Somehow, the end of Ramadan is right around the corner, and Muslims who are celebrating are probably feeling any number of feelings, from sad, to excited, to nervous. Most non-Muslims know this holiday as the time when Muslims can’t eat or drink anything from sunrise to sunset. And yes, not even water. If you don’t know…Ramadan is the holiest time of the year in Islam. It’s that type of holiday where no one ever knows the exact date, but there is always a range of dates that people can prepare themselves for.
Sounds odd, right? It’s never consistent because the date is decided when the crescent moon is sighted during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. For most of us, Ramadan consists of 4 AM meals, dates, taraweh (night prayers at our mosques), and disconnecting ourselves from toxicity in society. During this month, focus shifts towards working on our character, spirituality, and mental distractions.
Everyone looks forward to different things during Ramadan, but one of the greatest blessings bestowed upon worshippers during this holiest of months is the sense of peace we leave with. As the end of Ramadan approaches, I’m feeling stupendously contemplative on what I’m exiting this month having gained, and so, here are a few different feelings I find myself overcome with as I leave Ramadan behind:
Anyone who follows a faith understands that keeping the connection strong is difficult. Because Ramadan is a month of disconnecting from social distractions, it gives us time to focus on strengthening our Iman. For me, personally, I set goals that I start during Ramadan and try to consistently maintain throughout the year—whether it is waking up for Fajr, not cursing, or reading Quran once a week.
2. A Sense of Unity
Ramadan is the one month of the year where life slows down for Muslims. The only rush in life revolves around getting home in time for iftar (breaking fast) with your family. When the Maghrib athan is called, you and every Muslim in your region fasting, have stopped. And everyone has stopped for the exact same reason. This feeling of overwhelming unity is one that only takes place during Ramadan, and I am grateful to leave this holiest of months with that sense of unity.
Some take this time to reflect on themselves. Have you grown as a person since the last Ramadan? Is there a bad habit, you’re trying to drop? Reflecting and creating habits to improve yourself during this time is a perfect formula for self-growth. I take this time to relax and focus on myself.
There’s a certain spiritual accomplishment that comes with breaking your fast. Think about it: no water and food, for the average 16 hours a day. The Maghrib athan is called, and it is finally time for iftar. A person fasting has made it that long, and for one reason: their devotion to Islam and Allah. For that reason, the first sip of water and that first taste of a date is ten times better than any regular meal.
Although I haven’t eaten or drank water for 16 hours, I still feel this sense of energy. I constantly hear this from my fellow Muslims, and they never know how to explain it. I’ve found that the days I fast and spend my whole day only staying in bed and bingeing Netflix tend to pass at a snail’s pace. But, when I’m on top of my prayers, it’s different. After each prayer, it reminds me how much closer I’m getting to iftar time.