). Whether you’re Muslim or not, fasting and experiencing ‘going without’ makes you more compassionate and stronger when it comes to self-control and self-restraint.
- Give to charity: This is a Pillar of Islam and a big part of Ramadan. Those who cannot fast must donate to feed someone who is less fortunate. So this month, tap into your generous side and give to a cause that is close to your heart whether it is animal rights or the Red Cross. There are so many living creatures around the world in need your compassion.
“And remember We took a covenant from the Children of Israel: Worship none but God; treat with kindness your parents and kindred, and orphans and those in need; speak fair to the people; be steadfast in prayer; and practice regular charity…” Quran (2) 2: 83
- Volunteer: Giving your time to a good cause is charity in action and is encouraged both in the Bible and the Quran. Take your talents and strengths and find an organization where you can put them to work.
- Host a potluck: Potlucks are always a fun way to get people together and, if you have Muslim friends, this is the perfect time. During Ramadan so many special foods are prepared and after iftar people love to sit, talk, and continue eating. Hosting a potluck will give you the opportunity to share in the holiday fun, experience different foods, and strengthen your friendships.
- Focus more on spirituality and less on things that don’t serve you: Ramadan is not only a fast from eating and drinking but also from selfishness and wrong-doing. It is a time to focus more on reading Quran and praying. Arguing and cursing actually break one’s fast! So step away from the superficial things like gossip and material wants, and focus more on prayer, deepening your faith, and being a better family member and friend.
Remember Ramadan is a beautiful and festive time for Muslims, but it is also difficult, especially during these long, summer days. Try to help out your Muslim friends, invite their children over for a playdate, or offer to run an errand for them. This will give them extra time to prepare iftar and maybe even take a quick nap. If you are Muslim be patient with yourself and others around you who are fasting, and remember it is Sunnah to smile.
Nawal is a guest blogger who is a university professor and an American convert to Islam.