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Ramadan, a month to reflect

Ireland is far more multicultural and accepting of other nationalities, religions and lifestyles than it ever has been. It’s a positive shift in society and a chance to broaden our horizons.

A dinner plate with a knife and fork.Even if you have friends of all different faiths and persuasions, it’s not uncommon to be unclear about their culture.

As this year’s Ramadan has recently started, we thought it’d be a good chance for us see what we can learn about it, and from it.

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan lasts 30 days and is the ninth month of the Islamic year – which is based on a lunar calendar.

Muslims believe it’s the month the Qur’an descended from God to be revealed to Muhammad. For this reason, Ramadan is a celebration of the Qur’an.

Why the fasting?

From sunrise to sunset, believers in Islam are instructed to fast from food and drink during Ramadan. The philosophy behind this is to become focused and mindful.

What can Ramadan teach us?

Whether you’re of Islamic faith or not, or even if you’re not religious, there are things we can learn. In fact, the same goes for most beliefs. Think of the lenten fast in Christianity – can we not take similar meaning from that as for Ramadan?

All religions aside, fasting in this way is meant to help you be aware of the moment and have gratitude for what’s fortunate in your life. It can help you appreciate what it’s like to be hungry and hopefully inspire a greater awareness of what others lack.

Reach out

If we’re not fasting, or taking part in Ramadan, we can still use this time or knowledge to reflect. There’s no reason we can’t take a little more time to practice awareness and gratitude and to think about others’ needs.

 

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