As Ramadan comes to an end, I thought I would take some time and share some of the lessons I learned during the month. This year, in particular, I found out a lot about myself and my relationship with my religion.
Everyone does it differently
I grew up thinking many of us did Ramadan in the same way. We had the same customs and went through the same motions. I could not be more wrong. We all have our own way in which we do things. For instance, some of us have certain routines while others to do not. Others open their fast with fried food, while some, prefer breaking it with dates and a glass of water. Some women feel comfortable wearing lipstick, others do not. None of these are wrong, they are just different and there needs to be more understanding and acceptance of this.
Praying is personal
Growing up, I always heard comments such as “I’ve prayed x amount so far, how about you?” like it was some competition. I am glad to say, as an adult, I rarely experience this anymore. The key is to pray and get in touch with your spirituality with god. There is no x amount you need to reach in order to do this. As far as I am concerned, the key is to pray. We are not in any position to judge how much someone prays and how seriously they are taking it. We all have our own personal circumstances. For me personally, it is about taking the extra prayer you do and try and to incorporate it into your day once the month is over.
Community is what you make it
This is my first year where I spent the majority of Ramadan without my family. The previous two years I spent at least a week with my loved ones. This year, I am going to spend the last weekend with them but the majority of the time has been spent apart. I realised how lucky to live in a community. By that, I mean, there are people around me when I break my fast. My housemates and I sit down and break our fast together. It has a nice family feel to the meal which I am blessed to have. There are community Iftaars (the meal we call when we break our fast) people who are alone can attend. I know people who use technology to break their fast or eat their morning meal with their loved ones. Friends come together to fill the family void. It shows me as humans, we do find ways to connect with each other. Communities can be what you make them. If you look, you can build them from anywhere.
What lessons did you learn this Ramadan? What have you got planned for Eid? I want to know it all.