Most Americans have a vague notion about the happenings of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Something of a fog consisting of fasting, Islam, veils and terrorism is associated with the very word “Ramadan” for most in our nation. As a Muslim, I would here like to alleviate a portion of the shrouds of mist which pervade the ideas my fellow Americans might have of the month.
Ramadan is a month in the Islamic lunar calendar during which millions of Muslims in all areas of the world fast from dawn to dusk. While fasting, we turn our attention to spiritual matters and prayer. Fasting has been mentioned as an instrument to increase focus on the divine not only in Islam, but also in Judaism, Christianity and Hinduism, to name a few.
This year, Ramadan began on June 29. Next time you see a Muslim, please feel free to wish her or him a happy Ramadan.