“You may eat and drink until the white thread of light becomes distinguishable from the dark thread of night at dawn.” (Surat Al-Baqarah: 187)

And so begins the month of fasting, prayer, and Quran, the holy month of Ramadhan. I felt it was only natural to share such an important time of the year with my readers, since Islam has and always will be the very essence of my being. Instead of focusing on the technicalities of Ramadhan I felt like sharing with all of you a few of the things that we as Muslims take away from this truly incredible month.

One of the many things that we learn during the holy month is to learn to stay in control of ourselves and our senses. We don’t quench our thirst or grumbling stomachs (no matter how desperately you want to reach for that ice cold glass of Vimto.) Why you may ask? Yes, we do fast to learn to discipline ourselves (in many aspects of our lives) but the main reason is to engage in a sense of empathy. It’s really easy to feel sympathy towards someone less fortunate than you, but to actually be put in their place and feel the dryness in their throats, the uncontrollable hunger pangs is completely different, and life changing. Of course the main difference is that when we fast we know exactly when we are going to have our next meal, but some less fortunate people in this world don’t have that same luxury.

Aside from gaining a true sense of empathy, Ramadhan also reinforces one of the main pillars of Islam, and that is charity. The holy month is a month of giving, whether it be food, clothes, money, or even just one’s time and effort, it is a month of unconditional generosity. Every little corner of Muslim countries are filled with donation boxes, with members of society coming up with new ways and means to give to those less fortunate, even using social media platforms as outlets.

Above all, Ramadhan is the month of the Quran. It is the month where we immerse ourselves wholly and fully in it’s teachings and message. The beautiful aspect of Islam is it’s openness, in which it calls upon every single Muslim to spread the word of God through acts of kindness, benevolence, and mercy. To show people the true meaning of what it is to be a Muslim, is to learn to love and accept people unconditionally, to welcome them with open arms and open hearts.

It’s very easy to fall into the trap of assumptions, stereotypes, and generalizations, and that was the main reason why I decided to share the beautiful side of Islam that you (sadly) rarely stumble upon online. After all, the very root of the word Islam comes from the word Salam which translates into peace and safety.

I ask Allah to bless your days with love, happiness, prosperity, and a sense of fulfillment. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for reading this post.