By: Tahyia Alvi
As the ninth month of the Muslim calendar has begun, the holy month of Ramadan has also begun for over two billion Muslims around the world.
Ramadan is a time of reflecting on past deeds and restraining bad deeds that corrupt the soul. This includes limiting any negative or intrusive thoughts or actions, such as swearing, jealousy, complaining, and anger, that could harm others.
People who are sick, pregnant, nursing, menstruating, young or old do not participate in the act of fasting. More broadly, the fasting period begins at dusk and ends at dawn and so abstinence from food and drink (including water) begins during this period.
“For me, it’s a chance to be grateful for the blessings of abundant food that nourishes my body. It also makes me more empathetic towards people around the world who are less fortunate when it comes to food and water. drinkable,” said Faryal Sheikh, an IU South Bend alumnus and member of the Muslim Student Association.
Giving to charity is one of the key practices of Ramadan, as it is all about compassion and sacrifice. The religion states that Muslims must donate 2.5% of their wealth once a year to help the poor and needy, also known as “Zakat” (meaning “to purify”). These funds are used to help Muslims around the world, as well as Muslim communities in the United States in need.
The Islamic Society of Michiana (ISM) holds special food drives for everyone during Ramadan, which are prepared by Muslim families in the South Bend community. Even though the act of fasting is similar around the world, Muslims around the world have their own ways of preparing cultural foods and value personal family traditions.
Marking the end of Ramadan is a major three-day holiday called “Eid al-Fitr”, or even the Fast Breaking Festival, with festivities enjoyed by family and friends.