You may be surprised to find out that Ramadan is a lot more than just fasting. In this article, we highlight a few important lessons from the holy month, which can be beneficial to just about anyone.
It’s that time of the year when Muslims around the world immerse themselves in prayer, self-reflection, charity and self-discipline as they refrain from everyday pleasures such as eating and drinking.
Ramadan, the holiest month on the Islamic lunar calendar, is special for many reasons. The month is considered to be the best time of the year to ask God or Allah in Arabic, for forgiveness and to really get the most out of the spiritual experience. As someone who has observed Ramadan for most of my life, I can tell you that fasting can be truly rewarding.
I recall the challenges of fasting in a non-Muslim country – where business goes on as usual and working hours are long. However, since moving to the UAE over eight years ago, I consider myself to be fortunate and I make it a point to take full advantage of the benefits of observing Ramadan here - a country where the true spirit of the holy month can be felt everywhere. From the shorter working hours to the slightly relaxed business environment, I have certainly found the balance I need to focus on prayer and self-reflection that have in turn helped me learn some valuable lessons, some of which I share here.
Self-reflection and discipline
On any ordinary day, I would be concerned about not missing my morning coffee, meeting a tight work deadline or making plans for the weekend. Ramadan is a time for me to break my usual routine and reset my priorities by focusing more on self-improvement and the spiritual instead of material things.
The beginning of the month is usually the most challenging as both your mind and body undergo a big adjustment. At this time, it is difficult to concentrate and you generally feel weak. Thankfully, as the days go by, it gets better. Your mind and body begin to succumb to the discipline of the fast and you can gradually turn your focus inward, reflecting on habits that don’t serve you and taking steps you need to imbibe worthy traits.
Takeaway tips: Rid your mind of negative thoughts and instead try to stay positive as this will help you reflect on what really matters. The less you give into your emotions and desires, the more inner-strength you will build over time. Now that you are more aware about how your words and actions can impact others you will probably think twice before you speak (or Tweet).