Take Part in Ramadan
With all the turmoil in the middle east and around the world, it is nice to know in North American worldwide we can celebrate Ramadan. Yes, even if you are not a Muslim.
Do you celebrate Ramadan or do you know someone who does? If you do, you understand the sacrifices that are made to have a successful Ramadan.
Every year Ramadan falls in a different calendar month. This means over a billion people will take part in Ramadan every year. As the years go by the days for fasting will become longer or shorter depending if it is summer, fall, winter or spring.
All around the world people get up before sunrise, eat breakfast and will not eat or drink water again until after sunset. This means each person celebrating may not eat for 12 to 18 hours based on sun up and sun down.
This also means when Ramadan is celebrated during Spring and Summer, billions of people are not drink of any liquids, including water. If they are not careful one can dehydrated.
Muslims who celebrate will also not smoke or have sex during this holy time.
The reason for this is to each person who is celebrating Ramadan, to focus their attention on prayer, reflection and personal sacrifice.
Why This Article
While reflecting on my life, I decided to jot down 10 ideas. 10 ways non-Muslims, people like me, could celebrate in this holy time. This would allow people who do not know about the culture, religion or celebration to find out a little more about Ramadan.
The 10 ways I mention below are ways non-Muslims to take part. These 10 ways are meant to bring people and cultures together while creating understanding and love around the world.
For us to know more about our fellow human beings, we need to know more about the cultures they come from and the religious practices they have.
After reading the 10 ideas, I ask you to apply one principle for 31 days of Ramadan. Show your support to the people who celebrate Ramadan. This one unselfish act can bring unity to our communities, peace to the world and a level of understanding most of us do not have.
10 Ways To Take Part In Ramadan
Watch this short 2 minute video to understand what is Ramadan.
This is one of the primary way you can take part in Ramadan. You can start by doing the same fast from sunrise to sunset. If you do not think you can fast for 31 days or maybe you have never done a fast before, start off slow.
Start by fasting one day out of the week, for the next 4 weeks. You can fast every second day for 31 days. You can fast just on the weekend.
This can be a great way to connect and understand the billions of people around the world who are fasting. When you understand what others are going through you tend to become humble.
Have you done a sitting meditation before? Maybe you meditate every day?
Either way, for 31 days try adding a 10-minute meditation in your daily route. I would recommend getting up before sunrise or doing the meditation before bed.
Meditation is used to bring focus on the mind, soul and body. Who knows after 31 days you may make daily mediation a part of your routine.
Use meditation as a way to turn off those electronic devices that all of us are guilty of over using. Use the 10 minutes to reflect on your day or on the things happening in life.
Here are 25 additional reasons for you to practice mindful meditation.
Get Together With Loved Ones
Ramadan is a time of celebration. Loved ones get together for breakfast and/or dinner.
One of the things you can do during Ramadan is you eat breakfast and/or dinner with your loved one. Unfortunately, to many of us use the excuse of being busy and will grab something quick to eat before we get back to “work”.
For those who wish to take part in a getting together with loved ones but do not want to get up early or have a later dinner, look for ways to meet friends, sit with co-workers or share a meal.
The idea here is to join others for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You and I will build community as we spend time with other. This is an effective way you get to know others.
Many people donate clothes or non-perishable foods all year-long. Since Ramadan is a time for reflections, this is a good time to think about those who are less fortunate.
One things you can do is donate your used clothes to a charity of your choice. Ramadan is about giving and the more you give the more blessing you receive to receive in the future.
Try this today. Get a bunch of friends together and collect food, clothes and money. Then donate it them to a cause all of you believe in.
Since Ramadan is the season of fasting, this is a great time to bring awareness to the fast to many people in our cities and around the world are going hungry..
You and I, we should be grateful for every breath we breath in and out. Unfortunately, with our busy lives we tend to forget to give thanks.
Ramadan is 31 days long and does consist of prayer and reflection. One simple thing to do is practice being grateful for things in your life.
Grab a piece of paper and a pen. Go sit down in a quite area. Take a few moments and reflect on all the things that you are happy to have in your life. Be grateful for the people, your job, your health, your wealth, opportunities that come and opportunities that are lost.
Being grateful for the hardship you face in life. Hardships help shape us. They make us stronger and allow us to grow.
Make A Sacrifice
As mentioned earlier billions of people do not eating during day light hours. They do not drink liquids, they do not smoke or have any sexual relations.
Why don’t you make a commitment to stop one or more of your bad habits for 31 days.
There are a billion people around the world who celebrate Lent and give up something. It is the same idea and concept. This would be for a slightly longer period. If you can’t comment to the full 31 days, again comment to 1 week, weekends or pick a day of the week and stick to that day, once a week.
Learn Other Cultures
Many of us grow up in a home that teaches a certain faith or a household that teachers no religious faith. No matter what you believe or do not believe, no one is your judge.
The world is becoming a global community and we live in a multi-cultural world. Every day the world shrinks just a little bit more.
If you are a Muslim or non-Muslim make the effort to know your neighbor. When the time is right you can ask them about their religious and cultural believes. You can also tell them about yours.
An easy way is to find out more about any one’s culture, faith or religion is to ask them about it. Find out by taking real interest.
You can also go to the local library, go online and read up on different cultures and religions. There are so many great resources available.
Cook Food For Someone
Although I have never celebrated Ramadan, I have celebrated Hindu festivals at home, with my parents.
Do you know someone who is Muslim? Make food and taking it over to the home of the person celebrating Ramadan. Does this not sound like a good idea? Maybe when you take it over you can also join them for dinner?
But before you do, I would first talk to the person and find out if it’s okay. The persona celebrating Ramadan may have some meal restrictions.
Another reason to ask before you cook. Breakfast and dinner are typically eaten with family. Each person in the family might already be making meals and could take away from their religious practice.
I would just ask as a nice gesture and see what your friend, neighbor or co-workers thinks.
Do Yard Work
Since people who are taking part in Ramadan cannot drink water. It can be hard for them to do any strenuous yard work. Depending on the time of year and your geographic location you can offer to help cut your neighbor’s lawn or shovel the side-walk.
This simple act of kindness can make all the difference to someone’s day. You also create a great neighborhood to live in.
Find out About Ramadan
One of the best ways to find out about Ramadan is to talk to someone who is Muslim. Ask them to tell you about Ramadan and how they celebrate it. Is there a better way to finding out?
Ask questions and find out why Ramadan is celebrated? What the signifies is? Who can and who cannot take part and why? When did Ramadan start and ask any other question that will help you understand the other person’s culture, perspective and reasons.
Bonus Way to Celebrate Ramadan
Start A New Habit
Instead of looking at Ramadan as a time to give up something, look at Ramadan as a time to find, learn and start something you have always wanted to.
Take the 31 days to form a habit. Doing anything for 31 days can change your life.
What new habit could you see yourself starting? Here is a list of 20 habits successful people make a part of their daily routine.
These are 11 great ways to get to know more about people at work, your neighbors and your friends who celebrate the holy time of Ramadan.
Ramadan is about personal reflection, change, understanding and the ability to stick to your goal. It is also about family, friends, sacrifice and creating community.
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