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Ramadan is here and yes you may be filled with dread just at the mention of it and think "Oh my days how am I going to do it, I have work, I'm going to be tired, thirsty and hungry for 30 days". This list can go on but we'll stop there.
The first few days are definitely hard but we know after this you'll embrace Ramadan for all the beauty and amazing benefits it provides. It's a month which allows you to purify your body, mind and soul through daily prayers, get closer and more connected to Allah, your family, friends and loved ones, give back to the poor and be kind to one another.
Here are 8 reasons why we love Ramadan:
1. The food, oh the food!
OK let's get this one out of the way because we all love food and it's our favourite topic. We feel Ramadan is different though because whoever does the cooking in the house pulls out the stops when it comes to food. You'll be eating all those homemade goodies and your favourite dishes that will make your mouths water just thinking about them. Every home has their own special dishes that are enjoyed during Ramadan.
2. The community spirit
The Muslim community around the world all fast together sharing similar highs and lows as we contend with sleep deprivation, thirst and hunger pangs. Even on a personal level we break fast together at Iftaar and eat together at Sehri with family, friends and loved ones. It's this shared spirit that shows how beautiful human bonding can be. There's a great warmth in the community and when you walk into your family home or the mosque you can feel it. It gives you a sense of unity and a shared experience that we're all in this together.
3. Giving back
This is the month where we give back and so many give generously. We pay Zakat and give donations to charities to help feed, clothe, provide shelter and education to the poor, the less fortunate and needy all around the world. It also encourages you to be more be more helpful, tolerant and kind to people around you too. The hunger and thirst you feel makes you think about the millions of people who go without food and water. It makes you thankful for what you have and less prone to complain about what you don't have. You appreciate smaller things in life like food and water.
4. You're more patient
Going without food or water for 18 hours plus is a hard task there's no denying it. The discipline and level of patience that's needed to do that is unbelievable. You'll see looks of awe and amazement when you tell your non Muslim colleagues and friends what you have to do during this month. This month improves your patience and self restraint. With patience we're able to strengthen our resolve and cope with life's ups and downs. You endure the pain of hunger and the thirst for the rewards that you'll get for it.
5. Improving yourself to be a better Muslim and person
This month allows us to reconnect with God by praying the five daily prayers, Teraweeh, reading the Quran and just refreshing your memory of our beautiful religion through books and articles. Ramadan gives you the opportunity to reflect on the past year and look toward making a more positive and productive future. It's a month to improve yourself as a person , get rid of bad habits and adopt better ones.
You'll think twice before swearing, being rude, speaking ill of someone and getting angry. People may think that we must get so cranky from not eating or drinking all day, but for majority of Muslims it's the total opposite; you feel a lot calmer and at peace.
6. All that extra time
It's crazy but you seem to have more time during Ramadan than any other time throughout the year. We don't realise how much effort there is in thinking about, preparing, cooking and then eating the food. You'll be surprised how much you can actually get done without food and drink being a distraction. Secluding yourself from worldly distractions and being more productive in bettering yourself as a person and as a Muslim is what the month of Ramadan allows you to do.
7. The health benefits
There are health benefits to fasting too:
- Your digestive system gets some rest and a breather from all that hard work it does.
- Because your stomach shrinks from not eating or drinking all day you end up taking in less calories so you naturally start losing weight. Eating that epic meal you've dreamt of all day is a lot harder than you think. Also when your body uses up the stored glucose it burns fat as an energy source. This too can help you lose weight and belly fat.
- Our bodies also soak up all the nutrients in the food we eat, hence why it's good to try and stick to a healthy diet during Ramadan.
- The levels of sugar and cholesterol in your body lowers through fasting as does your blood pressure.
Another thing that'll amaze you is how little food and water you actually need to function throughout the day.
Last but not least the wonderful celebrations of Eid Ul Fitr. The end of the month brings us a reward of celebrations for all the hard work, patience and fasting. Again it's a time to connect with all your loved ones, family and friends and share your Ramadan experience and yes enjoy all that AMAZING food together. Over Eid we'll probably put on all that weight we lost during Ramadan :P. We can't wait!
We highly recommend reading articles on productivemuslim.com
This is a phenomenal website founded by a Muslim entrepreneur called Mohammed Faris. Just take 30 minutes out of your day to read the blog. The posts are really positive and it's just the boost you need during Ramadan. You can take these little nuggets of information and implement them in your life even after Ramadan has finished.
Check out the site here