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Introspect during the holy month of Ramadan

By- Tasneem Dhinojwala

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The holiest month in the Muslim calendar has begun. It is time for fasting from dawn to sunset. No food, no water, time to be spent in intense prayers and devotion, generosity and benevolence, social engagement and spiritual introspection. A month of living, if lived in its truest essence can make a human out of every one of us. Yes, it is Ramadan, the ninth month of the lunar Islamic calendar.

The current atmosphere within the country as well as the world over is quite volatile. At the drop of a hat, love changes into hatred between best of friendships and relationships.

Religion, caste, colour, creed – anything and everything today divides. Even though technology has brought the world to our doorsteps, within our hearts we are drifting away from each other as humans. The divide is not limited to the world outside. The homes today are divided as well.

How can this month of intense fasting and praying bring us closer to each other as humans? Can it teach us self-restraint and self-introspection, the two things that are the need of the hour that can make the world a better place for our generations to come. As the Quran says:

“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you. So, that you may learn self-restraint. Quran 2:183”

Fasting is just not a ritual, but a means to achieve more. It is meant to transcend the physical act of fasting. Abstaining from food and water is the simplest form of fasting. Being hungry and thirsty helps us empathize with the deprived. But the real fast is not about the rituals involved, it is about abstaining from evil thoughts and actions, self-restraint and self -introspection. It is meant to make us empathetic towards the have-nots. What is enforced during these thirty days can become a habit that can be followed throughout the year.

This month is supposed to bring out the best in humanity. As it is said charity begins at home, let the introspection start from within ourselves, our homes, and our children.

When we step out of our homes, let it be a step full of love, generosity and humanity, to mend broken relationships, to heal bleeding hearts – let the spirit of Ramadan envelope us and through us every single being that we connect with. Then only we would have lived this month as the Creator wished us to live.

 

Renowned poet, Pablo Neruda’s ‘Keeping Quiet’ sums up the essence of Ramadan- for introspection and retrospection.


” Now we will count to twelve
 and we will all keep still.


For once on the face of the Earth 
let’s not speak in any language,


let’s stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.”

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