Source: Huffington Post
During the month of Ramadan, which begins on June 6, you may notice your Muslim friends and coworkers politely excusing themselves from lunch engagements and turning toward their spiritual communities. It’s a time of heightened spirituality for many Muslims, characterized by much more than just hunger pangs.
Scroll down to deepen your understanding of the holiday:
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Many Muslims experience Ramadan as a time of deep spiritual reflection and personal growth. Fasting from bad habits “affords the peace of mind that allows you to think clearly and rationally without being clouded by overwhelming emotions,” wrote Muslim Public Affairs Council fellow Marwa Abdelghani
. “It allows you to be productive instead of spending time thinking about grievances in your life that can make you angry or depressed. Ramadan is an opportunity to forgive, let go, and focus on what is most important.”
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Muslims don’t just fast from food, water and sex during Ramadan. They also abstain from lying, swearing, gossiping, arguing and otherwise engaging in bad habits. “The fast is not simply about denying your body food and water,” writes The National’s Saeed Saeed
. “It also involves arguably the more taxing challenge of avoiding ill speech, arguments, loss of temper and malicious behavior. The whole point of the fast is to demonstrate submission to God and keep the mind focused on a spiritual plane.”
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Ramadan is often referred to as the “month of the Qur’an
” because during this time, Muslims attempt to recite as much of the Qur’an as they can. Mosques will frequently recite one thirtieth of the Qur’an each night.
Although fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, children and those who are ill, elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding, menstruating or traveling are not required to fast
. Those who are able may choose to make up the fast at a later date or pay fidiya, meaning they will feed one person in need for each day they have missed.