Recharging faith with Ramadan

Saadia Khan, in yellow, enjoying ‘Iftar’ – a fast-breaking evening meal with her family. Photo: supplied.

As her hunger builds with dusk approaching, her faith is fed and recharged as she celebrates being Muslim for the month of Ramadan.

For the past month, in line with the Islamic Lunar calendar, Saadia Khan has been celebrating Ramadan with her family who live in Tauranga.

“Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and marks the month when the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) by the Angel Jibra'il (Angel Gabriel),” says Saadia.

Lasting 29, or 30 days depending on when the next crescent moon is, Saadia says Ramadan is a month of “intense spiritual rejuvenation” with immense focus on devotion. “Muslims spend extra time reading the Quran and performing special prayer.”

Part of Ramadan involves fasting or ‘sawm’ from dawn to dusk each day.

“People are expected to prohibit them self from any food, grain and immoral act.”

Saadia has been taking part in this for more than 20 years, where fasting begins at around age 12 or once a person has been through puberty.

Saadia says she’s accustomed to the sense of hunger that comes with Ramadan.

“We fast for the sake of Allah and also show unity with people who suffer from hunger around the world. It also teaches us how to control hunger and maintain mood swings.”

A big part of the fast is the ‘why?’ says Saadia.

“The reason for fasting is to remind Muslims that all individuals are similar, and needy upon the assistance of God.”

Yet Saadia says Ramadan is so much more than fasting.

“It is the month of peace, the month of tranquillity, the month of cure, the month of goodness, the month of forgiveness, the month of mercy, the month of attending paradise, the month of Quran, the month of revelation.”

“Ramadan is a month of celebration of being a Muslim.”

When Saadia and her family sight the new crescent moon, which is due this week, Ramadan will end and be celebrated with ‘Eid al-Fitr.’

“This is a grand celebration for Muslims. On the first days of Eid al-Fitr, it is customary to wear new clothes and gather with family at the mosque for the Eid prayer in the morning.

“Afterwards, we celebrate the day with our loved ones by sharing meals and exchanging presents as a symbol of joy and happiness.”

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