Ramadan Mubarek (happy, blessed)
Sunday, May 5, 2019, marked the beginning Ramadan. In Islam, this is a month-long sacred time when we commemorate Allah, the Arabic name for God, giving the first verses of the Quran, the Muslim scripture, to the Prophet Muhammad in the year 610 A.D. This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam and lasts 29 to 30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon.
Much like the holy occasions of Lent for Christians or Yom Kippur in Judaism, Ramadan is a time of year when Muslims the world over reflect on their relationship with the divine. This reflection comes in the form of fasting, refraining from sinful behavior, engaging in service to the community, and, of course, prayer. It is a time of inward reflection and spiritual renewal intended to acknowledge our appreciation for God’s many blessings. It is also a time of celebration of our shared humanity on this earth.
Fasting, one of the Five Pillars of Islam, during Ramadan is required for observant Muslims. (The other pillars of worship are: the shahadah, which is the declaration of faith; salat, the five daily prayers; zakat, or almsgiving; and the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca.) At sundown the daily Ramadan fast ends with the evening meal Iftar.
As we, a community of many faith traditions and cultures, commit ourselves to peace and compassion in this often confusing and hostile world, Muslim Americans for Compassion prays that all of us talk respectfully, treat others kindly, walk modestly, and pray sincerely. May these simple acts of compassion toward one another and toward ourselves infuse us all with the courage to overcome life’s adversities.
SOURCE: Muslim Americans for Compassion (MAC)