GLIDE Voices is honoring Ramadan; we asked Humera Shaikh, Social Media & Communications Associate, what does Ramadan mean for you?
“Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year in the Islamic calendar. It’s also the month where the first revelations of the Quran were revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), who is the prophet and founder of Islam. During this month, Muslims fast for thirty days, from sunrise to sunset. It starts with a pre-dawn meal before sunrise, called suhur, and then it ends at sunset with a meal called iftar. Eid al-Fitr is the celebration after the thirty days of fasting. It’s a celebration where you get together with your community or your family, and you celebrate with your loved ones.
When a lot of people think of Ramadan, they think about it as a month where Muslims abstain from eating and drinking. But it’s so much more than that. It is a month of spiritual reflection, worship, and charity. When I was young, I never really understood why we, as Muslims, fasted during the month. I was always that kid who was complaining about being hungry and counting down the hours until iftar. It wasn’t until I got older that I experienced the true significance of the month.
For me, the month is really about empathy. I think that’s a huge takeaway – empathy for those who are suffering. When I’m fasting for these hours of the day, at the end of it, I get to break my fast. I think of the people who don’t have food and water and how they must feel. It makes you empathize with people and feel grateful for what you have. I wish more people knew about that spiritual side of Ramadan, that it isn’t just a month of abstaining from food and water. It’s a month that’s so beautiful – I think it’s so beautiful that billions of Muslims all over the world are coming back to their roots and re-grounding themselves.”
Humera Shaikh, Social Media & Communications Associate